If He Loves Me, Why Is He Withholding Personal Information?

If He Loves Me, Why Is He Withholding Personal Information?Firstly, thanks for all the great advice. I find every newsletter and blog you write very helpful. I do have quite a unique problem at the moment that I hope you can assist me with. I have been seeing this man that I met on a dating site for a month now. He is an excellent father, successful businessman and to be honest, quite a looker. He’s also very attentive and romantic towards me….I think mostly because I am feminine and true to myself. We seem to “fit” in every single aspect of life and when we are together it is calm and tranquil, as well as exciting. We decided together to take things slow. We developed a plan which entails: Step 1: exclusive dating, Step 2: committed relationship, Step 3: integrating of our households, Step 4: engagement and Step 5: Marriage.

Now since then, we have both deleted our online profiles and we have been spending as much time together as possible. It has been really great! This past weekend, however, he had plans with friends for a birthday party that he had made before he met me and it was at a venue that was pre booked. This implies that he could not take me which was not a problem, except that he didn’t tell me prior to the evening. So he went out, had a good time and called me the next day. I reacted by allowing him his time alone and being sweet to him when he called…then we spent the rest of the weekend together. However, he left me at home while going to a meeting and while I was brushing my teeth I came across some very strong depression medication. I noticed also that apart from being the perfect “boyfriend” to me, he does have a tendency to forget certain things I’ve told him.

He is already including me and my children in all of his plans and talking about the future all the time…he has however, not told me about his depression and as I said, he sometimes forgets important details I’ve told him. He is quite busy at work and, I have spent evenings with him when he was working at home and seen first-hand the workload and pressure it puts him under, especially since he’s raising his children alone and doing an excellent job.

My question is, can his depression cause these lapses in memory, and do you think he is scared of telling me about it in fear of losing me? He has told me very deep secrets and I could actually “feel” his relief when I told him that I liked him for who he is now and not what he had done before.

You’ve got the cart way before the horse. In fact, I’m not even sure you have a horse.

I hope you can shed some light on this for me. I don’t want to overreact and lose him but at the same time, I don’t want to stay with someone who is going to lie to me…although, I don’t know how someone can “fake” this kind of attentiveness and commitment.


So many questions, so little space. Since I’ve been writing for four hours today, I’m going to give you the bullet point version of my normally flowing prose.

1. You’ve been dating for a month – and you already have a five-step plan that leads to marriage? How about you watch Casablanca together, plan a four-day getaway to Cabo or try a different sexual position?

You’ve got the cart way before the horse. In fact, I’m not even sure you have a horse.

2. You’ve deleted your online profiles. You’re spending a lot of time together. This means you have a boyfriend. It also means you have TWO TO THREE YEARS to figure out whether marriage is right for you.

Seriously, give yourself a break and try to enjoy the moment, instead of obsessing about the future.

3. He takes medication for depression. He didn’t tell you. Yeah, that’s not one of the things that I suggest people blurt out on date 1, 2, or 3. Confessions like this are for already-established relationships where both parties are already bought in and can withstand a dose of this kind of truth. But since you were already out tasting wedding cakes, I suppose that one month in is long enough for him to keep a secret.

You really have to just take a deep breath and participate in the relationship instead of trying to negotiate a future.

Does he know that you know about his depression? If not, you should tell him you know. He should be allowed to keep secrets until he’s ready, but since you have discovered the truth, you might as well come clean and use this as an opportunity to get closer. Unless, of course, “I came across his medication” is code for “I looked through his medicine cabinet and read the labels out of insatiable curiosity.”

4. Yes, depression (and probably depression medication) can cause lapses in memory, but that’s neither here nor there. You think he forgot to tell you about this party; I think he had plans from before he met you and he decided to go without you. That doesn’t mean he’s memory impaired. Nor does it mean that he’s “faking” his attentiveness. It means that he’s human, he’s got shit to do, and he either forgot or didn’t care.

So you really have to just take a deep breath and participate in the relationship instead of trying to negotiate a future.

Time will tell if you are meant to be married for the rest of your lives. But if you keep snooping on his stuff, and questioning where this relationship is headed, I predict that he will conclude on his own that you’re incompatible – and it might not even take the rest of the month.

For the rest of you, be sure and come back tomorrow to take advantage of my 5th anniversary special offer: $1000 of dating coaching for $1!

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  1. 31

    @Goldie #27 and Kiki #30:

    What would you do if you were in his shoes? Would you just come out and tell her that you are on anti-depressants after you’ve only been dating her for one month? More importantly, what would you do if you learned that she was snooping around behind your back and found-oops, I mean “stumbled upon”-your anti-depressants? Would you appreciate it?

    Goldie: I agree with you that she needs to know if he’s on anti-depressants once they’re in a serious relationship, but I would say that it’s practically impossible to truly be in a serious relationship after only one month. All of their talk about the future, at this point, is just that: talk.

    Also, in an effort to help everyone understand men a little more: most men are keenly aware that their attractiveness to women is almost entirely determined by their ability to carry themselves through life with strength and confidence. My guess is that he is also fully aware of this, and that he’s quite reluctant to disclose the fact that he’s on anti-depressants because he will be perceived as being weak, which is a trait that virtually all women find unattractive. His reasons for withholding this information are likely not as sinister as “thinking that his woman requires a steady stream of lies”, and are more likely due to mere self-preservation.

    My advice to the OP, if she really likes this man, is to forgot that she ever saw the anti-depressants because I can’t imagine a scenario where he would be pleased to find out that she, uh, “stumbled”, upon his medicine .

  2. 32

    I have a prescription for depression/anxiety. It’s a LOW DOSE, and I take it occasionally. My last bottle lasted me about 5 months. Should I disclose that in one month of dating?
    How do you know he takes his medication for depression? Maybe he takes it for anxiety. Maybe it was a brief episode. Sounds like he has a typical stressful modern life, and it would not be unusual to take something for stress. And please, why did you read the label on his prescription bottle? That was NOT accidental.

    My ex bf went in my medicine cabinet, saw a medication I take for my eyes. He is on the same medication and asked me why I take it. I thought it was presumptuous of him to snoop.

    Which of you came up with this life plan? You or him? Clearly you are not happy you were not invited to the party. But you held back from telling him that.

    All in all, not a good start.

  3. 33

    Most of our secrets are way more important to us than they are to other people. I recently read EMK’s newsletter post: ==> “When You Should Tell Him Your Deep Dark Secret?” and thought about the closing scene in the film 1959 Billy Wilder film “Some Like It Hot” LOL Relationships can handle a lot of exposed secrets…

    Hmm, maybe that should be “When should you tell him your deep dark secret?” Doesn’t matter, same thing.

  4. 34

    I had a similar situation.  I found ADHD medication when it fell out of my them boyfriends bag while he was showering at my place.  I genuinely was not snooping it was on the floor and I thought the pill bottle was mine.  I knew what the meds were for they were generic adderall.  We had been dating for a month.  I thought about it and decided to keep it to myself and give him some time to tell me on his own.  It was early enough that I did not expect he would have to tell me and I also recognized that as a man it may be something he was embarrassed about.   A week later he told me over dinner and  I acted like I had no clue.  I felt good that he trusted me.   I commended him for seeking help which many men did not do.   Now if three months had gone by I may have brought it up but one month is  not bad.   It did explain a lot of his behavior forgetfulness lateness perceived inattentiveness.   I do not think you mans behavior is odd this early on or caused by depression.  But one thing I think Evan misses is are you okay with dating someone with depression?   Is it acute or chronic?   I mean did a family member just die or will he need to take this forever.   Some people will not date people with mental illnesses right or wrong and this is usually better to figure out early on for both parties. Mental illness including depression depending on how bad it is can cause serious strain on a relationship.   I chose to give my guy a chance but the ADR was so bad it ended  up being our downfall.   So I say unless you are 100% against dating a guy with depression give it a month or two and see if he mentions it if not bring it up.  This is very hard for people to discuss.   It still has a stigma associated with it.

  5. 35
    Carol w

    It’s a new relationship. It seems to be going smoothly yes it maybe concerning to you but since it is so new go with the flow. Don’t try to force or rush it. Depression has some negative conatations with some people so maybe hes afraid to tell you how you’ll react. Be patient with him let him tell you in time trust and love will happen in due time. To force him won’t be good.

    That’s how I feel and currently an doing with my my situation just a couple of months. He was definately trying to be with me things have been wonderful we talked all the time, seen each other a couple of months had wondeeful communication. T:hen some major fanily situation very ill family in his life happened. He has apoligized we havint seen each other in weeks he needs to try to  call more again. I told hom i understand and i dure do. Honestly I gave him space let him come to me when he’s ready he’s spread way too thin all this sweet man needs is someone trying to push him at this moment. I’ve been understanding and patient that’s what he needs. He’s working alot too to cover time he had to take off so a relationship which e had 100 wanted with me is on the back burner. Its hard to continue does it hurt my feelings a lil yeah do u  wonder why the hell isnt he calling it only takes a couple of seconds to send a text but I know he’s exhausted. I told him in a text the other day i did want to really see him i miss him I can hear it in his voice. We talked a couple days  ago it went good i hope we will see each other this weekend. A couple girlfriends gave me advice to get his attention 2 versions of a text to send. I did so with advice but after I wish I had not. I dont want to push him away. I  tryly hope i didnt i cqre so much for him. I want this to work but a man needs a supportive lady. I’ve sure been

    Take your time give him space in time trust will be built and he will come to you.

    My advice to you go with the flow

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