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The Lies We Tell Ourselves

10 Apr

When it comes to relationships, do you lie to yourself? I do. I do it all the time. I do it when I replay situations and conversations in my head. I do it when I’m trying to rationalize something that has happened with one of the men. Hell, sometimes I even lie when I’m writing my blog entries. Usually, though, I catch those lies before I go spreading them to the public. When I’m editing a blog before posting, it’s always surprising to find a blatant lie right in the middle of other very authentic words. Even though I remove lies before I post a new entry, I can’t understand why I would tell (or write) a lie in the first place. What the hell possesses me to lie to my computer? I understand people; they can judge me. But the computer?! That’s crazy!

In thinking about it, I’ve noticed that I lie when I’m trying to convince myself that my feelings are something other than what they truly are. For instance I may say that I don’t care someone hasn’t returned my phone calls, when in reality I care more than I think I should. Lying to myself and saying I don’t care, though, helps me to ignore reality and avoid opening myself up enough to acknowledge the fact that my feelings may actually be hurt. So, here’s…

Reason #1: Lying to avoid hurt feelings (and all the emotional turmoil that goes along with that).

The second reason comes from one of my SBM friends, Sam. Sam is into online dating and recently met a new gentleman suitor. They went on one date, and Sam could not stop talking about this new man (NM) in his life (even though, I’d like to point out that one date does not qualify someone as part of your life). Whenever we spoke, Sam would interject a new fact that he’d learned about NM. Listening to Sam talk about NM was reminiscent of listening to a giddy school girl talk about how the handsome hunk smiled at her in the hallway. From listening to Sam talk, I could tell that he was really into NM. Yet, when being reflective on the possibility of a relationship with NM, Sam would say things to downplay how he truly felt. As a currently reforming self-liar, I realized that Sam was lying to himself and called him on it. After he got over the shock that (1) he was putting on a facade regarding NM, and (2) I could see through his crafty smoke screen to his true feelings, Sam came clean: “If I could order a man out of the boyfriend catalogue, NM is all of the things he would be”. (pause. let’s all say it together: awwwwwwww!) Sam and I debriefed about his decision to lie to himself and others about his feelings for NM. The reality is that Sam can see himself in an involved relationship with NM, and usually when Sam likes a guy, he moves too quickly into relationship land and the feelings fizzle. In order to avoid messing up the possibility of a relationship with NM, Sam wanted to move slowly. He went about accomplishing this the only way he knew how: don’t acknowledge how much you like him and hope that will keep you from moving too fast. Sam gives me…

Reason #2: Lying in attempts to control a situation.

Some would say that these types of lies are small (even though, I don’t think lies have sizes…kinda like sin). However, in the instances described above, even telling yourself “small” lies can work against you. If the goal is to communicate with someone, why lie about wanting a return phone call? If the goal is to begin a relationship with someone, why lie about how much you like that person? I can’t come up with rational responses to these questions, so I’m practicing the art of self-honesty. I mean, if you can’t tell yourself the truth, how  else can you share it (the truth) or yourself with anyone else?

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1 Comment

Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Dating, Reflection

 

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One response to “The Lies We Tell Ourselves

  1. Galina

    December 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I think that it could be that lying would get them a result that would be drfiefent than the one they would receive if they told the truth. They don’t know if the woman will be okay with them having a relationship with someone or not prior to lying. So, they don’t risk it. They most likely just want to get in her pants. Or, they are looking, at that day and time, for someone before breaking up with the girlfriend or wife. There is not one easy answer for why someone does anything, especially on this level of thinking or feeling. The thing to do is to protect yourself by getting to know someone over time. That way, if something is being covered up, you will notice things about their behavior that doesn’t add up or is suspicious. Most people can keep an act up for three or four months. So, give a relationship at least this much time before taking it to the next level. Don’t invest yourself too deeply with anyone until you feel you really know them and this takes time. Keep dating other people until one person has shown you that they deserve your trust and love. Love isn’t instant. It is hard to learn. Even love at first sight will take time to nurture and grow. If someone gives you the time to make this happen they deserve your trust.

     

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