You can lie a little if you want to.
Meredith Goldstein, the relationship columnist over at the Boston Globe, received a letter from a guy (whom we shall refer to as "Guy") caught up in a lie-induced love pickle. The lie — that Guy was a rock star who just signed a major record deal and was about to go on tour — wasn't one that he made up; the acquaintance who introduced him to the girl/lie victim chose to stretch the truth.
Here's where the pickle comes in. Guy finds the girl attractive, seduces her the first night he meets her and has a grand old time. He likes the girl so much that he continues dating her, but after many dates he still doesn't explain that he's just a wannabe musician living in the suburbs rather than an up-and-coming rock star.
Meredith suggests that Guy try telling the girl the truth, but try doing it in a charming way ("Write a song. Play it for her. Then beg."). If all goes according to plan, afterward, "She should run. Fast." After all, as Meredith sees it, what he's done is "manipulative and creepy."
True, Meredith. Guy is creepy. What he's done is manipulative and we certainly wouldn't want the same thing done to us. But while we can't condone his behavior, we also can't help but wonder: Are there any lies that actually are OK to tell on a first date?
We've thought about it and decided that, yes, there are. Below are our top five acceptable first date lies.
1. "You were the first person I noticed at so-and-so's party."
This probably isn't true, but that's OK. Why? Because it feels good to be flattered. And it feels good to flatter others. We know it wouldn't be nearly as romantic to say, "I noticed your friend Tom first and he was really hot, but then you started talking to me and I realized you were cute, too."
2. "My family is alright, my job is OK, and life's pretty good."
Maybe your mom gets on your nerves, your coworkers are unsophisticated, and you wake up at least once a week in a grumpy mood. But a first date isn't the time to bring this up. Nobody likes a complainer, and if you're willing to complain a lot to someone you barely know on a first date, imagine what message you're sending about what awaits on the second date.
3. "The end of the world will be marked by violent battles between robots and zombies, and the robots will win."
It's OK to tell ridiculous stories. In fact, we encourage it. Just be sure to bring your date along for the ride. Say something like, "I can tell by the look in your eyes that you're on the side of the zombies."
4. "I've been curious about that movie, too."
Alright, maybe you haven't really thought much about the recent blockbuster until the very moment your date brought it up. But you like your date. You'd like to see your date again. And you usually do enjoy movies. What does it hurt to drop hints that you'd like to spend more time with your date, at the movies or elsewhere?
5. "It was nice meeting you."
Some dates are duds, but that doesn't mean you have to be cruel. At the end of the evening, thank the date for the nice time (even if it was the most boring night of your life). Be courteous. And then say goodbye.