If I Spill My Big Secret, Will She Leave?
Ask Demetria: You can't guess her reaction, but here's what to do to make it easier for you both.
It seems that you're past the ideal point to confess, since you're concerned that the woman you're dating will think poorly of you, and you are fearful that she will leave when you spill the beans. (Another good reason for confessing early is to protect your own feelings.) So now is the time to lay your cards on the table and give her the opportunity to make an informed decision about her continued interaction with you.
I'm guessing that your secret is pretty big -- at least to you -- since you've even been secretive about it in your query. Still, please fight the inclination to go the dramatic route and announce, "I have something to tell you!" and let your partner's mind run wild during the pregnant pause(s) until you confess.
And do yourself a favor by not making whatever your big secret is sound as if somebody just died. Just get her in a space where she's comfortable and say what needs saying as casually and calmly as possible. Don't go on the defensive if she has follow-up questions, and if she needs it, grant her the space to think about what she's just heard and get back to you with her thoughts. Pushing for acceptance, as much as you'd like to know where you stand, will likely push her away.
I know you're worried, but things might not turn out as badly as you fear. People have an uncanny way of not doing what other people expect them to do in these situations. A guy I know was once terrified to tell a woman he really liked that he had an incurable STI. He took her to the boardwalk on a sunny day (i.e., somewhere where she couldn't storm out and leave him) to tell her. She looked at him in shock and said, "Really? Me, too."
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at email@example.com.