Columns / Discourse / November 20, 2019

Pillowtalk: The Risks and Rewards of Truth Telling



I want to tell my parents about my boyfriend over break, but they’re very staunchly against sex before marriage, and I know I’ll have to answer some questions about it.

Problem is, I’m not a great liar and we have definitely had sex. What should I do?


Depends on how worried you are about the truth getting out. If it’ll only be a mild scolding and a possible disgruntlement, I’d go with a, “Do you really want to know the answer to that?” If they say yes, tell them. Don’t fight, don’t get defensive, don’t apologize; be neutral, state the truth, take the consequences standing up.

If it’ll be worse than that, try to avoid the topic altogether. However, if you do want to tell them about your boyfriend, that might not be possible. Perhaps make it seem like it’s early enough in the relationship that they don’t have to worry: “Oh, I just started dating this guy,” or “I’m interested in one of my friends.”

If they ask about sex, instead of lying, try to answer around the question: “Oh, it’s far too early to even be thinking about that!” or “I’ll make good decisions; no boy is worth that.” Never specify what “that” is.

If you want to just flat out lie, practice. Convince yourself that it’s true. Get into character. While you’re home, you’ll be a virgin 007. You’re not lying if you’re not answering for yourself!

Your mother isn’t making that weird comment towards you, she’s making it towards Mary – or whatever you decide to call your virgin alter-ego. Brainstorm all of the sweet, innocent things you do with your boyfriend and make sure to pepper the conversation with it.

DO NOT under any circumstances answer: “Don’t you trust me?” or “I’m not stupid!” Don’t do anything to put them on the defensive. They’re parents. They don’t like that.

Lastly, you can always play your power card (with your boyfriend’s permission, ideally): “No, of course not. Besides, he wants to wait for marriage.” Redirect the focus from your morals to the morals of this blank-slate boy they’ve never met. If they still question his intentions, take offense to their character judgement. Voila, now you have an entirely different fight.

At the end of the day, no one knows your parents better than you and your siblings do. Consult them, if you have any! Use your teenager instincts. Good luck!



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Elleri Scriver

Tags:  advice lying parents relationships sex

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