How to Tell You're Dating a Liar

Every now and then, you get the eerie, almost imperceptible sense that the hunk you've hooked up with isn't all he claims to be.
Tell You're Dating a LiarTell You're Dating a Liar
Perhaps it's because he clumsily changes the subject whenever you ask him about anything personal (past relationships, kids, that beeping gizmo strapped to his ankle), or perhaps it's because he likes to slip silverware into his pockets when you aren't looking. Seriously, though, here's how to determine if your date (or your boyfriend or husband) may not be telling the whole truth.

Try to pin him down.
There's a fine line between being insistently curious and playing district attorney, but if you feel your significant other is evading a pointed question, don't let him escape too easily. If he tries to change the subject, change it right back with something like, "I'm sorry, but this is a topic that really interests me. WHY is there a warrant out for your arrest in New Mexico?"
Read his body language.
Despite what you see in movies, there isn't one fail-safe way to examine a person's facial expression and determine if he's lying (if there were, the world would have a lot more poker millionaires). A pathological liar has likely learned to keep his nervous smiles, rapid blinking and odd grimaces under control, but if the guy you're with is an amateur fibber, he may well trip himself up.
Check the facts.
In a normal relationship, a guy will say "I'm sorry I'm so late, traffic was really bad on I-95," and the gal will shrug and continue eating her salad. If that still, small voice tells you something is awry, there are resources on the Web that will tell you if the traffic was really as bad as he said it was (or if the subway was delayed, or if there was a bomb scare at the airport).
Decide what you're willing to put up with.
There's not a person in the world who hasn't told a little white lie, but very few do so multiple times a day. If your beau's lies are relatively harmless, you can conceivably chalk them up to a personality quirk. Be aware, though, that folks who constantly tell little white lies have a way of dropping the occasional Big Black Lie and hoping no one notices.
Get out while the getting is good.
It's possible, after years of therapy and the occasional electroshock treatment, for a habitual liar to return to the straight and narrow. But in the vast majority of cases, the rule is simple: Once a liar, always a liar. If you actually think you can "change" your guy and his lying ways, stop reading this article right now and book an appearance on the Dr. Phil show.

About the Author

Bob Strauss is the author of "The Big Book of What, How and Why" (Main Street, 2005) and "Who Knew? Hundreds & Hundreds of Questions & Answers for Curious Minds" (Sterling Innovation, 2007). He is a regular columnist for Match.com/MSN Dating & Personals, and has written for dozens of publications, including specialty science and medical magazines and popular glossies like Entertainment Weekly (where he was a contributing writer for seven years).

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