When Your Ethics Don’t Align — Never Meet in the Middle

Personal values should be non-negotiable in a relationship

Judith Victoria
5 min readApr 19, 2022
Image: Cottonbro

“I’m not sure if I’m comfortable doing this,” I said with a slight shiver in my voice because I didn’t like disappointing him.

“Come on,” he pleaded. “We’ll both make a lot of money out of it. And you’re not doing anything illegal; I just don’t want them to know you are my girlfriend.”

I didn’t dare to say no, so I tried to negotiate. “I know lying isn’t illegal, but I don’t want to take this job if I have to lie for it.”

He rolled his eyes. “I’m not asking you to lie about anything, just don’t mention we’re together, that’s it. You can walk in there without broadcasting to the world we’re dating, right?”

Annoyed, I mumbled something about lying by omission, but he wasn’t convinced. So I did what I always did; I followed his lead — albeit under protest.

I was hired on the spot and managed to only mention my boyfriend in his professional role — as my recruiter. But after two weeks, I slipped up. Over lunch, my manager asked me about my weekend, and without even thinking twice, I mentioned how R. and I had visited his parents and went on a beautiful hike.



Judith Victoria

Essays on life, love, and other lousy stuff. Otherworldly flash fiction & romantic short stories. Failing forward. Perpetually amazed.