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Is Withholding Information the Same as Lying?

Updated: Jun 3

In my extensive dating experience, I have had the pleasure of hearing several men say that withholding information is not lying.  Usually, this is a response to my disclaimer when I openly confess that my biggest pet peeve is when someone lies to me.

I usually get a prideful response that runs in the lines of “I don’t lie to the woman I’m with, I may leave some things out, but I don’t lie”.  This statement makes me feel a bit uncomfortable since for me withholding information is in the same realm as lying.  Granted is not an outright lie, but you are not painting the whole picture to the other person.

Do you think withholding information is the same as lying?

When I hear this statement from a guy, I automatically feel distrust.  From that point on, I don’t know if what they are telling me is the whole story or if they are leaving bits out for me to find later.

What about if what he’s withholding is important for me to know?

It could be something very minor as the number of ladies he has dated, or it could be something that is critical for me such as his STD history or that he just recently broke up with his baby momma, or that he has a legal case against him.  The latter is things that will affect me if I develop a bond with that person and I would like to know this before I get serious.

At the beginning of a relationship it may not be the right time to share, but certainly don’t leave this information on the back burner and forget about it!  I believe that information that is sensitive in nature which has the power to affect those around you should be share with those people.

I wouldn’t want to get serious with someone who has withheld something from me.  Clearly without having all the information, I would not honestly know who this person is.  How can one say ‘I love you’ or ‘I want to be your girlfriend’ when you don’t know him?  These will be invalid statements if they are utter before having a complete picture of that person.

My latest obsession is Love and Hip Hop New York.  The love triangle between Tara-Peter-Amina has me feeling some type of way.  It’s obvious that Peter was lying, but most importantly he was withholding information to both ladies and portraying himself as single to Amina and as a devoted dad and boyfriend to Tara.

I doubt that Amina would have married Peter if he had told her that he was still living with Tara and having sex with her every once in a while.  Instead of telling her outright his living arrangement, he withheld that information from her.  The way he carried himself gave Amina the impression that he was a single man, and as a woman who fell in love with him, she married him.

If Tara would have known that Peter was getting serious with Amina, I am sure she would have put a stop to it, and the marriage would not have happened.  Instead, Peter withheld this side of his life from Tara, and she went on living her life as if she and Peter’s relationship was still intact.

This love triangle would be non-existent now if Peter would have been forthcoming in sharing vital information to the women that are part of his life.  Withholding information is not the same as lying, but it causes the same damage.  I would prefer it if men were honest and man enough to lay their cards on the table and let the woman decide whether this is a relationship they want to be a part of.

Some would say yes, and stay while others will say no, but thanks for playing.  At least, the ones that say yes cannot complain later that they didn’t know.  On the same token, the man would know that he has a willing partner by his side and not one who may leave as soon as everything is revealed.

Love and lust are not enough to cover up lies and newly discovered deal breakers.  Once the seed of distrust is planted, it takes a lot of hard work and consistency to rip it from the root and build a garden with the seed of trust.



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