Dating red flags: How to spot if someone is lying

When it comes to navigating the dating minefield, working out how to tell if someone is lying to you or not can be a major advantage.

Lying is often one of the biggest red flags when it comes to dating and relationships and it might surprise you to know just how many people admit to doing it on the regular.

people dating
One in eight people admit they lie to their partner or people they’re dating most often. Photo: Getty

According to a new survey of 2000 people by Lenstore, one in eight (16%) admit they lie to their partner or people they’re dating most often.

Alarmingly, one in 12 (8%) have lied about being unfaithful in a relationship and a further 8 per cent have fibbed about who they’re dating right now or have dated in the past.

It may not amaze you to find that men lie more often than women. Millennials lie the most, and are also most likely to have told particularly taboo untruths about a family emergency, death, or funeral.


So to help you in your quest for the truth, an expert has shared some signs to look out for.

Counselling Psychologist Dr Georgina Barnett shares with Yahoo that facial expressions and eye contact that is held too long are key signs that "indicate dishonesty".

Signs your date is lying

"They hold eye contact with you for too long – more than is natural or typical. Or they cover their eyes with their hands," Dr Barnett explains.

She also warns that a liar might "block their eyes with something else, like a phone, or let their eyes dart around. Equally, they might avoid eye contact altogether."

Doubting dissatisfied man looking at woman, bad first date concept, young couple sitting at table in cafe, talking, bad first impression, new acquaintance in public place, unpleasant conversation
If someone holds eye contact for too long it's a red flag. Photo: Getty

She adds: “Many people believe that if someone is looking at them straight in the eye that this is an indication of a truthful exchange, but actually practiced and habitual liars tend to use eye contact to fool you – they engage in greater eye contact than the average person to do this.

"Often, they hardly blink as they try to hold your gaze," she says.

She says it's all part of a strategy "to manipulate you into thinking they are being honest" as they are displaying behaviours we associate with truth.

More signs someone isn't being honest

Dr Barnett says further 'tells' include people squinting when they are uncomfortable, rubbing their foreheads and necks, or their eyelids fluttering significantly.

"You may also see increased perspiration and flushing in the face," she adds.

woman lying on date
Less confident liars are more obvious. Photo: Getty

"Less confident or nervous liars will often manifest the more common behaviours we associate with liars.

"People’s eyes may dart around the room or to the left or right for a few seconds to give themselves a few seconds of reprieve from the guilt they are experiencing by looking into the other persons eyes."

Top ten most common lies

  1. Saying you’re busy to avoid doing something / seeing someone (38% have done this)

  2. Saying you’ve not seen messages / emails when you actually have (30%)

  3. Saying you’re OK / well when you aren’t (27%)

  4. Saying you’re sick when you’re not (24%)

  5. Saying you like a gift you don’t actually like (23%)

  6. Saying you’re happy when you aren’t (19%)

  7. Saying that something cost more / less than it actually did (15%)

  8. Saying that your Wi-Fi battery died when it hadn’t (15%)

  9. Saying that you liked a meal someone made when you didn’t (15%)

  10. Saying you like someone’s outfit when you don’t’ (14.5%)

A close-up view of a young man's hands removing his wedding ring a concept of relationship difficulties
Cheating partners use many lies to cover up their behaviour. Photo: Getty

Psychologist reveals how to spot a cheater

It comes after a psychologist revealed in a video on Instagram one way you might be able to tell whether or not your partner is cheating on you.

Daniel Acorn explained there is "one psychological secret" to look out for when it comes to working out if your other half is being unfaithful.

"Disclaimer, this only works if you haven't broken their trust. Otherwise they might be justified in how they feel about you," he said initially, before sharing a potentially huge red flag.

"So if you're dating someone and they start accusing you of cheating, or they're worried that you're talking to other people without any evidence, it usually means that they're cheating and you're talking to other people. They're just worried that you're doing the same thing."

Daniel explained in psychology this behaviour is called "projection". "People tend to project what's inside of them onto other people," he added.

Additional reporting Flic Everett.

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