“When my love swears that she is made of truth, I do believe her though I know she lies.” Shakespeare caught his characters lying in this excerpt from one of his classic sonnets. Times have changed; we are over the Shakespearean period now but are we really over our old habits? How often do you lie in love? How often do you find yourself tweaking your identity for sex?
Modernization has also seen a drastic change in our notions of love and sex. We are much closer to our primal instincts now. So, love is not necessarily an utter sense of devotion to each other but more of a mutual understanding and acceptance. Likewise, sex is no more the elusive consequence of a complicated set of expressions but a straightforward matter of mutual consent. This doesn’t mean that getting into an intimate relation with someone is effortless now; a considerable effort of ‘wooing’ on your part may still be necessary. It’s just that we are now open to more options and shortcuts to satisfy our sexual needs. And these shortcuts often involve us assorting to a range of lies.
Beyond the ethical meaning of ‘lies’, we often believe that some lies are just harmless. We use such lies to avoid seemingly unnecessary complications. For instance, confessing to someone outright that you are not actually looking for anything long-term but just few night outs isn’t actually convenient. Well, that might be what you are looking for but it just doesn’t work that way. Let us suppose that your partner actually shares your thoughts but you don’t really want to risk your chances for an inconvenient truth and end up saying ‘I really like you’ or something equally cheesy.
Advent of social networking trend has further unleashed a wider range of situational lies. Establishing a false identity to create a buzz has become a fashion. However these are more likely to be called ‘virtual lies’ because you are ultimately going to need some more lies to establish your virtual stats if you are planning to have anything real at all with your virtual partner. Nonetheless, deploying one of your ‘harmless lies’ has indeed become more harmless, at least for a few night outs. Having stated the obvious, let’s go back to our Shakespearean lovers. One of them actually knows that the other is lying and yet has accepted the fact with perhaps a nip in his heart but nothing more. Well, pardon me for calling it a ‘surge of your hormones’ when you might have preferred something more graceful like ‘selfish love’, we do tend ignore a few lies from the other side ourselves when a more urgent need is at play.
Entwined in messy lies, is our world of love and relationship getting mechanical or unethical? Are the persons you had dated or will date nothing more than flimsy mask of ‘harmless’ lies? Well, let’s not get so dramatic. Lies can be convenient or harmless to start with but ultimately, no one can hide forever. You may start off a romance with a lie but you shall be the one to face the consequences. It’s always safe to be truthful but you can surely make some adjustments for the ‘bigger picture’. You may not have as extensive a vocabulary of ‘harmless lies’ as Tiger Woods himself but you do have your fair share.