With Valentine's Day approaching, the thoughts of millions of women and men turn to their boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands or wives (or combinations thereof). It's the one day of the year where our relationships come into sharper focus, blocking out the usual distractions of work, personal finances and reality T.V. In an age where deception has reached epidemic proportions, however, Valentine's Day also presents an opportunity to examine the role lies play in our relationships. And make no mistake ... every relationship is touched by deception, whether it's used to avoid hurting our partner's feelings, to avoid the negative consequences of our actions, to make ourselves more appealing, to gain personal advantage, or to cover up the piles of b.s. we've been shoveling all over town. Deception is the grease that makes the world of relationships spin smoothly. But here's the $64,000 question: Who does most of the "greasing?" Do men lie more to their mates? Or are women most frequently pulling the wool over the eyes of their partners?
Let's clear one thing up right from the start: Everyone lies. Deception is hard-wired into our DNA. Look at the animal kingdom. You'll find countless examples of deception in nature, where it's a survival tactic for living longer and reproducing more often. And while it's not necessary for humans to lie to reproduce (though in many cases it helps enormously), deception is vital for our social survival and long-term harmony in our relationships.