Is This Petty? Can A Relationship That Was Built On A Lie Actually Last?

October 7, 2016  |  

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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? 

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