One big challenge in the dating world: figuring out if you can you trust that a person you are getting to know is telling the truth about themselves. To be fair, everyone is under a decent amount of pressure to put a good foot forward and show their best side in the dating arena. Unfortunately, deception, exaggeration, and straight out lying are common methods used in an attempt to impress others in the effort to find a new relationship. The problem is that if a potential dating partner is lying to you, that gives you a misrepresentation of what they are all about and what a relationship would be like with them over time. So, what can you do to accurately decipher if someone is telling the truth? How can you know if they are giving you an accurate representation of themselves? In this brief article, a few ideas will be given to help you figure it out.
Ideas to Help Figure Out Truth or Deception:
*Multiple Data Points: one of the best ways to accurately determine the accuracy of what a person says is by “multiple data points”. That is a fancy way of saying, compare and contrast what they say vs what sources show about them outside of their word alone. This could include their posts on social media, what they family and friends say and reveal about them, an online background check, Googling their name online, and anything else revealing where they are coming from in avenues apart from them trying to impress you.
*Facial Expressions/Other Nonverbals: people who are telling the truth have been shown by research to display different facial characteristics than those who are lying, often referred to as “microexpressions”. People who are telling the truth generally keep better eye contact, have less nervous laughter, talk in a more secure and even tone of voice, keep a more open body language with their arms and hands, and their smile includes expressions reaching their eyes for more full warm. Conversely, people who are lying/acting deceptive tend to look away more/break eye contact more often, have more nervous laughter, talk with a higher tone of voice, have a more closed body language (such as covering their mouth or part of their face), and their smile is limited to only being around their mouth (without extending to smiling expressions up around their eyes).
*Observation: pay close attention to what they say. If this accurately coincides with what they also say about the same or similar subjects later on (if their “stories jive”), this is a decent sign they are telling the truth. However, to the degree with which you notice the story they tell at one time and in one circumstance changes later on, they are probably revealing some level of deception by the contradiction. Like the old saying goes, “oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive”. Another thing to observe is if they say they will or won’t do ____, observe later if they actually follow through with what they said. If not, perhaps they just forgot, but there is a decent chance they weren’t telling the truth in the first place. In other words, if they do what they say and say what they do, they are more trustworthy. If not, they are less trustworthy.
*Gut Feeling: often a person can seem and sound like they are telling the truth. However, if you get the emotional feeling that something feels “off” or seems “not right” with what they are saying or doing, pay attention to that. Often your emotions can pick up things that your logical mind cannot. If you are emotionally feeling or sensing that something “just doesn’t feel right” with them and what they are saying or doing, trust that. Even though that mind can sometimes play tricks on you and lead you to rationalize away certain red flags you are seeing, your inner emotions tend to be more honest. In church this can also be thought of as “the spirit” or having the “spirit of discernment”.
*Common Sense: Finally, please always keep this in mind: if what they are telling you just doesn’t make sense, seems way too good to be true, or otherwise doesn’t seem logically possible, there is probably some deception or misrepresentation going on. A decent way to check your common sense is to lay out the details of a scenario given by the person you are interested in to another trusted and unbiased person to get their honest feedback. If what they get from the same situation matches your impression, there is probably a valid reason.
Keep the things in mind from this article. Do not be paranoid or cynical, just observant and realistic about what you see and hear from the other person. Having an honest person in your life is very important to allow a relationship longevity and staying power, so you need to get this right. You need to be accurate and you need to be able to trust the other person. If not, move on. Find and keep a good quality, honest person with integrity. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Dating, Communication, Psychological health
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).