All Articles Tagged "lies"
I don’t know what you guys are watching right now, but one of my favorite programs to indulge in on Sunday nights is the TLC show 90 Day Fiancé. One of the newest couples featured includes a Black mother from Pennsylvania named Narkyia who is dating a Nigerian guy named Olulowo who actually lives in Nigeria. And while the long-distance aspect of the relationship probably already has you raising an eyebrow, what really stole my attention was the fact that this guy lied to the woman about — well, a lot of stuff.
For one, he told her that he lived in Alabama. At the time he told that lie, he was actually living in Vietnam, but he is back in Nigeria by the time we meet the couple.
He had multiple Facebook accounts where he reached out to random women. Narkyia didn’t know about this.
And the worst lie of all was that he claimed he was a widowed father of one. As it turns out, the mother of his child is very much alive.
And yet, Narkyia is paying for and working with “Lowo” to get him to the States so they can get married. She seems confident that their relationship, which came together after lie on top of lie, will work — even if all of her friends literally say to her face, “You should not marry him.” Only time, and a few more episodes, will tell how things really work out. I’ll definitely be tuned in to see…
But seriously, though. Can a relationship that is based on a lie, or multiple lies, actually work?
I think it can work for a while, but not for the long term. For instance, a girlfriend of mine dated a guy who said that he had a child with a woman he used to date who lived in Grenada, where his people were from. My friend and the guy dated for a few months and really seemed into one another — until she found out that he was actually married to the mother of his child. She ran for the hills.
A woman shared a story on a forum about a guy she was dating who had a pretty wholesome past. He hadn’t slept with many people, but she had quite a bit of fun in her younger years. When he asked her about her sexual past, she lied about it initially. But after struggling to keep up with her lies when asked about her past on different occasions, she admitted that she lied and things went left. “He couldn’t handle the truth, because my number definitely doubles his,” she said, “and I am now moving out of our apartment completely devastated.” He ran for the hills.
I got to know a guy who seemed nice. He was handsome enough, had a pretty good job, and we had a bit in common. But he lied from jump, as I would later find out, about the true state of his situation. He said he had one child but he actually had two. And even though he told me he tried to propose to the mother of his child only for her to decline because she wanted to be “independent,” that was a lie as well. I would find out from his sister-in-law that he was the one holding that whole traditional Nigerian engagement process up so he could be out here. I ran for the hills.
Now, I don’t think every lie is cause for immediate dismissal. Obviously, white lies are harmless, and if a person tells you the truth soon after they divulge the lie, then I think a relationship with them could work out. They’re making an effort to right their wrong and may have good intentions. If you all can work to build trust again and agree to be honest, you should be able to make it.
But serious lies, including lies about basic information and ones of omission, the kind that influence your decision to go forward with a relationship with someone because you’ve been misled, are dangerous. They can be the start of something terrible. As was the situation for one woman who shared her past relationship story via The Experience Project:
“In my case, me ex lied about his name, and how he got my number to ask me out on a date. We lasted for 7 years and even got married. But throughout the relationship he lied; and got found out. I never trully trusted him. I loved him…but never really fully took his word for anything. He had many redeeming qualities that kept me coming back for more for (7 long years).So, I would say it is not likely to work out.”
Honesty is always the best policy. When you start with a lie, you have to continue with a lie, and things will only get worse. And honestly, if someone has to lie about even the little things to be able to build a relationship with another person, that’s a sign that they need to get their life together…
But as always, that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is it petty to break things off with someone because they started correspondence with you based on a lie?
Serious question: Have you ever faked the funk when you felt like you were falling in love? We’ve all done crazy things for love. The trouble is, those things never seemed crazy at the time.
Every woman has an ambassador — her best self — that she presents to the world. And sometimes presenting that best self to the world means sweeping a few truths under the rug — at least for now — for a possible love interest. Our question is, is fudging the details always wrong? Or is a little pretending just part of really getting to know someone new? And if you actually learn to cook by the time you get serious with someone, is it really a fib to say you love to cook when you can barely boil an egg?
Do you believe in innocent white lies? Or is keeping it 100 the only way to go when you’re looking to get to know someone?
We’ve all ended a relationship (or two) saying to ourselves, “Really, what was I thinking?” When it’s over and the feelings of love (or serious “like”) are gone, sometimes you feel like a completely different person. It’s because when we fall in love, we immediately put our rose-colored glasses on. They help us see the best in our partners. They aid us in seeing them in the best light — even when it’s clear that they are shrouded in dark negativity.
And sometimes we even lead ourselves astray before things get serious. Yes, it is true. Love can be complicated. This is especially true when we have trouble seeing the truth behind the following dating lies it’s always so tempting to believe.
Have you ever convinced yourself that these dating lies are true when you were hoping to make a lasting connection? Or do you believe some of them still are? Whether you disagree, have a story to tell, or want to add a few more dating lies that we’ve missed, we want to hear your story in the comment section.
When you hear the words “trap” and “manipulation” regarding relationships, it’s often people stating the ways in which some women put men in a tight corner by getting pregnant and having a child to hold over a man’s head for years to come. Maybe even the ways in which sex can be used to get money and other things out of a guy. But rarely do people talk about the ways in which men “trap” and “manipulate.” Especially not the ways that men emotionally trap women in relationships. This is done through lies by omission, also known as, exclusionary detailing.
It’s the idea that someone misrepresents themselves in order to bring about a mistaken belief. Lying to paint the prettiest portrait of one’s self–a false portrait. A man who wants you to think he’s an upstanding guy, that he’s on the level of the kind of man you are seeking, and that he has his stuff together, might deceive you into believing that all is well (and clean) in his life. He’ll prey upon your vulnerability (you seeking Mr. Right via a dating app or being upfront about wanting a serious commitment) and try to get in where he can fit in. He’s a fraud, and sadly, many of us don’t realize we’ve encountered this kind of man until it’s way too late.
Like one of my best friends. As awesome as she is and despite having so much to offer as a partner in a relationship, she has consistently been approached by married men. All of whom failed to disclose the fact that they were, by law, taken. I remember one guy who tried to approach her at a party thrown by a mutual friend, only for that mutual friend to come through at the end of the night and tell my BFF, “Um, he’s actually married.” When my girlfriend approached the man about his lies, he tried to explain that his wife was actually still living in Nigeria, and it was a marriage he was trying to get out of. He wanted sympathy and an open mind from my friend, but she wasn’t offering it because he lied from the moment he met her.
Then there was the most recent love interest whom she dated for months. He seemed like a good guy with a big heart, but that’s probably because he was sharing it with another woman. Like the Nigerian fellow at our friend’s housewarming party, this new guy actually waited until the relationship was over to divulge that he was married. Yes, he is married to a woman who lives abroad and also claims that he doesn’t want to be married to her anymore. (He married her to help her stay in America, but she went back to Grenada with their son.) He would go on to claim that she wouldn’t sign divorce papers. He disclosed this information after requesting my friend’s help with a legal matter. That so-called “baby momma,” was actually a wife now coming after him for child support since he wanted her to sign divorce papers.
And I’ve known plenty other women who’ve encountered guys who had a wife and two children waiting for them in Guyana while they tried to play bachelor. Another who introduced a girl to his father only to have a serious long-term girlfriend he hid in the background. And another whose angry ex called a friend of mine to say that she was pregnant and that there were many secrets her prospective romantic interest had failed to tell her. In all cases but the latter, these women were heavily in like, sometimes on their way to being in love with men who thought it would be easier to lie and create a fake facade than to be honest and upfront about who they were and what they had to offer. So these women were left in more pain than usual when they cut things off because they thought they’d found a good catch. And sometimes they were left second-guessing whether or not they should leave their relationships because they were so attached, despite having fallen for a lie.
And this is more common than you think. Even famous women like Tasha Smith and Tichina Arnold have both married and split from men who painted themselves as one thing, only to waste years trying to hide the truth that eventually came out: They were liars. Such bad liars, that in the case of Smith, her marriage was annulled after five years together because her husband had been married five times, had scores of children, and hadn’t paid his taxes in 10 years. All things he failed to divulge to her before asking for her hand.
I tried to relay these stories to my fiancé, specifically the one about the married men who had lied to my BFF, and he seemed confused.
“But if he’s trying to get out of the marriage, it’s not really that bad, right?” he asked. “He’s making an effort and the wife won’t move on.”
“No, because he never told her during their relationship that he was married,” I responded.
“Ooooooh, I didn’t know that. Well…that’s not good,” he said.
And he’s right. It’s not “good.”
I was left sad for my friends, and for women in general, who often get the worst rap in this dating game (we’re angry, bossy, too independent, blah, blah, blah) while the fake facades put on by some men are ignored. Sad that men who want to draw them in lead them on to believe that they genuinely care and are available when they’re really out here living a lie. Sad that when you try to do a background check on a man, people look at you like you’re crazy–and then these things happen. Sad that instead of just being honest about the fact that their personal lives are not in the best place and giving women they’re interested in a choice to decide whether or not they can hang, they deceive them into falling head over heels.
In case you were wondering, I don’t have a resolution for all this. I’m just as boggled and upset about it as anyone else, and wonder how we as women can guard ourselves while attempting to be “open,” as people tell us we should be when it comes to “letting love in.” How do we balance healthy skepticism with going into a situation trying to be trusting? How do we take a man’s word as the truth when it seems so many lie in the attempt to have their cake and eat it too?
In reality, dating is exhausting. The movies and TV shows would have you believe that folks are supposed to sweep you off your feet, and sh-t is supposed to be happily ever after. But no one talks about how much of a risk it is to put yourself out there in the quest for finding love. Especially when there are master manipulators out here willing to prey upon your search.
Have you ever found yourself emotionally trapped in a relationship? Has a guy made you believe a lie about him only for it to come out in the messiest of ways?
We’re all looking for a guy who’s nice. But what about the man who tells you he’s a so-called “nice guy” when you meet him? This man should definitely be a catch — or so he keeps telling you. It was on his online profile, the topic of conversation on your first date, and the reason you should trust your heart to him without thinking twice about it. Or should you?
There are good guys out there, but these “nice guy” claims can be highly suspect. Trust me; there’s a reason he’s not looking so nice after all. These classic lines are designed to bypass your defense. They may sound like they’re coming from a good guy, but they could be a sign that he’s anything but.
Have you been duped by a man who was just pretending to be different than all of the rest? Share your stories in the comments so we all know what to look out for…
Brian Williams is a veteran and respected broadcast journalist. But his reputation got shot to pieces recently when he admitted to lying about being on a helicopter that was forced down when he was covering the war in Iraq in 2003.
The NBC Nightly News anchor recanted his original story to Stars and Stripes and said in a new interview with the military paper that he doesn’t know “what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.” Williams claims it was all an error in his memory.
Previously, Williams had described being aboard a helicopter that was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade and forced down during the Iraq War then later “rescued, surrounded and kept alive” by a platoon, reports The Huffington Post. Now he admits he was not on that aircraft. Williams has now stepped aside from his anchor duties and has cancelled a planned appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman.
So what should you do if you are caught in a lie at work? Admit it? Say it was an error in judgment? Or like Williams say you just didn’t remember correctly? “Lying is never a good choice, unless your boss asks you if you like her new shoes!” Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, tells MadameNoire. “It’s very difficult to recover a breach of trust.” And be ready to be fired from your position and for it to be difficult to land a new one. Moving forward you will have to rebuild your reputation in your industry.”
If your lie is discovered, don’t make things worse by trying to cover it up or the make it seem like it was a good decision says Hurt. You must try to repair the situation, but keep in mind it will be difficult.
“Sadly, it is far more challenging to restore a reputation than to establish one. It is always important to provide context for your indiscretion without offering up an excuse,” Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, says. “Also, when you accept the consequences of your decision, appear remorseful, and bend over backwards to make up for the bad judgment, through these collective actions your colleagues and boss are more likely to focus on your current activities especially if they add value or provide some material benefit.”
Trust in you will not return right away. You will have to prove yourself again — and again. “Recognize it may take some time. Don’t resent others for the problem you created,” says Hurt. “Be patient and act with integrity in everything you do. People may be able to forgive once you slip up, but a pattern of lying will destroy your career.”
You can take steps to improve the situation. “Apologize immediately and then ask what you can best do to regain their trust going forward,” advises Hurt. Cohen adds, “Don’t be defensive and never accuse anyone else for your transgression.”
Make yourself useful to your co-workers. “Jump in to help others. Take on special projects and be available to work overtime, on weekends, and/or holidays,” says Cohen. “When you do favors for folks they tend to focus on the favor and recent history and are inclined to be more forgiving.”
You will also need to take a hard look at the reasons behind your actions. Figure out why you decided to lie in the first place so you won’t repeat the same mistake. “Most important, think about what led you to engage in dishonesty and what you could or should have done to have avoided taking the wrong path,” offers Cohen.
Have you ever been caught in a lie at work?
Thou shalt not lie, but sometimes being 100% honest just doesn’t work. Whether you’re bending or stretching the truth, these are the white lies everyone tells.
About a year ago, my sister and I moved into a new apartment, that just so happens to be located right across the street from a park. Living next to a park, in a predominately Black neighborhood, in New York City, affords one with all types of unique experiences. There is always some type of party, a fish fry and a group of people you come to know as Park Ninjas. (I’ll use ninjas here, for the lurking White people who frequent MadameNoire.)
Park Ninjas are people, mostly men, who, no matter the weather or time of day, make it a priority to spend at least 5-10 hours in or around the park. They talk trash, eat snacks, shoot craps or attempt to pick up women.
That last one, unfortunately, is where I come in.
On any given day one or more Park Ninjas will attempt to strike up a conversation. To their credit, most of the time they’re polite about it, saying hello before asking your phone number or commenting on your body. And for most of them, one rejection is enough to get them to leave you alone. That was until I met a Park Ninja, we’ll call King.
As I said, I’ve been living here since last October and King never noticed me. But at the beginning of the summer I decided to dye my hair gold and all of a sudden, he felt compelled to speak. Realizing that the standard, “can I get your number?” line wasn’t going to work, King devised a surefire way to get my attention.
King, a smoker in his early to mid forties, has a voice like one of those people who now needs a voice box to communicate. And with his unique, nicotine-induced rasp, he shouted down the street:
Being that I was the only person on the street with locs, I turned around.
“Hi Pretty Dreads!”
I did a half smile and wave before picking up the pace towards my apartment, just in case he decided to continue this conversation.
This pretty dreads thing went on for months, from May until September. I would hear it when I got off the subway, just before I made it to my apartment complex, when I was walking into the bodega next to my building. He would scream Pretty Dreads across the street, say it with a smile as he ran past me or whisper it creepily if he managed to see me before I saw him. Most of the time King just wanted to say hello but as you can imagine, it was rather annoying.
He once introduced me to his daughter, Queen, and finally asked my real name, but he never committed it to memory.
The only reason “Pretty Dreads” stopped was because he finally asked me out on a date.
I was on my way to work when King, standing with his arms extended in a “it’s me baby” stance, gave me his typical “Pretty Dreads” call. But this time, when I smiled and said good morning, in a rush to get to the train, he asked me to wait up.
Before he even started speaking, I let him know that I was in a rush. King, who never, ever seemed to be in a rush to get anywhere, nodded like he understood but kept on talking anyway.
“Well, you know I been calling you pretty dreads for a while now. And I was just wondering if there was any way I could take you out to dinner sometime.”
Before I could even sugarcoat it, the answer flew out of my mouth.
I wasn’t rude but I didn’t let him down easily either. All I could think about was what do I look like sitting down to dinner with a man 20 years my senior who, as far as I can tell, has a young child, an addiction to cigarettes, poor memory and conversation skills and no job to speak of?
But, like many of these street hollerers, King wanted to know why I didn’t want to go out with him.
And instead of telling him that I wasn’t interested in dating a Park Ninja, in my haste to get to the train, I told him my tried and true lie, “I have a boyfriend.”
King shook his fists in mock irritation towards the heavens and I walked to the subway.
I hate to lie. And while I won’t tell another one by saying it’s something I never do, I try to keep my lies to a minimum. Walking to the train, I was sad that I had to waste a lie on King and his ridiculously ambitious invitation. On the train ride to work, I realized I didn’t lie to spare his feelings but I lied for my own protection and safety.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if he doesn’t know already, King could very easily find out where I live… very easily. And aside from the fact that he smokes and has a daughter, I don’t know what type of man he is.
I had to reject him in front of his friend, and telling him the real reasons why I would never date him might embarrass, or worse, enrage him. I just couldn’t afford to take the chance of telling the God’s honest truth, simply because I didn’t know what it would mean for me and my safety.
Which also made me sad. It’s a shame the ways women have to navigate the world, considering our safety in something as trivial as rejecting a request to go to dinner.
Since I had to let King know I wasn’t available, I’ve seen him around. But there are no more of the “Pretty Dreads” comments. Instead, he just waves silently, averts his eyes and keeps on walking, making his way to yet another area of the park.
I was lying, initially, to protect myself. And honestly, I’d probably do it again. Just because you never know how crazy people truly can be. But there was an unexpected perk, no more gravely, smoker-voiced man hollering “Pretty Dreads” in my direction. A lie that potentially protects and removes a small annoyance from my life certainly sounds worth it.
Ladies, do you find you use the “I have a boyfriend” lie instead of straight rejection? Why do you do it?
A picture tells a thousand words…and in this case, a thousand lies.
If I cut his head off, maybe no one will notice.
Dear Dr. Sherry,
Here’s my convoluted mess of a life: About three years ago I moved to a new city. Six months later, I began seeing a person I worked with during my internship experience. He was a good guy. When we started, I was adamant that everything be kept casual. He really wanted a relationship, but I did not want to have drama at my new work place. He respected my request. I told him that it would just be between us and when he tried to push things further, I quickly, and a little rudely, rebuffed him. He eventually began dating someone else. Since I was the one who decided not to take things further, I understood. He dated this woman for several months. I was eventually promoted and moved to another division of the company.
In October 2012, he began calling again and he told me that things were over between him and the other woman. He and I still work for the same company at different locations, but I am in a leadership position now. Even though I still had reservations about dating him, we began a physical relationship. He came over in November depressed but could not (or would not) explain what was wrong. In December, someone that still works with him told me that the other woman he dated revealed that she was pregnant. I know him. I know he wants to be a good father and make things work with anyone who has his child. I asked him if she was pregnant and he told me “no.”
Fast forward to last week and I see a photo of the girl and the baby, who looks just like him. I asked him again and he finally admitted that he was the father. He asked me to forgive him for lying, but I feel betrayed. I cannot handle this, so I told him that it was over after a year and a half of dating seriously. He asked me how long I thought I would be mad about this. Umm, forever! Then he said that she is here (meaning the baby) now and that we can’t be mad anymore. The baby is four months old.
I know he did not cheat on me but he damn sure lied about his child. He didn’t want me to end things again, but I do not feel I can trust him. I love him truly but this is some Maury mess and we are too old for this foolishness.
I went to the doctor recently and found out that my blood pressure has gone way up and I’m a month pregnant. He used condoms every time; I really don’t know how this happened. I have decided not to tell him. He is going to have to see her and what if things kick up for them again. I couldn’t take him leaving again. I’m tired of the stress. Is it best we cut ties and I raise this baby by myself? Am I being fair? Does he deserve fairness?
Oh, everyone in this scenario is over 30.
What would you do if the man you cared about lied about having a child? Check out Dr. Sherry’s advice over on ESSENCE.com.