By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7
In order to succeed in a serious relationship, you must tell lies. Wait… what?
An article in The New York Times earlier this year by Clancy Martin claims that the only way love lasts is if we keep a few things to ourselves every once in awhile.
But, research says the average person lies once every five minutes (!), provided that person is communicating somehow.
If that number shocks you, that means, we’re all lying, and we’re doing it well. And you know what else? It means we’ve all believed some lies, perhaps in the last hour.
But why? Most of the time, the reason we’re lying is because we don’t want to hurt the person we’re lying to.
But in dating, lying is often associated with cheating, and that’s the ultimate no-no.
The article suggests, though, that most of the lies we tell (and the ones we believe) in relationships are the little, white lies. For example, when your new beau asks you what you’re thinking about, and you respond saying you’re thinking about their wonderful lasagna you can’t wait to eat. Maybe that’s a lie, but it’s innocent.
But do small, innocent lies pave the highway to Pathological Liarville?
According to research by Kim Serota, marketing professor at Oakland University, a small percentage of people are “prolific liars,” meaning they are excessively dishonest.
And while most of us are just fibbing here and there, it turns out, the more you lie (even just a little), the more disconnected you feel.
There are those little white lies (Oh, you look great in those jeans…), and the giant cover-ups (Swear, I’ve got an alibi), but what about those nasty lies of omission?
I dated a guy in the service industry a few years back, and we were hanging out with his coworker, a bartender, who just happened to mention that she’d come to his house the other night around 11 p.m.
“Remember when you fell asleep on the couch and I got into your roommate’s bed naked?” She asked him, laughing.
He laughed, and didn’t seem to mind she’d just blown his cover. I tried to keep my cool, thinking back on that night.
He told me he was off work, and tired, and wished me goodnight. He just happened to leave out the fact that another woman came over and ended up nude.
I was less concerned about her being at his house, and more upset over the fact that he never mentioned it. We talked all day every day, so there had to be a reason he chose not to tell me she came over.
Months later, when we split, he’d actually lied so much he couldn’t keep his women straight — he’d been lying about nearly everything.
Perhaps the amount someone lies is relative to the times they’ve been hurt because of deception.
I know how much dishonesty can hurt, so I make an effort to be truthful (not that I find hourly temptation to lie).
And, well, I’d be lying — no pun intended — if I said my honesty didn’t get me in trouble from time to time, which is probably where that whole “good lovers lie” thing comes into play.
Maybe what they say is right, the truth hurts, and ignorance is bliss. I guess the real question is, how long can we hide the truth?
Read more about secrets and lies on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.