Ask Margot-He Lied About His Girlfriend

After eight months, my long-distance guy admitted he has a girlfriend.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

ear Margot,
I’d been exchanging emails and IMs with this guy almost every day for the past eight months on an almost-every-day basis before we finally met (we live at the other ends of the world). He had told me a lot about himself, including his personal life,
So this angel you were corresponding with has, at best, a tarnished halo.
but when we finally got together he admitted there was one thing he didn’t tell me: He has a girlfriend. Is it wrong to continue when I already know he has a girl, or is it ok since his girl knows about me? Should I continue, or should I move on and find someone who can be completely honest?
-Believing a Liar in North Dakota

Are you doing something wrong continuing to see him? I doubt you would have asked me if you thought you were doing something right. But I also know that it’s not that simple.

You say he told you all about him — except for the part about having a girlfriend. That’s not something he was likely to forget, do you think?

Now, I’m no St. Peter, but the sin of omission is still a sin. So this angel you were corresponding with has, at best, a tarnished halo.

I’m not going to guess why he didn’t tell you. Or why he thinks it’s ok to see you and his girlfriend. And while you choose to believe that his girlfriend knows about you, I don’t. I mean, he neglected to tell you about her, right? What makes you think he wouldn’t “forget” to tell her about you?

So, the first thing you have to cipher out is whether or not you want to pursue a relationship with someone who lied to you. Call me kooky, but it’s my experience that if someone lies once, it’s a safe bet he’ll lie again. And with all the challenges that come with even the best relationships, why would you want to date a guy who’s a liar from the get-go?

Oh, I can hear you saying that he must have good reasons for not telling you, or maybe he thought he had told you, or whatever. I’m sure he does have reasons, and that they all seem good to him. But since he didn’t tell and you didn’t ask, we may never know. And even lies told for “good” reasons are still lies.

But maybe that doesn’t stick in your craw the way it does mine. There’s still the matter that he’s unwilling or unable to commit to you.

That doesn’t have to be a problem if you don’t want to commit either. You both can continue to play the field till you find the right person. There’s not a thing in the world wrong with that as long as you’re both honest — with each other and with the other people you’re seeing.

But it’s a-whole-nother story if you want to pursue a committed relationship with this man.

That doesn’t have to be a problem if you don’t want to commit either.
First, he’s unavailable — at least, to a point. Second, you allude to the fact that you live very far from each other. Even strong long-distance relationships are hard to work with. But you’ve got competition. That creates a more difficult environment in which to build intimacy and rebuild trust.

I’m not saying it can’t work. I’m just saying it will take a lot of work to make it work. And maybe it’s just the cold weather, but I’ve got a feeling in my bones that you’ll be working a lot harder than he will.

The most important thing I’d like you to think about is why you’d want to be in a relationship with someone who lured you to his side under false pretenses. Would you have engaged in this eight-month electronic courtship if you knew from day one that your pen-pal was seeing someone else? If not, then why would you continue to pursue him now?

I know, there’s that investment thing: In for a penny, in for a pound. Believe me, we’ve all been there. But I don’t care how hot or charismatic he is, you deserve to be with a man who’s honest and open with you.

And if you would have pursued him anyway, perhaps take a look at what you’re really after: Is it drama? An excuse to fly off for a liaison? A boyfriend you can refer to, see from time to time, but pretty much live without?

Before you make a decision about whether to see him or not, take a look inside yourself to discover what you want in a relationship — with him or anyone else.

I think you already know what you need to do, but keep me posted.

Ask Yourself This: Am I being played by a player?
Think your guy’s stepping out on you? Worried that your woman is seeing another man? Nothing’s worse than suspicion.

Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. Send your faith-based dating questions to
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