Megan felt both perplexed and enchanted by Mark’s mystique. She had never met a more private man. Near the end of the date, she might ask him where he was going or what he was planning to do. He would just wink, smile knowingly, and say, “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
She thought it was a little odd, but she told herself that everyone has a right to privacy. Certainly Mark had a right to keep some things to himself.
But the truth is, Mark had several things he kept to himself – especially other girlfriends he did not want Megan to know about.
To be a healthy and loving date you, yourself, must both require and embody truth.
As soon as there’s any kind of deception STOP EVERYTHING. If you are trying to build a relationship with someone and they are lying to you in someway, there is no relationship. Period.
The whole relationship is a farce and you should not go any further until you address the deception. There are no other issues in the relationship except that one. Trust is everything.
Either fix it or end the relationship.
Deception undermines the relationship in every way. Finances, substance-abuse, responsibility and on and on. You are not standing on firm ground. You are standing on an unsecured boat dock and it could move at any moment. It makes you question everything and can drive you insane.
How can deception enter into the dating relationship?
- How about when, for instance, Sheila does not care for Devon but she allows him to pay her all kinds of attention with compliments and gifts. She enjoys being around him but she is not in love with him and does not want a relationship. One night he kisses her and tells her he loves her. She hides her true feelings because she’s afraid of losing the attention in her life so she allows the relationship to continue until one day she find someone better and tells him she doesn’t feel like the relationship is going anywhere. Devastated, Devon has absolutely no clue what just happened.
There’s nothing wrong with dating someone until you know where you want the relationship to go. But once you are sure you must be honest about your feelings as soon as possible.
- Another way this can happen is in reverse. What if Devon wanted to be Sheila’s friend or help her through a crisis with the ulterior motives of wanting to date her because he found her attractive. But he never told her so and just made her think that they were just friends. If you have a crush on someone you certainly do not have to put all your cards on the table to early, but there’s a big difference between being devious and allowing things to develop. You will know the difference when you answer the question “if she is not interested in me will I still be able to carry on the friendship and be happy?” if your answer is, “if they don’t like me back I’m not going to be their friend”, then you are being devious.
Deception about other people – you may represent someone as just your friend, but there may be more of a history there and feelings there than what you let on. I knew a person once who had a funny feeling about their girlfriend being so enthusiastic about their job. He later found out that his girlfriend was once engaged to the boss and that there was no sexual relationship there, but there was certainly a deeper connection there then what he was aware of.
Deception about yourself – Always remember that you’ll be happy and safe in your relationship to the degree that you are honest about yourself and everything else. If you like a certain kind of church, music, movie, just be honest about it. Don’t hide it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t die to your own preferences occasionally. I’m just saying don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Lying about facts: be aware of people who lie about the following facts:
Lying about whereabouts
Lying about finances
Lying about substance abuse
Lying about being with or seeing someone else
Lying about their past
Lying about achievements
- Lying about hurt or conflict – you want to establish very early on how this person is going to handle conflict in the relationship. Conflict early in the relationship is a wonderful opportunity to assess how this person will handle conflict in the future.
There are two kinds of liars. The first lies out of fear and inexperience in relationships. This kind of person can change with a lot of love, time and hard work. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I want to be this person’s counselor as well as their romantic interest?” Remember dating is not the best place for rehab.
The second type is a perpetual liar. This kind of person lies just for the sake of selfish gain. They lie habitually. If this is the kind of lie presented by the person you’re dating run, run, run. This is a character trait that runs deep into their psyche and will cause you years hurt and regret.
“No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.”
Do not tolerate lying.
If you are lied to:
1. Confront it.
2. Hear the response and find out how much ownership and sorrow there is behind it.
3. Try to figure out what the lying means in the relationship. Were they lying because they were afraid and there was the fear of loss of love? If that’s the case, try to work with it but be very cautious.
4. Ask yourself how seriously the person is pursuing holiness and purity as a lifestyle.
5. Make sure the changes are being sustained. Just saying I’m sorry is not good enough. There must be some kind of accountability – even if it is temporary.
6. If the person was lying just to protect themselves, that is one thing. If the person was lying just to serve selfish ends, you should think long and hard before continuing the relationship.
Before you do anything, begin with prayer. Pray for the other person, pray about your own motives, and pray for the relationship.