Lovers and Liars: CBC Radio series explores deception and devotion

From cheating and betrayal to the harmless white lies we tell our loved ones, it appears love cannot exist without lying. In the new CBC Radio Series Lovers and Liars, host Torah Kachur explores why deception and devotion are intrinsically tied.

'It's sort of like a lying arms race, they're lying about their age, they're lying their appearance'

In the new CBC Radio One series, Lovers and Liars host Torah Kachur explores the relationship between devotion and deceit. (Getty Images)

Ray Rideout knows, even the most lasting romances can be rife with manipulation.

Though he and his wife Michelle LaBerge have been happily together for more than five decades, their relationship began as an affair.

"I remember our first kiss," said Rideout reminiscing with his wife in an interview with CBC radio.

"It was in my apartment, sitting on my sofa. It was a pretty passionate and ravenous kiss and it took place about half an hour after your husband was on that plane, leaving town."

Rideout's first marriage had collapsed a few months before, and when LaBerge's then husband went out of town on an extended business trip, a secretive romance took hold.

"We were both living with other spouses and we lived across the hall from each other in this apartment building," Rideout said.

"We were thinking at the time that this was just a little fling … but the more time we spent together, it seemed like this was a good thing."

Romantic love it seems can occasionally be founded upon deception.

From cheating and betrayal to the white lies we tell our loved ones, might love depend on lying?

In the new CBC Radio Series Lovers and Liars, host Torah Kachur explores why deception and devotion are intrinsically tied.

 

"We lie for a whole bunch of reasons and most of us do lie even if we don't think so," said Timothy Caulfield, a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and an expert in the science of deception.

"Most of us lie to maintain social cohesion, to avoid conflict, and there is actually some research that shows that this is beneficial on a social level to have those kind of white lies ... but then, of course, there are the big lies."

'You want to look good to a potential mate'

According to Caulfield, it's against human nature to be absolutely honest and romantic relationships are no exception.

The lies we tell are only natural.

He said there is no better place to see the phenomenon in action than on internet forums,  where courtship is largely anonymous.

"It's incredible pervasive," he said.

"You want to look good to a potential mate and I think that's why social media has become such a forum for lying. If you believe the recent data on people lying online, it's the norm. It's the absolute norm.

"We almost expect other people to lie online. I joke that it's sort of like a lying arms race, they're lying about their age, they're lying their appearance. They lie about all of those things online and it's almost accepted."

It's in that deceptive — sometimes shallow — dating world where Rob and Cheri Goldstone found love. 

Though the couple has been together now for more than 10 years, they almost failed to connect.

"We met met online on Plenty of Fish,"  Cheri said. "There was something about his smile that caught my eye so I sent him a text, but I had to follow up and bug him."

Rob admits he ignored his future bride's messages because there was no photo attached to her online dating profile and he was wary.

"She didn't have a picture up, plain and simple. If she had a picture up then I probably would have responded."

For her part, Cheri says it was a strategic move meant to make online dating less shallow.

"I had lots of pictures, but I wanted someone to read my profile and figure out what I was about, instead of just contacting me for my picture. 

"I contacted him again and we started talking. I guess he finally read my profile."