People lie. We lie about how many cookies we ate, we lie about how much we love the scarf Grandma gave us. We lie about all sorts of insignificant things, and often it’s not a problem. Nobody really cares whether or not we ate a whole row of Oreos.
However, not every lie is as insignificant as a cookie count. Some lies are incredibly important to pay attention to, especially those that spill out of the mouths of our partners and give us cause to worry.
While sometimes the lies aren’t bad, they don’t ever make us feel good. Why can’t people just be honest, right? Even if the little lies aren’t indicators of any bigger lie that’s going on, it’s not easy to deal with them.
We’ve all been there, and we’re all going to live to see another boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other lie to us, unfortunately. Sometimes little white lies just happen. The important thing is to know what our partners are actually saying when they tell us those small lies.
We’ve gone through and found 10 of the most commonly used lies, as well as what they actually mean. Don’t worry: they’re not as negative as we might think!
20 What He Says: I’m Fine
Believe it or not, “I’m fine” is a universal lie that nearly all of us will use in our lives. While women are most commonly touted as being the users of this phrase, men actually use it just as much (if not more)!
Bustle mentions that this is a phrase that basically means “I’m lying” without having to admit that he’s covering something up. However, it’s not necessarily malicious. Believe it or not, this common phrase isn’t as passively worrying as we might think. Sometimes it’s just an automatic answer that guys have given us in order to not talk about what’s really going on.
19 What He Means: I Don’t Want To Say I’m Scared/Upset
When we dig into what “I’m fine” actually means, we come across this gem. Bustle mentions that those two words are often just hiding the fact that our guy (and even our girl) doesn’t want to talk about the fact that they’re upset, scared, or going through something. Sometimes we need to process things on our own.
People often get wrapped up in the idea that sharing is caring, but when it comes to emotional stuff, sharing can quickly turn into a therapy session. Our guys know when to tell us something is going on. Trust that “I’m fine” really just is his way of differentiating between the important lows and the everyday irks.
18 What He Says: My Phone Died/Sorry, My Notifications Were On Silent
This old classic. How many of us have pulled this one when a soon-to-be-ex keeps calling or texting us when we’re on a night out? We’re not surprised that this came up so soon in our research. Cosmopolitan writes that there’s a third example of this lie as well: “I had no signal.”
While that might not work for everyone nowadays thanks to the diligence of many wireless carriers, it is important to recognize all the potential covers that our guy can give us as to why he didn’t answer our calls, texts, and endless Messenger notifications to him and his friends.
17 What He Means: I Needed Some Space
It’s not the end of the world if he gives us one of the previously mentioned phrases. However, it does mean that he’s trying to tell us something about our communication style.
Cosmopolitan quotes their expert, who says, “often men will feed you these lies because they're afraid to tell you to back off a bit, that they need a little alone time,” which honestly is so true. We know that our partner is so much more receptive to conversation and texting after he’s had some time alone. Don’t be afraid to call him out on this lie, and make sure he knows that he can be upfront about his alone time needs.
16 What He Says: She’s Just A Friend I Used To Know
Oh man, how many questionable stories and webs of lies have been crafted due to “someone he used to know” or “an old friend”? Too many. It’s totally reasonable to question a relationship your partner talks to if the communication gives you some funky vibes. Especially if this is the first you’re hearing about them, or your partner avoids talking about them.
Thought Catalog backs us up on this too, as they mention that relationships (past and present) are a very common thing to lie about when it comes to our guys divulging their histories. Luckily there’s more to this lie than meets the eye, though!
15 What He Means: There’s More To The Story But It’s Not Relevant Right Now
From the words of the Thought Catalog article itself, one guy comes clean and says that “there are times I definitely selectively choose what I tell her. For example, if she asks me about a girl she’s seen comment on my photos or something, I’ll say she’s a friend. I don’t need to say we [spent a night together] one time in college.” Why? That’s easy: it’s just not relevant now.
If the relationship with that girl didn’t work once in college, it’s just not worth mentioning now. That being said, if the same name keeps popping up on his phone and comment sections, it might be good to have a discussion about it at that point.
14 What He Says: I’ve Never Felt This Way Before
Who doesn’t love feeling special? We certainly do. We love the idea that we’re able to make his heart skip a beat and his passion flow. While we might swoon a little hearing that he’s never felt this way about another human before, Thought Catalog mentions that it might not be as unique as we want to believe.
It’s not that he’s lying about how he feels, though! He’s likely just lying about the magnitude. After all, “never” is a big, big word. It’s a lot of pressure to think that we’re the first person he’s been so in love with!
13 What He Means: I’ve Been In Love Before But This Is Still Special
Luckily for us, he probably has been this in love before. What he’s really trying to say when he says the above phrase is something to the effect of, “I’ve been in love before but this is still really special.” Let your guy live out his romance dreams and believe what he’s actually saying.
Sure, it’s a lie, and lies aren’t great. But the intention is good here, and the romantic feelings it sparks is definitely worth believing in it. Don’t dig into his romantic past more than you need to, or more than he’s told already. Appreciate the passion and let this lie totally slide.
12 What He Says: Yeah, Your Friends Are Nice!
Here’s one that might be hard to swallow, especially for those of us who tend to spend a lot of time surrounded by our friends (AKA our chosen family). Sometimes, when he says that our friends are really nice, he doesn’t actually mean it. Thought Catalog quotes two different men on their thoughts on this lie, which is more common than we might think.
While we might think that he’s got a whole bunch of love for our close-knit friend group, sometimes it’s just not the case. However, he’s still willing to lie about it, so he knows how important it is to us that he gets along with them all... right?
11 What He Means: Either They’re Very Attractive, Or He Really Dislikes Them
Again, Thought Catalog gives us two options here. Either he “definitely [lies] about liking her friends. They’re the most shrill group of women I’ve ever met. They make her happy though, so I do what a good boyfriend does and I keep my mouth shut,” or “how attractive I find her friends....I can’t help it if her best friend is a total babe. But I’m smart enough to never say that thought out loud.”
On the bright side, at least he knows not to say anything either way! Regardless of what he’s actually saying when he lies about liking our friends, it’s easier to just let it be.
10 What He Says: Traffic Is Bad But I’m On My Way
Depending on where we live, bad traffic is a definite possibility. The issue with a lie like this is that we never actually know if he’s telling the truth; especially if he’s in LA, New York, or any other city with less-than-ideal transit and an always-jam-packed road system.
No matter how bad the traffic might be, we believe in the power of time management. He could have given himself an extra half an hour if he knew traffic would be bad, right? This is why we believe that this phrase is often used as a little white lie to get out of something.
9 What He Means: I Haven’t Left Yet
Yup, here it is. The truth behind that innocent get-out-of-jail-free-card of a lie. Cosmopolitan quotes their expert again here and says, "’he figures it's much easier to just [blame traffic] than to try to explain the real reason he's running late...Remember, men aren't as good at communicating as women are.’ The funny thing is, a guy will toss [that] line out even if what held him up is perfectly legitimate.”
We couldn’t believe it either when we read that, but in a way it makes sense. Why go into the long explanation of losing our shoes, spilling our coffee, and singing in the shower for too long when we could just blame traffic?
8 What He Says: My Friends And I Won’t Be Out Long Tonight
It’s not just us who are at the mercy of our friends’ late night shenanigans. He’s also got a group of guys that no doubt want to head out and tear up the town on Friday nights. While that was all well and good when you two were single, in a relationship, there are other things to consider: Saturday morning brunch dates, cleaning schedules, and goodnight kisses.
No more wild times! At least, that’s what he said. At some point or another, this little lie is going to be told, and we’re honestly not surprised. Friends can be very, very persuasive.
7 What He Means: Don’t Wait Up; Who Knows Where The Night Will Take Us
Cosmopolitan is well aware of the above lie and knows that there’s more to the story than just placating our bored-at-home selves. They write, “our experts say this man-lie delivered over the phone means he wants to get you off [the line] ASAP so he can spend more time with his buddies. The thing is, even if he says [they’re almost done] three times in a night, each time he believes it.”
At the end of the day, he’s really trying to tell us to not wait up. He doesn’t know where they’re going, he’s just along for the ride. It’s exactly the same as what we would want with a night out.
6 What He Says: I Didn’t Even Notice Her
It’s happened to all of us, hasn’t it? We’re walking down the street or through the grocery store and a goddess-like woman strides past us and our partner. Instead of looking at her, though, we immediately turn to check in with our partner. All those overblown anxieties start to creep up: “Does he like her more than me? Does he regret dating me? Was this all a mistake?”
Somehow our partner knows that, and they’re quick to change the subject, look away, or lean down and give us a kiss. Even if he did notice her, sometimes this quick little lie can make all the difference.
5 What He Means: I Saw She Was Attractive, But I’m Not Attracted To Her; Just You
Bustle explains that he probably did clock the attractive woman. They write, “whether you're in a LTR or not, you're most likely going to continue to find other people attractive. It's biology. But just because everyone knows this doesn't mean your partner will be OK with it,” which is the whole reason why this lie tends to pop up.
It doesn’t matter if he did or did not see her. What he’s trying to say is that we have nothing to feel insecure about. We’re goddesses in our own right, and he’s attracted to us; not the woman who walked past us once in the dairy aisle.
4 What He Says: I Never Had Doubts About Us Being Together
Here’s a touchy one, but one that really makes our heart soar. Inevitably we’re going to ask (or be asked) what it was like to get together with our partner. We turn with adoring eyes and say, “I knew from the first time we saw each other that we were meant to be together.” He nods and says the same thing.
While that might make for a great rom-com pilot, it’s not exactly the best way to get a truthful story. Believe it or not, lying about the doubts he had at the beginning of a relationship is an incredibly common thing to do!
3 What He Means: I Didn’t Have Any Serious Doubts…
Thought Catalog points out that, as nice as the lie might be, it’s still technically a lie. They quote one guy on this, who explains, “I’m a very noncommittal person in all aspects of my life...Getting into a monogamous relationship was a huge (and out of character) step for me and, as much as I adore my girlfriend, I still get freaked out occasionally. But it’s not something I ever tell her about.”
If the doubts weren’t serious enough to keep the relationship from happening, they don't matter now. Why bring up old pain if it’s (mostly) irrelevant? Take this lie for what it means: he loves us and doesn’t want to jeopardize the partnership.
2 And Finally: His Number Of Partners
According to Bustle, this is an incredibly common lie. It’s not really a surprise. After all, we all want to seem like we know more about love than we actually do. This is especially true when it comes to those folks who’ve had less experience than their partners. The pressure to lie is most often internal, as we want to feel like we’ve had comparable experience.
Bustle debunks the lie, which we talk about below, but it’s important to note that he really doesn’t mean anything bad by fudging his numbers a bit. Believe it or not, he’s often doing it for us!
1 What He Means: I’ve Had Some Experience
What does that lie actually do for them? Bustle writes, “men often correlate their manhood by how well they think they please their partners. So, in return, men might feel the need to fluff their experience by lying about how many partners they've had.” Someone needs to tell those guys that the number doesn’t matter.
What matters is how well he listens, responds, and utilizes what he does know. And hey, there’s always room to grow when it comes to those bedroom sessions. Whether we call him out on these lies or not is beside the point; what matters is that you two know you can trust each other and really know what’s being said.
Sources: Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Thought Catalog