Being in a relationship means putting a whole lot of faith in someone who was, at one point, a total stranger to you. It’s all a bit terrifying when you really think about it.
So can you ever really tell what someone’s thinking and feeling, or if they’re being truly honest with you?
Basically, no, is what we’ve learnt. But there are some clues in someone’s behaviour as to how they really feel and whether they’re being honest. Here’s what to look out for…
1. Nil by mouth
Any attempt to cover their mouth – however apparently subconscious – could well be a sign that they’re uncomfortable with what they’re saying or hiding something from you.
2. Jesus takes the wheel
If your other half is suddenly spouting religious phrases like ‘I swear to Jesus’ or ‘God no’, then they may be trying to hard to cover something up.
3. The disappearing act
Watch their hands. Are they trying to make them disappear, possibly into their pockets, behind their backs or under their legs? If yes, this could be a sign that they’re hiding more than just their palms.
4. The key is in the detail
A common misconception about cheats and liars is that they can’t provide detail about their lie, but actually, they may go into too much detail. If they can’t stop talking and appear to be saying things as they occur to them, it might be that it’s all fabricated.
5. The eyes have it
You know your partner best. Are they finding it more difficult than usual to maintain eye contact? Then they could be feeling guilty. And if they’ve fixed an unusually strong stare on your eyes, they could be doing so in an effort to try to control your opinion of them.
6. Timing is everything
If there are noticeable pauses before they answer questions, they could be buying themselves time to think of a response. Equally, answering too soon and speaking quickly is an indication that they’re desperately trying to convince you of something.
7. Repetition, repetition, repetition
If they repeat more than one of your questions, they’re probably using the time to think of a reasonable answer.
8. They’re suddenly really honest
Are they suddenly being super honest but about something that you’re not actually asking them about? For example, you question who they had dinner with this evening and they’re more concerned with apologising for how much they spent on the dinner than discussing who they ate with. They’re trying to deflect attention by admitting to a lesser offence.
9. Pinocchio syndrome
Very strange but true: when lying, some people’s nasal tissues engorge, causing their noses to itch. So an unexplained sniff could give away more than you think…
10. Examine the evidence
And finally… take a step back and try to look at it objectively: ask yourself whether you’d believe their story if it was one of your friends’ partners. If it now sounds implausible, then it probably is.