You might’ve heard the advice that there’s no room in a healthy relationship for lies. While some lies can cause a lot of harm within a relationship, the truth is that certain lies are okay. There are particular times and situations within every relationship where lying is acceptable and even helpful, like these.
- You want to spare their feelings over something that doesn’t matter. White lies are lies that don’t cause any harm. Usually, we tell them to spare someone’s feelings. It’s okay to tell a white lie to your partner about something that doesn’t really matter. For example, if they make you dinner and burn it, it’ll spare their feelings to tell them it doesn’t taste that bad, and it won’t really cause any harm. On the other hand, you shouldn’t lie, even to spare their feelings, over things that could actually matter. Say their CV isn’t up to scratch before they go into a job interview. It’s better to tell them that they need to work on their CV rather than let them go into that job interview unprepared.
- You’re discussing the details of your history. It’s not necessary to share every single detail about your past with your partner. Obviously, it’s important to divulge the big things. Keeping huge secrets can lead to problems and tension in the relationship, even if they’re from the past. But the things that don’t have a direct impact on you or your relationship now, such as a one-night stand that you’d rather forget, aren’t automatically necessary to share.
- You’re holding other people’s secrets that don’t concern them. Being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean that you can’t keep secrets for other people anymore. As long as it doesn’t concern your partner or you personally, it’s okay to still keep some secrets for your friends and family. For example, if your best friend is pregnant and isn’t telling anyone except you for the first trimester, you can keep that secret from your partner. Just be aware that, depending on what the secret is and who it belongs to, your partner might feel left out if they find out you knew and didn’t tell them.
- You’ve received a gift from them that you don’t like. They say that it’s really the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts. So if you receive a gift from your partner that you’re not crazy about, it’s okay to lie and pretend that you love it. This will save them from feeling like you’re ungrateful. Also, it really is the thought that counts, so you can always concentrate on the intention behind the gift rather than the gift itself. To avoid the same thing happening in the future, it might be an idea to point out things you like to your partner before they buy any gifts.
- It’s still too early to delve into the truth. Lying to your partner can sometimes come down to what stage of the relationship you’re in. If it’s still early, you might not feel comfortable telling them the honest truth about the personal areas of your life. This might include your family history, mistakes you’ve made in the past, your mental health, or anything else that might be difficult to talk about. The closer you get to them, the more comfortable you are likely to feel with opening up to them.
- You’re boosting their self-esteem. It’s common for couples to lie to each other to boost each other’s self-esteem. This includes telling your partner that they’re the best person you’ve ever slept with. Or telling them they look amazing when they’re having an off day. Again, as long as the lie isn’t about anything significant, it’s okay to boost their self-esteem this way.
- You want to avoid insignificant arguments. Some people lie to their partners to avoid insignificant arguments. This often looks like saying sorry or agreeing with the other person, even though they don’t really feel that way. Once more, the important word here is “insignificant”. That’s not the same thing as sweeping major issues under the rug to avoid confronting your partner about them.
- You’re maintaining your own sense of privacy. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your right to privacy. While you might share many things with your partner, you don’t have to share every little thing. It’s okay to keep some things to yourself. To maintain a sense of privacy, you might not tell them the full truth about things like friendships, personal habits, and other things that don’t concern them.