The Unexpected Red Flag That Can Help You Spot When Your Date Is Lying

When it comes to dating, you can never be too careful. Let's be honest: For every great match out there, there are likely just as many not-so-great matches. Because of this, it's important to be hyper-vigilant and fully aware of the person you're dating, especially when things are new. And although there are a lot of glaring red flags out there in the dating world, not every red flag is as noticeable as we'd like them to be.

For example, when someone is telling us fairytale-level things, it can be easy to become impressed and eat up every word as truth. But the problem is that being too eager to impress someone is a first-date mistake and could indicate a red flag. "Pay attention to how eager he or she is to impress you with stories about his or her life," psychotherapist and transformational life coach Rachel Astarte tells The Zoe Report. "It may be that they are not entirely factual, which you will find out down the line."

While such things may not be a big deal with someone you only go on a couple of dates with, if you invest your time only to find out you're dating a liar, then there's an issue. You're not only faced with deceit but having to untangle yourself from someone who isn't very honest. Don't let that happen. Instead, you may want to pay attention and maybe even speak up. 

What the red flag might look like

According to research conducted by Bustle in 2020, an estimated 43% of daters "lie on the first date." But while that's the case, how big the lie is another story. Whereas it might be okay to tell a date you like the same movie as them (even though you don't), others want so badly to impress that they go to extremes. 

"I think the lies are based in fear," author of "How to Date Like a Grown-Up" Lisa Daily tells "We think that if someone knows the real us they won't find us worthy, so we sort of feel like we have to frost ourselves a little bit to make ourselves more appealing." But, interestingly enough, when someone is eager to feed our head with all things meant to impress us, we may intuitively pick up on it.

According to a 2018 study published in New Media and Society, when we think people are trying to impress us with lies on a date, our interest in them goes down. Not only does it kill both social and physical attraction, but expectations for seeing that person again drop. So if someone starts telling you the drastic changes they plan to make in their life or claiming things that seem suspect, there's a chance they're lying in the hope of winning you over. That's why, before you get the ick, you need to suss it out.  

Share your doubts with them

Because no relationship can be built on lies, if you genuinely could see a future with this person, you may want to dig a little deeper and share your doubts. It's one thing to try to impress in an innocent sort of way, like pretending to like the same movie. But it's another thing to be fantastical about it by creating things that are clearly over-the-top. A house in the Hamptons you've never seen? A bank account full of millions, but you're always picking up the tab? What's a person to do with all these lies stacked up before them?

"It is best to take a pause and reflect on their why," psychotherapist Babita Spinelli tells MindBodyGreen. "You may want to approach them with, 'I noticed that there was something off in what you said. Are you sure that what you shared is actually what you meant to say?' Hear them out first and explore their motivation without criticism but with curiosity. You can then decide after that what you may want to do with this situation."

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, people usually lie because they feel they have nothing real to offer, so they invent the life they always wanted. They often seek to impress, which comes from a place of "low self-esteem." Whatever the reason, you deserve the truth, especially from a potential partner. So, as Spinelli points out, you may want to get to the reason why the lie, then go from there.