Question: Two days ago my ex asked me if I’m dating someone. I told him I was seeing someone but we were not a couple. He then said, “keep me in mind for the future”, I asked him what he meant because I thought he was saying he wanted us to get back together and he said “if things don’t work out with the other guy.” My problem is that I lied to him that there was someone else. I just wanted to see if he would get jealous that I was seeing someone else. Do you think he meant he wanted to get back together, and if so, do I tell him I lied about the other guy or wait for a week or two and then tell him the other guy and I broke up?
The Love Doctor’s Answer: It was a mistake to try to make him jealous. Jealousy does not prove whether someone loves you or not, or even how much they love you. The only thing it proves is how insecure the jealous person is.
He may have asked you if you were dating someone because he was thinking of the two of you getting back together and wanted to see if you were still available. There is also the possibility that he asked knowing very well that you were not dating anyone and just wanted to see how you’d respond especially if he knows you still have deep feelings for him and want him back.
Telling another lie about breaking up with a non-existent guy only complicates things. He may ask details about the other guy, and you’ll have to tell more lies to try to cover up the lies before that. That’s no way to have a relationship! On the other hand, if you refuse to answer his questions, he may begin to mistrust you or even worse, think you still have feelings for the other guy and that’s why you’re being overprotective of your relationship with him.
Running back to him with an apology seems like the most logical and even honest thing to do. I however, don’t think it’s the best way to approach a situation like this. One, it makes you come across as impulsive and desperate; and two, if he did ask you because he wants you back, he may wonder why you suddenly changed your mind and confessed. His suspicions of your motives will overshadow everything else and will make you feel even worse about lying to him in the first place. I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel bad about lying, you absolutely should. I’m just saying, if you make one mistake, making a second one does not correct the first.
My advice would be to ask him for a face-to-face meeting because there is something important you want to talk to him about. He may say “what about the other guy?” or something to that effect, tell him this is just between you and him (your ex) and so important that you’d rather talk to him face -tot-face. If he agree to e met you, go through the usual catch-up chit-chat, then in a more “this is important” tone of voice, say something to the effect “the reason, I asked to see you in person is because of something that I said when you asked if I was dating someone. I said I was seeing someone because I thought it’d prove to me that you still cared about me. I’m very sorry that I lied to you. It was a stupid thing to do and if I could take it back, I would.”
Listen and watch for his reaction. If he gets upset about it, let him. He has every right to be upset. You lied to him. Let reality settle and then tell him that you do not expect him to forgive and forget, but that you are hoping that he understands how truly sorry you are. Don’t defend your actions and don’t say anything about thinking he wants you back because you don’t want him thinking the only reason you are “confessing” is because you think it’ll get the two of you back together.
If he was asking because he wants you back, it’ll take a while for him to come to terms with being lied to, it may even change his mind about wanting to try to make things work again. That’s the price we pay for playing games with each other — but mostly with ourselves!