A friend of mine, we will call her Betty, an attractive brunette in her late twenties, was telling me of this incident. A week ago she happened to run into Jim, a cute guy she’d dated in college. They’d dated for a couple of years, but then things didn’t work out. They’d ended the relationship on a friendly note and were happy to run into each other now. They decided to catch up over a drink and talk about old times. They spent a fun evening together, during which time Betty learnt that Jim was in a committed, live-in relationship with his girlfriend of five years, Sarah, and was planning to get engaged soon. At some point in the evening, he said he’d call his girlfriend to let her know he’d be late and Betty happened to overhear their conversation.
“Hey,” Jim said. “How was your day? Just called to tell you I’ll be home a little late today. Had to discuss some plans with a client and thought we’d do it over a drink. See you in a bit.”
While Betty didn’t want to act like she’d been eavesdropping, she couldn’t help but ask Jim why he’d deliberately lied. Jim was unrepentant about it. His explanation, “Sarah has an active imagination and if I tell her the truth, she’ll think there’s something going on. Both you and I know that we’re just having a harmless evening of catching up, but if I tell her like it is, she won’t buy it. It’s just easier to lie, it’s less complicated that way.”
The way Jim sees it isn’t an isolated incident. Men lie for different reasons and with different motivations. Why do men lie? Most often, the reasons for which they lie to their partners/lovers/spouses/girlfriends follow a set pattern. Men lie…
1. For the heck of it
Men often have a great sense of the absurd and enjoy telling the occasional lie just for a lark. They find they get a few laughs out of suckering the party concerned and pulling the wool over their eyes successfully.
2. As a matter of course
Sometimes men just lie because they can’t be bothered to tell the truth. It’s just a habit that comes naturally and can be used as a defense mechanism, rather than go through the awkward motions of telling it like it is.
3. Because it’s less complicated
If the truth requires long explanations and supporting facts, men figure it’s just easier to tell a lie. Rather than get into long-winded stories to their spouse, which expend a lot of time and effort and may still result in disgruntled looks and dissatisfied expressions and take more convincing to be believable, men prefer to lie.
4. If the reason is innocuous
If the lie isn’t a major one, men justify it as being harmless. And if it’s harmless, what’s wrong in it? They figure they’re not hurting anyone with a simple little white lie, and they don’t lose any sleep over it.
5. Because they get themselves into trouble when they tell the truth
Some men find they have an uncanny knack for getting themselves into trouble when they try telling the truth. And that it never works for them. They try being straightforward, like a sailor friend who told his girlfriend how he enjoyed visiting strip bars, when ashore, to unwind after a particularly tough voyage, and how she blew a fuse over it. He thought being honest was a great thing, until he discovered it was better to have lied or simply evaded telling the truth.
Like Jim, some men feel that if they tell their partner the truth like it is, they will read more into the situation than there actually is, and blow it out of proportion. Not only will this cause trouble for the relationship, but it will also lead to a lot of discomfort and tension, which was unnecessary and uncalled for in the first place. By lying about it, men eliminate the possibility of stress and anxiety over their partner’s reaction and rest easy knowing they’ve averted a possible mishap.