Lie to Me
title may be a bit derivative, so apologies in advance. And no, it’s nothing to do with (at least I think it isn’t for I haven’t actually seen it) the movie of the same name starring Lauren Lee Smith. Nor the TV series starring Tim Roth. It may be a hoary subject but one very close to my heart, answering the age-old question – what place does honesty have in a relationship. By the same token, how important is communication during the beginning of one?
" I have a confession to make. I can spot when people lie."
I have theories. I have experiences. And then there is reality or rather, people’s perception of reality. Let me start with the theory and we can go from there. The theory, as many relationship pundits will advise you, is quite straightforward. Honesty is the best policy. Communication is critical to any relationship at any point in time. My personal experiences – more of that later. Reality is – everyone lies. All the time. Well, some of us only some of the time. I’m yet to find a brutally honest person in this world. I do believe, that if I ever find one, that I’ll end up hating them.
Let me be honest with you. Let’s be frank. TBH. Trust me. Geez, would I ever lie to you? Sound familiar? They ought to – you would’ve heard them from people all your life.
Now, I implore you to consider the following questions: Do I look fat OR Have I gained weight? Is she more attractive than I am? Does size really matter? Did I hurt you? Did you like the flowers that I sent you? Was dinner alright? Does this colour look good one me? Or possibly the worst, as Rachel asks Ross while they were ‘on a break,’ how was she?
Okay, I hope you got the point. One might argue that lies in response to those questions can be labelled as white lies, untruths that are designed to avoid hurting one’s significant other. A man can’t possibly answer that first question with a ‘um – yes.’ Not if he wants to get any this decade. Nor can a woman acknowledge that the flowers were dreadful and not her favourite, unless of course, that they’re married, and she just wants to be nasty.
Let’s start at the beginning of a relationship, where I must digress a little and talk about my books. In my stories, either or both protagonists lie, and not just to prolong the plot. They lie because they have something to hide. A truth if told will hurt one or both. Reality is that we often shy away from the truth when it suits us, or when telling the truth will cause discomfort, embarrassment or reveal a deep, dark secret. In my stories, they lie usually because it’s a secret that if revealed will destroy any chances of a relationship. Or to prevent one from happening because of fear of failure. In The Billionaire Romances a Star, Leo, our hero withholds vital information about his motives because a) he’s embarrassed to admit to them, b) revelations may well defeat the purpose of his endeavours and c) Olivia might well tell him to take a flying leap into a dark late and end their affair if he does. Olivia lies about her feelings out of fear of being manipulated – a core aspect of her character. When we begin a relationship, we want to put our best foot forward. Is there a point to telling the other that we were once caught shoplifting? Or that I ran bare naked through the college campus on a dare? Or that I accepted a proposal and then ditched the person when I fell in love with someone else? The truth will out somehow. But hopefully at a time when sufficient affection has developed, trust in place, one really gets to know the other to where the harm likely is diminished.
In my personal experience, I have a confession to make. I can spot when people lie. It’s not the ability to read micro-expressions. This ability is probably intuition based on experience. It’s not that I often call them out on it. I let it slide, thinking to myself, they must have a reason to tell it. Unless it’s my partner, of course. In the beginning of relationships, baring all, figuratively speaking of course, is not advisable not just because it may embarrass, but also because mystery is important. It tantalises. It makes life interesting.
My advice to all my readers is this. Truth is a highly overrated commodity. Honesty isn’t. Integrity isn’t. Trust isn’t. So long as lies are told to avoid hurt and increase mystery and romance, it’s fine. Even necessary. Look into your heart and ask yourself before you utter one: will the truth help or harm? Is it really deception intended to manipulate? If not, then go ahead and lie your head off. I do. And so, I tell my significant other that the flowers were lovely, the colour is perfect on you, dinner was fab-u-lous and hey, size doesn’t matter – we’re made for each other. Lol.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings. Please let me know what you think.