10 Signs Your Partner Is Lying to You, According to Studies

Let’s face it, we all tell little white lies once in a while, and some of them are even meant to protect our loved ones. All of us lie from time to time, and some studies have even shown that lying is necessary for everyday life. However, there’s a huge difference between little white lies and big lies that have the potential to destroy a relationship/marriage.

Sometimes it can be very hard to spot a liar, especially when you love them very much, and usually, our own suspicion can get in the way of getting to the truth. But we all hate the idea of someone lying to us, especially our partners.

Celebrity relationship expert, Audrey Hope, said that there is no such thing as small lies. Every lie you tell in a relationship has the potential to ruin it. She also added that someone who’s ok with lying is because that’s their ‘thing,’ and chances are that will never change. A relationship built on lies won’t last.

But how can you tell if your partner is lying to you? According to Jack Schafer, Ph.D., a professor at Western Illinois University’s Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA) Department and a retired behavior analyst for the FBI, the most efficient way of catching someone with a lie is by looking into their eyes. Everything you want to know is there, he added.

Read more for more on Schafer’s insight and find out whether your partner’s lying to you or not.

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It’s important to understand that each body is different, that’s why Schafer recommends developing a baseline in order for this to work. He compares this test to a polygraph lie detector test when you also need to observe their characteristics under normal circumstances in order to compare how the truth looks versus the lie.

Based on a few studies, Schafer has explained that our pupils usually dilate when we’re telling a lie, adding that “lying causes an increase in cognitive demand” and “pupil dilation normally indicates an increase in cognitive demand.”

Your pupils will get bigger when you’re trying to convince someone of a lie. And no matter how good of a liar you might be, you won’t be able to control how your pupils behave. While you can play games when it comes to the words you use, there are some things that can’t be controlled.

When someone tries to think about a logical story to support the lie, the brain focuses on two different things all at once, what really happened and what they choose to tell you, which are often two opposite ideas. It’s a mental workout trying to express an idea while canceling the other.

While it’s true that some people are better at lying than others, that’s because they’re doing it all the time. In fact, one study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology analyzed 48 college students in China in order to find out if lying could become involuntary with practice. The students were asked to answer a few questions as fast as possible, either by telling the truth or a lie.

Additionally, the students were also instructed to try to answer even faster and make fewer mistakes when they lied. The study has shown that the students became better at lying after a few sets of questions, which proves that lying can become automatic with practice, requiring less cognitive effort as well.

Therefore, if your partner is constantly lying to you, don’t be surprised if they get better and better at it. But jumping to conclusions might not always be the best idea, sometimes you have to give them the benefit of the doubt and try to have an open conversation about this issue.

If you’re questioning your partner’s honesty, read on to discover the 10 signs your partner might be lying to you!

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1. They’re very defensive.

Probably the most obvious indicator that someone is lying is when they’re acting defensive and tend to overreact even when you ask a simple, innocent question. For instance, when your partner is talking on the phone and you ask them who are they talking to and they get very defensive, accusing you of being too nosy, you need to take it as a sign that they might be hiding something from you.

Also, someone who says things like ‘I can’t believe you don’t trust me’ is someone that might actually be lying to you, explains relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala. Your partner might become defensive enough to blame you for everything.

In fact, an expert in lying will try to turn the situation in their favor by implying that only someone that has something to hide will accuse other people of doing the same. This type of behavior is very common these days and it can even mess with your own mind.

If your partner starts acting defensive every time you ask them something, or they’re accusing you of doing something, it might be because they’re trying to hide their own mistakes by pointing at you.

This next sign will have you stressed out, as well…..

2. They’re always stressed.

You can tell when someone is lying to you when they appear to be very stressed all the time. Especially people who value honesty, in general, will associate lying with torture and high levels of stress. Therefore, if you’ve noticed that your partner is more stressed lately, it could be a sign that they’re feeling guilty for lying to you, and you might have detected their hoax.

As Roger Strecker, Sr., a behavioral analysis interrogator with over 30 years of law enforcement experience, shared with NBC News, “The limbic and basal ganglia systems are two critical components of the human brain controlling processing of stress and visible nonverbal deception attributes humans exhibit.”

Moreover, you need to look out for changes in breathing, touching the face, perspiration, fidgeting, restlessness, and others when you’re trying to figure out if your partner lied to you or not.

3. They’re either telling too little or too much.

Someone who’s lying to you will try to share as few details as possible, considering that everything they say could be used against them later on. But according to experts, liars also tend to overshare, a technique used to gain your trust and distract you from the truth.

According to Lillian Glass, a behavioral analyst, and body language expert, when someone overshares and offers a lot of information without you asking for it, it might be a sign that they’re not telling the truth.

They use the method of oversharing to make you believe that they’re telling the truth, they’re trying to appear trustworthy, when they’re only diverting you with a lie.

4. It’s not the first time they’ve lied to you.

As previously mentioned, people tell little white lies on regular basis, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to hold something against them forever. After all, we’re in this together. Just because someone lied to you on time, doesn’t mean they’ll always lie to you.

However, we can’t deny that it’s very common that someone who lies about the small things, will eventually lie about the big ones, as they might have no respect for the truth altogether.

If you’ve caught your partner with lies several times, and you’re suspicious they might be lying again, it might be a sign that they’re not the most honest person on Earth. According to Kali Rogers, “If you catch your partner in one hurtful lie, chances are that’s not the only one.”

But trying to look for patterns of behavior is not easy, because context is also very important. If your partner lies about taking out the trash or doing the laundry you shouldn’t associate them with a stone-cold liar. They’re probably just lazy.

Moreover, you should pay attention to the things that really matter, if they’ve lied to you or hurt you in the past, they’re probably going to do it again, especially when they don’t feel guilty for it. In this situation, trusting your gut would be the best option, after all, it rarely lies.

Make sure to also check: The Most Common Signs That Indicate You’re In A Rebound Relationship.

The next one might be touching, but for all the wrong reasons…..

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5. They’re touching their face.

A lot of people have investigated lying, so there’s a lot of research on this topic, including why people tend to lie, how they lie, and what they look like when they lie. Therefore, when you’re suspecting your partner of lying, you can use science as a weapon.

In fact, Anthony DeLorenzo and Dawn Ricci wrote a book called ‘Warning Signs,’ where you can find a lot of tips on how to catch someone with a lie. The authors believe that liars tend to always touch their faces when they’re talking.

While this might appear strange, a lot of researchers believe it is a distancing mechanism between the liar and the lie. It could be their way of reacting to the lie by showing subtle signs of guilt. Just like some people play with their hair, clothes, or bodies when they’re feeling anxious, others are touching their faces when they’re telling a lie.

Even good liars can feel uncomfortable when telling a lie, which will result in doing strange things, such as touching their face or mouth more often than they usually do. Therefore, if you’ve noticed that your partner is doing this while talking, chances are they’re being untruthful.

The next one might be quite moving (or not)…..

6. They become still out of the blue.

When you’re telling a lie, your body will react differently by triggering all sorts of alarms into your body. In fact, if you see someone becoming still out of a sudden while talking, it might be a sign that they’re telling a lie at that moment.

According to Glass, this process is called the primitive neurological fight, and it’s your brain’s response that affects your body positions by preparing itself for a possible conflict.

“If you observe a rigid, catatonic stance devoid of movement, it is often a huge warning sign that something is off,” Glass continued saying.

This next one will be staring you in the face…..

7. They’re maintaining eye contact.

While most people will assume that liars tend to avoid eye contact because they feel guilty, in reality, it’s exactly the opposite. Those who lie the most are usually very good at it, and sadly, they’re also very convincing.

This definitely makes it even harder to spot a lie, because we tend to associate eye contact with intimacy and honesty, but that’s not always the truth. Also, everyone knows the power of eye contact and that it makes you more persuasive, that’s why most liars tend to use this tool in order to manipulate people.

A study published in Psychology Today has shown that a good liar will do everything in their power to maintain eye contact, in order to gain your trust and appear more sincere. While it can make identifying a liar harder, there are also a few signs you should look out for.

For example, when someone is looking at you too intensely, it could be a sign of lying as they’re focusing on maintaining eye contact. Chances are you’re probably used to how your partner makes eye contact, so it can be easier to identify when something has changed.

At the same time, if they’re refusing to look you in the eye while talking, it might also be a sign that they’re trying to hide something. When someone changes their normal communication style out of the blue, it’s a red flag that something is up.

This next sign is handy to know…..

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8. They only start to gesture with their hands after they finish talking.

We’ve previously talked about the pupils dilating every time we tell a lie, well, the same thing happens with our hands. When you’re trying to fabricate a story, your brain is working on processing more complex information, causing you to stop gesticulating with your hands while you’re telling a lie.

According to Traci Brown, a body language expert who has participated in a deception training program with members of the FBI, “The mind is doing too many things including making up the story, figuring out if they’re being believed, and adding to the story accordingly. So normal gesturing that might normally happen just before a statement happens after the statement.”

This next one is honestly troubling…..

9. They always use ‘honesty’ words.

Someone who excessively uses honest phrases such as ‘Trust me’ or ‘If I’m honest…’ might appear as if they’re trying too hard, which might give them off. In fact, studies have shown that people who are using ‘honesty’ a lot in their vocabulary might not be as honest as they want to appear.

According to Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, these phrases are usually a sign that you’re dealing with a liar. When people use the ‘honesty’ word too much, they might have something to hide, that’s anything but honesty.

When you’re telling the truth you don’t feel the need to add them, as you’re probably not trying to convince anybody. This can be tricky, as you might feel that your partner didn’t lie to you since they used the ‘H’ word so often, but in fact, it can be the exact opposite.

You won’t want an upside-down frown with our last sign…..

10. They’re fake smiling.

Is their smile looking different out of a sudden? It could be a good indicator that they’re not honest. We all had to put on a fake smile at least a few times in our life, in moments where we felt awkward or embarrassed but didn’t want to let other people know how we were feeling. But you can see when a smile it’s fake, and you should concentrate on their eyes.

A 2012 study from British Columbia has shown that a lie is usually followed by a fake smile. The problem with fake smiles is that even though we learn to control the bottom half of our faces, our eyes can’t lie. While it’s easy to fake a smile, controlling your eyes is a whole other story.

The next time you feel like your partner is lying, stop concentrating on their smile and try to look at their eyes, because they can’t fake it. If their eyes look sad and they don’t wrinkle or sparkle when they smile, it might be a sign that they’re telling a lie. This can be easier to identify if you’ve been with this person for a long time and you know all their moves.

However, it’s important to understand that liars use a lot of tricks in order to appear believable and trustworthy, and they usually count on your empathy for that. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that you’ve been lied to, especially when you’re not a liar, but these signs are meant to help you spot a lie. What comes next, it’s up to you.

Make sure to also check: What Is Breadcrumbing and How to Recognize This Manipulative Behavior.




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