7 Signs You’ve Caught Your Partner In A Lie, Even If They Don’t Admit To It

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Knowing when someone is lying to you isn't always easy, but it's important to spot — because even tiny untruths can slowly erode a relationship. "Small lies are not small. Small lies are big lies,” celebrity relationship expert, Audrey Hope, tells Bustle. “If someone can venture into this territory or can stick their toes into a place of untruth, then lying is their ‘thing.’ Their relationship was not built on integrity, and therefore will not survive.”

The tricky part is that people who lie a lot are usually better at it than people who hardly ever lie — so if you're dating someone who's a cool and collected liar, you might not realize that they're doing it. Even when you think you've caught them, they may do a damn good job of talking you out of it.

Luckily, there are some signs that may help give away the habits of even the greatest of liars. If you know what it looks like when someone gets caught in a lie, you'll be more likely to trust yourself next time you stumble onto something. Here are some ways you can tell if you've caught your partner in a lie — even if they'll never admit it.

1They're Defensive

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This is probably the most obvious way to tell — if they overreact to a simple question. "When your partner gets off the phone and you ask, 'Who were you talking to?' and they respond with hostility like, 'Why are you always so nosy?' or 'I can’t believe you don’t trust me,'" something is up, and it's not your imagination, relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala tells Bustle. If they seem totally over-the-top and try to turn things on you, they've probably got something to be defensive about.

2They've Lied About Other Things

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If your partner has a history of lying, and you feel like something could be up, that's a good indicator they're lying again. "If you catch your partner in one hurtful lie, chances are that's not the only one," life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. So trust your gut — if they regularly lie and now they're acting shifty, you might be onto something.

3They Make A Lot Of Eye Contact

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Most people think that liars will avoid eye contact because they'll be embarrassed but — because so many people have heard this — people who lie a lot will actually do exactly the opposite. They'll go out of their way to keep eye contact with you, according to Psychology Today, so it seems like they're being more sincere.

4They Touch Their Face

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Warning Signs, by Anthony DeLorenzo and Dawn Ricci is a book about how you can tell if your partner is cheating — but it also gives some helpful hints on how to tell if someone is lying. According to them, people who are lying will often touch or cover their face and mouth. It's a distancing mechanism between them and what they're saying.

5They Put On A Fake Smile

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A smile that doesn't seem quite right? That can be a sign of lying. A 2012 study from British Columbia found that lying was often accompanied by a fake smile and, because people find it easier to control the bottom half of their face, it will be a smile that forms around the mouth but doesn't show around the eyes. It means they're forcing something.

6Their Pupils Dilate

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Your pupils get larger when your brain is working hard, like when you're trying to convince someone of a lie. No matter how great of a liar you are, it's hard to imagine anyone who can actually control their pupils.

7They Include "Honesty" Words

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If phrases like "Trust me", "Honestly", and "Just to be honest" sound like they're trying too hard to convince you, there's a good reason — Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, says that can be a sign of lying. "When people use these bolstering statements to emphasize their honesty, there’s a good chance they are hiding something," Meyer writes. "There’s no need to add them if you really are telling the truth."

It's really difficult to admit that your partner is lying to you — especially if they won't do it themselves. But it's important to recognize the signs and know when it's happening to you. You don't want to be with someone who lies to you — and you definitely don't want to be with someone who lies about lying. Luckily, there are some ways to figure this out.