What the hell is dating anyway except some long drawn out process of elimination where you both try to present your best side while hiding the real you? And that can only last about three months anyway, because eventually it leaks out and then you have to spend the next three months getting to know your real selves…I mean dating…dating is stupid. ~“Fools Rush In” (Columbia Pictures, 1997)
When you’re first foraying into the world of online dating, exchanging profiles with potential mates can feel a lot like applying for jobs.
Your resume might be basically truthful, but you’re not going to include every piece of information. You’re not going to tell the potential employer that you were fired from a server job for throwing a soda at a screaming toddler. You might exaggerate the length of time you worked at a job to make yourself look just a little more stable. You want to get your foot in the door and make sure the other party likes you enough to tolerate your faults, before you tell them what your faults are.
That’s why it’s a good idea to meet an online dating prospect in public the first time or two. You want to safely weed out the people who are lying in a possibly dangerous way, from the people who just fibbed about their age to seem more appealing to people who lied about their income level out of a sense of shame.
At first, you ask each other questions and spend time together, and gradually you get a feeling for the person’s likeability and level of honesty. But once the relationship is going strong, the lies don’t necessarily stop. They just change.
Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of differences in the lies women tell from the lies men tell in relationships. The words might be slightly different, but the motives are the same.
The Lie: “I’d love to go to that football game/Renaissance Faire/pillowcase sale with you.”
Translation: I have to do what you want to do, or you might get bored and I don’t want to lose you.
The Lie: “Of course it was good for me.”
Translation: It’s going to crush you if I tell you the truth. You’ll be embarrassed, you’ll think I’m picky and hard to please, and I don’t want to lose you.
The Lie: “I never look at anyone else.”
Translation: I don’t want you to think I’m a jerk even though like every human being my eyes sometimes wander. I don’t want to lose you.
Sometimes the most poisonous lies are the lies of omission. Your partner might not be telling you things that aren’t true, but the things they aren’t telling you are important and might be killing the relationship without you even knowing it. These can range from minor, insidious things like occasional fantasies about another person, to major problems like financial crisis, drug or alcohol abuse, or even mental illness.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a forever love relationship, you will never have it, and never feel secure in it, until you know you can tell your partner everything about yourself without fear of losing that them. When you can be completely and perfectly honest without feeling like you need to protect yourself by hiding things, you will know that it is really love. And the more you trust your partner, first with little things, and later with the big stuff, the more your partner will know that he or she can trust you too.