It’s never good to lie, but sometimes that guy you swore would be a harmless one-night-stand turns into something more. Even if the lie was a small one, you still feel bad knowing that your relationship started off on false pretenses. Luckily, there are ways you can recover from this.
Examine your lie. Why did you lie in the first place? Were you bored and feeling like you wanted to create a new persona or was it a complete accident? Sometimes when we meet someone, we get so caught in the moment and lose control of our words. Little lies are things like “I’ve lived in California forever” when it’s just been a couple of years or “I did really well in biology” when you scored a C. They’re lies, yes, but they’re harmless. Big ones are like “I survived cancer” when you were never diagnosed or “I graduated college” when you’re a 21-year-old dropout.
Figure out if your lie spawned more lies. Was it a one-off sentence or did it build into an incredibly unreal story? If it’s the latter, you may be out of luck, particularly because you had a lot of time to correct yourself but just made the lie even bigger.
Ask yourself if you’d stay with someone if the tables were turned. Pretend your boyfriend just told you that he lied about something of the same caliber. Would you be hurt? Would you be understanding? By putting yourself in their shoes, you may be able to prepare yourself for what’s to come next.
If it’s minimal, consider dropping it entirely. You may feel really bad for being untruthful, but if it was something very small that has no impact on your relationship, it may be worth putting behind you. If you told him you saw a movie you didn’t, for example, it’s not the end of the world… unless you followed it up by saying you also wrote a fanfic about the characters.
Figure out if your lie might compromise his health. If you lied about sex or seeing other people at the start of your relationship, that’s kind of big. When two people start up a sexual relationship, they put a certain amount of trust in each other. If you said you had an STD test and didn’t, and then symptoms of Gonorrhea start popping up, you need to act on this ASAP and never gamble something so important again.
Take full blame. Don’t make excuses for why you lied. The point is that you were untruthful. Trying to grab at a reason like “You were so intimidating, I had to!” or “I really just needed to have a little fun!” may accidentally shift the blame onto him. You’re an adult so you can take full responsibility for your actions. To go along with this, you’ll also want to be genuinely sorry.
Try to write it out. Sometimes it can be hard to tell someone something to their face. You don’t want to see their disappointment, but it’s important for you to at least be in the same room as them when you tell them the news. It’s an act that means you’re apologetic and willing to face the consequences. If you want to hand them a note for them to read since it’s hard to get the words out, that’s OK too. Even just writing it out for yourself may be therapeutic.
Think up a gameplan if you want to retain his trust. Words are meaningless if they’re not accompanied by action. After the truth is out in the open, let your partner know how things are going to change in the future.
See if your lie could be beneficial to you in any way. If there’s any silver lining over a lie, it’s that you might be able to improve yourself after the lie is out there. Say that in your first conversation with him, you told him you were on the brink of a huge promotion at work when you actually just got hired in an entry-level position a few months ago. Even though you weren’t being honest, you’ve outlined a secret goal for yourself. Maybe you’ll be more inspired towards that actual promotion because you now feel like you have something to prove.
Accept the consequences. Each relationship is different so this guy may dump you if the lie is just too much for him. That’s on him to decide, but at least you can enter your next relationship with a clear conscience and an important lesson on why it’s much better to tell the truth, even if it’s nowhere near as glamorous.
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