are little lies sweet

A woman blows a kiss to another man behind her partner's back.
Is it OK to lie to your partner.

Excuses are rationalized lies and telling lies is more common than we care to admit. There is context, number and magnitude of lies to be considered. Not every relationship is loving and not every marriage is made in heaven. If you and your partner need to make up lots of excuses (lies), it may be time to let go.

Ideal v. Reality

Lying can indicate that a relationship is better in theory than in practice. The idea if being in a relationship can be better than the reality. Having to lie to yourself or your partner to justify it, is a sign you shouldn’t ignore. Becoming a cheater won’t make either of you happier.

It's OK to end a bad relationship.

If you are hurting each other in the “honeymoon” phase, it won’t get better. Every relationship is a learning opportunity. Not all relationships are built to last. It is OK to admit that it isn’t working. And you don’t need to blame anyone.  Just know that lying will not make things better.

Clinging to a connection that requires lies to survive is damaging. There is no shame in admitting mistakes in judgement. It is a shame to punish yourself and your partner though by insisting on something that doesn’t work. Even cheating can be a sign that you are better apart than together.

Lying can be a vain attempt at rationalization. Some things just don’t make sense. If you need to explain it with lies, your relationship probably doesn’t make sense. If either of you are tempted to become cheaters, face facts.  A failed relationship is not the end of the world. Clinging to a bad relationship at all costs is a tragedy.

Attraction is no guarantee.

Erotic attraction alone does not guarantee success. Just because someone turns you on is not grounds to build a life together. Personality differences are nobody’s fault, they just exist. A relationship failing does not make the people involved failures. Wanting someone does not mean you need them and lying to yourself about it doesn’t help.

Look for patterns.

A good place to start is by watching your own patterns of lying. That can help you become more aware of what contexts you feel compelled to lie in. That awareness can make you more sensitive to how your partner communicates with you and others. Notice when they admit to having lied to others and connecting the dots can make things clearer.

You shouldn’t become paranoid, just more observant. Not clarifying doubts leads to future conflict. If you cannot talk openly and share concerns, it is hard to make a relationship endure. Being afraid to express yourself is a serious handicap. Unanswered questions and lingering doubt are detrimental to personal and relationship growth. If you can’t speak openly about things that are important to you, you may find yourself bullied. You will never be happy in such a situation.

3 Things to remember:

#1 Think about what your expectations are. If you are looking for a serious and committed relationship you need to know if your partner is too. If they don’t want to talk about it, you have been warned.

#2 Dare to speak your mind. That doesn’t mean being confrontational or reactionary. State clearly what sort of relationship you are looking to build in the future. Pretending to be what you think your partner wants IS lying. Lying to yourself and your partner will not lead to a happy, healthy and enduring connection.

#3 Remember that it is no one’s fault if you want different things. Just because someone meets some of your ideal mate criteria does not oblige them to want the same things you do. You can explore common ground and still be individuals. You cannot force your partner to “like” everything you do. If they agree with that, they may have their own insecurity issues to deal with.

Loving is a proactive state. If you are willing to make the effort you can really get to know and appreciate each other without becoming “twinsies”. Telling the occasional white lie to avoid hurting your lover’s feelings is natural. Relying on lies to maintain your relationship though will inevitably lead to heartbreak.

This topic has different perspectives, though. Our relationship psychology expert, Wilda Harrison says: "I know that relationships can be tricky and that being honest can feel like a huge job at times. But I have an opinion that isn't shared by many: it's never okay to lie to your partner. The article says that there are times when it's okay to lie, but I really believe that honesty is the key to a healthy relationship. Even if you mean well, choosing to lie breaks trust and creates a false reality. It's important to have the guts to talk about problems in an open and honest way instead of lying to stay connected."

This link explains how we discover cheaters.

Lies of any magnitude are hurtful. Learn more about detecting liars.

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