A woman crossing her fingers behind her back
start free today
I am I am looking for

You can add more detail about your gender in your profile

For your security, use the following password format:

  • At least 8 characters
  • Letters AND numbers/special characters
  • Must not be the same as your email address

How to Deal With a Deceitful Person in Your Dating Life

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

Deceitful people are difficult to deal with just in our regular lives. But when it comes to the dating scene, deceit can become a real hazard to finding the right person for you. Because even though they may seem like who you’ve been looking for the entire time, that can often just be a facade they hide behind.

So we’re going to look at what makes a deceitful person, how to identify them early in the relationship and how to navigate them in a healthy dating life.  

What exactly is a deceitful person?

When you look at what makes a person disingenuous, the meaning is quite basic. They lie. They lie about the contents of their existence and their lifestyle. They lie about their emotions in relationships, creating unfulfillable expectations in the other person. Most crucially, their lies create an inseparable barrier between them and others, making a true notion of intimacy almost impossible.

Some dating red flags can be them being manipulative towards others and noticing that they have no problem being dishonest in interactions. Many cues can tip you off when it comes to a deceitful person. So let’s look at them. 

Identifying deceitful behavior

So, right out of the gates, let’s explore some common red flags of dishonest people:

  • They’re vague – Deceitful people often don’t like to be hemmed in by a lie so they make it vague so if they’re caught later, they can rationalize their way out of it.
  • They’re withholding – This doesn’t just mean in regards to the details of their life but also in their emotions and the time they’re willing to give to you.
  • They’re defensive – A deceitful person will generally be quite protective of their web of lies. Prodding at it will often cause them to close off or become awkward.

Understanding the motivations behind dishonest people

Certain opinions hold that there is a difference between habitual liars and pathological ones, in that psychologically, pathological liars are incapable of operating in the world without deceit. As PsychCentral puts it, pathologically disingenuous people represent more a core personality trait than an impulse1.

Many aren’t even aware they’re doing it, which makes them all the more romantically perilous. The goal is often personal gain, to manipulate situations so they work out in their favor or, often and most sadly, just to avoid the consequences of their actions.

How to avoid getting entangled with a deceitful person

Here are some basic tips for avoiding becoming involved with dishonest people and how to spot them in their tracks before you get emotionally involved.

  • Don’t indulge in their fantasies, of which there are many, and just be honest with them by saying you believe they’re lying to you.
  • Don’t be taken in by their stories. Find out for yourself if they’re being truthful with you.
  • Try to remember that it’s not about you. Talking and thinking their way out of things has just become how they engage with the world. 
  • Suggest they seek professional help for this compulsion.

In general, it’s best to give a liar enough rope to hang themselves with and they’ll reveal their true nature.

Some basic advice for avoiding disingenuous people

Like the section above this will deal more with how to avoid a deceitful person right from the get-go.

  • Do their stories frequently change details? This is a common lying trait.
  • Are they inconsistent with you and frequently alter plans?
  • Do they frequently avoid eye contact when talking to you, especially when you feel they’re being deceptive?
  • Try and break the rhythm of their deceit by asking a specific question about the scenario. They won’t have this ready and will likely visibly falter.

Always trust your instinct above all in these situations.

Cut a deceitful person out of your life

Until they can deal with their dysfunction and detachment from reality, how to deal with a deceitful person is always with distance. They just aren’t ready to properly function in a relationship. You can be there for them during their recovery but don’t become ensnared and try to remember that a lot of liars are on a basic level, decent people, just dysfunctional ones.

The priority for you in dating is seeking healthy and fulfilling relationships that enrich your life and whose foundation you feel you can trust and rely upon.

How it works

Your search for a great relationship has never been easier with groundbreaking overhaul of the eharmony you know and trust.