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You Asked: My Ex Lied to Me About His Sexual History

Dear Sugar,

I was with my ex-boyfriend for 11 months, and we had sex after six. I was a virgin at the time and didn't feel ready to have sex yet. He had told me that he was also a virgin, and we had numerous talks about how I believed premarital sex was wrong; his view was that if it was with the right person for the right reasons, it couldn't be wrong. In the end, we had sex, and over time I became comfortable with the idea of it and my views on premarital sex changed.

Eventually we broke up because I could sense he wasn't right for me — I caught him telling white lies a lot, and he was constantly sharing the more intimate details of our relationship with his friends. After a few months had passed, we decided to try being friends again. Everything was going great, until he informed me that he had lied when he said he was a virgin. Even though it's been months since our breakup, it still hurts to hear that; I feel betrayed and used.

Apparently he felt guilty about lying to me and wanted to come clean. Now he's asking for forgiveness, and I don't know what to do. I've never felt more disrespected and stupid. How do I deal with this?

— Lied to Lila

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Dear Lied to Lila,

I don't blame you for feeling betrayed! He lied to you in order to take advantage of something that you were obviously unsure about, and in my book, there's absolutely no excuse for that. While I tend to be a big believer in the notion that nothing is unforgivable, this particular lie and admission don't say much about his character. If you need to forgive him in order to process this, then I think you should, but forgiveness aside, I'd be wary when considering him your friend.

While I can't say whether or not your ex has changed in the few months since you've broken up, my best bet is that he hasn't. And even if he has made some changes, admitting that he lied to you before doesn't suddenly make lying in the first place OK. I think you need to tell him what you told me— that what he did was wrong, and you feel betrayed and used. In the meantime, remind yourself that you can't control others' actions. It's upsetting that he lied to you, but try to avoid looking back on your time together as a mistake; rather, consider it a personal learning experience.


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