Monday, December 21, 2009
Happy Snowy Monday...well...here in NYC and most other places in the northeast today. One thing I appreciated about winters in Syracuse when I was in school was how well they cleared off the streets and sidewalks. In Queens...not so much.
Anyway...I got another "Dear Brookey" email on Facebook - this time from one of Ms. Penn's friends. She identified herself as "not one of her 'shallow' friends"...which I thought was cute :-) The timing was perfect, because I didn't have any idea what to blog about today. So, with that said...let's get to it!
My name is Courtney and I wanted to reach out to you for some advice. I am one of Ms. Penn's friends, but not one of her "shallow" friends :-) I thought you gave great advice to her last week, so I thought I'd tell you of my dilemma to see what advice you had for me. I talked this over with Ms. Penn and she gave me her take on it, but we both wanted to see what you had to say.
I've been dating this guy for a couple months. When we first met, I asked all the obligatory questions - are you married?, do you have kids?, etc. He answered "no" to both of those questions. We started going out and one thing led to another.
Fast forward to this past weekend and he's telling me he had to brave the snow storm to go Christmas shopping. When I asked him what gifts he felt were so necessary that he had to go out in a blizzard to get, he said he had to finish shopping for his son. SON?? What son???
When I told him he lied to me about having kids, he said he never said he didn't and that I never asked. I reminded him of our conversation and he said he "must not have heard me." But he DID hear me because if he didn't hear me, he wouldn't have answered me. He THEN told me that asking someone about their kids is a personal question and he wanted to get to know me better before he started divulging information about his family.
I now feel like he can't be trusted and I'm hurt that he lied to me. Having a child isn't a dealbreaker for me, but lying is. The trouble is, I've already really started to like him. What should I do - leave him alone, or continue to see him and get to know his son?
I feel like the answer to this question is easier than Ms. Penn's question last week. I've been through something similar, so I understand where you're coming from. That said, I'd leave him alone. I know this may be easier said than done, but you already said it...you don't trust him, and lying is a dealbreaker for you.
I can understand why a man (or woman) might lie about being married. Clearly, he'd want you to think he was available and is afraid that if you learn he's married, you wouldn't give him the time of day. So I get that. Not saying it's right, but that makes sense to me.
But why a man would lie about his child is something else. Denying a child is just wrong.
I guess they use the same logic about wanting to appear available, or more desirable. There are some women who won't date a man with a child, so maybe he assumed you were one of those women. He may have wanted to make you like him first before he told you, or maybe he wanted to have sex with you and figured he would bed you before you found out. Since you two have taken it to that level already, blurting out that he had to buy gifts for his son probably didn't phase him because he feels that he bagged you already.
Asking someone their marital status or if they have children isn't a personal question - at least not to me it isn't - especially not in the "getting to know you" phase of a relationship. Asking someone if they're "happily" married might be intrusive - or asking how many baby mama's he has might be getting more invasive - but simply asking if he's married or has children isn't. That's a yes or no answer, and it's up to you to decide what to do with that information.
A person who is married or has kids won't be able to hide that for long, so being upfront in the beginning serves in everyone's best interests so that no one wastes their time. If a man or woman refuses to date you because of your marital status or because you have kids, that's THEIR decision...and you have to respect it. Tricking someone into dating you with false information, or attempting to deceive them is wrong - and it could backfire on you.
You didn't mention if he wanted to continue seeing you or not, but I'm assuming he does since you're torn on this issue. But I'd take a step back from him - especially since he lied AGAIN once you confronted him about his lying. He lied, then backpedaled...and it seems to me he can't be trusted and that he isn't mature enough to be honest within a relationship.
He should be proud of his son - and if he had sincere intentions on getting to know you, he would have been honest from the beginning so that he wouldn't jeopardize losing your trust later. Now he has to work to gain it back, which is one of the hardest things to do after you've deceived someone. If you know in your heart that you genuinely don't trust him, then you'll just doubt everything he says going forward - whether you know it or not - and that's not fair to either of you. If he'd lie about having a child, then there's no telling what else he'd lie about. If you've only invested a couple months, I'm not sure it's worth trying to make it work. Cut your losses and bounce.