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Sex + Relationships

Real Live College Guy: He Commits Lies of Omission

We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Jon is here to help you navigate the college dating scene!

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and I noticed he has a big thing with lies of omission. He commits lies of omission more often than I thought. I realize people tell “white lies” in relationships to keep the peace, but the issue here is that I don’t think we are in agreement about what a ‘white lie’ encompasses. I believe white lies should only go so far as “Yes honey, you look great in that (terrible) dress” or the occasional “No, I’m just stuck in traffic (not just running out the door).”

He believes it should go so far as lying about going to a strip club if he knew it would upset me – as in, he just wouldn’t mention that he is at a strip club but would be honest if I asked.

I love this man and he tends to be very candid with me sometimes so I don’t know if he was just saying this since it was a hypothetical conversation. I clarified that I didn’t want him doing that (going to a strip club or going and then not being transparent about it). He disagreed that going to a strip club is an “issue” but agreed to make the concession for me to respect my opinion—he went to a strip club one time before we dated. He also agreed to not commit lies of omission about such things that maybe could be “gray area” in the future.

I’ve caught him in lies of omission before. I never labeled those things as such but they mattered to me and now my trust has been shaken.

What should I do? I don’t want to end things with him but I am hurt and confused about why he thinks lies of omission are okay on such a level. – Omitting at Oberlin

Omitting,

As far as I can tell your problem is not with his omitting of events but rather what the omission means about your relationship.  By omitting events that you feel are important he is affecting your view of the relationships’ level of trust.  Trust is to me the most important part of a relationship. 

It seems the major omission to consider is that he went to the strip club.You said he previously went, but it surprised you that he went again. Without clearly outlining that the strip club was a place you did not feel comfortable that he visit, he may have just been doing as he had before.  He may not see the strip club as anything more than a regular form of entertainment. Media commonly glorifies these clubs and sadly some guys don’t fail to notice it may not be the venue for a sophisticated adult male.

I don’t think this should ruin your relationship. If this one trip to a strip club omission is the biggest issue of lying you have had in a year-long relationship you should give him more credit. Going to a strip club and thinking it better not to tell your girlfriend is a pretty easy mistake to make.

What should you do?

Tell him you don’t like him going to the strip club. Also that you trust each other enough to tell one another happenings even if the other may not be happy to hear them.  With a conversation like that you will be able to regain some of that trust and clearly outline the boundaries for him in the future. 

– Jon 

 

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Jon is currently a senior at the University of Rhode Island double majoring in physics and biology with an intent of going to medical school.  He also spent two semesters at in exchange program at California Polytechnic University. Growing up in Rhode Island he loves being on the water and the bay is his second home. Spearfishing and freediving are two of his favorite hobbies.   Follow him @RIBORNRIBRED on Instagram. 
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