6 Weirdly Common Lies Couples Tell Each Other
Love, as the saying goes, means never having to say you're sorry. Or, apparently, ever having to tell the truth. We crunched the numbers, and it turns out that couples lie to each other, just, all the time, about everything. Some of the more weirdly common fibs include ...
"Of Course I Haven't Watched The New Episode, I Was Waiting for You!"
Whether you're Netflix-and-chilling or Netflix-and-falling-asleep-on-the-couch-because-you're-over-30-and-you've-got-work-the-next-day, watching a beloved television program with your significant other is a sacred bond, an act shot through with trust and commitment. Which is a serious bummer, because just under half of the civilized world has admitted to "Netflix cheating" on their partner. That is, secretly watching the next episode of a show you were supposed to be watching together. That's a threefold increase from 2013, an alarming sign of civilization's rapid decline.
An astounding 81% of Cheaty McCheatersons have done it repeatedly, with almost 44% saying it's basically a habit. A full 60% said they'd do it more if they could, because there are no depths to which humanity can't sink. Approximately half -- 46%, in fact, exactly the same number who say they've cheated -- don't think it's that big a deal, because of course they wouldn't.
But, because I'm not entirely without mercy, here's a word of warning to all the morally bankrupt demon spawn sneaking episodes of Orange Is The New Black on the down low: Don't try to pull that shit in Hong Kong. Seriously, 40% of respondents there said Netflix cheating is worse than having an actual affair.
That sounds a little harsh, sure, but on the other hand, a breach of trust is a breach of trust. As insignificant as watching TV without your partner may seem, therapists are reporting more and more couples arguing about Netflix cheating during counseling sessions. So, y'know, tread lightly.
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"I'm 6 Feet Tall"
When it comes to dating site statistics -- height, weight, income, pubic hair thickness, etc. -- one study showed that a full 81% of users lied in at least one category. Height was most egregiously misrepresented -- which makes both all and none of the sense. After all, weight can fluctuate, pubes can be shaved, jobs can be quit and raises obtained, but an adult human's height, barring a poorly timed peek through a sunroof, is fixed. You simply can't say you're 6 feet tall and then show up and not be 6 feet tall. It's going to become obvious at some point; you can't wear those shoes all the time. And yet ...
According to one study by OG dating site OKCupid, men and women both added a solid 2 inches -- or approximately the elevation of a fast food hamburger -- to their actual height, across the board. Men close to (but not quite) 6 feet were the most likely to try to push that number higher, gratuitously adding patties to their burger of shame. This graph shows that we're also weirdly uniform in our lies:
Those same men, it should be noted, are also the most likely to lie about their height inside of a relationship, even after their partners have figured out the truth, with some getting noticeably upset about being publicly outed as short. Why? Because men are giant insecure babies? Sort of! Thanks to thousands of years of evolution and patriarchy, society has decided to reward tall men simply for being tall, with things like jobs and money and sex. Also, the knowledge of what the top shelf of a grocery store really looks like.
So does that mean there's a measurement where men stop stretching the truth? Nope. Even the largest and leggiest of professional athletes lie about their size, both to boost their own confidence and intimidate their foes. The former of which, OK, but the latter of which raises a whole host of problems when you're doing the same thing to your spouse. Unless you're married to, like, a grizzly bear, or something.
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"I'm On My Way Home, I Promise"
Fibbing about one's whereabouts is hands down the most common lie told to a spouse, according to about 50% of the international community. A full 14 of the 15 countries polled tagged being somewhere other than where they said they were as the #1 fiction they spun -- more than lies about money, sex, or, dangerously vaguely, "the kids."
But fret not, Americans. You can still trust the mister or missus about this, mostly. Only about 40% of the good ol' U.S. said it was the top lie, compared to 45% of Australians, 47% of Indians, and 56% of Britons. Russians, meanwhile, hovered at about 70%, and you can decide for yourself what, if any, cultural stereotype that conforms to.
Curiously, most folks don't cover up their whereabouts for anything close to scandalous reasons. Men were most likely to lie about having left work when they really hadn't, or stopping to grab a beer with a buddy, while women were prone to stretching the truth about going out for coffee -- or "coffee" -- with friends (the quotes mean wine.)
"I've Slept With, Uh, Four People?"
Maybe this one isn't that surprising, but the sheer scale of the lying that happens here is kind of amazing. Yes, most people lie about their sexual history, and those counterfeit conjugal counts fall exactly the way you think they do. Men, statistically, are prone to presenting a more puffed-up number of prior porkings, while women are decidedly more likely to downplay the number of times they've done the deed.
But here's the crazy part: Lying is so common that science actually doesn't know the truth about the number of sex partners an average person has. In one study, men were claiming an average of 12.7 partners and women just 6.5 ... which is impossible, if you think about it. Straight men and straight women have to have slept with about the same number of people. It's literally logic. If a guy's had sex with 20 women, then 20 women have also had sex; if a lady's only banged four dudes, then only four dudes have been banged.
All of which means that the generally accepted and widely reported notion that men have substantially more sexual partners than women is in fact a statistical impossibility. This also means that unless scientists start attaching sensors to everyone's genitals, they'll never know the truth. But hey, another study shows that about half of all people don't actually want to know their partner's hump number at all, so maybe we should just drop this inherently judgy-ass question entirely.
Related: Happy Birthday, Badass - August 3
"Whaaat? A Secret Bank Account? Who Would Do Something Like That?"
Lies about money fall across a very broad spectrum. Sure, it's not too surprising that over 40% of people sharing a bank account with a partner have lied about their finances (a number, by the way, that has been steadily increasing over recent years). About 25% of those lies were what you'd expect, fibs dropped about specific, embarrassing purchases -- a dress that cost too much, covertly replacing a favorite coffee mug, porn subscriptions. But here's the crazy part: More than a third of respondents said they were doing it simply because of monetary commitment issues.
To put it another way, the most common reason given for falsifying financial transactions to a spouse or partner -- one whom, it should be repeated, they already shared a bank account with -- was that one person felt that "finances should remain private" from the other. The prevailing sentiment apparently being that sharing a house and kids and a dog and a life together is fine, but fuck you for wanting to know how I spend my money.
To that end, an obscenely high 1 in 5 people are straight-up hiding entire bank accounts from their partner. Not just a daily latte habit or an extra five-spot in their wallet, but a full-blown savings or checking account, or that noted symbol of good financial habits, a credit card. Everyone has their secrets, but damn, when it comes to red flags, that's one step above finding out they've got a secret apartment.
"I Would NEVER Read Your Emails -- Or Your Texts, Or Your Facebook, Or Your Secret Diary That I Obviously Don't Know About"
Modern couples seem to take a "Trust, but verify" approach with their partners. Almost 70% of women and 50% of men have admitted to snooping on their partners in one way or another, whether it was covertly going through their things or logging into their Facebook profile without their knowledge or permission. Men were more likely to dig through a woman's purse, while ladies were most likely to seek out digital clues. About 70% of the polled snoopers never got caught, while the vast majority -- about 80% -- reported that they didn't regret violating their partner's privacy even a little.
Breaking it down by even more specific invasions of privacy, more than half of women in committed relationships have secretly read their partner's email, while 1 in 4 have checked their partner's phone for texts or calls. About 50% logged into their partner's Facebook. Men's numbers, meanwhile, were a little lower (49% snooped email, for instance), but only men confessed to waiting until their partner was asleep and then using their fingerprints to unlock their phones.
Married folks are slightly more likely to spy on their spouses than non-married partners, but age isn't particularly significant, except in one area: Millennials are the worst offenders -- 1 in 4 snooped on their partner's phone every day.
OK, but, why? Are they all terrified their partner is cheating? Nah, most people snoop for sheer shits and giggles. More than half of respondents reported that they rifled through their partner's personal lives out of nothing more than curiosity. Only about a third were convinced their partners were lying to them and actually looking for anything specific. This is apparently just what we do now. If you've got secrets, for the love of god, get a burner phone!
For more, check out Why Romantic Comedies Are Secretly Bad For You - After Hours:
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