To Disclose or Not to Disclose?

For our second date, the Man from Marshalls and I are going to an art gallery.  An actual art gallery!  It’s an opening reception, to be exact, and just in case that wasn’t cool enough, I know the artist.  She’s a co-worker, and I have a feeling that she invited me only because she invited everyone in her address book but I still can’t quite contain myself.  I, Kat Richter, have been invited to an opening reception!  And the Man from Marshalls has agreed to come with me, which means that I’ll be going with a date!  Look out, Philadelphia, I have arrived.

There’s only one problem.  The Man from Marshalls, aka Date #16, doesn’t realize that he’s Date #16. This was brought to my attention during a recent conversation with my friend in Lyon.  “He knows about the blog, right?” she asked.

“Well, no,” I replied, “Not exactly.  But I gave him my card when we first met.”  It’s not my fault if he didn’t immediately run home, turn on his computer and run a Google-search background check like a normal person.

“You mean he doesn’t know about your Match.com dates?” she pressed.

“No.”

“In other words, he doesn’t know that he’s Date #16?”

“Correct,” I confirmed, “although it sounds so much worse when you phrase it that way!”

“I didn’t phrase it that way,” she corrected, “you did, my dear.”

And so I did.

“I just don’t want this to blow up in your face like it did with what’s-his-number,” she continued.

“Number 4,” I sighed, feeling rather ashamed of the fact that my girl-talk has come to comprise of phrases such as “what’s-his-number.”

I resolved to come clean, but there’s the thing: there’s no formula to predict how the Man from Marshalls will react to the news that his new lady friend happens to be a serial dater.  And a writer.  And that in the name of “It seemed like a good idea at the time” she decided to start posting the details of her romantic exploits on the internet.

Will he freak out?  Will he cut and run?  Will he read through all of my previous dates, work himself into a jealous rage and then proceed to hunt down (and possibly kill) each of my former suitors, one by one, using homemade murder weapon to unleash his latent serial killer tendencies?

Or, having decided that I’m a bit of a head case, will he simply cancel our date, return to Marshalls and attempt to pick up a new girl?  Someone with a bit more going on in the sanity department, perhaps…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through this experiment, however, it’s that love is never predictable.  And not only is love not predictable but love’s accoutrements (the flirting, the dating, the kissing, the holding hands and so on) are just as bad.

The way I see it, I have four options.

Option 1) Say goodbye to “After I Quit My Day Job” and never blog again.  Methinks, however, that my “public” would not like this.

Option 2) Say goodbye to the Man from Marshalls, thereby sacrificing my happiness to spare the lives of dates 1-15.  I’m not particularly keen on Option 2 but I figure I’ll earn myself automatic sainthood (and perhaps even immortality) in the process of becoming a martyr.  Just like Joan of Arc.  They’ll call me Kat of Sou’ Philly and pilgrims will flock to Pennsylvania from all corners of the globe to pay tribute to my single girl selflessness.

Option 3) Stop being so dramatic, get a grip and just tell the Man from Marshalls the truth.

The only problem with the truth is that I can’t picture the conversation going very well in my head.  I’ve been trying to think of ways I could mention the blog casually.  Maybe something along the lines of…

So, I was reading Dostoyevsky the other day, and hey!  You know what?  Dostoyevsky starts with the letter “D.”  You know what else starts with the letter “D?” Dating. Dating starts with the letter “D” and I’ve been doing a lot of dating lately—you’re my sixteenth first date in less than three months actually—but it’s no big deal.  So tell me, have you started Crime and Punishment yet?

Or perhaps I could try a more direct approach.  Just dive right in and take the bulls by the horns.

So, Man from Marshalls, we need to talk.  I know that we’ve only just met but I feel obligated to inform you that two months ago I started this little “experiment”—

(Except I don’t get to explain because, being male, the Man from Marshalls is out the door as soon as he hears the words “we need to talk.”)

I’ve also considered a little scheme I like to refer to as R&R: relief and relativity.  For example, if I preface the discussion with something really horrible (“I’m pregnant!” or “I slept with your younger brother!” or “I’m actually a KGB operative and after I seduce you tonight, I’ll be turning you over to my buddies at the CIA”) he’ll panic and this panic will give way to relief when I reveal, “Just kidding!”  Then, when I tell him about the blog, he’ll realize that relatively speaking, an online presence is no big deal.

But I don’t see the R&R technique going so well either, especially if he’s turned on by the thought of being seduced by a KGB operative.

Option 4) (And this is my favorite option.)  Do nothing.  Assume that if the Man from Marshalls hasn’t stumbled upon the blog thus far, there’s a good chance he never will.

Given the danger of assumptions, however, I’d like to put to a vote.

I have a feeling that you’re all going to advise me to tell the truth.  But beware.  If you pick the third option, you need to tell me how to do it.  In person?  In an email?  Via text?  Clad in sexy lingerie?  (Mind you, this will require a shopping trip.  Perhaps to Marshalls.  And we all know what sort of trouble I manage to get myself into when I go to Marshalls.)

Furthermore, should I go for the direct approach or the indirect?  The R&R technique or something entirely new all together?  And, most importantly, if and when I reveal the truth about my recent… er, anthropological endeavors to the Man from Marshalls, what should I wear?

Now vote.  Please.  The annual Hoopers Island Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree is less than a month away and my Match.com subscription is going to expire in two weeks.  In other words, I need to not screw this up.  Especially because I like him.

35 Responses to “To Disclose or Not to Disclose?”

  1. warblette

    Honesty is always the best policy since, if Man from Marshalls ends up being a long-term boyfriend, he’s going to find out anyway. But I think you’re putting way to much weight on the matter. How do you know he’s not a serial dater too? Or, for that matter, a KGB agent???

    I think he’d appreciate it coming from you rather than from a friend who googled you or stumbling upon this himself, but there’s no reason to not be casual about it. If the fact that you’re a writer comes up, your window of opportunity would arise to mention that you have a blog. He would probably follow that up with, “Oh, what do you write about on your blog, you sexy minx?” and you could reply with something clever like “Oh, my daily life, getting to know people in Philly, witty commentary about my dating for the past few months…” If this leads to an inquiry about whether or not you’ve written about him, and when you blush and bashfully admit that, yes, you have mentioned him on your blog a couple of times, he’ll probably be quite flattered that such a pretty girl as yourself would care to tell the world that he exists.

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Perfect! Especially the “sexy minx” part, and I’m definitely good at blushing, but the fact that I’m a writer has already come up and I missed my chance to mention the blog!

      Reply
      • RicanRedhead

        I was gonna write something along those lines. Tell him the truth, but dont make it that big of a deal. You have a blog about your daily happenings, your thoughts, your search for love, etc.
        If you dont mention it, if and when he finds out, the fact that you didnt mention it makes it a bigger deal than it has to be.
        Love ya! Good luck!

        Reply
  2. jess killmenow

    I propose a fifth option: give Mr. Marshalls the power. Tell him about your project and ask him if it is okay with him if you post details of his and your dates. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would be angered by humility. And, speaking for your public, darling, if we are deprived some details along the way, we will survive. Barely, but we will. 🙂

    Reply
    • amysjoy

      I agree with this! I would bring the blog up in a “what do you do in your free time” kind of conversation and just be casual about it. So you blog, who doesn’t these days? It ain’t no thang. And be considerate of his feelings; tell him that you won’t blog any (more) details he’s not comfortable with you sharing.

      If he’s as awesome as you think he is, he’ll be understanding.

      Reply
      • Kat Richter

        Interesting… hadn’t considered giving HIM the power but then again relationships are supposed to be about give and take, right? I’ll take this into further consideration, Jess and Amy.

        Reply
  3. metheringhamowlett

    You should probably mention to him that the blog started out about your job, and simply moved into dating a couple of months ago. If he’s becomes a serious boyfriend then the blog can move into some other subject. Baking, for example. Or literature. Or both…making rye bread while dressed as one of Bronte sisters?

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Brilliant!!! I’m gonna break out the recipe book and take a quick perusal through the closet for my 19th-century gowns. (And no, I’m not kidding about the gowns… I’m starting to think that my collection of authentic historic costumes may not be as cool as I thought it was in high school. Maybe this is why I’m still single.)

      Reply
  4. ragrobyn

    How can you not tell him if you will be at the opening with people YOU know. The stress of someone coming up to him and saying “hey it’s 16! How’s it going?” would be to much for me to bare. Now if he is a great guy, he will likely ask you not to blog about your impending relationship.
    Good luck!!!!

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Aghh! Good point. I don’t think my co-workers know that I blog but it would be pretty embarrassing if his first introduction to my social circle was, “Dude! You must be #16! I’ve read all about you!”

      When Date #4 came to buy my friends and I a round of drinks on my birthday, he actually introduced himself with, “Hi, I’m Date #4.” And we all know how well that worked out…

      Reply
  5. An Observant Mind

    Oh, Im totally with Jess. Fess up, but make it a non-issue and ask if he’s Ok with you giving basic details about the date, that you really like him yadda yadda, and if he’s not OK you totally respect it and “we” (the public) will take a backseat (figuratively) to the potential love of your life! Its a sacrifice I’m willing to bear for the greater good. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Brazilian

    I have to agree that telling him the truth is probably the best approach in the long run, even if he decides you are “a bit of a head case” (which is not the case, you are just doing a field study). The question is when to tell him (and of course, how to tell him).
    I think when you are at the art gallery may be the best time, since its unlikely that he’ll leave you if he doesn’t like what he hears. Tell him this started out as an innocent experiment and that “no men have been hurt during this process” (maybe a few egos bruised, but that is it) and that if during the experiment you met the right guy you would consider terminating the experiment (but then you would have to write about something else; otherwise, what are WE going to do for daily entertainment?).
    The problem with tell him about your blog is that when he goes to read it (and he will) he’ll find out how you feel about him, thus exposing you, before you know how he feels about you.
    It will be interesting to read how he handles it.
    Good luck.

    Reply
  7. thisangrymouth

    gotta tell him, and you have to do it sooner rather than later. Explain to him when the experiment started, and then explain to him that your encounter and Marshall’s was a happy accident, or an extraneous variable if you will. If you are serious about this guy, which it sounds like you are, I would end the experiment and tell him as such. As sad as that would be for the public (myself included as I am hooked to you blog now) you have to do what is in the best interest of your happiness.

    Reply
  8. Hannah

    (I think what Jess & warblette said both makes sense!)

    Personally, as I’ve kept reading your blog as it comes into my inbox, I’ve been thinking, “Gosh! What *would* I do if I were in her shoes?” I honestly don’t really know… but I think, if had met Date #16, as you describe, he seems like a really nice guy, and a keeper. :]
    So okay…
    ~if he finds out later on, tell him
    ~if a good opportunity to mention writing-blogging-dating comes up, tell him
    OR
    ~if it never comes up & he never finds your blog, don’t sweat it!

    I think just continuing blogging & continuing seeing him is best. That’s just what I’d do. I mean, I don’t think I’d want to ever just come out with it by saying, “Oh, did you know? I’ve been blogging about you all along–the whole time we’ve been dating!” lol….
    I say, leave this to the ‘fates’. 😉

    Reply
  9. Marijke

    Ummm… how? In person, fully (and regularly) clothed. Directly.

    The thing is, he will find out – and if it were me, the creepiest part of the whole thing is not that you’ve been on so many dates but that he fully has an online presence as the “man from marshall’s.” And by telling him the truth, you’re free to tell him that the experiment had nothing to do with him, he just happened to fall into it. And he then, is free to tell you whether he is comfortable with you blogging about him or continuing dating other numbered individuals. And you then, are free to decide how to respond to his response.

    Worst case scenario, you’ll be like those celebrity couples on “reality” shows where the one guy opts out of the show so in the “reality” the reality star female is single or just casually dating but in “real reality” she has a long term B-list actor boyfriend. And yes, I’m referring to Lauren Conrad and what’s-his-name.

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Hmm… you make some very good points. I think I should stress the “It’s not you, it’s me angle.” (Btw way, I love the photo in the banner section of your blog- how fabulous! I think I need to spruce mine up a bit.)

      Reply
      • Marijke

        Aw, thanks! And I love how you make a point to respond to all the comments. And also, that your blog is such an entertaining read. Nicely done!

        Reply
  10. Jessica

    Always tell the truth, if he can’t handle it, doesn’t sound like he can handle you!

    Reply
  11. K

    Maybe if it gets serious, tell him. Otherwise, enjoy and when you get to know each other a little better, it’ll be clear that you’re not a) psycho b) a ho and c) that you genuinely like him and he’s better than all of those other dudes. If your blog was malicious and childish, this might be a different story. Don’t worry!

    Reply
  12. sarahnsh

    This is a hard one, do you let him know about it or do you let him figure out eventually? I say mention again you’re a writer, or it’s a hobby, and say kind of like, “I write about my life, and my life lately has been that I’ve been dating.” Maybe don’t go into too many details unless if he asks. I don’t know who doesn’t look someone up in google nowadays, my mom does it for me actually with my current boyfriend once she found out his last name she stalked him online. I told him about it and luckily he didn’t freak out, and knows it’s just my crazy mom.

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Haha, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has a google-stalking mom 🙂 And I imagine if I ever had a daughter some day (or a son, for that matter), I’ll be a google-stalking mom too!

      Reply
  13. Lexi

    As the others have said – honesty is the best policy, but maybe wait until the fourth date. That way he might know you a little better, and then you can ease into the subject…

    Anyhow – that was my vote. Lol On a side note, I love your blog! Your posts are great! Keep up the brilliant work!! 🙂

    Reply
  14. awindram

    If I were him I don’t think it’d be an issue. It’s only the second date so it seems like the perfect time to mention it. If, however, it were mentioned for the first time a few dates down the line then yes, I’d be annoyed. Also, probably best to stress that the blog is partly a means to further a writing career.

    Reply
  15. Lyon friend

    The only thing is by now, when he stumbles on your blog, he will also stumble on this discussion, and he will know whether you followed your own instinct or everybody’s suggestions. I’m not sure how you can get out of this predicament. However, since you’ve gone out already, he surely knows you’re a writer, so he can’t be surprised you are blogging also bout your love life. I mean, you’re a woman. I would tell him in an off-hand manner, not make too big of a deal of it, of this blog of yours because if he senses you are panicky about him reading it, he’s going to come straight here and devour all of your posts, and the comments. [Um, Hi Man from Marshalls!]

    Reply
  16. Jill

    Well I might as well throw in my two cents too. Tell, but don’t panic, and definitely don’t wait. Waiting only makes it worse, and if he really objects to having you write about this relationship, well, we will all suck it up and wait for the book and movie. Because, really. Who could make this up?

    Reply
  17. Samantha

    So far, you have already let the public know about date #16…The question you may ask yourself is, are you going to keep going to date #30 if sparks fly around Hors d’œuvres and art? If you are not going to keep the experiment going, then perhaps you could let the information come out naturally. The truth will come out eventually and perhaps he will come up with a creative segway at some point? On the other hand, if you are going to keep the experiment going, perhaps you could ask him hypothetical questions before dropping the bomb? Either way, if he’s meant to be in your life, he will be.

    Reply
  18. Elizabeth

    You don’t know me. I guess that makes me your “public”. 🙂
    You can stop blogging about it, but eventually it will come up that you didn’t mention you had ever blogged in the first place. At that point it will be more of a big deal.
    So really you’ve got to tell him. Ask him what he’s comfortable with. If he wants to know why you didn’t tell him before just explain you hadn’t considered that he wouldn’t research you or at least study your business card. If he’s not comfortable, you’ve got a decision to make. Do you like him enough to stop blogging?
    Also, you’re not parading his name around… we don’t even know his eye color, so really it shouldn’t be a big deal. You could always put it in perspective that you’re the modern day Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City… only with a spin on it. Really though, it’s your blog. Figure out what you’re comfortable with before discussing it with him. Good luck!

    Reply
  19. Nicole

    I’m no expert here, but I have some thoughts. I’m a newer reader to this Match.com dating saga, and thus I do not have the full back story yet. But you have a good story in the making here. Every good romance story (or movie) has to have the moment where one of the people in the relationship (in this case: Man from Marshalls) finds out about something the girl is doing that he doesn’t like ( in this case: the blog) and he gets all upset and then there is the part where both people are miserable and they each talk to their friends about it. And somehow they come together, there is that tense moment where every girl holds their breathe to see what the guy is going to say annnnndddddd…..miraculously make up in the end and they live happily ever after!

    I say don’t tell him yet (its the second date), as someone else mentioned he might be a serial dater too (but I doubt it based on what I’ve learned so far, which is good). So keep the story going. If he asks: “Are you seeing other people?”, that means he wants to be exclusive with you. So if he asks you this question, then you have the opportunity to tell him. If he doesn’t ask this question, you protect your heart and the building of the storyline.

    Reply
  20. Not Singularly Defined

    Oh, this is TOO good! I am so glad I stumbled across your blog. So entertaining!

    Okay . . .

    You have to tell him he is #16, because he WILL eventually find out. Eventually. If y’all end up together, it might not be for a long time. He might just one day stumble across it on your computer. It could happen.

    But . . .

    I don’t know why it would bother him or why he would care! I think most guys would just laugh about the whole thing, and maybe think it’s kind of cool that they are possibly the last #.

    It’s not the exact situation, but I had to confess to my now boyfriend that I had a blog and that I blogged about him. He didn’t freak or ask what I say about him or how much I disclose. He was just like, “That’s cool.” LOL! Guys are so not complex. Only a woman would freak over something like this. Men are too laid back . . . for the most part.

    Reply

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