More often than not, men are portrayed as being truthful, blunt, and honest. While women are supposed to send a million mixed signals and confuse the potential love interests in their lives by playing mind games and saying the opposite of what they mean, men are thought to tell it like it is.
In some cases, this is true—there are certain areas in which men are statistically more likely to be honest. But does that mean men don’t lie?
Research (and admissions from lying men themselves) shows that there are common lies that men tend to tell, for a variety of reasons. Usually, they say things to portray themselves in a certain way because they anticipate that they’ll be met with rejection if they’re honest about how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking. Sometimes, like women, they lie because it’s the easier thing to do.
But there are also subjects that men are much more likely to be truthful about. It can be tricky to know when to trust them since every situation is different. Generally, though, there are topics that are frequently lied about and things men say that are normally the truth.
Keep reading to find out what they always lie about, and what they’re usually honest about.
20It’s A Lie: That He Doesn’t Feel Scared
Men are often told by society that they aren’t allowed to feel scared, and if they do feel scared, then they certainly can’t express it. Instead, they are encouraged to “man up” and act strong and brave, even when they’re scared out of their wits. For this reason, guys often lie about being scared.
They don’t want their partner to think less of them and so act like they’re not feeling any fear at all. The same goes for when they’re feeling sad, or any emotion not traditionally thought of to be appropriate for men. All humans have feelings, so we’re glad society is finally catching up with reality!
19It’s A Lie: How Many Partners He’s Been With
Women tend to be guilty of this one too! There seems to be a lot of importance placed on how many people you’ve been with. A number that’s too low might make you look inexperienced and unwanted, while a number that’s too high might make you look a little too experienced.
So many people, including men, might instead choose a number that makes them feel good because they’re scared that they’ll be judged on their real number. Couples coach Lesli Doares told Bustle that men usually fluff up their experience because they “want to be seen as an experienced lover.”
18It’s A Lie: Having No Insecurities About The Relationship
It’s usually women who are portrayed as being the most emotionally invested in a relationship and who tend to worry about the state of their bond with their partner. But in reality, anyone is capable of these kinds of relationship insecurities. Guys are less likely to be open and honest about them, maybe because society doesn’t expect them to care so much.
It’s also tricky to bring up your relationship concerns with your partner, no matter who you are, because they could so easily be taken the wrong way. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid the conversation altogether and pretend everything is fine.
17It’s A Lie: Not Knowing Why She’s Upset
According to Cheat Sheet, some men commonly lie about not knowing why their partner is upset. Especially if it’s an ongoing issue, the chances are he does know what’s annoying you.
Unless you’ve been trying hard to keep it from him or this is the first time you’re upset about it, any boyfriend who pays attention would be able to at least make a guess as to what has ticked you off. Sometimes playing dumb can be a way to avoid having a serious discussion about it, or in the worst cases, to avoid taking responsibility for whatever the problem is.
16It’s A Lie: That He Totally Doesn’t Need Space
Everybody needs space from time to time, even if they’re in a relationship with their soulmate. But needing space and admitting you need space are two different things. A lot of the time, both men and women struggle with confessing to their partner that they need a little time out because if they don’t word the request correctly, it could leave their partner feeling hurt.
It’s common for men to just distance themselves both emotionally and physically when they need space, rather than going through the trouble of being honest about it and asking for a bit of breathing room.
15It’s A Lie: That He’s Totally Not Low-Key Freaking Out
Thought Catalog published an article highlighting what several random men decide to keep from their partners, and the results were quite interesting! Adam, 32, revealed that he sometimes freaks out about being in a long-term relationship, but doesn’t tell his girlfriend about that.
“I was a nomad for a long time after college. Getting into a monogamous relationship was a huge (and out of character) step for me and, as much as I adore my girlfriend, I still get freaked out occasionally. But it’s not something I ever tell her about. I guess that’s not an outright lie, but it isn’t totally honest either.”
14It’s A Lie: How His Family Feels About Her
If your parents don’t like your girlfriend or boyfriend, it isn’t the end of the world. Still, that’s not a conversation that’s easy to have. And if you don’t handle the situation carefully, it could mean the end of the relationship.
So it makes sense that many guys lie to their partners about how their family really feels, even though you’d be able to tell if someone’s family likes you if you spent enough time with them. Ian, 27, admitted that his girlfriend is in the dark about how his mom really feels: “That my mom likes her. I’m not trying to hurt my girlfriend’s feelings. I’m not a monster.”
13It’s A Lie: That He’s Not Attracted To Other People
Many guys have opened up about how much they dislike it when their girlfriends ask them if they find someone else attractive. This basically sets them up to fail: if they say yes, their girlfriend might feel hurt and if they say no, they come across as dishonest. Being attracted to other people can’t be helped, and it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the relationship.
Still, not every guy is willing to admit that he’s lowkey admiring someone else when he’s in a relationship with you. “Through experience [men] have learned that [finding other people attractive] isn’t received well [with their partners],” explains Doares (via Bustle).
12It’s A Lie: Who He Is On The Surface (VS Underneath His Shell)
It can take a lot for your partner to really come out of their shell and show you who they are. Usually, this doesn’t happen until a certain point in the relationship, and up until then (particularly in the honeymoon stage of the relationship), a guy will try to paint himself as being better than he really is to try and impress you.
Lying about fundamental aspects of his personality, such as how he feels about certain topics, his values, and beliefs, as well as his preferences and dislikes, comes down to him fearing that you will judge the real him.
11It’s A Lie: What Mistakes He’s Made In The Past
Who enjoys shouting their mistakes and low points from the rooftops? It’s totally common and understandable for guys to be less than honest about where they’ve gone wrong in the past. Again, this happens because they want to impress their partners and don’t want to let them down by admitting to mistakes that they’ve made.
“They don’t want to disappoint you,” clinical psychologist David J. Ley, Ph.D., explains (via 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 them.”
10It’s A Lie: How Much He Earns
Money can be a sticky subject to bring up, even between two people who are in love. A survey conducted by Body LogicMD showed that nearly one in five men admitted to lying about their income to prospective dates.
Perhaps a few white lies are more common in the early stages of the dating game—87 percent of male online daters admitted to lying about at least one thing in their profiles, according to one study—but sometimes this can continue on into the more advanced stages of a relationship. This usually happens when a guy is embarrassed about how much (or how little) he makes.
9It’s A Lie: Nothing’s Going On At Work
Some couples share everything about their work with each other, but professional life also happens to be something that men commonly lie about. If things aren’t going well at work, sometimes they prefer to leave their problems at the office rather than bring them home. Sometimes they prefer not to stress out their partners by alerting them to potential problems.
And sometimes they just want to keep their work and home lives totally separate. “I’m in a very stressful [job] and I don’t always feel like talking about it,” explains Christian, 27. “I’m definitely guilty of saying everything’s fine when [stuff] actually just hit the fan.”
8It’s A Lie: That He’s Fine On His Own
Because men are most commonly told that they have to be strong and capable without any help, they’re not as likely to ask for support (especially of the emotional kind) as women are. “This is the lie of ‘rugged individualism’ most often foisted upon us via the media in the form of movie characters, fictionalized novels, pickup truck commercials, certain genres of music … just to name a few,” says Tor Constantino for The Good Men Project (via Reader’s Digest).
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.”
7It’s A Lie: His Feelings During An Argument
According to Bustle, men are more likely to withhold their true feelings during an argument than their female counterparts. This may be due to the fact that they want the argument to be resolved as quickly as possible, and so they’re less likely to continue it by bringing up how they’re really feeling.
It could also be because they are expected to experience fewer emotions than women and feel embarrassed to talk about what they’re really feeling. They may also be apprehensive about saying what’s on their minds for fear of offending their partners and as a result, making everything worse.
6It’s A Lie: Where He’s Been
Every now and then, it’s not uncommon for men in committed to relationships to lie about where they’ve been. According to Doares, this could be for a number of reasons (and they’re not all reasons to freak out!).
They might lie because they’re actually planning a romantic surprise for you, but the more likely reason is that they’re trying to maintain a sense of independence over their lives. This is especially true if the relationship is new. “They don’t want to feel controlled or give up certain things for your relationship,” Doares explains (via Bustle). Right, but couldn’t he at least give us a hint?
5It’s The Truth: He Is In Love
Most of the research we’ve done points to the same answer: when guys say that they love you, they usually mean it. Now, a declaration of love doesn’t automatically guarantee a happy ending. Feelings can change, after all, and sometimes, we get confused about our own feelings. It’s possible that he could mistake lust for love, especially if he hasn’t been in many relationships.
But generally speaking, if he says he loves you and his behavior is consistent with that, it’s safe to assume that he actually does. That’s a big statement to make when you’re not serious about someone.
4It’s The Truth: He Thinks She’s Beautiful
Similarly, most of our research has revealed that when guys use the word “beautiful,” they mean it. This is because the word tends to carry more meaning than other compliments, such as “cute.” “Beautiful” tends to reflect both the inner and the outer and is also a pretty big statement to make.
Guys who are just messing around are less likely to call you this than guys who are serious, just because it’s a lot deeper than your average compliment. There are exceptions to the rule of course, but overall, this is something you should be able to trust more often than not!
3It’s The Truth: He Doesn’t Care
If a guy responds to your question with “I don’t care,” the chances are he really doesn’t care. According to Wall Street Insanity, guys tell you that they don’t care about things because they really don’t care.
“You have presented me with an option that, while clearly very important to you, is not a big deal to me at all. Since we’re probably going to end up doing what you want to do anyway, let’s just skip the conversation and go straight to that. If I actually do care about a choice you give me, I swear I will tell you.”
2It’s The Truth: She’s Just A Friend
Wall Street Insanity also revealed that if a guy tells you that someone is just a friend, she probably is: “I’m flattered by your jealousy and I Swear I’ve never [been] with her. If I had, we probably wouldn’t still be friends.” This is something that women have been conditioned to automatically assume he’s lying about, but there’s no need to jump to inclusions.
If you have reason to believe she’s more than a friend, and find tangible evidence that backs up your point, that’s one thing. But it’s not necessary to assume his friendship with someone is more just because she’s another girl.
1It’s The Truth: He’s Not Looking For A Relationship Right Now
For the most part, guys are pretty straightforward creatures. There are certain things he says that you really should take for truth, and one of them is the fact that he’s not looking for a relationship right now. Especially if you have feelings for him, you might try to read into this and look for holes in his story.
But always follow the rule: if he tells you that he’s not looking for a relationship right now, he really isn’t (at least not with you). And you definitely deserve better than to chase after someone who hasn’t chosen you first!