Like most women in a LTR, I can usually tell when my boyfriend lies. His nostrils will nervously dance, his pupils will enlarge, and — key giveaway — he'll laugh out loud. At this point, my boyfriend, like most men, believes he's gotten away with it. But while he may think that I had no idea that he'd cleverly hid a whole box of chocolate-covered doughnuts underneath his side of the bed (true story), little did he know, I was already closing the case.
While this specific incident may not happen in every relationships, it would be an #alternativefact to say that men don't lie to their significant others for some of the strange reasons. So why exactly do men to choose to lie about such interesting things?
To help answer this mystifying question, I connected with licensed professional counselor Jeremy McAllister over email to see what his thoughts were on this matter.
"Lying happens for a whole variety of reasons. We lie to protect ourselves, to protect others, to avoid punishment, to preserve a relationship, to trigger separation or elicit attention, to get someone back, to make them understand how it feels, or just out of boredom or forgetfulness. As it is more likely, in this culture, for men to land on the avoidant side (back to this theme of attachment for both articles), avoidant strategies tend to amplify work stress or time constraints as a way to justify their need for space and alone time (a genuine, legitimate need that is often not respected by someone on the anxious end of attachment)," McAllister says.
In any case, finding out that someone lied to you simply sucks. But instead of getting into a screaming match, it's helpful to find out why they did it in the first place. Here are seven interesting things men often lie about to women.
1How Many Partners They've Had
Let's be real: for most of us, sex can be a sensitive topic. While women may feel pressured to feel sexy, men often correlate their manhood by how well they think they please their partners. So, in return, men might feel the need to fluff their experience by lying about how many partners they've had. "They want to be seen as an experienced lover," says couples consultant and coach Lesli Doares in an interview with Bustle over email about interesting things men most often lie about to women.
2Where They Were
Some people might freak out over the word "monogamous." They don't want to feel trapped, and definitely don't want to have to answer to anyone. And while some guys may lie about where they've been because of romantic reasons (i.e. they're planning something sweet), other people might lie because they're afraid to fully commit to a relationship. "They don’t want to feel controlled or give up certain things for your relationship," says Doares about things she often hears men lying about to women in relationships.
3Finding Other People Attractive
Whether you're in a LTR or not, you're most likely going to continue to find other people attractive. It's biology. But just because everyone knows this doesn't mean your partner will be OK with it when they hear it from you. "Through experience [men] have learned that [finding other people attractive] isn’t received well [with their partners]," says Doares.
Men are often pressured by societal standards to be emotionally strong when they were young. "Don't cry" and "be a man" were probably just a couple of things they were told during their life. So when the emotion of fear arises, they may choose to withhold that feeling because they don't want their partner to think less of them. "[Men] are scared (of moving forward with the relationship, of losing their job, being sick, etc.) — they want to be seen as strong and invincible in your eyes," says Doares.
5Being Afraid Their SO Is Going To Leave Them
Some men have abandonment issues and they rather refrain from telling the truth to take control of a situation, then communicate about their emotions. "There's a story behind the lies. Lies come from fear — fear of hurting or being hurt. Maybe our current partner is totally trustworthy and understanding. Maybe they would be just fine knowing we watch porn. But we don't know that. We know previous partners have left for this, so what gets triggered is this fear of abandonment. It may go back to old partners or even back to childhood," says McAllister about interesting things men often lie about to women.
6Not Wanting To Deal With A Situation
It's no surprise that women and men sometimes think differently. And when it comes to a particular issue, they might not see eye to eye. So rather than going through the stress of communicating about it with their partner, some men might withhold the information and choose to talk about it at a later time when they're ready to do so. "More often than not, [men] lie not because [they] think something is bad, but because [they] expect [their] partners will be hurt or get angry or increase demands on time and ask [them] to justify something that [they] do not believe is innately wrong," says McAllister.
7Showing Their True Selves
Most women and men want a partner who is honest and vulnerable. They want to share experiences with them rather than go through life pretending everything is A-OK. In today's society, men might be afraid to be honest with their partners about their emotions because they don't want to feel judged for not being "strong enough" or "too clingy." In reality, most men want to find a true connection with a partner and sometimes, that requires both members to be vulnerable. "Underneath your lying partner is a human carrying beliefs based on their own past experience — beliefs that determine whether or not it is okay to be their full real self in the presence of another person. 'If I am really me, my partner will... leave me, attack me, judge me, pity me, consume me, manipulate me, imprison me, love me, accept me, etc.,' If we can change these attachment-level beliefs, the entire relationship changes," says McAllister.
Even though some men might lie for different reasons other than women do doesn't mean women wouldn't lie about those situations either. However, try to view the world with a open mind and communicate with your partner about your concerns if you feel like they're not being honest. This can save a potential relationship or friendship.