Relationships are built on trust. Yeah, yeah — you've probably heard this a million times before, but that's because it's true! Without a solid foundation of trust, accountability, and reliability, your relationship is on rocky grounds. So, if your significant other has been acting sus as of late, what should you do? Are there any telltale signs to look out for when your partner is lying to you?
Being lied to is one of the most frustrating feelings, especially when it's coming from someone you really care about. But what's even more frustrating is when you're not quite sure if you're being lied to or not.
When your partner is being untruthful, it can appear in a variety of forms. And upon confronting your SO, they could try gaslighting you which can make you feel crazy for bringing anything up in the first place and question the validity of your concerns. They might also be paltering in order to get away with lying to you. This can be equally irritating because your partner can deceive you by manipulating the truth through a language technicality. But before you make any conclusions about your bae's dishonesty, try to address the situation in a fair and practical way. As always, communication is key.
I checked in with a couple of relationship experts who helped me nail down the signs of a liar. If your partner is lying to you, you'll notice these five things.
Their Stories Don't Add Up
If you suspect your partner has been lying to you, one of the main things to look out for is whether or not their stories add up. I'm not just talking about their IG stories — but I am a little bit.
According to Stef Safran, a matchmaker, dating coach, and founder of Stef and the City, "If you notice that their stories don't add up or you hear one thing from them and another from their friends, social media pages, or family, you know something isn't right."
When your partner tells you where they're going and all signs point to them being someplace else, it could just be the result of a miscommunication. However, if this happens repeatedly, keep your eyes peeled for other clues of dishonesty and ask them about it directly.
They Go MIA Often
Safran also tells Elite Daily that your partner could be lying to you if they go MIA often or have a habit of ghosting you. She notes that they might "stop checking in when they say they are going to get in touch with you or become unavailable for no reason."
So, if you've been finding yourself unexpectedly solo and unable to get ahold of your SO lately, it could be an indicator that they're hiding something from you. However, you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt before assuming that they're a big fat liar. When I get super busy, I've been known to go a little MIA, and it doesn't mean I have anything to hide. Make sure to talk to your partner about their lack of communication before drawing any conclusions.
Their Body Language Is Off
A change in your partner's body language or odd patterns in their nonverbal communication could also be a sign that they're lying to you. According to Dr. Paulette Sherman, a psychologist and author of Facebook Dating: from 1st Date to Soulmate, the specific body language to look out for is when they "avoid eye contact, their body is pointed away from you, they cover their mouth," and overall, "they act strange and nervous."
Dr. Sherman adds that some other body language clues to keep an eye on are if they face their palms downward when they talk to you, or if they're "fidgeting, foot tapping, covering their mouth ... [or] they may point a lot at you and look away."
While a change in your partner's nonverbal communication could mean they're lying to you, keep in mind that odd body language might also be a result of stress, lack of sleep, or something else that's throwing them off.
They Won't Give You A Straight Answer
If your partner has been lying to you, they also might not give you a straight answer when you ask them questions about where they've been or what they've been up to. Dr. Sherman says that you might notice that "they sometimes garble answers, they repeat your question in their answer, they are vague and defensive, or they avoid a discussion" all together.
This is where gaslighting or paltering might come into play. When someone is telling the truth, they'll usually be able to provide you with a clear and direct answer. Also, if they have nothing to hide, they're less likely to get defensive or flip the script on you. Just remember that being accused of dishonesty can make people react defensively, so an irritated response could be a result of that.
You Have Proof
While there are some signs that might indicate that your SO hasn't been telling the truth, Dr. Sherman says that "the only way to be sure that your partner is lying is to catch them in the act or to have irrefutable proof like a receipt showing that they were somewhere that they said they weren’t or had a communication with [someone] that they said they never met."
Proof isn't really a sign, but beyond a confession, it's the only way to know if your partner has been lying to you. Safran adds that "social media makes it much easier to check up on someone." So, if you've got literal receipts or some other kind of evidence, you can probably stop speculating about whether your partner is lying to you and confront them about it directly.
Your significant other could be behaving oddly for any number of reasons, so before you jump to conclusions, try to have a conversation with them about your concerns. "You can ask them to tell you anything they have not been honest about and then share your feelings and thoughts regarding this," Dr. Sherman suggests.
Safran says that upon confronting your significant other, "if you still feel that they are not telling the truth," you might want to consider distancing yourself from the relationship. However, Dr. Sherman adds that if they come clean or you have proof of their dishonesty, you can try a couple things to work on mending the relationship. She recommends "counseling or telling them you need to rebuild the trust" by putting some boundaries in place.
Ultimately, how you move forward is completely up to you. If working things out and rebuilding your trust and communication is in the cards, it might be worth a shot. And if you think you'd be better off moving on from the relationship, that's totally OK too. Trust your gut, prioritize communication, and know that you're worthy of a rock-solid, sincere relationship.