Sometimes keeping a secret is the easiest way to safeguard from shattering someone's heart. It might sound good in theory to be open and honest about how you're feeling, but that can come with repercussions. Take, for instance, how your parents would feel if they knew you did drugs or accidentally killed the family pet. But, parents aren't the only people who you might need to keep a secret or two from for the sake of their sanity.
If you haven't had to spare someone you were dating, then I guess you can consider yourself less morally bankrupt than those below:
My current boyfriend and really no one knows this. When we started dating I was fucking this couple, and I stood him up on a date we had. I told him I forgot, but really I was fucked up and having hot sex. I haven't talked to those two since. —Sarah*, 27
Once I got blackout drunk and had sex in a bar bathroom in Brooklyn with a bartender who was working there. My ex never did find out exactly what happened, but I did have a bit of a time explaining to him how I somehow contracted an STI. Yeah, that relationship did not work out. —Madeleine*, 26
My ex was an artist. I once blamed a paint spill on the cat, but really I was being petty as fuck: I spilled a small can of paint over one of the paintings he had started because he was being a cunt. —Kaylin, 27
Once while I was on Warped Tour I hooked up with two girls in my band's van in the parking lot. I felt super guilty about it but then I got home and found out she had been hooking up with this guy. So I guess we were in the same place. But I mean she came clean about it; I kept mine to myself. I don't even think my band knew because they were all selling merch, which doesn't say much for how long I lasted in my first threesome attempt. —Matt, 29
Here's a secret I never told my most recent ex… I never told him that I planned to move to Nashville to pursue a songwriting career within three years. Nearly everyone else around me knew, but I was sure he would ditch me immediately if he knew. No way would he ever move with me. We broke up without me ever telling him. Ironically, my current boyfriend/low-key fiancé (we're basically engaged but waiting for some stuff to make it 100% official) is from Tennessee and currently lives in Nashville, where I'm moving... It sounds like I orchestrated it this way, but I didn't [laughs]. —Lindsay, 25
I hid that I was doing coke and fucking her friends when she was away on a trip. —Marc*, 28
Girl dates guy. Guy goes on vacation. Girl cheats on guy. Girl gets STD, has sex with boyfriend before knowing. Secretly doses his protein shake with antibiotics… He never found out. —Alex*, 27
I was a nanny in another country and fucked my host dad. I ended up having an affair with him. Then I moved to another town and fell in love with his brother and was with him. No one in the family knew. —Eleanor*, 23
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.