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July 23, 2016

I MADE UP AN IMAGINARY CRUSH!!!

brandon_post_photos_48

Hey Brandon,

I really need help! My new friends and I decided to tell each other our crushes. They both told me their crushes first and it turns out one of them has this HUGE crush on the same guy I like. So when it got to my turn, I quickly made up a guy’s name and said he was on my afterschool sports team. So, to make it sound like I really liked this “guy,” I keep telling them stories. But now, I’m afraid that they might tell my siblings my crazy stories. What should I do—keep up the lies, or tell them the truth?

Sincerely,
Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Oh wow, this is tricky.

Your heart was in the right place. It doesn’t sound like you lied for your own gain, exactly. You weren’t trying to trick anyone—at least not to be mean. You just didn’t want to cause a conflict by liking the same guy as one of your friends, right?

The trouble is, you DO like him. If you’d happened to speak up first, would you have gotten mad at her if she’d said she also likes him? Probably not. I mean, it’s not her fault that she likes him. He must be a great guy if you both like him. Really, it means you’re a great friend-match, since you have similar taste in people.

But you said these are new friends, and I wonder if that’s a part of this. If you haven’t been friends long, that might add to the anxiety about not wanting to cause conflict.

Anyway, the bigger problem is the ongoing lies. I don’t know your friends, but if it were me, I would be WAY more upset about someone lying to me over and over than I would if I found out they were crushing on the same person as I was. But the absolute WORST would be if I found out about the lies from someone else.

So it might be tough, but this is what I think you have to do: tell your friends the truth. Tell them that you made up the pretend crush because you felt awkward about having a crush on the same guy as your other friend. And then you didn’t know how to stop lying. Tell them you feel awful about it and apologize—for the lying. (You don’t need to apologize for your real crush.)

There’s a chance they’ll be SUPER mad. Maybe. But I think it depends how you present it. If it’s obvious you are truly sorry and you did it because you like them so much and didn’t want to mess up your friendship…I think most people can relate to that. We’ve all done dumb things in order to make or keep friends.

Going forward, try to work on trusting your friends enough to tell them the truth, even when it’s hard. That’s how friendships get stronger!

Who else has lied to friends to avoid a conflict? How did that work out?