Monday, December 18, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It:

Google puts her in awkward spot with new beau

Q: I met this guy in a different city and we had a few great dates. One night I was casually Googling his name, and came across an article about the trial of his father for murdering his mother. I feel like I invaded his privacy, and now he doesn't have a chance to tell me on his own time. But I also feel a little scared. He mentioned very briefly that he had a difficult family that he wasn't ready to talk about yet, but I wasn't picturing anything close to this.

I don't think I want to stop talking to him just because of the sins of his father. But I am a little scared. How do I bring this up?

Wish I Never Googled

A: If you had the goods on me, I'd rather you told me upfront. Knowing something this explosive requires a lie of omission to conceal, so I would feel deceived if you feigned ignorance. Also, I expect people to Google, so it's not a dark confession.

If you decide to tell, then assure him first that you do respect his desire not to discuss his family yet. Then say it never occurred to you that "difficult family" meant news coverage, and you Googled him one bored evening.

Then say you're not asking him to explain, but you wanted him to know that you know because anything else felt dishonest. Then you listen and watch carefully.

That is, if you keep seeing him. I don't think it's right to rule him out based on this alone — otherwise there would be a lot of lonely people doing life sentences for other people's mistakes. However, don't retreat from hard questions and scrutiny just because you feel bad for him.

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