Dear Surly Amy,
I’m not sure if this even scrapes into the type of situation you normally deal with, but I’m hoping you can give me the perspective I’m missing.
I’m male, but in the first MMO I played, I created a female character. Later I was asked if I was really female – not knowing then what the opinion would be, I lied. A lie later perpetuated because the truth would eventually find its way to those who have trusted me.
I’ve been very close friends for over seven years now with one person, but I’ve come to realise that she’s not just “someone” – I’ve found my soul mate and it’s tearing me apart inside to not be able to tell her the truth.
She is very unhappily married and desperately looking for a way out – I want to give her that way out. To treat her with the love, respect and care she so rightly deserves. To always be there for her as I’ve promised I would be.
She is attracted to me too, for who I am rather than what I am, but should she know the truth?
~Why Can’t I Just Be Me
Dear Why Can’t I Just Be Me,
Short answer, yes. You should absolutely tell the truth.
One of the most important qualities of a skeptic is one’s ability to admit mistakes and do what is needed to correct them. Skeptics and humanists alike value and should seek out truth whenever possible.
I’m pretty sure you realize that you need to come clean but you are afraid of what the consequences will be and rightly so.
Odds are pretty darn good that this online friend is going to very upset. You have lied to her and I am assuming others for seven years. Seven years is a looooooooooong time to keep a lie going. It is impressively long especially since you claim to have such a deep understanding and connection with this person. I can totally understand why you would be afraid to be honest at this point in the game (no pun intended).
You made a mistake and you need to face it.
You really have no choice at this point, if you hope to have any type of real life interaction with this woman, you are going to have to tell her the truth and explain why you lied. Which brings me to a question. What makes you think you are soul mates (if you believe there is such a thing) with someone you have never met in real life? Have you never talked on skype or even had a google+ hang out? She may be confessing her feelings to you because she thinks you are a safe online girl-friend but may have no intentions of having a real life connection with you. Things can be very different in the meatspace. To have never even talked on the phone to this person sends up some BIG red flags.
Before you can offer up your love you need to come from a place of honesty.
I have a code that I live by. Well, I have a few codes but the one that applies to this situation is as follows:
If you are doing something that you need to lie about, it’s likely you are doing something wrong. So think first.
I know this isn’t a set-in-stone rule. There are occasions when it is necessary to lie like if you are hiding jews from the nazis or if your Mom asks you if those pants make her butt look too big. But in the mass majority of cases, it is really best to tell the truth.
Playing a female character as a male or vice-versa is really nothing to be ashamed of, carrying on an unnecessary lie for seven years is. You should come clean and give her the opportunity to like you for who you really are if indeed she even wants to. And look at the bright side, even if it doesn’t work out, you won’t have to spend all this extra energy carrying on the lie. You can start fresh and that should feel pretty darn great.
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