Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say that men are lier, is just that there are some things for which they are known for lying. Whether they tell white lies or real whoppers, everyone bends the truth. Experts reveal the things men are most likely to lie about, and here’s why.
A study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology assessing 80 online daters analyzed the accuracy of their online dating profiles and found that men tended to lie about their height, saying they were taller than they actually were. A full 55 percent of men in the study lied about their height or fudged at least a little about their height—the average American man is about 5’9″.
Most men don’t want to show their vulnerable side, but some experts explained that men may have an especially complicated relationship with vulnerability because of the cultural emphasis on male “strength.” One way this self-protection is present in relationships is a guy saying nothing’s wrong when he’s actually bothered by 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.”
Their sexual performance
Up to 30 million American men under age 65 have erectile dysfunction, but many of them don’t want to admit it, Los Angeles urologist Dudley Danoff, MD, told Fox News. Often these men find other reasons to come into his office, says Dr. Danoff, and then casually find a way to ask for erectile dysfunction medicine samples on the way out as if it’s just an afterthought.
“Something can be done about it, but men have to fess up and let their doctor help them,” he says.
No one likes to let people down, and for sure covering up failures is something that people of all genders are guilty of doing. But sometimes men will lie to you, and even to themselves, to shift the blame, because they don’t want to disappoint.
“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 fantasizes about someone other than their partner now and then—lots while they’re actually having sex with them!” says British relationship expert Tracey Cox.
But most of the time, men don’t want to admit that because they’re afraid that it’ll hurt their partner. But, “what happens in his head really is his business—and same goes for you,” says Cox.
Their mental state
“Men are less likely than women to express emotional vulnerability,” Will Courtenay, PhD, a psychotherapist in Oakland, CA, told Fox News. Especially when it comes to men with depression because they’re more likely to try to convince themselves they’re okay and deny what’s going on, says Courtenay.
Additionally, it can be tough for men to admit they suffer from depression because their symptoms may be different than expected. Men with depression can act angry or aggressive, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.
“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.”
However, the anger that you deny or push away doesn’t disappear, it just fades for a bit then comes back even stronger, when you least want it to. “What they don’t realize 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.”
The fact that they need you
One of the most destructive lies that men tell themselves and others is that they don’t need anyone and can do 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, fictionalized novels, pickup truck commercials, certain genres of music, cigarette ads in magazines…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.”
In a survey of more than 1,300 single adults by Body LogicMD, nearly one in five men admitted that they lied about their income to prospective dates. Perhaps that’s not surprising, considering how often people lie to impress potential lovers. About 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” are present into a relationship, they can destroy the 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.”
Their past relationships
In a poll of 2,000 people, the British dating site Illicit Encounters discovered that 44 percent of men confessed that they had lied to partners about cheating in previous relationships. They lied because they didn’t want to scare off a potential new love, according to the UK newspaper the Metro. Unfortunately, lying about your past relationships can erode trust from the very beginning, and ultimately destroy the relationship.