One of the most highly researched things in the field of psychology is why and…
Why do men lie? If you’ve ever dated, spoken to, or met a man you’ve probably asked yourself this question. Well, here are some of the reasons why.
Why do men lie? And also, do men even lie? Well, they do. It’s a fact. Yes, women lie too, but often in a different way and for different reasons.
While writing this, I did some research and came across an article titled, “The Number 1 Reason Why Men Lie.” Spoiler alert: the article was written by a man who spent the entire article explaining that men don’t lie, but in fact, women don’t listen.
Now, this isn’t just any random guy contributing. He is a relationship and dating coach. I don’t want to rain on his parade, but I feel sorry for his clients. His article had the potential for truth, but just took it too far. Essentially, his argument was that men tell you who they are and what they want but not in the same way women do. He also claims that women ignore when men tell the truth.
For example, he said that a guy would tell a woman he doesn’t have time to commit to a relationship, but she will ignore it, thinking she will be so wonderful she can change him. As insensitive as I found that, it isn’t untrue. Women do this quite often. I’ve been guilty of it myself. But, his article didn’t account for the fact that men do lie and often.
For every man that honestly says he doesn’t want a relationship or that he isn’t ready to commit, there are five other men that promise a relationship and romance only to sleep with you and never call you again.
The idea that men don’t lie but women don’t listen is true sometimes, but more men do lie than don’t. I’m not just making that up either. What I’ve learned throughout my years of dating experience and my friends’ is that this is the exception, not the rule.
Men do lie, and not because we think they do, but because they do.
The most common things men lie about
Men might not know that we know this, but they lie and lie often. And although some lies may be unique and random, there are some things that men lie about often. If you aren’t already aware, here they are:
1. Their dating history
This may be an obvious one. But a lot of men lie about their prior dating history. Most specifically, their sexual experiences. In our society, men are praised for being experienced. So, men will often inflate the number of people they’ve been with to impress someone new.
2. Small insignificant things
Men often lie about things many people would see as pointless. What do you get out of lying in these situations? A distance. A man who may be hesitant about committing to a relationship will lie about things like where they are, their plans, or who they’re with.
Even if they’re not cheating, they will lie to keep some distance between them and whoever they’re dating. Then, knowing that they lied and got away with it is a secret they have and keeps them from being fully committed.
3. Attraction to others
When a man tells you he doesn’t find a lingerie model attractive or claims he wasn’t checking out a woman that walked by, they are often lying.
This isn’t because they think they are doing something wrong by finding others attractive, but because they’ve learned through experience and society, that telling your partner about those attractions does not go over well.
4. Their mistakes
Like many people, men struggle to admit their mistakes. Even if they are aware and have learned from them, admitting them takes guts and trust that they may not have.
If a man cheated on an ex, they will likely lie about that to someone new because they don’t want to be considered a cheater. They don’t want that mistake or poor choice in their past to define them.
5. Their fears
Society says that men should be brave and strong. A man who discusses his fears and worries openly wouldn’t be seen as manly. Although this is highly toxic, men often lie to cover up their stress, fears, or worries. This could be anything from their fear of rejection to their own internal struggle of worthiness.
Why do men lie?
So, we have established that men lie, but why? Well, probably for the same reasons most people lie. But, there are some unique reasons that seem to be more true for men.
1. To avoid conflict
This is the biggest reason men lie, especially to their partners. I’ve had many men even admit this. They claim they are lying to protect you, but in reality, it is to protect themselves.
Say your boyfriend was flirting with a female coworker, and she didn’t know he was in a relationship. He won’t come home and tell you that, because he knows you’ll be upset and he wants to prevent that. He doesn’t want to hurt you. But, at the same time, he doesn’t want your pain to impact him.
He knows that if he tells you the truth, you’ll be mad but move on. But while you’re mad, he will have to deal with that. What he doesn’t see is that if you were to find out from someone else, the hurt would be much deeper and longer-lasting because he lied.
By not seeing this fact, he is worrying more about avoiding conflict at the moment than not hurting you, although that may be his excuse.
2. To impress us
A man will lie about his income, his ability to lift weights, or his level of honesty to impress you. If he makes a mistake, he will lie about it because he doesn’t want to remove the ideal of himself you have.
Essentially, he is preserving the vision you have of him as a good and honorable guy and doesn’t want to risk tainting that with the truth that may be unflattering.
3. To have sex
I hate to say this, because it is crass but it is true, so true. Men do lie to get you into bed. As much as some men, like the prior-mentioned writer, may like to believe this is false, it isn’t.
A man will claim he wants to get to know you, cook you dinner, or watch a movie when his true motive is to make a move and hopefully have it met with equal interest. No, not all men do this. Some really do want to get to know you and bond with you.
But, even the most respectful men who do have good intentions are thinking about sex when they claim not to be. I’ve had guys promise me a relationship, a romantic date in the city, and more, to get me in bed. Most guys won’t admit that that was their original goal, further lying about their intentions.
It can be hard to tell if this is a lie. I’ve made it clear to guys that that wasn’t in the cards and wouldn’t happen and they claim it isn’t their goal, only to later admit it was their goal and they liked the challenge of seeing if they could change my mind. This is sexist, predatory, and just plain wrong.
4. To get what they want
Yes, women do this too, but here’s an example. A guy who wants to stay home and watch the game with his buddies won’t tell you that because they foresee you being upset.
Instead, he will lie and say you deserve a spa day with your friends. No, this may not be a blatant lie because you surely do deserve this. But he uses this to manipulate you into leaving, so he can get what he wants.
What to do when a man lies to you
Dealing with a guy who is lying to you is difficult. You want to get answers, but you’re mad. If you caught him in a lie or even just think he is lying, you don’t want to be accusatory or angry. This only leads to a fight. And may even confirm his assumption that you would be mad which is why he lied in the first place.
So, whether the lie is big or small, how do you deal with it when a man lies to you?
Firstly, call him out. Hiding the fact that you know and holding it against him silently may seem like a great way to catch him. But it will only add to your resentment and his fear. Instead, try to calm down from the initial anger or betrayal, and let him know you know he lied.
It is so easy to lash out at the moment. But that won’t get you the result you want. Let him know that you know he lied and then let him talk. He has to answer here, so let him. Hear him out and learn why he lied, or why he thinks he lied. Let him get it all out before you react, so you can really try to understand his side.
This can be brutal. But try to see the situation from his side. Would you have done the same thing? Do you see why he did what he did, even if you don’t fully understand it? He probably lied for a reason he saw as valid like fear or embarrassment. Maybe you’re still upset, but trying to hear him out lets you remain calm so you can talk it out instead of screaming.
This may be an excuse, but now you can explain to him why that isn’t a justification for his behavior and why you have every right to be upset. Let him see your side as you heard his. Since you let him say his part, he will be more open to hearing you out too.
From here, explain why honesty is so important to you and that you are more disappointed in the fact that he lied than what he lied about. Try to explain that him not trusting you enough to tell you the truth has now broken your trust in him.
You both need to move forward by working on building honesty, no matter how difficult it may be to face or admit something. By being calm and having a mature discussion about your feelings, you are showing him that he is in a safe place with you so he can be honest without fear of outrage.
So, why do men lie? I’d like to say it’s because they are slimy selfish snakes, but it is because they’re human and imperfect.