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Is withholding information lying?

  1. Jul 22, 2013 #1
    Long story short I'm failing to mention some of my past to a female I recently met. We hit it off pretty fast, and frankly I see myself falling for her very quickly. In retrospect I tend to say that same line about pretty much any girl I meet, and I have yet to feel love for or miss any of my old flings. But hey who knows, maybe this one will be different?

    So essentially when we were talking about our pasts, she mentioned her ex-boyfriend had cheated on her. I quickly jumped to attack him for doing such a thing. I failed to mention that was also the reason my last relationship had ended. Technically I never said I haven't cheated before, but somehow I don't think that argument will stand up if she finds out later. To be honest I think the title of this thread is a bit rhetorical. I know the answer, but I think what I really want to know is what route I should take from her. Should I keep my mouth shut and hope she doesn't find out, or come clean to her and hope she doesn't entirely lose respect for me?

    My apologies if I rambled a lot or come off as incoherent. It's a part of my personality and the medication I am currently taking is only making it worse.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2013 #2
    You should never talk about your past relationships with females you have recently met.You should talk about your future grandchildren and stuff like that.
  4. Jul 25, 2013 #3


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    A tough situation. I say don't bring it up. Just realize that cheating is typically WAAAY more trouble than its worth, so don't do it again. (By which I mean its worth nothing, it just feels good at the time) But, if she does find out and she asks you, I highly recommend telling the truth.
  5. Jul 25, 2013 #4
    The truth is always simpler - if you start a relationship based on deception, it's doomed. Sooner or later, the lie slips, or somebody you know mentions something you didn't want her to know. It's a lot easier to say, "in this situation, I made a mistake, and here are the reasons I thought it was a good idea at the time" rather than, "oh @#$%, you found out about me and those fifteen Vietnamese prostitutes, let me quickly try to think of a lie that makes this sound like something it isn't."

    Cheating is far more common than most people think, unfortunately. Lying about it (and yes, I DO think that withholding the information is lying, in this case) is at least as common, but is a lousy foundation upon which to build a relationship.
  6. Jul 25, 2013 #5


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    Don't tell her.But please , if you can't resist the urge to sleep around , stay single and do so without hurting anyone in the process.

    But for the moment you didn't cheat on her , so why tell her that you cheated before? I was unaware each beginning of new relationships came with a forced confession of all past sins.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  7. Jul 25, 2013 #6
    "So essentially when we were talking about our pasts, she mentioned her ex-boyfriend had cheated on her. I quickly jumped to attack him for doing such a thing."

    Textbook definition of hypocrisy... You don't need to confess your entire past, but if you're attacking him for something you have done in the past, in order to build her trust in you - reverse the situation and see if you'd get angry.
    You meet some woman and hit it off. She says all the right things, and she's angry at your ex for having cheated on you. Three months into the relationship you find out that she's got a history of cheating... and, the relationship crashes to a halt, since the bond of trust you built was built on deception. Shuffle off to the VD testing clinic with your tail between your legs and a much more cynical attitude about people in general.

    It's simpler to tell the truth - and if showing her your true self is enough to drive her away, then is it worth pretending to be somebody else in order to get laid? If you're trying to build a relationship with her, you're going to want her to tell you the truth, as well.
  8. Jul 25, 2013 #7
    @Bp, thank you for the response. Hmm I've always tended to talk about past history with females and it's never gotten me in trouble. I keep it short though.

    @Drakk, I normally don't. That case was a weird exception. Long story short: I wanted that relationship to end, without having to be the one to do the breaking up. Yeah I think I'll probably keep my mouth shut.

    @Stray, Hmm I get your point. The thing is we currently don't have mutual friends. I think I may bring it up in the future, because I already did something to upset her recently.

    @Reen, okay fair point. I'm not some man whore though. I don't sleep around. It was a single kiss.

    That is true, but in her case I felt the circumstances made it a bit worse. They were going out for a long time, and he cheated because she wasn't ready to have sex yet. I know there are so many flaws with my logic, but at the end of the day I can't have her thinking I'm the same as that guy.

    Idk we'll see. I already got her pretty mad at me yesterday and I only just managed to take my way out of it. Maybe I'll tell her when things cool down.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  9. Jul 25, 2013 #8


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    A kiss? That's completely different, whilst that is bad it's hardly "real" cheating. There's a world of difference between kissing someone and sleeping with them. Having said that I do think that lying by omission* is a bad way to start a relationship. When couples first meet they often exaggerate or lie a bit but in minor ways e.g. downplaying certain opinions but this seems like an important matter to both you and her so missing out this detail, minor as it is, was wrong.

    *essentially defined as "willingly maintaining a misconception" it is a form of lying.
  10. Jul 25, 2013 #9
    Yeah, but the back story to it makes me sound like a complete d-bag. Oh and the girl was her mortal enemy. That's kind of why I don't want to have to share the details with the current female.

    Yeah that is true, but honestly I think I might just not tell the current girl. I see myself falling for her too quickly, I've decided to cut off connections with her. No point in telling her about this now. Thanks for all the responses though, appreciate it.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  11. Jul 25, 2013 #10
    i think at this point. just keep your mouth shut.

    as long as you leave your past behind and you don't cheat again, it shouldn't be too bad. not as bad as wearing a scarlet letter around your neck.
  12. Jul 25, 2013 #11


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    To elaborate on my earlier post, I think there is a difference between not mentioning that you cheated on someone and lying by omission.

    For example, if I asked: "Did you do anything or fool around with her?"
    And you answer: "Uh, yeah. We kissed."
    That could be 100% truthful. It could also be lying by omission if you had slept with her.

    Simply not mentioning that you cheated on your last girlfriend, when you weren't even asked to begin with, isn't lying by omission to me. Hell, I can't imagine where you would even bring that up. Certainly not at the very beginning of a relationship. IF you do bring it up, wait until you are certain she will judge you on your current actions, not your past ones. (Assuming that you're not going to cheat again. If you think you might, well then I have no advice for you.)
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