Ask Minda Honey: He Kept His Out-of-State Kid A Secret — Deal-breaker?

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Hey, Minda!

I have started seeing a new guy, who has been amazing, but it has not been very long at all. We matched on Hinge, but I realized we had some mutual friends after seeing his Instagram. I asked a girl I’m good friends with what his deal was (if he’s nice? A psycho? Fuckboy? You know the drill). She mentioned that he has a kid in (a state) where he used to be stationed. The mom apparently doesn’t allow him to be involved because she’s crazy … and I don’t know anything about their relationship either.

At this point in my life, I’m not really sure I ever want kids, but considering it hasn’t been long since we met, that hasn’t exactly been a hot topic, so I’m not sure where he stands with it. He also hasn’t mentioned anything about having a kid, which is where I’m concerned.

Is it a bad thing that he hasn’t said anything? Should I assume that he is trying to wait for the right time to bring it up? Would I be selfish to bring up that I know about it? If he really isn’t able to be involved, is he trying to pretend the kid doesn’t exist? I don’t want to force him into a conversation he isn’t ready to have, but it’s been weighing on me, and I feel like I’m playing some manipulative game with him like I’m trying to catch him in a lie. If he doesn’t bring this up, then what else is he not bringing up? I’m torn. SOS.

—DePLOYment

Hello DePLOYment,

Once I matched with this guy on Hinge. He had an uncommon name, lived in a little college town and created a very specific kind of art. So, basically, dude was super Google-able. While we were chatting, I plugged his info into a search box. I was not expecting to learn that his parents were dead, and also that the woman he’d been raised to believe was his sister was actually his mother. Sitting on that info during the silent stretches of our tea date was purdy awkward, Ploy.

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We never had a second date, but we did text back and forth for an amount of time that my friends will tell you was too damn long. At some point, when he started sharing his art with me, I went ahead and came clean about Googling him and finding his personal website with his family info on it. He was super chill about it. I mean he did put it right there on the internet for anyone to find.

Another time, I Googled a guy mid-match and found that he’d been arrested for domestic violence. When I asked him about it, he said, “They didn’t convict me on it” not “I didn’t do it.” That was the end of that!

My point is: It’s not uncommon these days for folks to do a little research. Particularly women, particularly with men we don’t know — “Stranger Danger” isn’t just for kids. Obvs, you shouldn’t be on some Detective Gadget shit, but, at the very least, this means asking mutuals about a potential doesn’t make you a weirdo. Only problem is, you have no control over what you’re going to find out.

This is how I’d play it if I were you. “Looks like we have some friends in common. Do you know Jennifer?” At this point, he’ll prolly realize what’s up. He knows Jenny, and he knows she’s not shy about running her mouth. So, either he’ll immediately know and fess up, or maybe he doesn’t know her that well and doesn’t know how much she knows about him, or he’s particularly strategic, and he’ll say, “Oh, yeah? You asked her about me? What’d she say?” At which point, it’s you who has to fess up: “I was a little surprised actually. She said something about a kid…?” Phrase it like a question and don’t let any judgment seep in.

Things could be really complicated with the kid situation, and he could have a good reason for not bringing it. It could be a fresh scenario he doesn’t know how to talk about yet. Or, maybe he sees this as something casual and doesn’t feel the need to catch you up on all his business. Don’t judge until you have the full story (or a sense of whether he’s on some shady shit.)

—Minda

P.S. The real red flag probably should be that he described the mother of his child as “crazy.” But hey, I could be wrong. •

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