Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.
You’ve just discovered that your girlfriend is using a dating site. Maybe you spotted a notification on her phone, or your single friend found her while browsing on his dating app. Regardless of how you found out, this news can be disconcerting.
While you obviously want to give the benefit of the doubt and wish to avoid assuming that she’s cheating, the thought may continue to taunt you, especially if you don’t open up in a dialogue. If your girlfriend has an active dating account and you’re not OK with that, it may be time to have a conversation with her about it.
How to Bring Up Your Girlfriend’s Active Dating Profile
Good communication is crucial in any relationship. You’ll likely want to address your concerns with your partner without needlessly damaging the relationship, rendering it toxic or accusing her of the worst. Here are a few tips for starting a conversation about your girlfriend’s active dating profile.
It’s important to be open and honest about what you’re feeling — as well as how you found the profile in the first place. If you went onto her laptop to snoop around and came across an active Match.com profile, are you ready to admit that to your girlfriend? Lying about it is likely to lead to more deception and dishonesty in your relationship.
Gauge her reaction.
Does your girlfriend stumble over her words when you bring up the subject of her dating profile? Offer irrelevant details? Dance around the topic? Be aware of both her physical and verbal cues and responses to see if she’s uncomfortable, overly defensive, or nervous. She may simply be flustered about the topic, but these behaviors could also be signs that she has something to hide.
Avoid making demands.
Assuming you’re uncomfortable with the idea of your girlfriend maintaining her dating profile, you probably want to tell her to take it down. However, bringing this up can be a delicate situation: you don’t want to come off as controlling or jealous, but you don’t want your girlfriend to disrespect your committed relationship, either.
Demanding that your girlfriend delete her profile right in front of you might spark a defensive reaction from her. Simply tell her how you feel and see if she is willing to make a change. If she says she will delete the profile, you can try and trust her to do so after your conversation.
Listen to her story.
People can and do sometimes use dating apps to find platonic friendships. It’s a possibility that when your new girlfriend started her profile, she was only looking to meet some buddies – male or female. So, it may be that she kept it active for this reason, even after meeting you. Before jumping to any conclusions, hear her out and determine whether you are comfortable with this arrangement.
Revisit the topic of exclusivity.
If your girlfriend admits that she has an active dating profile and doesn’t see anything wrong with it, it could be that because you two haven’t had a clear conversation (or perhaps any conversation at all) on the topic of being exclusive. If you are faithful to your girlfriend and expect the same from her, make sure she knows it until she explicitly agrees to a monogamous relationship.
If you’ve already had a conversation about exclusivity, perhaps you and your girlfriend didn’t walk away with the same understanding about your expectations of each other. This may be a good time to revisit the topic and lay out what you each feel is and isn’t acceptable in the relationship.
Ultimately, it’s best to follow your own intuition. Based on the stage of your relationship and your willingness to be open with each other, you can decide if your girlfriend’s behavior warrants a breakup, or is rather a catalyst for communication, change, and, hopefully, a stronger relationship.