Why Lying When Dating Is A Bad Idea

By Ben Hamill - January 24 2020
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We’re all familiar with “white lies” and whilst its true that the majority of us do not see anything wrong with saying, “I’m fine” when we’re actually not, or telling a fib as to why we’re late for work (again). We tend to justify these little white lies under the guise of our meaning or causing no harm by telling a few innocent untruths. The trouble however begins when we tell lies at any stage of an intimate relationship. Trust is a thing of tremendous fragility and once broken, the damage can become irreparable.

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And so by this logic, even trying to impress a potential partner by lying about the details of our life on our online dating profile can creep up on us from behind when we least expect it. According to relationship and sex expert Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, its not uncommon for people to lie about the usual suspects like age and income, but we begin to steer into dangerous waters when we start to apply filters not only to our photographs, but also to who we truly are in real life.

Asking The Right Questions

But solid relationship advice aside, when we do discover ourselves to be lying frequently about our level of income, the type of work that we do, or even the specific goals that we aspire to one day achieve, it may be useful to ask ourselves why exactly it is that we want to be or have the things that we have lied about. And in this specific context, says O’Reilly, it’s not at all a bad thing to pay attention to the details as these may act as a perfectly useful tool with which to self-determine what our aspirations and goals truly are.

Positive And Negative Lies

Says O’Reilly, it’s also important to determine whether the lies that we’ve been telling are harmful to the relationship in the long run. The trick here is to categorise lies as being either “pro-social lies” or “anti-social lies”. The first is for example a statement made in order to make someone else feel good about either themselves or a particular situation. The second category however refers to lies of a much more negative variety, being the lies we tell when we aren’t willing to deal with or take responsibility for our own actions.

The trick it seems is to resolve any situation or potential situation as soon and as honestly as possible. This will not only completely avoid the danger of creating a situation of no trust in a relationship but it will also strengthen the bonds of trust once our partner realises that we are willing to tell the truth even when we fear the consequences.

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