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I’m still looking for a place to live in NYC. So, since I can’t start that series yet (hopefully I will have a place by next Friday), I thought I’d write about something more serious: deception, disappointment, and heartbreak.

Without clouding this post with too much of my jaded judgements about lying in relationships, I want to talk about people that lie.

I first encountered this at 17, then 20, 23, 24, and again at 25 (my 20s have obviously been a winning half decade for upstanding, honest people *cough* men *cough*).

I won’t say I haven’t broken a few hearts in my years as a dating woman, but I can say that I have not lied to someone I loved. It is very, very confusing to me how so many men (and probably women, but I don’t have romantic experience with my fellow ladies) can live a deceptive lifestyle, yet swear that they love their mate fully. I’m not necessarily talking about sexual infidelity, but any deception or lie that warps the way the deceived party may see their mate. How can you fully love someone when you are too scared to let them love the real you?

If you lie about past mistakes and present circumstances, your mate is only able to love the figment of your imagination that you have crafted and molded into your personal, fictitious version of yourself. I realize most people lie to cover up things they are ashamed of, but how much better would it be to put all of the effort you use to craft and maintain the lies, to fix your faults to begin with. Then, not only are you bettering yourself, but your opening yourself up for someone to love the real you-rough edges and all. If you are so enraptured by the thought of being perfect, that you are willing to lie yourself into a new reality, how can you truly love yourself or love others?

But of course, I’m sure people that habitually lie aren’t really concerned with self improvement…

My real question is, how is the victim of deception supposed to cope when the truth is revealed? You read about women all the time that come home one day and find out their husband has a whole other family they never knew existed, but this happens on a smaller scale even more frequently. As I have never experienced the former, I am inclined to believe that even short term deception, when love is involved, is just as painful.

In my most recent experience I found out that after 5 months, a person I thought I knew had lied to me about every facet of their life (finances, past relationships, family relationships, etc.). While I’ve been lied to before, and am much better at handling these things than I was in my teens and early twenties, I still feel like finding out someone you love is not who you thought they were is very much akin to losing them in a more permanent way. You build a relationship and imagine a future with this fictitious character, only to peel back the layers-or have them ripped off like a bandaid, in my case-to find out that their masterfully crafted persona is hiding someone you don’t even recognize, much less love.

Should you sympathize with their failed effort to creat a better, albeit fake, version of themselves or should you move on and let them fix themselves alone?

You have to grieve the loss of a partner you never really knew in the first place, then decide if this new person you’ve uncovered is worth trying to love.

So, have you ever been lied to by a lover or a friend? Was your relationship able to overcome the lie(s)? If not, how did you open yourself up to trusting other people again? How do you ever really know that you know the genuine version of a friend or lover?