Dating a Compulsive Liar - Tips and Advice

Honesty is the bedrock of any meaningful relationship. So it can come as a shock when you find out that the special person in your life is being less than honest in many of his/her statements or commitments. Even if you are casually dating this person and far from being in a serious relationship, having to deal with lies all the time can quickly turn things sour. Here are a few tips on dating a compulsive liar and keep your cool at the same time.

Identify correctly

Before branding your date as a compulsive liar, ensure that he/she really has a problem with reality and is not merely in habit of telling white lies. The latter kind of people would occasionally come up with minor lies with the main motive of making you feel better or to hide an unpleasant truth from you. For instance if your date praises your hairdo when you know it is far from perfect, it is a white lie indulged in order to make you happy or gloss over an unpalatable truth. While responses of these people cannot be trusted completely, still you know they mean no harm. However a compulsive liar would spin elaborate and false stories about how he/she gave a presentation at the office and everyone applauded whereas in truth, they may have been only part of the audience. The falsehoods in case of a compulsive liar are motivated by a desire to boost the ego or control another person. Thus your date may come up with tall stories about his/her illness in order to wring sympathy from you.

Stay away

Once you have correctly identified a person as a compulsive liar, consider whether you are willing to put up with such an ambivalent personality forever. If you are yet to develop feelings for him/her, it is far better to gently remove yourself from any possibility of a relationship. It is very difficult for a compulsive liar to differentiate between harmless lies and those which are potentially damaging to a relationship. They lie as a matter of course and not guided by how you will feel. And since mutual trust is one of the basic requirements of a fulfilling relationship, dating a compulsive liar is sure to involve a lot of stress. You will be left constantly wondering what is true and what is a lie and is no way to live your life.

Get rid of the motivation to lie

However if you are really serious about your date and want to give the relationship a decent chance, then you will need immense amount of patience to deal with a partner who is a compulsive liar. A comparatively harmless reason for compulsive lying is the seeking of attention. They may have led rather dull lives in the past without anything fantastic happening to them; thus they may have decided to take it upon themselves to add a little drama to their lives by coming up with spectacular but largely unbelievable stories. If you are sure this is the case with your partner and he/she is still in the early stages of the habit, you can encourage them to build up their self-image through real achievements so that there would be no need to lie. They could take a course or join a hobby club which is geared to their specific capabilities so that they taste real success and feel self-validated in an actual way.

Bring up the inconsistencies

Again if you feel that your partner has started lying only recently, there could still be time to pull him/her back. You can do this by watching for the slips and gaps in his/her stories and pointing them out. Ask those who were around when something you were told occurred what really happened and point it out. Tell him/her you don't believe them and then see how they react. If you keep catching the lies continually, then eventually he/she could get sick of being shown up and may decide to stop - or at least when you're around. Again if the person is not completely in the grip of compulsive lying, he/she may be able to see things are headed. Encourage your partner to seek help from a counselor or therapist and if need be, accompany them to the sessions. If your partner shows willingness to combat the problem, it is crucial that you express your love and support for him/her.

Take steps

However if a compulsive liar is too far gone into the habit, it may not be so simple dealing with him/her. If you show up the inconsistencies, they will only spin even more elaborate tales to cover up their previous lies and keep lying till you give up and let them be. Very often they may also be delusional, believing their own lies to be true and that things actually happened as they have been describing to you. If this is the case with your partner, then no amount of pointing out the inconsistencies will help. At the same time don't call him or her a liar or shut one down totally; understand that to accuse that person using the word "liar" this may imply that one always lies, and that will cause an argument or angry feelings.

The only thing to do here is to tune out most of what one is saying and accept that this person is incapable of being forthright. If only minor issues are at stake like the response to a new dress or a recounting of childhood vacation, do not try to point out their less obvious lies; rather give them some leeway and take what they say with a big grain of salt. But matters may be difficult when your partner lies about serious issues like money, employment and current relationships. The best way to confront this type of person is to let them know that you are aware that what was said is "not accurate", or "is not right", or is "not valid" -- but don't act as if you are sitting in judgment over them and don't try to disprove. sometimes simply being direct while remaining calm, cool and clear may be enough.

Eventually though if you are interested in a long term relationship with this person, the only solution is to seek professional help for your partner. Compulsive lying can worsen to the level of a dysfunctional personality and it is not unknown for such people to have harmful addictions. They may need to lie constantly to obtain money for alcohol or drugs. Even if your situation is not so threatening, in the long run compulsive lying needs to be treated if you want to have a trusting and transparent relationship with your partner.