Honesty & Your Love Life

In the age of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” dishonesty has unfortunately become a little bit more fashionable. I say unfortunate because, the price you’ll pay is largely in your love life. Once a person gets used to the idea of using lies to deal with life’s problems, this deceptive practice can become an irresistible habit. Before we jump into how dishonesty will damage your love life here are a few facts about lying.

There are two basic kinds of lies: 1. Lying by Commission, which involves a conscious, willing, and intentional distortion of the facts in order to achieve some end result, and; 2. Lying by Omission, which involves a conscious, willing, and intentional leaving out of information, again to achieve some end result.

Also, a common form of lying in a love life involves the act of cheating or infidelity, the latter term used mostly when cheating is taking place in a martial relationship. The point is, when someone “cheats” on a love partner he or she is intentionally, willingly, and consciously lying to his or her partner.

People can lie for various psychological reasons like: trying to make themselves appear better, stronger, and more intelligent than they are, or in order to disguise something they are ashamed of in themselves, or simply to avoid trouble. Lying leads the person you are talking to away from certain perceivable things about you. In essence, it can be a powerful way of commanding and manipulating the attention and perception of a listener or audience. Classically, the problem with lying involves the need to continue lying to adapt to the lies already told. With enough lies in tow, a person can get tripped-up if and when they forget the details of lies already told.

A person who lies repeatedly due to habit is commonly called a “pathological liar.” The repetitive act of lying, now part of the individual’s personality is in essence pathological or simply sick. The “sickness” is usually visible in all areas of the person’s life including and most especially in their ability to be “intimate” with another human being. I’ll have more to say about this shortly.

Last but certainly not least, most of us are born with a “taste for the truth.” This means that we intuitively know, as human beings when we are being lied to. However, this intuitive knowledge can too easily be dismissed or overlooked or even denied under certain conditions, especially if we’ve learned growing up to ignore this kind of internal wisdom. An example would be, growing up in a home where dishonesty was expected or tolerated.

The good news is, it is entirely possible to strengthen and develop this capacity to decipher when a lie is being told. In my experience, this development often takes place in middle-age after years of being deceived by lies and injured by the hurt they will cause especially in love relationships.

Now let’s clarify just how damaging lying can be to a person’s ability to be intimate in their love life. In love, the basic truth of who  you are allows someone who falls in love with you to love you, specifically you. It’s like a beacon that identifies where an individual is, in order to receive the love someone else is wanting to give him or her. The truth of you locates you. It identifies your authentic self. A very important requirement when you are dealing with human intimacy. When you lie to the person you love who loves you, the emotional intimacy that is possible is damaged. This damage takes place in the emotional relationship with your partner.

Put it this way, if being in a healthy love relationship is of interest to you, practice honesty. The only chance you have of being truly loved is if you are willing to practice telling the truth to someone who loves you.

All comments are welcome. Tell me about your love life.

Dr. Thomas Jordan, author of Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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