Artful deception is pragmatic for success in any extended relationship.

This, however, requires confronting powerful social and religious forces which see honesty-with-others as virtuous and any deception as "being dishonest"--that is, wrong and/or sinful. Because these public values are so thoroughly ingrained in most people, even before times of consideration, many men have to deal with predictable "false guilt" about even considering conscious deception.

In spite of this public perception of honesty-with-others as virtuous (and deception as bad), careful analysis may reveal that these memes are primarily directed at males. Females have long been so practiced at artful deception with males that such skills are now either ingrained or learned so early in life as to apparently escape conscious awareness in those most successful in its practice.

So, men, if you "feel guilty" about possible deceptions with females you care for, realize that they are far ahead of you in practicing these arts. They have used them for eons, long enough to have skills down pat, even unconscious if not engened. Furthermore, female use of deception (e.g., in makeup, dress, courting skills and male-management) is also socially acceptable and quietly affirmed by other females.

If men are to ever catch up in balancing skills in mutual deceptions, many of us will first have to develop skill in appropriately fooling a woman without fooling ourselves at the same time--that is, consciously choosing to deceive and be responsible for same, so as to avoid unconsciously "trying to get caught."