Lying is Important to Relationships, New York Times Says

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Have the heart-shaped chocolate boxes and suddenly sky-high flower prices got you feelin' the romance? Well (good news?), the New York Times says if you want to make your relationship work, you should probably be doing some lying. 

According to Good Lovers Lie, an opinion piece by Clancy Martin, "on average in an ordinary conversation, people lie two to three times every 10 minutes." That seems a little excessive, doesn't it? Still, if we're lying all the damn time, should honesty ever really be an expectation in a relationship?

Martin reasons that the people who find themselves particularly devastated by their lover's lies have unrealistic expectations of truth.

From Martin's piece:
When it comes to love, both honesty and deception should be practiced in moderation. Only then can we celebrate the intoxicating illusions of love. Odysseus, Cleopatra, Scheherazade, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Molly Bloom—all of our greatest lovers have been fabulists, equivocators, promoters ... liars. Even Penelope, that great model of fidelity—do we really believe that she kept all those suitors around for 20 years just by weaving and unweaving a tapestry (itself a deception)? Or was weaving by day and unweaving by night Homer’s metaphor for the much more complicated — actually, much simpler, more human, more believable—activity she was truly engaged in?
Martin is twice divorced. He says that in his second marriage, which ended after his wife found out his was unfaithful, the lies weren't the worst thing he did. "The self-deception and denial didn’t help matters, but my real failure was a lack of care and commitment." Sure, that makes sense.

In his current marriage, he and his wife keep the "good lies" rolling—think the “You’re the most beautiful woman in the room" kinda thing.

Martin shies away from the tougher questions. He broaches the topic of good lies and bad lies (in his view, that seems to be a lies someone wants to hear/lies that keep you in unfulfilling situations split), but doesn't really offer a metric to help on a situational basis.

Now, I'm not saying Martin should be your relationship spirit guide. I am, however, writing from the beautiful city of Philadelphia, so it only feels right to let Ben Franklin wrap this one up:   

Thanks for the advice, Ben.
  • Thanks for the advice, Ben.

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