True story. I was out with a guy I met at work, he’s 23 and I’m 21. We ate at PF Chang’s, had some ice cream at Baskin Robbins and went to a movie. Later we went back to his apartment. He has a roommate so we went to my date’s bedroom to watch TV and hang out. His bathroom is right off the bedroom…..within earshot. We were having a good time and he excused himself to the restroom. It was so loud. I felt embarrassed for him. I didn’t know what to do. In a pretty snake move I just left while he was in the bathroom. Not because I was even bothered, but because I was so embarrassed FOR him. I confessed to my friend how I had ditched him and she told me she’s been in a similar situation as the guy because she’s lactose intolerant. What???! We had gone for ice cream after dinner! Maybe that was it. So we’ve been texting a bit since then. I lied and told him that the last time we were together I got an emergency text from my roommate and had to leave without saying goodbye. He likes me and I want to see him again. Do I just pretend nothing happened or should I try to be sensitive and apologize for leaving when he was obviously sick? Should I ask if he’s lactose intolerant? IDK what to say, if anything at all.
Have you ever heard the expression that you don’t know what someone else is going through unless you’ve walked in their shoes? On the flip side, don’t feel too bad. The situation was awkward, for sure, but it doesn’t make you a terrible person. While little white lies are usually best avoided, in this case, and at this very early stage of seeing him, let it go. See how things go next time, and eventually you might mention you have a friend who’s lactose intolerant. Letting him know you have an understanding of this condition will open the door for him to feel comfortable discussing it with you if it is in fact the case with him.
– Susan F.
MSW/LCSW and Vivante Health Sherpa