Couples lie to each other an average of three times a
week, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to a recent study soon
to be published in the journal Communication
affection toward their partners even when they weren’t genuinely feeling
it—otherwise known as deceptive affection. This could be anything from
complimenting your guy’s haircut when you actually think it’s heinous to
kissing him goodbye even when you’re really pissed.
Researchers looked at how often people expressed
per couple) between the ages of 18-27 kept a week-long diary.
For the study, 57 participants (one person
deceptive affection. Every time this occurred with their romantic partner they
were asked to write down what they were actually feeling, what they expressed
to their partner, and why,” says lead study author Sean Horan, assistant
professor in the College of Communication at DePaul University.
“First we trained them on what is
faking their feelings an average of three times per week, according to Horan
and study co-author Melanie Booth-Butterfield of West Virginia University.
The research showed that participants were
Surprisingly, it’s not so horrible for your bond. “Although it’s very common,
the motives behind it aren’t bad,” says Horan. “The most dominant motives were
to avoid conflict, negative feelings, and hurting your partner.”
So how bad is all this lying?
help maintain the relationships. And according to researchers, these little
white lies are pretty harmless. “We don’t always want to know the truth all the
time,” says Horan.
For the most part, deception was used to
covering up something major—like that you’re over the relationship or that
you’ve been cheating—you’re probably doing more harm than good.
That said, if your motives include
relying on deception then problems will likely result,” says Horan.
“In any relationship, if you’re primarily
Honesty may not be the best policy when it comes to relationships.
may not be the best policy when it comes to relationships.