There’s no doubt about it: some people are liars. Both men and women can lie, which hurts friendships and especially relationships. When you realize you’ve been lied you, you might find yourself asking “Why do men lie?”. You might be surprised to learn that sometimes the reasons men lie differs from the reasons women lie. Understanding why a man is lying can help you work past it as a couple or help you realize that you need to walk away.

why do men lie

For the course of this post, we’ll talk about reasons men lie in regards to your relationship stages.


Why do men lie? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know why he’s lying when you’re going out on your first dates or have just made it official: he wants to grab your eye and make you his. Of course, there are a few more reasons why men lie, and we can delve deeper into those reasons to better understand them.

  • He wants to impress you. This is why he brags about his career, money, car, house or abilities. Of course, sometimes it comes off as cheesy and other times it’s completely unbelievable. Why a man thinks bragging about his penis size or the number of women he’s bagged will get a woman is beyond us. But a guy just wants to put his best foot forward when he meets an incredible woman so that he might focus on his good qualities, to the point of exaggeration. In some cases, a guy has low self-esteem, so he’ll lie about himself in hope that he’ll look better. Beware of men who are insecure, however, as it can cause problems down the line.
  • He’s not actually single. Unfortunately, sometimes men lie when they flirt with you because they’re not actually single. Perhaps it’s the old “My relationship is on the way out” line. You can’t know better if he won’t tell the truth, but you definitely shouldn’t pursue a relationship with a man who is openly still in a relationship. Men will lie about their impending divorce for months or years during an affair. More on that here.
  • He’s afraid you can’t handle the truth. He might not be a bad guy who’s cheating on his girl, but he might be self-conscious about his past. Perhaps he was poor, he’s served time, he’s divorced, he has a small penis or there’s something else that he worries might be a deal-breaker for you. In fact, he may have faced rejection from women in the past because of this, which explains why he’s lying now.
  • He just wants sex. If you’ve ever been duped by a guy who swore he wanted a relationship but who really just wanted casual sex, then you’re familiar with this reason why men lie. It’s a shame that he can’t be upfront about what he wants, but sometimes a woman won’t listen to a man when he says he wants nothing serious, either. Don’t fall victim to this, but don’t try to get him to commit when he’s honest about his intentions.

Starting a relationship based on a lie isn’t a strong foundation, however. The longer he lies, the more difficult it will become, and the more upset you’ll be when the truth comes out.


You’ve gotten past the stage where both of you wonder whether the other has feelings. You do! And you’re not going to see anyone else. But just because you’re moving forward doesn’t mean there aren’t any more things men lie about. Why do men lie at this stage? Read on.

  • He wants to avoid fighting. So he tells you nothing’s wrong or that you’re right. Of course, it’s not good if you’re fighting all the time, but it’s also not good to bury those things because they’ll come out eventually. Both of those things are unhealthy. Read more about that. Men often fall into the role of withdrawing in arguments, which might be why he lies to avoid them.
  • He doesn’t know how to express himself. Perhaps he wants to talk about your issues, but he just doesn’t know how. He might have been discouraged to show feelings when he was younger or simply may not be good with words. Encourage him to talk about his emotions, regardless. You might take the reins by talking about your own and then asking him how he feels.
  • He’s unhappy. But instead of discussing it he avoids the issue – and you. He might not be cheating when he says he has to work late, but he might be signing up for extra hours to avoid coming home. Of course, your relationship doesn’t exist just to make you happy. His happiness must come from within. But if there are real issues in your relationship, they can’t be fixed if he’s avoiding you.
  • He’s afraid of commitment issues. Men and women both can have commitment issues, which can be a deal-breaker if you don’t address those issues. It’s even harder when he doesn’t realize that he has commitment issues, so his lying isn’t apparent to him. As his partner, you’ll need to sit him down to discuss his lying and whether he can actual commit to you and your relationship.
  • He’s stringing you along. He might not be that into you, but you’re available, and he’s bored. Or he might simply want to keep you around for sex. Some men realize their relationship is over long before they get the courage to end it. Unfortunately, he’ll lie because he’s too much of a coward to tell you the truth. Rejecting someone is hard, but it’s essential as an adult. If you’re in love with him, you’ll be blind to this fact, and you’ll allow him to continue this shady behavior.


Many women jump to the worst possible conclusion when they realize their man is lying. He must be cheating! Why do men lie if not to cover up their indiscretions? It’s true that a man who’s carrying on with another woman behind your back will lie about it, but lying doesn’t necessarily mean he’s cheating, especially if there are no other signs he’s cheating. Sometimes the reason a man lies isn’t the worst case scenario. Indeed, many of us build up what we view as personal failings or flaws in our head, which leads us to hide it from other people.


There are any number of other reasons when men lie, and sometimes they’re just not rational. If your man is a compulsive liar, he’ll have difficulty breaking the habit, and the reason he lies won’t be sensical. However, the lies themselves might be believable, and it could take you a while to realize he’s been pulling the wool over your eyes.

Even worse are pathological liars, who will continue to lie even if they’ve been found out. Compulsive and pathological liars need therapy and counseling to get to the root of their issues and to help break those habits, which may be years in the making. But many liars don’t want to change because they’re filtering reality in a way that allows them to justify their actions. Fortunately, most men don’t fall into this category.

So why do men lie? There are many reasons. But one thing that’s always the same about lying is how is can hurt trust. Trust is one of the things that’s essential for a happy and healthy relationship. Being lied to can lead to trust issues, and some people even have difficulty trusting their partners for no apparent reason.

You can certainly work through trust issues, especially if the lies are small, and the relationship is young. Frequent lying in an established relationship might require counseling if your relationship can be fixed at all.

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