Ask Joey: Liar, liar, pants on fire

Joey Garcia

My boyfriend keeps our relationship a secret, and it bothers me. My entire family and all of my friends have met him. He says he loves me, but that he doesn’t want to deal with telling his family yet. He was engaged to his last girlfriend but broke it off. His family and friends all love the girl, but he says she is a completely different person in private and they didn’t understand. I accepted this for the first six months, but I want to meet his family and friends. Am I asking too much?

Your boyfriend is excessively afraid of what his family and friends think of his life choices. So you are not asking too much, but you are asking too soon. Yes, that means you probably caught him on the rebound. It doesn’t really matter how many months rolled between the end of his engagement and the beginning of his connection with you. The problem is he hasn’t had sufficient time to admit his past dishonesty. He failed to tell his inner circle the truth about his ex-fiancée. He knew who she was. When he discovered his inability to thrive with her, he probably slipped into denial for a bit. Most of us would. At some point, he woke up. And, instead of admitting his experience, he keeps it hidden. Doesn’t it make sense that he hides you, too?

Your relationship cannot advance without an infusion of honesty. Tell your boyfriend that you value being the same person privately as you are publicly. By saying this you advocate exactly what he believed important in his previous relationship. He probably has no idea that his secrecy about you places him in the same behavior category as his ex-fiancée (a public self separate from a secret, private self). If he balks at your insistence on integrity, it means he is not ready for the commitment you are offering. Don’t wait for him.

All of my closest friends are coupled. When we go out, I am always by myself. This is uncomfortable. They keep inviting me, even though I don’t know how much longer I can be such a loser.

Sweetheart, here’s the loser: the thought that being coupled is better than being single. Haven’t you ever listened to your friends complain about their partners? Being coupled includes burdens and blessings, just like being single. You are so wired into suffering, you can’t feel the joy of belonging. But your friend group loves you as you are. Why not join that embrace?

I saw a really hot guy on an online dating site and created a profile that I knew would interest him. I actually met him a few times at a club, but he never asked for my number. I know it is because I am overweight and average-looking. But once guys get to know me, they always want to date me. Anyway, we have been flirting intensely online, and he wants to meet. I really like this guy, but I used a picture of someone else and her facts, too. Should I tell him the truth and take my chances or just disappear?

Ooh, you are every online dater’s nightmare. Do you have any idea how completely creepy your behavior is? Your pants were on fire for this guy, so you lied to him. Send an email admitting that you lied about everything. Explain that you chatted him up in person at a local bar and knew he was not interested. If you are truly sorry, apologize. Then cancel your online-dating subscription and never contact him again. Actually, don’t contact anyone online until you are ready to be transparent. Psychotherapy can help.

Meditation of the week
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood,” wrote Marie Curie. What remains to be understood about you and the way you are living your life?

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