Whether they tell white lies or real whoppers, everyone bends the truth. Experts reveal the things men are most likely to fib about – and why.
A study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology assessing 80 online daters rated the accuracy of their dating profiles and found that men tended to lie about their height, saying they were taller than they actually were. In fact, a full 55 percent of men in the study fudged at least a little about their height. (If you think that’s bad, check out these 51 favourite facts you’ve always believed that are actually false.)
Most people struggle with being vulnerable, but some experts say men may have an especially complicated relationship with vulnerability because of the cultural emphasis on male “strength.” One way this self-protection shows up in relationships is a guy saying nothing’s wrong when he’s actually struggling with something, says Sara Stanizai, a licensed psychotherapist and the owner of Prospect Therapy. “Men often feel they should be able to handle something on their own and don’t want to ‘bother’ their partner will the inconvenience of their feelings.” Or they may be trying to avoid an argument: “I work with people of all genders, so I have seen this across the board,” says Stanizai. “One of the most common reasons people conceal something – intentionally or not – is to avoid conflict. Ironically, most partners say ‘I wish you had just said something sooner,’ and the conflict ensues anyway because the other person feels kept in the dark.” Are you and your partner often in conflict? Here are 13 normal fights that even happy couples have.
Over 150 million men worldwide are estimated to have erectile dysfunction, but many of them don’t want to admit it, urologist Dudley Danoff, MD, told Fox News. Often these men will come into his office for some other reason, says Dr. Danoff, and then casually ask for erectile dysfunction medicine samples on the way out as if it’s an afterthought. “Something can be done about it, but men have to fess up and let their doctor help them,” he says. Head here to find out how to put honeymoon-level excitement back into your marriage.
No one likes to let people down, and covering up failures is something people of all genders are guilty of doing. Sometimes they’ll lie – even to themselves – to shift the blame. “They don’t want to disappoint you,” clinical psychologist David J. Ley, PhD, writes in Psychology Today. “[Men] are often worried about losing the respect of those around them. They want you to like them, be impressed and value them. And they’re worried that the truth might lead you to reject or shame them.” But, notes Stanizai, friends, families and lovers want to know the real you, “the sides you’re proud of and the sides you’re not.”
“Everyone fantasises about someone other than their partner now and then – lots while they’re actually having sex with them!” British relationship expert Tracey Cox writes in the Daily Mail. But men don’t want to admit that because they’re afraid that it’ll hurt or anger a partner. But, “what happens in his head really is his business – and same goes for you,” says Cox. Meanwhile, find out 5 ways that sex can help save your life!
“Men are less likely than women to express emotional vulnerability,” psychotherapist Will Courtenay, PhD, told Fox News. And men with depression are more likely to try to convince themselves they’re okay and deny what’s going on, says Courtenay. Another reason it can be tough for men to recognise or admit they have depression is that their symptoms may be different than expected. Men with depression may be angry or aggressive, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. Find out 10 surprising ways to be happier without even trying.
In a poll of 2,000 people, the British dating site Illicit Encounters found that 44 percent of men said they had lied to partners about cheating in previous relationships. Why? Because they didn’t want to scare off a potential new love, according to UK newspaper Metro. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of lie that can erode trust from the very beginning, and ultimately doom a relationship. Here are 12 subtle signs that you have a cheating spouse.
“[Men] are afraid that they don’t have a ‘right’ to be angry about certain things,” says Stanizai. “Or that their anger is their own problem and they don’t want to bother their partner with it. They tell this lie because they fear judgment, [that] a conflict will ensue, or that it’s not a big enough deal, and that it will pass.” But anger that you deny or push away doesn’t dissolve, it just fades for a bit then comes back stronger – often when you least want it to. “What they don’t realise is that a loving partner wants to know their inner world, their likes and dislikes. They don’t want to be kept in the dark because sooner or later, the issue will reveal itself and the partner will be blindsided. Better to bring it up before it’s a big deal.” Find out what people in long-lasting relationships believe is the key to a long, happy partnership.
One of the most destructive lies that men tell – themselves, and others – is that they can go it alone, writes former journalist and book author Tor Constantino for The Good Men Project. “This is the lie of ‘rugged individualism’ most often foisted upon us via the media in the form of movie characters, fictionalised novels, pickup truck commercials, certain genres of music… just to name a few,” says Constantino. “This is the most ludicrous lie of them all because we all need somebody – we’re social creatures that crave connection above almost everything else.” Here are 10 small but significant gestures that can improve any relationship almost immediately.
In a survey of more than 1,300 single adults by Body LogicMD, nearly one in five men admitted to lying about their income to prospective dates. Perhaps that’s not surprising, considering how often people fib to impress potential lovers – 87 percent of male online daters and 75 of female daters lied about at least one thing in their profiles, according to one study. But if financial lies – also known as “financial infidelity” – continue into a relationship, they can seriously undermine trust and cause long-term problems, according to research by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). “Sadly, financial infidelity can lead to more severe outcomes – for 10 percent [of the couples in our study], the infidelity ultimately led to divorce,” NEFE spokesman Paul Golden told The Week. “It’s a little like sexual infidelity – even something that seems benign can become a gateway to larger deceptions, like lying about debt.” And unfortunately, it’s one of the lies that can destroy your relationship if you don’t stop telling them.
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