Reader Heartbroken writes:
I was dating a woman for 3 months. When we first met she told me she had emotional walls up, due to dishonesty in past relationships, and knew it was a problem and was working on it. She said honesty was necessary for her in relationships.
I was initially dishonest with her about living at home with my parents, but I did confide in her after 4-5 dates. She said it wasn't a deal breaker for her and thought it was amazing what i did for my parents. Later, she learned that I've had past failed business ventures, which I don't like to talk about. She reacted with surprise that she didn't know about this part of my past.
Our relationship seemed to go well after that -- no sex but cuddling and talking about the future. But then one day she called and said she could not start a relationship based on dishonesty and me not being open about my history. She said that she would always think that I was not telling her everything.
I felt blindsided by the breakup since everything was great up until the end. She showed a lot of interest, texted, and bought me little gifts. I'm really confused by the abruptness of the breakup and then her not wanting to discuss it further. Her last text that said she "really hopes we can stay in contact if and when i'm ready. Who knows... maybe our timing will come back around. You're a great person. I know i'm going to look back on this and kick myself at some point. I'm really sorry."
I feel this last message was very unfair to me as it left me more confused. Can you help me understand what happened?
Although your situation sucks, it sounds like you actually do understand what happened. This woman has a real hatred of dishonesty, and, if you're objective here, you lied to her a couple of times. Yeah, you didn't overtly lie (well, you did with the parents thing) but you definitely omitted salient information. Lying can be done by omission as well. So it's possible she thought you were great till you lied and omitted, and then she just lost interest since you broke her dealbreaker.
But there is another possibility, which is that she just wasn't feeling into you romantically. You mention you guys didn't have sex, and sometimes guys think women want to "just take it slow" when they don't have sex, but a lot of the time, women will forget about that idea if they are super attracted to a guy. We are only human. I think the evidence for this perspective comes from that she talked about kicking herself, etc. She may think you're a great guy, but there is no spark.
So, what can you learn from this unfortunate episode? I can think of four major take-home points.
1. Don't lie.
2. Omitting things = lying.
3. If there is something you're so uncomfortable about that you feel tempted to lie about it, work on solving this problem.
E.g., move out of your parents' house, or don't get into a relationship till you're financially viable enough to be able to talk about your failed business ventures with ease, because you're now doing okay.
4. if someone isn't having sex with you for the duration of a relationship, and they aren't saving themselves for marriage, be very curious as to why.
It may be that there is something amiss, like you're in the Friend Zone.
Now take these dating tips and get back on that horse. I'm sure someone is out there for you, because you sound like a nice and romantic kind of guy. So buck up. Either work on your finances, yourself, or finding a new woman who wants to sleep with you.
Till we meet again, The Tough Loving Blogapist.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.