Jackie, I’m hoping to start dating again after few tough breakups, but I want to be sure that these men are being honest with me. Do you have some advice on how to spot a liar quickly and how to not get used by him?
First of all, I’m sorry about your tough breakups. I know how painful a series of failed relationships can be, and how all the disappointments can make you feel weary, and like the wish to meet the right person might seem hopeless.
If you are asking for advice on about how to spot a liar then I have to guess one or more of your breakups had to do with men who were less than honest or forthcoming in your relationships.
Having just attended the absolutely amazing Billy Joel concert last Friday night at Wrigley Field, I can’t resist quoting the Piano Man’s 1979 song, “Honesty,” as part of the answer to your question.
Joel writes (and sings), “If you search for tenderness, it isn’t hard to find. You can have the love you need to live. But if you search for truthfulness you might just as well be blind, it always seems to be so hard to give.”
Joel describes honesty as “such a lonely word,” and “hardly ever heard,” which is a testament to the fact that most likely you are not alone in your difficult quest to find pure honesty in a relationship.
In my own experiences, I have dated lots of liars. My favorite example goes back quite a few years and involves a guy I was dating who told me he had to cancel our date on a Sunday afternoon to have lunch with his mom. Adoring his love for his mother, I happily understood and decided to head to a Cubs game with one of my girlfriends. During the seventh inning stretch, I stood up to sing “Take me out to the ballgame” sporting a huge grin on my face and enjoying the well-loved Harry Carey’s voice, that is until I glanced over to the next section and saw my boyfriend kissing another woman that did not resemble someone who could be his mother.
Finding out the person you are dating is a liar can be shocking, and can also involve beating yourself up because you feel foolish for not seeing it. I do truly believe that so often, love is blind.
The realization that the man or woman you love is a liar is also disappointing, gut-wrenchingly sad, and can cause a person to look at relationships in an angry, untrusting way.
There is no guaranteed, fool proof way of knowing if the one you love is a liar, but here are 11 red flags that might make you realize that in your relationship, “honesty is such a lonely word.”
1. You hear his or her phone, indicating a text late at night.
2. He or she is very protective of their cell phone. In other words, they are always making sure you can’t see their texts, missed calls or e-mails.
3. The person is vague about what they do on the nights you don’t have plans together.
4. You call him or her at night and don’t get a return phone call until early the next morning.
5. He or she accuses you of lying or cheating.
6. He or she gets very defensive if you ask where he/she was last night.
7. The person seems to be busy every Saturday night.
8. He or she all of a sudden gets a password on their phone
9. When you ask a direct question, he or she can’t look you in the eye.
10. Business trips get longer.
11. A story they tell becomes altered or slightly different when told again.
Keep in mind that if the person you are dating does one of these 11 things, that doesn’t always mean he or she is a liar. There are some innocent men and women who have passwords on their iPhones or who might plan a long business trip that has nothing to do with an intention to cheat.
One last point. Once a liar, always a liar. Remember that.
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