A reader of my articles wrote to me about the article I wrote entitled, “Why do People Lie?” He said that he would be “very interested in a similar article with examples about all the lying that women do….At least in the initial stages of dating, women lie sooooo much.”
Well, being a woman, I’m not as aware of how much women lie on dates as I am of how much men lie on dates. So I decided to write about date lying in general.
The man who wrote to me was upset about lies such as “I have to go,” or “I’m busy,” or “I’m on another call right now. I’ll call you back.” He states that “I think that much of this is women’s very misguided attempt to ‘spare someone’s feelings.’ Reject them, without actually rejecting them.”
I think this is accurate. Women have been trained to not hurt men’s feelings. They have been taught that if the truth will hurt, then tell a “white lie.” And, when they do tell the truth, it is often in a harsh or critical way.
I’ve often counseled women, who don’t want to date a particular man, to say things like, “I don’t feel romantic toward you,” or “There doesn’t seem to be chemistry between us,” or “I’m not feeling a connection with you.” One of my clients told a man who called her for a first date, “Your energy does not feel respectful toward me. I’m not drawn to meet you because of this.” He was open to what she was saying and they ended up having a good conversation. He was appreciative of her truth, and she ended up going out with him.
Since men are usually the ones doing the calling, they are not as often put in the position of say no. My experience is that men often lie too, but in different ways. For example, a client of mine, a psychotherapist, dated a man who told her he was in therapy. She was pleased to hear this, as personal growth was very important to her. She later discovered that he was in therapy because the court had mandated it due to him having punched his ex-wife in the stomach while she was pregnant. She found this out through the ex-wife. His avoidance of the truth was an attempt to impress her and control how she felt about him.
Men often “lie” by coming on strong, calling a lot, sending flowers – trying to impress a woman. Then once the woman is “hooked”, the attention falls away. The giving wasn’t his normal way of being – he was giving to get. It is well known that many men know exactly what to say to a woman to melt her heart. A man at one of my 5-day intensive workshops, who was married but was addicted to being with other women, revealed how easy it was for him to hook women in, even when they knew he was married. “Women desperately want to be seen and understood. All I have to do is reflect back to the woman the things she wants to hear and I’ve got her. I can see her caring, her intelligence, her creativity, her joy of life, her beauty. I can see what she has to offer that has been squashed down. When I see these things in her, she falls in love with me.” Some of the women in the intensive were drawn to him, even knowing that he was sucking them in! The lie was not what he was saying to them about themselves – it was that he covertly implied that he would be available to continue to see, love, nurture and support them, when in reality he had no intention of continuing to do so.
Date lying of many kinds is common for both men and women. Generally, neither men nor women want to “hurt” another person with the truth of how they feel. Both men and woman can turn on the charm at the beginning and seem to be giving and caring, only to turn out to be using the other for their own neediness.
What is the way out of being at the other end of lies? Stay tuned into your own intuition. Speak your truth. Learn to give yourself the approval and attention that you are trying to get from another, so that you are not so vulnerable to others’ approval. And, don’t take it personally when someone does lie to you. Their lie is more about them than it is about you.