Don’t lie, become more interesting

Joey Garcia

My girlfriends and I were at Harlow’s having cocktails. I met this totally hot guy, so I thought I would hit it. I told him all kinds of lies: that I was a former stripper and Playmate, that I live part-time in Miami Beach, that I drive a Porsche and I went to UC Berkeley. But as the night went on I realized that I really liked him. He’s sweet, smart, loves kids (in real life I have two) and has a great job. We have the same interests and values. He asked for my number and we went out to dinner. I liked him even more. I don’t know how to tell him the truth. Any ideas?

Yes: Do psychic surgery on the part of your brain that thinks it’s fun to lie to people. It doesn’t matter whether you thought it was amusing; you should care about yourself and others enough to behave with respect. Even if he was not so sweet, lies are not an acceptable way for adults to communicate.

Creating an alter ego means you are bored with your life and fear that others will think you’re boring. The energy you use to spin stories could be better spent taking classes to make you a more interesting person. A psychotherapist can help you with the underlying problem of low self-esteem.

I think you should confess your lies, preferably in person. Ask your guy if he would be willing to meet for coffee and a chat. Tell him why you lied and what the truth is about you. Then apologize without justifying your tall tales. Tell him how much it means to meet someone like him and ask him to give you another chance. If he is furious about the betrayal, take full responsibility. You need to prove that you are worthy of his trust.

I’m 23 and met this girl who I really liked. The feeling was mutual, so we started spending every day together after work. At first we would go out to eat, then we started doing the domestic thing—making dinner together, then watching a DVD. When it was time to go to bed, I would head home. We even started to meet for coffee every day before work. I was totally into her after a month, and told her. She told me we were just friends. She had been in an intense relationship in college and didn’t want anything serious. We haven’t even kissed, but I thought of her as my girlfriend. Now, she acts irritated when I call, argues about stupid stuff, and doesn’t want to hang out. I miss her. What can I do?

Respect her wishes. Don’t call anymore. If you’re tempted, dial your own digits and leave yourself a kind message. Find cool new coffeehouses to frequent alone or with a different friend. Reinvent your daily schedule by going for a walk after work or volunteering somewhere. Most of all, remember to allow future relationships to develop slowly. Jumping into a joined-at-the-rib routine doesn’t give your brain time to determine if the person you’re hanging with is right for you. Take care to always ask what your love interest is looking for in a relationship. If you do, and she insists that she only wants a casual connection, that’s your cue. Either stop dating or enjoy her company irregularly while you remain open to meeting the right partner.

Meditation of the week
Cheri Huber, a Zen Buddhist teacher, interprets Jesus’ invitation to “become as little children”: “He was talking about having as our primary identity the innocent heart, not the conditioned mind.” In the interior darkness of a mind bound by a socialized, conditioned belief system, what will it take for you to birth an innocent heart?

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