Is He a Liar Liar Pants on Fire?



Name: Mary

Question: I am a 24-year-old female and have just recently went on a date with a 26-year-old male. We met online and have been talking for about a month.
Our schedules just matched up to where we could meet in person and all in all the date was nice. We had plenty to talk about and enjoyed each others company as much as one can with someone who is still pretty much a stranger. One big thing out of the almost 5 hours of non stop conversation we had stood out and made me question everything.

We were talking about previous jobs and everything seemed normal. I know where he works now and that he has been there for 3 years (I know for a fact this is true).
He then begins to say he had traveled the world, he was being paid $120 an hour (cant completely remember what he said he was getting payed to do).

He said he had $80,000 in a bank account but then the company was bought out and he lost his job then shortly after the IRS contacted him and said he filed his taxes wrong and they took the money he had to cover the fees. I am 99% sure this is a lie.
He is 26, he started his current job when he was 23 and before that he had explained he had worked a similar job. (Plus who pays a 22 year old without any form a college degree $120 an hour?)

I have looked on his Facebook, and for someone who has evidently traveled the world he has never mentioned it or has no pictures of it. This bothers me, I liked him. We got along well and unlike 90% of the population I did not mind being around him. But I can’t date someone who I am unsure if they are telling me the truth. I want to ask him, I want to give him a chance but if he is lying to me already I am unsure what to think. I’m looking for some advice with both how to approach this and if this could just be him trying to impress me or if this could be a real problem.

I did notice a couple other small things not lining up like him saying he had never been in a particular state before then an hour later saying he and his friends had gotten lost at one point and ended up in that exact same state. He also said he had came out to a business near where I live in right after saying he had never been out that way before. To me this seems like he is an avid liar but I did agree to another date next week which I was looking forward to.
Age: 24


You’ve already decided this guy is a liar liar pants on fire so I think this blossoming relationship is dead in the water.  This the the problem with performing a social media deep-dive every time you meet someone new: too much information.  I’m curious how you know “for a fact” that he’s been at his current job for three years. Did you creep his Linkdin profile, too? How did you prove that?

Listen, I get the need to ensure that a person is who they say they are, but the more information we cull from these little stalking excursions, the more likely it is we will find what we think is a discrepancy. Do I think this guy is lying? Yes. At the very least I believe he’s embellishing. I don’t know why anyone would launch into a dissertation about his banking and IRS issues other than to cut something off at the pass or to answer a question poised to him. Did you ask him a question that would require he be this transparent?

I applaud your use of critical thinking here, but you’re forgetting something. When you apply critical thinking to a situation, you have to ask yourself one very important question.

“Why would someone lie about that?”

What does this guy gain by telling you he filed his taxes wrong?  What does he gain by telling you he’s never been to a particular state? Like I said, I don’t doubt he’s embellishing and possible lying, I just don’t know which instances you mention in your letter are untruths.

There’s one other possibility here, and it’s that maybe you don’t listen properly or that you have an over-active imagination. To be honest, I get the feeling that you’ve totally creeped this guy’s social media and digital footprint, and you’ve only met him once. If that’s the case, I think that’s part of the problem. You’ve gathered so much information that either you’re confused or you’re looking for a reason to believe this guy is lying. I happen to think it’s a little of both, with a dash of him being slightly dishonest.

I can’t tell you what to do here. If you think he’s lying, then go with your gut. My guess is that you’ll keep seeing this guy regardless, as that’s what most people in your situation do. In that case, all you can do is be vigilante and pay attention and look for other possible signs of deception. Or you could just ask him to clarify some things and see what he says, but don’t be suprised if he gets offended or thinks you’re paranoid.


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13 Responses to “Is He a Liar Liar Pants on Fire?”

  1. Bree Says:

    He’s lying for the same reason all men lie about how much money and worldly experience they have: so you’ll be more comfortable having sex with him. I’d be wary of a guy bragging about his finances on a first date anyway, period. If he’s hot and you want to sleep with him, go for it, but don’t be surprised when it fizzles out quickly thereafter.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4


    • Jonathan Says:

      This may be an overstatement to claim that sex is the only reason men lie. Yeah, you may be right, but people lie for lots of reasons related to desires for security, connection, acceptance, appreciation, or perhaps admiration. Sex may be one of the primary goals, but self-worth is as likely a culprit as anything else.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0


  2. fuzzilla Says:

    It’s possible to make big bucks without a degree in cyber security. Decent chance he’s lying (men being men/people being people), but I guess give it a couple more dates if you want to make sure. I guess if you thought he was a complete lying idiot you wouldn’t write to an advice column?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0


  3. Mandy Says:

    I have no problem talking about what you do for jobs/careers on the first date (for many people, me included, it’s really the biggest part of my daily life)… but how does that turn into talking about how much money you make per hour and how much you saved up in the bank, and issues with the IRS?! Whether he’s lying, embellishing, or telling the truth (clearly not the whole truth or you wouldn’t have questions) I’d question why someone would be bringing this up on the first date, and what that says about him.

    But with this and the world traveling–did you not have a chance to talk to him about these comments? It sounds like he was giving a monologue, not having a conversation. Personally, I can’t imagine most of these things being said as part of a conversation without follow-up. Again, I’d question what this “conversation style” says about him more than the actual details.

    As an aside, I have an ex-friend who used to talk about how she’d traveled the world, and she even had lots of specific stories. The stories were true–it’s just that she had spent 2 weeks in Europe on daddy’s dime, staying in fancy hotels, when she was 20. She left out those details and clearly played things up that made you think she was traveling for at least a year, staying in hostels, etc., as an adult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0


    • fuzzilla Says:

      Yeah, even if it’s 100% true, it’s weirdly oversharing, for sure. Good point that it was probably a monologue and not a conversation – a lot of men are like that (sorrynotsorry).

      I just kinda wonder why she’s not immediately cutting bait if she’s that suspicious (she’s young? Is it that, “But I need to give guys a chance” thing that means you think everything is your fault and then you consequently ignore red flags and give the wrong guy a chance?).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1


  4. ATWYSingle Says:

    I’d question why someone would be bringing this up on the first date, and what that says about him.

    I don’t happen to think he brought everything up on his own. Based on all the inconsistencies she thinks she’s identified, it sounds like she either did a fair amount of research on this guy or sheasked him a lot of (possibly innapropriate) questions. I want to know how she knows “for a fact” he’s been at his job for however many years. I want to know why this guy gave her a breakdown of his bank account.

    People don’t typically offer information this personal out of nowhere. Usually, something compels them to reveal such private information. My guess is she was prodding him with questions, he picked up on her suspicious nature, and he was trying to explain things to her.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2


    • Mandy Says:

      I just can’t get past the idea that if she was drilling him with questions in order to get him to talk about this stuff, then how did the conversation/date end with these huge questions left unanswered? If you’re already drilling him, why didn’t she ask: “Oh wow, is it common to make $120 in your field right off the bat?” or “How long did you spend abroad? Were you traveling alone? Did you work while you were traveling?”.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0


    • Parenting Says:

      It still seems strange. Why wouldnt he change the subject? But they are both young so…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0


  5. Yvonne Says:

    5 hours for a first date is a bit much. Already you are getting too much information too soon, and maybe getting a little too invested as well. Plus, if you noticed such discrepancies, why didn’t you just ask him about it, “Oh, I thought you said earlier that you’d never been to Maryland?”

    I’m not saying this guy has a mental illness, but who tells stupid lies for no reason? Sociopaths and people with personality disorders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0


  6. Brahman Says:

    “ who pays a 22 year old without any form a college degree $120 an hour?”

    If he’s a good software engineer/programmer – a lot of companies will, tech companies ignore degrees from my professional experience

    “I have looked on his Facebook, and for someone who has evidently traveled the world he has never mentioned it or has no pictures of it.”

    Not uncommon if he’s a good software engineer/programmer

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7


    • Parenting Says:

      Where are these companies which are going to pay a good software engineer with a couple of years of experience $120 an hour? Because most of the really excellent developers i know with 10-20 years of experience make in the $130k-$160k range (60-85 an hour) as salaried employees.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0


      • fuzzilla Says:

        It’s probably more in consulting, and probably not guaranteed 40 hours a week.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1


        • UWSGal Says:

          What she said, plus if that’s consulting he’d have to pay taxes that typically the employer pays out of this amount and have no paid vacations or sick days etc. so it’s not actually that high vs. a salaried employee. Also junior lawyers would bill at this rate but he sounds too young to have completed a law school.

          It sounds to me that she was asking a lot of detailed questions and he didn’t really want to answer so he gave her a bunch of half truths that ended up not adding up.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1


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