The 1 Little White Lie That Can Ruin Your Relationship

You’re probably telling your significant other little white lies more often than you would like to admit. For the most part, this isn’t a problem. A relationship can survive a fib or two, right? There is one lie, however, that can sabotage your union in no time flat. Are you guilty of telling this one little lie that can ruin your relationship?

But first, let’s be honest — everyone lies

The poster for HBO's 'Big Little Lies.'

The cast of HBO’s Big Little Lies knows what happens when people lie. | HBO

People lie a lot. In fact, according to a 2002 study, 60% of people can’t make it through a 10 minute conversation without telling a little fib! While that sounds quite extreme, it’s probably safe to say that most people do tell multiple small lies throughout the day. So naturally, it’s only safe to assume that a couple little falsehoods make it into conversations with your significant other.

Lies aren’t that uncommon when you start dating someone

women smiling together

Little white lies in the beginning of a relationship are more common. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

When a relationship is new, we tend to be on our best behavior. We may lie about liking a certain food we secretly despise to please the other person. Or feign interest in an activity for the chance of spending more time with them. More often than not, once the relationship progresses, we tend to come clean about these little things.

Sometimes, the habit of lying carries into a long-term relationship

Couple arguing

Don’t be that couple. | master1305/iStock/Getty Images

This is where you can get into trouble. If you are in the habit of lying to your significant other — about an ex, your whereabouts, what have you — then you risk your relationship being built on an unsteady foundation. “Lying to someone, especially someone close to us, is one of the most basic violations of a person’s human rights,” PsychAlive summarizes.

If your relationship is based on lies, you’re in trouble

Casual couple having coffee together

Things might get messy. |

If it becomes apparent that you are lying to your S.O. then the bond of trust can seriously deteriorate. Little lies like whether or not your S.O. looks fat in a pair of jeans is forgivable. But when it comes to major lies, like infidelity, it can be hard for your significant other to trust you again — no matter how hard you try to right the ship.

The one lie you should never tell

Blond girl sitting on floor near window and watching laptop

Always be honest about your finances. |

You may be surprised to learn that lying about an ex isn’t the worst lie you can tell your partner. (Don’t get us wrong. Lying about an ex comes in a very close second place.) Lying about money is actually a surefire way to wreck your relationship. “Lies about fidelity and money are the two most common ones that affect couples,” the HuffPost says. “They make it almost impossible to have real trust ever again in a relationship.”

How you should handle the situation

woman apologizing during an argument

Honesty is the way to go. |

Be honest. There’s really nothing else to it. “The better a relationship is, the more it could withstand a little honesty, and the less lies would even be necessary,” Jezebel says. “Because when you genuinely admire and like someone, there’s a lot of good truth to spread around.”

So you got caught telling this lie. Now what?

adult couple has privacy problems

Get ready to fess up and be honest. |

It’s time to come clean. You have been caught telling a detrimental lie and have nothing to hide behind. You’re going to have to take responsibility for your actions, even if it means that your relationship is doomed. What you can’t do is get defensive — that isn’t fair to your significant other. No matter how your relationship turns out after that, consider turning over a new leaf and not lying so much.