There’s nothing quite as gut-wrenching in a relationship as realizing that a partner is being possibly unfaithful.
It makes us feel and think all sorts of negative things—all while being filled with doubts about ourselves, our reality, and the relationship.
What can even be done when we catch a partner on dating apps?
Is it over?
Only if it is deemed so by you—however, there are many actions to be considered before rushing a decision.
And I’m here to help.
Here’s what to do after catching your partner on dating apps or sites!
1. First of all, take a deep breath and avoid assuming the worst.
I know that seeing your partner on dating platforms is an ugly sight to behold—you’re feeling upset and the last thing you want to do is calm down.
That’s a very normal and reasonable reaction to such a heart-wrenching situation.
However, it’s best we keep our cool in situations that require rational and calm thinking.
Nothing can be done in an overwhelming state.
Take a deep breath and get yourself to calm down—although it’s obvious what them being on dating sites means, don’t assume anything just yet.
Know that there could be other non-malicious reasons why your boyfriend is on a dating platform.
Get a glass of water and get yourself to calm down to thoroughly think about the situation and what you want to do next.
2. Find out whether he’s active on those dating apps or not.
Before you take any further action, I recommend you first assess whether your boyfriend is active on his dating profiles or not.
Meanwhile, apps like Tinder delete inactive users’ accounts or at the very least make them invisible, some apps don’t do that.
Meaning that if your boyfriend made a dating profile long ago—before your relationship—it’s possible for it to be still up.
However, he may not be using it and factually hasn’t used it in a while.
- Check his activity status on the app;
- See if he’s posted anything recently;
- Check if his profile is being updated;
- See for yourself if he responds or not.
If he shows signs of being active and using the app, then by all means, go ahead and don’t let him get away with it.
But if his profile is a ghost town, we can’t blame him.
According to facts from a study on online dating, three in ten US adults have admitted to ever using a dating site or app.
When we think about it, that’s a whopping number of people who have made a dating profile at least once.
With this large number, it’s possible that your partner made a profile long ago and forgot to delete it.
3. Confront him about it.
Note that you don’t have to confront him if you don’t want to; if you’re thinking of simply breaking up with him, I 100% understand.
You caught him on a dating app and that’s enough, right?
Though, I can’t help but recommend that you do discuss with him if you care for him and the relationship.
As I said, there could be a solid explanation for his actions.
Tell him that you found him on a specific dating app/site and that you want to talk about it.
Calmly approach him so that he won’t feel the need to lie or defend himself—if he still does, that’s one more reason to give him the boot.
Don’t accuse him of anything yet, and see what he has to say for himself.
You can try saying something like:
- “Hey, can we talk about something? So, I just found your profile on [dating app] and I’m feeling confused/hurt/upset. Why are you still on there?”
- “There’s something I want to talk about. I saw your profile on [dating app] and it shocked me. I don’t want to assume so I thought I’d talk to you about it.”
- “I saw that you were still using [dating app] and we need to talk about that. Is there any reason why you might be still using it?”
- “Hey, I thought I’d talk to you about your [dating app] profile before jumping to any conclusion. Is there something you want to tell me?”
- “I was so shocked to see that you were on [dating app]. Are you still active on it? I didn’t want to assume anything unhealthy.”
Put your foot down and tell him that you deserve an explanation.
4. Ask for the reason why he’s still on dating apps.
When confronting him, make sure to ask for an explanation and the reason why he’s still on a specific dating app/site.
Although there’s rarely a reason to do that, it can be more helpful for you to understand the situation if you get more insight into it.
Did he open the account to see what’s out there, or did deleting his account completely slip his mind a long time ago?
Whatever the reason, you deserve to be told the truth.
At the end of the day, this conversation will reveal a lot about his intentions, his sincerity – or lack of it – and his approach to you.
5. Talk to him about how it made you feel.
Do consider letting him know how his presence on dating platforms makes you feel.
It should be quite obvious how a partner would feel in this type of situation, but men never cease to amaze us with just how clueless they can be.
And if not that, they deliberately go on dating apps knowing it hurts their partner.
Whatever the case, express how him being—potentially active—on dating apps/sites makes you feel.
Do so calmly and rationally so that he can hopefully bring himself to act maturely.
6. Remind him of your boundaries.
Finding him on dating apps can make your relationship reach a point where boundaries need to be discussed.
You can try telling your boyfriend how uncomfortable it is knowing he’s on dating apps.
It is not up to us to impose decisions on people. Our responsibility is to show them our boundaries and let them freely pick their choices.
In this case, you want to make it clear that you don’t want a partner who’s active on dating sites and that it doesn’t make you feel validated.
You can tell him something along these lines:
- “It makes me uncomfortable knowing that you still have your dating platform accounts. I’m not going to impose a decision on you, though this crosses my boundaries, and I’m willing to leave if you continue this behavior.”
- “It’s not that I don’t trust you, however, it makes me feel uneasy that you’re still on dating platforms. I don’t see the point in having those accounts. It would put my mind at ease knowing that you deleted them.”
- “Is there a really important reason why you’re using that kind of app? I have to say, it makes me feel a certain way. I don’t think I’m okay with you being there.”
7. Watch his reactions closely.
Whenever you decide to talk to him about it, pay close attention to his reactions and behavior.
By doing so, we’ll get a better understanding of the backstory.
If he’s partaking in unfaithful activities, he’s going to act a certain way.
According to EvolveTherapy, it can be a bit tricky to tell a guilty person apart from an innocent one, however, some signs help, such as:
- Attempting to deflect the topic;
- Lying about certain things;
- Refusing to cooperate;
- Denying all accusations despite obvious proof;
- Concealing obvious evidence.
- Trying to blame you for his actions;
- Trying to guilt-trip you for bringing the topic up;
- Distancing himself from the topic altogether (such as using only third-person pronouns);
- Always punishing you by giving you the cold treatment instead of talking things out.
- Manifesting physical signs of obvious guilt (e.g. blushing, changed facial expressions, weird eye contact patterns, etc).
If his behavior looks something like this, there’s a high chance that he’s been using dating platforms as a form of cheating.
On the other hand, a person who tries their best to communicate and listen to you while also apologizing for their actions and promising to never repeat the same mistakes is generally a good sign.
A guilty person knows they’re guilty and are always on the lookout; their behavior usually gives them away.
8. Test him: bring up the topic of dating apps.
Another tip has to do with observing one’s reaction; bring up the topic of dating apps or sites.
Test him by bringing the topic up in some sort of way; assess whether he’s guilty or not.
Ask him what his opinion on dating platforms is and if he’s ever used them.
Or tell a made-up story about a friend who’s online dating.
As mentioned above, a guilty person reacts differently from an innocent one.
For example, if he tries to change the topic, leave the conversation, distance himself from it, and/or go silent, then that’s grounds for suspicion.
Or if he denies ever using dating apps when you ask him.
If he shows physical and emotional signs of discomfort, then that’s a cue to leave.
9. Tell him the truth about how you found out.
When finding your boyfriend on dating apps and talking about it, prepare to be asked about how you found out.
Dating apps and websites are usually very firm with their users’ privacy; finding a dating profile isn’t that easy.
Meaning that to find someone on a dating app, we would have to:
a. Use a third-party app/site – such as Swindlerbuster – to find a dating profile;
b. Use an account to find a specific person;
c. Use the app ourselves (swiping to find other people);
d. Snoop on our partners’ electronics;
e. Notice the app/site on our partner’s phone/computer by chance.
Whatever method, we need to be honest about how we found out.
If we were doubting our partner and that pushed us to use some questionable methods, or if we were using the app, then it needs to be talked about.
By doing this you’re allowing the relationship to progress and grow healthy; you’re talking things out with your partner.
And however things turn out, you’ll find comfort in the fact that you were honest and what was supposed to happen, happened.
10. Know that what you’re feeling is valid and understandable.
Realize that what you’re feeling is completely reasonable and normal—despite his attempts to convince you otherwise.
You’re not overthinking or being insecure, not even one bit.
Finding a partner on dating platforms is enough to make anyone uncomfortable and upset—you’re not alone.
In my experience, whenever there’s a sound reason to get upset, a toxic partner tends to make it seem as if you’re acting “crazy” or overthinking.
And that’s not the truth; don’t allow him to manipulate and tell you what you’re okay with and what not.
Some men have the nerve to tell their girlfriends “It’s not what it looks like!” after being caught naked in bed with someone else.
So of course they dare to convince their partner they’re overreacting.
If your boyfriend/fiancé/husband is trying to downplay your feelings, don’t let him do that; he could be saying what’s convenient for him.
Finding out that a partner has been using dating apps is more than enough reason to start suspecting his loyalty.
And he knows that.
11. Decide if you want to end or continue the relationship.
Taking all things into consideration, it’s up to you to decide if the relationship should go on.
Think about the next step in your relationship.
Consider his reasons, explanation, and overall stance during this time and give a long, hard thought about whether he deserves a second chance or not.
Did his response satisfy you?
Did it explain anything?
Or did he cross a boundary he shouldn’t have?
Sometimes, letting go is easier than holding onto certain people.
You deserve better than an indecisive man who isn’t mature enough to differentiate right from wrong.
If he and the relationship are deemed by you worthy of a second chance, then follow your heart.
However, if he partook in unfaithful activities and continues to hurt you, understand that he’s not worth it.
Possible reasons why he’s on dating apps.
After finding out your boyfriend is on dating apps you have little to no time to think about his reasoning behind it.
Though after the dust settles a little, your mind is likely to wander. Why is he on dating apps?
Here are some common reasons why men in relationships go on dating sites:
– He’s on dating platforms to cheat.
Let’s get one of the most common and painful reasons: he’s there intending to cheat.
Unfortunately, this is usually the case with a lot of people in relationships who use dating platforms.
They’re looking to get their sexual desires fulfilled elsewhere or by multiple partners.
– He wants attention or validation.
Now, whether you consider this cheating or not, he may be going there because he wants attention and validation.
He wants more people to notice him and make him feel wanted—this is usually a sign of low self-esteem.
– He forgot to delete his account.
As I mentioned, some dating platforms don’t delete inactive users’ accounts, and considering that the majority of people have had a dating profile at least once in their life, this is a plausible explanation.
It’s possible—but not necessarily true—that he has an old account he hasn’t used in forever.
– He’s looking for other people.
Unfortunately, this is another possible reason.
A surprisingly high number of people use dating apps and sites to find a person they can form a relationship with.
– He’s just looking.
Again, depending on the person, this can be considered as cheating or not.
Either way is understandable.
But yes, one other reason why people in relationships visit dating sites is to look around and enjoy the view; See what they’re missing out on, sort of.
– He hasn’t/doesn’t want to fully commit.
In which case, he’s talking to multiple women out of commitment issues.
He can’t and/or doesn’t want to commit to a serious, exclusive relationship and is using dating apps as an escape.
He wants multiple options.
Now, do note that a fear of commitment is usually caused by bigger, underlying issues that make people afraid and/or unwilling to commit.
But despite that, you don’t have to put up with the pain he’s causing.
– He’s doing it out of spite.
He wants to get back at you for something you might’ve done that hurt him—that, or he doesn’t trust you.
He’s hoping to get his revenge and show you that if he wanted to, he could have other women.
This, of course, is a huge red flag with the word “toxic” plastered all over it.
Don’t let anyone overstep your boundaries.
Ultimately, having a partner who’s still swiping left and right is unsettling.
If it’s an obvious violation of your boundaries, I 100% am with you.
Whatever reasons a significant other might have for being present on such platforms, I highly doubt it’s a big one.
Remember, this was his choice, his decision. Now it’s time for you to make a decision.
Do you want to work this out with him, or do you want to move on and not tolerate disrespectful behavior?