Beware The Person Who Is Totally Honest With You

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Elizabethbreakup3
Comment: I met Jake at a speedating event. He definitely left an impression on me as he was both sweet and direct on what he was looking for. He told me he was seeking to get remarried as he has been divorced for three years and 4 months ago was in a long term relationship of 1 yr. We’ve had 7 dates ( a month and a half has passed) since the speeddate. However, he told me initially ( on our 2nd date) that he was on okcupid, as well. Time has passed but he remains active on okcupid. I hate that he’s still on. We spoke last week about it and he says he’s keeping his options open. However, when were together there’s that chemistry! What should I do ?
Age: 40
City: Boston
State: MA

Remember how I said in this post yesterday that I advocate for lying in a relationship? This is a situation where a lie would have been so much better than the truth.

If he cared about you enough, he would have lied about why his profile is still up. He could have said anything to explain it.

“Oh, I don’t use it.”

“I logged in yesterday to turn off my email notifications.”

“I totally forgot I still had that up.”

There. I’m not even him and I effortlessly came up with three reasonable creative excuses for that profile to exist. This guy couldn’t have been bothered. That should tell you all you need to know.

It doesn’t help your case that you’re monitoring his Okcupid activity. It’s one thing to do it. Many people do. It’s another to tell someone you’re doing it. Just like it’s one thing to keep your options open. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s entirely another to tell the person you’re dating that you’re keeping your options open. This dope told you on your second date that he was on OKCupid. Who does that? A savvy person would know to keep that to themselves. So either he’s a boob of the highest order OR he has zero fucks to give about your feelings. This guy clearly does not give a hoot if you know he’s on OKCupid. He’s doing nothing to alleviate your concerns about why he still has a profile on a dating site.

Lying isn’t just about being deceptive or covering your ass. Lying is also about wanting to spare someone’s feelings. We do that because we care. That’s why I have that line in my book. “Lie to me if you must, but just be good at it. I want you to care enough not to get caught.”

The fact that you have his relationship history down pat is another problem. I don’t know if he offered that information or if you quizzed him about it, but either way that’s troubling. It’s a red flag on his part that he’s willingly offering all this information and talking about how he wants to get married again with a woman he’s only been dating a month. Nothing works like a charm faster than the guy who goes on about how he misses being in a relationship and wants to get married again. Frankly, I think anybody who failed at their first attempt at marriage and talks about how he longs to be married again is suspect. Really? Because that first time didn’t go so well for you. The likelihood that he’ll get divorced again is even higher than when he got married the first time. So either he dangled that carrot in front of your face or you asked him if he thought he’d get married again and he said yes because saying no wouldn’t get him laid.

It’s a red flag on your part because you’re asking a ton of questions that, to be honest, are none of your business at this juncture. If you started firing questions like that at me, I’d think you were way too invested.

I’d let this guy go. While he might want a serious relationship eventually I don’t think he wants one now.

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28 Responses to “Beware The Person Who Is Totally Honest With You”

  1. D. Says:

    While I don’t disagree with Moxie’s reason for why people lie sometimes (to spare your feelings), I can see an equally altruistic reason to tell the truth: namely, to provide you with information to make your own decision. And, of course, there are selfish reasons that apply to either approach as well. When you lie, it’s also to spare you the awkwardness of hurting someone’s feelings. When you tell the truth, you spare yourself the guilt of lying and put all responsibility for decisions on the other person.

    What I see in the OP’s comment, though, isn’t so much a question about this guy lying vs. telling the truth, as much as it is a question about how to parse her own feelings. On the one hand, she likes the guy and sees chemistry there. On the other, she’s uncomfortable with the fact that the guy is still dating other people.

    While I may not entirely agree with Moxie’s reasoning behind lying (although I agree with her other points that everyone engages in “tact” and “diplomacy” whereby they may not reveal the full truth), I think her analysis of the reasons why the guy is telling her is probably accurate. Certainly, the conclusion is: he doesn’t really want a relationship at the moment.

    Maybe that’s because he’s still smarting from the last relationship, maybe it’s because the OP just doesn’t run his engine enough to make him throw caution to the wind and go for it. Either way, the result is the same: he’s keeping his options open, which means he’s not getting into a relationship right now.

    Ultimately, the OP has to decide how she wants to play this. Whatever she picks, she should understand the risks involved. She should also bear in mind that whatever she picks is her choice, and hers alone. So if it ends up with a disappointing result, at least own up to the fact that you chose that path in the first place.

  2. bbdawg Says:


    “We spoke last week about it and he says he’s keeping his options open.”

    Get out, OP. Leave now, if “commitment” is what you seek, this man has just told you this. I know we women sometimes get so obsessed about “commitment” that we forget to listen to red flags. This goes beyond a red flag: it’s an actual statement where he explains his stance on an exclusive relationship with you. It’s not gonna happen.

    You can stick around and go back on and date others at the same time, or you can be honest with him also and well, basically “break up”(although you don’t have an actual relationship at this point) and tell him that you are essentially after an exclusive relationship and that he has already told you he is not interested in a relationship (with you).

    This is what the future looks like from now on: this will keep on going until he finds his better option and dumps you. He likes the regular sex, but he doesn’t like you enough to close the other doors for him. The fact that he has told you this makes him almost seem like a “good person” except that he is a bit cold and doesn’t see you as valuable enough to sugar coat statements to make you feel better about yourself.

    He has clearly stated he is looking for other options. If you stay, please don’t blame him for being an asshole. You are choosing to stay with this guy because he gave you the info about commitment, but it doesn’t mean the commitment is *to you*.

  3. Tinker Says:

    This guy has done nothing wrong. He gave the OP full information when they first got together about what he was looking for- that’s a gift. If she looks more closely, she’ll also see that he told her that he wants to get married again, and it’s clearly not to her. Why is he not lying about keeping his options open? Because he wants the OP to know she isn’t the one. Could he just stop seeing her then? Sure but why should he? He’s told her the deal from the beginning and she is still there. I assume, 7 dates in, he’s not throwing the L word around or otherwise fucking with her head.

    OP if you can’t enjoy this relationship for what it is (temporary) then get out. But for the love of God don’t be mad at this guy. He’s done you a favor. He does not feel the chemistry as intensely as you do- it sucks, a lot, but it happens.

  4. Fyodor Says:

    It’s kind of a moot point whether he’s being obnoxious or just super duper honest. The prescription is the same. If someone tells you explicitly after seven dates that they are keeping their options open they see no chance of a long term relationship with you.

    • Eliza Says:

      Exactly–why are some women so glutton for punishment???? why?
      Don’t they feel they deserve better than that? move on. The guy is thankfully being honest about his intentions. It’s a no brainer.

  5. Yvonne Says:

    If this man was seriously interested in you, he wouldn’t be active on OKCupid. Oh, his profile might still be up, but you wouldn’t see him having logged on that morning. I actually think that his honesty is a good thing because it allows you to make an informed decision about what you’re getting into. If this man really cared about you, he wouldn’t feel the need to lie OR to hurt you with his blatant honesty. He’d just be, you know, treating you as something more than what he says you are: optional. Okay for now.

    He’s telling you the truth now, so if and when he dumps you down the road, you can’t get mad at him, because you were forewarned. Just because he says he’d like to remarry, it doesn’t mean he wants to marry you. And while he may not know that at 7 weeks, he could know that he would NOT marry you. Chemistry does not equal marriage intent.

    You can keep seeing him if you choose to, but I would start dating others.

  6. mindstar Says:

    I think this guy is NOT feeling the “chemistry” which the OP feels.

    His statements are either (1)radical “honesty” devoid of social tact or (2) a passive aggressive way to get her to leave him.

    I also agree with Moxie take that if the OP is interrogating the guy about his marital history and future marital intentions at such an early stage that does not reflect well on her. Such behavior is probably also a turnoff to him.

  7. Hard ache Says:

    Someone lays out all his cards on the table, you still choose to keep seeing him, now all your girlfriends are joining to say he’s an asshole, “oh who except the most retarded are THIS honest” the same girlfriends who wring their hands and say “why can’t men just say what’s on their minds!!!”

    My my… You want some cheese to go with that whine???

  8. Tinker Says:

    This doesn’t even count as radical ‘total’ honesty to me. He hasn’t said ‘there is something about your face/body/clothes/teeth/laugh that just doesn’t do it for me’. All he said was I want to marry again and I’m still dating others. The conclusion is obvious. I’m having a hard time finding what this guy is doing wrong.

  9. Eliza Says:

    This really hit home–not sure why the OP does see the writing on the wall:
    “We spoke last week about it and he says he’s keeping his options open.”

    hello…the guy told you–“I am keeping my options open”! what more do you need to hear? What? So what-you have physical chemistry. That doesn’t mean you and he share the same values or want the same type of connection once the sex is off the table. This man is VERBALLY telling you–I want to pursue better options. But we can still go out–and “see where it goes” – why not, he has nothing to lose–perhaps he will get laid. And to top it off–YOU (OP) can never say he was playing games…because – HE can always say–“hey, I told you I was on OKC, and I put all my cards on the table–so I didn’t make any promises”! Read the writing on the wall–in huge fonts!!!!! move on…

    • mindstar Says:

      Just had a thought – perhaps this guy is way out of the OP’s league and that’s why she is so desperate to continue to see him?

  10. Socially Helpless Guy Says:

    I don’t know why everyone is telling the OP to dump this guy.

    The way I see it, they’ve been dating about 6 weeks. He still has a profile on OKC.

    At what point was this guy required to shut down his profile? Is 3 weeks acceptable? 5? Where’s the line? When does having a profile go from being reasonable to being a red flag? AFAIK, these two haven’t had the “exclusive” talk yet. Isn’t it ok to be unsure of exclusivity at 6 weeks, and to keep your options open? He may be leaning in that direction, but hasn’t crossed over to the committed realm yet. I’d think she should hang in a while longer, unless he comes out and says that she’s not doing it for him, or she gets tired of waiting for it.

    • Nicole Says:

      “He may be leaning in that direction, but hasn’t crossed over to the committed realm yet.”

      I think if the guy felt that way about the OP, he’d be much more circumspect about still being on OKC – because he’d be worried about hurting her/pissing her off and losing his chance with her. Moxie makes a really good point – if he doesn’t care enough to downplay what he’s doing, he probably doesn’t care if the OP disappears. Being that blatant about still looking for other options seems more like a way to tell her he’s not interested in anything exclusive.

      Re your more general question about how long you can keep your options open – I think it varies. I mean, there are plenty of folks who don’t particularly want an exclusive relationship at all and are happy dating several people indefinitely. For me, if I wasn’t sure by date 3 or 4 that I wanted to be exclusive with a guy, I took that as a sign that he probably wasn’t a good match and ended things.

      And by 6 weeks – especially if you’re sleeping together regularly – you should have a pretty good idea if this is someone you want to be with. If this guy is still not looking to make things exclusive, he either doesn’t want a committed relationship at all, or he just doesn’t want one with the OP.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      The way I see it, they’ve been dating about 6 weeks. He still has a profile on OKC. At what point was this guy required to shut down his profile

      The issue isn’t that he has an OKCupid profile up or is keeping his options open after 6 weeks of dating. The issue is that he told her he has an OKCupid profile up and is keeping his options open.

      All he said was I want to marry again and I’m still dating others.

      No, that’s not what he said. He said he was keeping his options open. That’s not nearly the same thing as “I’m dating others.” Telling someone to their face that you’re “keeping your options open” is rude. You don’t tell someone that. You can say – if asked – yes, I’m dating other people. But you don’t say you’re you’re keeping your options open, as that implies that he’s looking to see if he can do better.

      This absolutely is a case of radical honesty. Radical honesty is anything that is revealed at the expense of another person’s feelings. He didn’t have to tell her any of that, nor should she have asked if that is the case.

      And by 6 weeks – especially if you’re sleeping together regularly – you should have a pretty good idea if this is someone you want to be with.

      This is a more common belief amongst women, not men. Most women decide this sort of thing after 2 dates as long as things are going reasonably well. A man this guy’s age has more to consider. He has more options.

      • Nicole Says:

        “A man this guy’s age has more to consider. He has more options”

        It always seems odd to me that we say “he/she has options” – don’t almost all of us have options? That doesn’t keep people from committing to relationships. You don’t have to be someone’s only option for them to stop dating other people, you just have to be “better” than their other options. I dated guys in that age range, and they were not hesitant to take down their online profiles and make a big deal out of wanting to be exclusive.

        I mean, I agree absolutely with what you’re saying about the biggest problem here being that he’s basicslly rubbing her face in the fact that he’s still online. I just think that, even if he was being less obvious about it, the fact that he’s still exploring his options after 6 wks means he’s not going to ever “choose” the OP for anything long term.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          If you’re talking formal semantics, then yes, we all have options. But you know what I mean when I say that a man this age has more options. It means he gets more dates, and he probably has more access to sex than she does. So before he gives those two very important things up, he wants to be sure. For a lot of people – especially divorced people who have already had one huge failure on their record and who are probably paying both literally and figuratively for that failure – 6 weeks isn’t even close to enough time to determine if he wants to commit.

          When you’re not anxious to get someone to commit, 6 weeks isn’t that long.

          • D. Says:

            “For a lot of people – especially divorced people who have already had one huge failure on their record and who are probably paying both literally and figuratively for that failure – 6 weeks isn’t even close to enough time to determine if he wants to commit.

            When you’re not anxious to get someone to commit, 6 weeks isn’t that long.

            People — especially those who have never been married — need to read this, read it again, and read it a third time. It is absolutely true. Folks who have been divorced aren’t so much “gun shy” as they are very, very deliberate in their decision to get serious with someone. Folks who have not been married previously often don’t understand this, or at least can’t really relate to it on the same level, even if they were in long-term relationships that ended.

            There’s also something to be said for how long ago someone’s last relationship was. The more recent it was — past the “I’m just jonesing for intimacy” rebound phase — the more likely people are to be ambivalent about jumping in to something.

            All that aside, Moxie’s right to focus on the guy’s “radically honest” language. Saying “I’m keeping my options open” in those exact words is basically a clear statement that “This isn’t going to be exclusive.” That’s a far cry from saying, for example, “I want to make sure this is right,” which might suggest that they’re at least considering something long-term. If that was said at, say, 6 weeks, I’d worry less.

            Of course, it’s possible that the OP has mischaracterized or misquoted the precise words the guy said, in which case, the focus on the “brutal honesty” angle may be misplaced. But if that’s what he said, then I’d say the suggestion is “Don’t expect anything serious for the foreseeable future.” Choose accordingly.

          • Nicole Says:

            As a divorced person, I am absolutely hesitant to get married again. And I have some worries about big steps like moving in together. But dating someone exclusively? The level of relationship you can end with a few awkward texts? Nope, not gun shy about that.

            “When you’re not anxious to get someone to commit, 6 weeks isn’t that long.”

            This is what I was trying to say, too… That he’s not anxious to get her to commit… and probably never will be. There’s nothing wrong with waiting six weeks or however long to become exclusive if both people are on the same page. And I’m sure sometimes one person wants exclusivity and feels like it’s worth waiting to see if they’re the one who gets the girlfriend/boyfriend title when the other finally gets tired of playing the field.

            But I do think keeping his options open 6 weeks in (whether he’s radically honest about it or not) indicates a guy feeling pretty ‘meh’ about either the person he’s dating or relationships in general. And neither of those scenarios is good if the woman he’s dating is hoping for something more than casual.

      • bbdawg Says:

        I recently went on a first date with a 48-year old. He said it was “really hard to meet people online” until he openly confided that what he really wanted was a 28-year old and that once “women hit 40″ he is not interested. ( I am 35). I did tell him that 28-year olds who are open to dating older men might prefer a 35-year old but that did not dissuade him. Those were the “options” he was really after.

        This is someone who is short, not particularly attractive or well-dressed in person, has a visible bulging stomach, lives in an undesirable area but has a good job. Obviously once he said that the message to me was “you’re too old for me”.

        There are many late 40’s men online who are only interested in dating much younger women since they feel they’ve “paid their dues” they aren’t really going to “settle” in their eyes. They’d rather hold out for the prize – even if that prize will never come – than stick with someone they aren’t all that into. You have to be aware of that if you are dating that age group. Lukewarm late 40s men aren’t going to stick around.

        All of this is to say to the OP, unless he felt (and acted) like he really wanted you, many of these dudes online are looking for the “catch” since they have already done the “commitment thing”. They have no reason or rush to commit.

      • Tinker Says:

        I just disagree that telling a woman, on your second date (first real date after speed dating? Possibly) that you are keeping your options open is inherently hurtful.

        • bbdawg Says:

          It sounds like in this case, the OP was daydreaming that she was going to marry this man. And he acts like he is really not that into her.

          The issue is that she is fixated with the idea of “commitment”. And a man who tells you “I am keeping my options open” is spelling it out for you that he is not interested in commitment, not now anyway. It’s not hurtful, it just means that he wants to pursue the opposite of what exclusivity is.

          It’s been 6 weeks…not a whole lot, but telling a woman you are interested in meeting other women (that’s what “keeping my options open means) is telling her he is not interested in being her boyfriend right now.

          • Tinker Says:

            I completely agree with all of that bbdawg. My quibble is painting him as the bad guy in any way- I don’t think he is. Just bad for her.

  11. Yvonne Says:

    But if this man saw a future with the OP, if he was really into her, I don’t believe he’d be thinking about who else is around the corner or the next OKC profile. If you you really like someone, are you spending a lot of time thinking about who else you could be with? Also, men tend to be competitive. If a man likes a woman a lot, he assumes that other men would like her too, and he doesn’t want someone else to snap her up.

  12. Steph Says:

    Leaving behind what was said to the OP, which was clearly a red burning flag and indicates that this person absolutely has no interest in pursuing anything serious with the OP, EVER. The fact alone that his profile is remains up means very little, especially if it’s not continuous use. This has been a touchy subject for me personally. One of which I have yet to navigate through successfully or figuring out how to broach the subject without looking completely insecure. But yes, like a lot of other women, it does bother me if my significant other has an active profile.

    Now if we are talking about a couple who aren’t actively trying to date others, than what is the point of A) keeping your profile active and B)Broaching the subject to other person? When does it become the other person’s business, date 7 or 22? Or as Moxie has stated previously, it means nothing until it means everything.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I would historically just turn my profile off myself after maybe 1.5 months of dating. I’d then mention it to the guy, but not ask him about his own status. I’d say it in a calm, matter of fact fashion, as if I’m saying, “Hey, I ran into Janice at the grocery store.” The guy would always respond, “Right! Yeah, I should turn mine off, too.”

      I can hear the skeptics responding, “Bah, he was just saying what you wanted to hear.” Eh, maybe, but I can say I never played that card unless I was pretty damn sure he was excited about me and things were going somewhere. If I wasn’t getting that feedback, I’d still be on the site searching for someone who is excited about me.

      • bbdawg Says:

        That’s really good advice:)
        At the beginning of (what looks like) a relationship we’re often afraid to crash our fantasies and prefer overlooking things over seeing that the person isn’t interested or available for whatever reason. This is a really good way to subtly bring up the profile thing, although you have to be prepared if the other person doesn’t reciprocate.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          I’m usually eager to get off the site myself and not get any more stupid messages. I’m not thinking, “Taking my profile down means we’re exclusive now, ‘cuz I said so.” It’s more, “I really just wanna focus on this person right now and see where things go.” I assume in good faith that he will follow suit, but I don’t demand it or check up on him.

          Yeah, you have to be okay with them not reciprocating. It’s a leap of faith. Like I said, I don’t do it unless the guy literally says, “Oh my God, you’re so amazing and I totally see a future here.” I don’t do it unless it’s such an easy shot that the Bozo Bucket is, like, touching my shoe. ;o)

  13. Mark Says:

    As I understand it, this man has been divorced for a few years and now is going back into the dating pool. You two met at a speed dating event and things seemed to click – to the extent of seven dates over a month and a half. He is also still active on a dating site and when you spoke he said he was keeping his options open.

    In all fairness, he is honest about it. But it also tells you that he is seeing you unless/until someone better comes along.

    Sounds very much like he is looking to trade up if possible.

    That means you know where you stand. Pointblank.

    Is that what you really want?

    Best of luck and hope you make the right decision.

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