Stop Lying to Protective Brother?

Q: I've been going out with my brother's friend secretly for the past three weeks. He's a couple of years older than me, and has a child. But none of that bothers me. He's a good person with priorities in his life. He respects me and cares about how I feel and what I want. But my brother is very protective over me. I really like this guy, but I'm scared of how my brother will react when he finds out, so I'd rather tell him myself before he finds out from someone else. When is the right time to tell him, and what would be the right thing to say? -- Beth, 19

Dr. Susan: The right time to stop being secretive is immediately. Especially since your brother knows this guy and may have some valuable insight into what sort of person he really is. I don't like the fact that he's hiding his relationship with you from his friend. Not a good sign. But get the relationship out in the open and then make sure you protect yourself so you don't make an unexpected baby with this fellow.

I would suggest saying something like this to your brother: "I really like your friend. In fact, I need to tell you something. He and I have been going out for a few weeks. I didn't want to tell you at first because I know you always want to protect me, but I realize that keeping secrets from you isn't right. I hope you'll give us a chance to get to know each other. I'm willing to hear whatever you want to tell me. Just try not to get upset, okay?"

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