Honesty Would Have Been The Best Policy

It’s late . . . really late. Rachael and I are going for a late night walk. As we stop at the corner, I mention that my place is just one block away and asked if she would like to come up. She agreed, and we proceeded to my loft.

We had been seeing each other for about a month, and she revealed many details of her past and present, but hid many others. I knew about the ex-husband, and the most recent ex-boyfriend. She told me that she was in no position to make any decisions regarding her romantic life. I was fine with that, after all, we were just getting to know one another, and we were just hanging out. But, after a week or two, we were calling each other pretty much every night, and texting once or twice during the day. We were attracted to each other, and we enjoyed each other’s company.

I got her some water then we sat down to listen to some music and look through some art books. On the phone we seemed to be closer, but here, in person, it felt like the Great Wall of China separated us. What was going on? Why was everything else so comfortable, and this so uncomfortable?

About a week or two before, I had heard rumors that the ex-boyfriend was not an ex-boyfriend, so I confronted her on this issue, and she told me that, in fact, yes, this was the case, but that she wasn’t into him anymore and she was going to break up with him. I was extremely skeptical, but since we were just getting to know one another, I really didn’t feel like I was in any position to judge her. I figured I would proceed with my guard up and wait to see what developed.

It developed, all right.

We have a couple of friends in common, and last weekend, I asked one of them what the deal was. He looked at me and said, “man, you don’t even want to know, but since you asked . . . That ex-boyfriend is moving to Los Angeles soon, and Rachael is really torn up about it. I keep telling her that she really needs to work on herself before she starts dating other people, but she keeps pining for him, and dating other guys.”

Wow. Look. I try to judge no one. As far as I’m concerned it’s not how much baggage you have, it’s how you handle your baggage that matters. If she had just been honest about the situation, I could have dealt with it. She would have felt more comfortable, and I would feel more at ease with the situation, and be more prepared to handle it properly. Now as things stand, I don’t even want to deal with her anymore. I’m not angry; I’m not even hurt. I am a little disappointed, though. Why all the lying? Did she think I’d never find out? How was this not going to blow up in her face? Can you make sense of this?

12 thoughts on “Honesty Would Have Been The Best Policy”

  1. I’d say she wasn’t thinking straight. Since you have friends in common, you were bound to find out.

    But people in love don’t think straight. She probably thought she’d scare you away if she told you the truth. She may be dating you and other guys in the hopes of getting over the ex. Or just to pump up her crushed ego.

    It could also be she wanted him to find out she was dating others, to make her look more desirable, maybe to make him jealous,lure him back. Chicks, Who knows? That’s my take.

  2. Its so sad when people are not prepared to be honest! Clearly she wanted to have her cake and eat it. I take it you did ask her if she was single and available when you started to date? Having said that, breaking up is really hard to do, and many people date on the rebound whilst still pining for the ex. I do think that is quite normal. Have you had a conversation with her about this? Do you feel there is something worth working through? Nobody is perfect. If the two of you were intimate and having sex, that would most certainly make the situation a lot more complicated. But if you weren’t then it’s possible that you are being a little over sensitive. Just my humble advice

  3. Honesty is way over-rated and no one is obligated to be “honest” if they are unsure of their own feelings. I hate it when guys press me to know what I want. Can’t I be unsure for a little while? Clearly she didn’t want to lose you, otherwise, she’d have said something. She was in to you, but wasn’t ready to risk jumping head first into something when she was just coming out of something else.

  4. i am a little bummed to say the least. i do believe that HONESTY is always best. we ARE entitled to be unsure of what we want and even unsure about an entire situation. the best policy: state the facts!! telling someone you like them but really don’t know where you see yourself right now in any facet, relationship or otherwise…. that is totally acceptable…. WHY are people so afraid of confrontation that they create a situation to instigate NEGATIVE confrontation …. If Rachel would have been honest she would have had three things going for her automatically 1. your response would show your character 2. she gets kudos for the honesty factor and 3. Its all out there, no awkward confrontation later…. people NEVER realize that it’s not better to quell a situation with a lie … if you get away with it (which most ppl don’t) then some form of it is bound to come back and kick ya in the pants at some point in one form or another… CityBoy, i agree whole heartedly … she (and everyone for that matter) should have been honest …. at the end of the day you could have at least remained friends…

  5. Wendy, do you mean that “people NEVER realize that it’s not better to quell a situation with a lie” or that “people don’t realize that it’s NEVER better to quell a situation with a lie?”
    I would argue that many people OFTEN realize that lying makes things worse. But who’s to say that lying ALWAYS makes things worse? What makes you think that lying is so bad? or that its motivation is always dubious?
    Read “The Varnished Truth,” by David Nyberg. There is no evidence that honesty is always the best policy. Though I would agree it’s a fairly good guideline, if not a perfect premise.
    In the case of Rachel and CityBoy, we really don’t know enough about Rachel. Most of what we know about her motivations is conjecture or from second hand sources.
    I would say if anyone is afraid of confrontation its CityBoy who doesn’t simply come out and ask her about her ex; instead he concludes, “Now as things stand, I don’t even want to deal with her anymore.” And he makes this conclusion without a second thought to the veracity of his informer. I’m not sure that was very fair to Rachel.

  6. I meant to say…”There is no evidence that honesty is always the best policy. Though I would agree it’s a fairly good guideline, if not an *imperfect* premise.

  7. Also…if CityBoy “felt like the Great Wall of China separated us” that indicates that there is no chemistry–He’s the one feeling it. It’s lacking in him as much as in her! I suggest CityBoy check his motivations. Perhaps his attraction was an ego pursuit rather than a genuine interest.

  8. Y’know it’s funny. I guess we read what we want to read.

    “I would say if anyone is afraid of confrontation its CityBoy who doesn’t simply come out and ask her about her ex.”

    Let me remind you

    “We had been seeing each other for about a month, and she revealed many details of her past and present, but hid many others. I knew about the ex-husband, and the most recent ex-boyfriend.”

    “About a week or two before, I had heard rumors that the ex-boyfriend was not an ex-boyfriend, so I confronted her on this issue, and she told me that, in fact, yes, this was the case, but that she wasn’t into him anymore and she was going to break up with him.”

    I was quite happy to confront the issue, but every time I did, I only got another piece of the puzzle, and was then reassured that everything was cool. Things weren’t cool, but I could have handled that, if I had known. After having to pull the truth out of her kicking and screaming, it all seemed too much work and a whole lot of drama. As I said before, I’m not mad; I just don’t want the half-truths and fragments of the whole story. It’s what I would have done for her. Yes sometimes it makes things a little sticky, but in the end, it really is going to be your saving grace.

    Thanks for reading and writing back.

    CityBoy

  9. yikes i did not mean to ruffle feathers if i did … i think we make things more complicated in situations like this … keep it simple … if lying is what gets you there and there is no harm done more power to you BUT how many times is there really NO harm done … idk i wasnt trying to attack city boy or rachel … i thought this was a place to help one another out … city boy is the one writing and asking for feedback … i am sure rachel did the same with her friends … anywho if i ticked Amira off i am sorry and i will look into that book …

    i think dating is harder than rocket science … the end.

  10. Oh no, no, no; you didn’t “tick me off” at all. Sorry if I sounded angry–I do come across like that, I know. (That’s coming from a big Italian family where no one is heard unless they are contentious : )
    My feeling was (from the start) that assumptions were flying! and I think that most discord in relationships are owing to bad assumptions. We fill in blanks out of anxiety– and project into those blanks all this stuff that may not even be there. Like, it seemed to me that CityBoy didn’t have enough evidence to justify his conclusions. People–and women inparticular–are complicated. We are more complicated today than ever before in human history. Which is why it’s all the more important to stay focused on the things that we do know and not speculate upon what we don’t.

  11. wow… Amira you said it… i am going to print your last comment and keep it in my planner … you are right on and i never really stopped to look at myself that way … that is exactly what i do …

    “fill in blanks out of anxiety– and project into those blanks all this stuff that may not even be there”

    i really do need to just pause for station identification … and chill out on the axiety ridden projections…

    and i guess what i was trying to originally say was that i think that in awkward situations our knee-jerk reaction is to lie to smooth things out … when in actuality most times that can come back to bite us and make the situation ten times as worse …

    that is what i need to work on as well … i have a kabillion thoughts in my head and i don’t necessarily convey them very well … Amira, have you read any good communication books??

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