How to tell a girlfriend or boyfriend something you’ve kept secret?

jovan28 asks: My girlfriend and I have been together for about six months now. We met on LoveMe over a year ago. We started out as friends and eventually got together. She’s a really great girl; smart, understanding, nice, appealing, and more positive attributes. The problem right now is that she doesn’t know about my three-year-old child that I had with an ex. It’s not like I was trying to hide it from her. I just didn’t get the chance to open up to her about my boy. I also don’t have much opportunity to introduce him to video chat since he lives and stays with his mom most days. I started hinting at her about children. Maybe she thought I wanted kids or maybe she took it as a sign that I have a kid. My ex-girlfriend’s okay with me seeing someone since she’s already with someone else herself. She told me I should introduce our kid to my girlfriend as soon as possible. I think she’s right. What if my girlfriend doesn’t like the idea of me having a child with someone else? At least I would know ahead, right? How do I tell my girlfriend that I already have a son? I want to reassure her that my obligations with my child won’t be a problem for us. I want to give her the assurance that despite the constant communication between me and my ex-girlfriend, nothing will happen. I need help from anyone. Any advice will do.

Hi jovan28 –



This is a problem I see people having all the time. You know, when we dogs meet, we decide whether we like each other right away, and that’s all we need to know. If that other pooch is a fighter or a fraidy-cat, then yeah, we might not become great playmates. But there’s never a secret, a hidden issue, that will affect our relationships.


But with you guys, there always seem to be these things. Sometimes they’re small (“I have a history of baldness in my family, and I’ll probably lose my hair in my 30’s”), sometimes bigger (“I have a transmittable disease that I keep under control but can’t cure”), and sometimes huge (“I have a husband” or in your case, “I have a child.”).


And it’s impossible to know the right time to tell about it. My human friend Handsome once went out with a woman a few times before finding out that she had a prosthetic leg. When he discovered it, he asked why she hadn’t let him know sooner. “Well when is the right time to tell about that?” she asked him. “Before we met, ‘I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and a prosthetic leg?’ Or on the first date, ‘I like walks on the beach, but sometimes get sand in the hinges?’” The fact is, he realized, she’d had no ‘right time’ to tell him. The time she chose was as good as any.


And you’re largely in the same situation.


I think the most important thing you can do is to make very clear to your girlfriend – before you tell her – that you already understand how big a deal this is. In other words, set it up HUGE. Take her to dinner, tell her there’s something you’ve needed to tell her for a long time and have been worried about how to do it, that you hope she can understand and accept it but you’ll understand if she can’t… And let her imagination run wild: you have another girlfriend; you have a pregnant girlfriend; you have a fatal illness; you’re about to start to change your body to become the woman you’ve always been inside…! So when you tell her the truth – that there’s a darling three-year-old out there she hasn’t met, that there’s a kid whose mother is supportive of your relationship and wants the best for you, that your son’s mother is responsible and isn’t about to throw him at her… she might very well experience, not shock or hurt, but RELIEF! Relief and maybe some joy.


Now be prepared – she’s likely to also be at least a little mad that you’ve kept the secret for so long. But talk to her the way Handsome’s girlfriend did to him – help her understand that there’s no convenient time to tell something this big and important.


But I think your chances are good – very good – that, especially after all this time, she’ll be able to accept your boy. And, over time, to love him.


After which, my friend, your biggest problem is likely to be her wondering what else you haven’t told her. So I’d suggest being super-honest with her for a while. To put her at ease.


But I’ll say again, I think your chances are very good. You see, deep down, you guys are a lot like us. And since she already knows that she likes you, that you’re playful and don’t bite, that you’re her kind of dog… she shouldn’t be too upset to find out that she gets to meet your puppy as well!




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