Communication And Deception
It is interesting that communication is at the top of the list of good things about dating and also high on the list of problematic aspects. A study of taboo topics among unmarried couples reveals that several areas of potential conversation are avoided by partners, primarily for fear of destroying the relationship. The more romantically involved the couple (versus merely platonic friends), the larger the number of topics to be avoided. Avoided areas include almost any that might induce conflict, as well as talk about past partners, and revelations about one's self that could be seen in a negative light (Baxter and Wilmot 1985).
Another aspect of communication that makes dating problematic has to do with deception. Sandra Metts (1989) asked almost four hundred college students about their relationships and 92 percent admitted that they had been deceptive at least once with a dating partner. Lying was most frequently used form of deception (versus distorting or omitting the truth). Metts reports that a plurality of the reasons for lying amounted to blaming one's partner—specifically, "to avoid hurting the partner."