Too Late to Be Honest?
Q: I met this girl recently. She's a co-worker with a friend of mine and, after a few drinks at the bar, he "helped" seal the deal by telling her things about me: that I'm a successful writer (I'm unpublished and out of work), that I've taken these exotic vacations (I've never left the country), that I'm in a band (I can play about three chords on the guitar). Well, it worked and now we've been on a couple nice dates. I haven't said anything more that's untrue — but I also haven't cleared up any misunderstandings from the night we met. Basically, I'm lying by omission and now it feels like I waited too long to do the right thing. Can this be fixed? --Trey, 27
Dr. Susan: You haven't necessarily waited too long. There's always time to be honest. I suggest you tell her that something has been bothering you since you met her. Admit that your friend made up a bunch of stuff, without your permission, in order to attract her to you. It's up to her how to react to this confession. If she was only attracted due to your successful career and being in a band, she might not be such a great catch anyway. She might feel cheated and not know how to react. Surely you have more good parts of yourself than the untrue ones your friend made up? Being unemployed isn't great, but let's assume you're working on fixing that. Just be yourself (for a change) and see what happens.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.