If your boyfriend is on Tinder then he’s likely there due to desperation to feel excitement or validation from other people.
People might not label it as cheating or betrayal, but defining his actions and how you’re going to react depends on his activity on this app.
If he has been active on Tinder throughout your whole relationship then this is a major RED flag.
In this case, you should prioritize yourself and reflect on how his actions are making you feel.
What does it mean if your boyfriend is on Tinder?
Being on dating sites while in a relationship is quite a common scenario in modern dating.
Your boyfriend could be on Tinder for a variety of reasons, some possible reasons worth mentioning include (but aren’t limited to):
- wanting to cheat,
- lack of respect for you and your relationship,
- unawareness of a long-forgotten Tinder profile roaming around on Tinder,
- curiosity regarding ‘what would be out there if I were to be single?’
- low self-esteem,
- need for external validation, etc.
Generally, being on dating sites isn’t an acceptable behavior, considering it’s not socially acceptable or approved.
Your boyfriend is aware that his behavior could be very hurtful to you, regardless, he chose to proceed using Tinder.
If he’s been hiding it from you, he’s well aware of the impact his behavior would have on you.
Despite the unfairness of the situation, we’ve got to solve this diplomatically!
Here are 9 tips on what to do if you caught your boyfriend on Tinder:
1. Address the issue calmly and respectfully.
Your boyfriend is on Tinder, and the anger and sadness you could be feeling are more than understandable and reasonable.
However, depending on how you found out about it, there’s still room for giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Approach him in a calm and respectful manner while keeping your peace. This way you establish a safe ground for honest communication allowing him to
- let his guard down and be honest with you,
- be more likely to tell the truth due to a lack of need for defensiveness,
- have more consideration towards your feelings,
- not need to yell, shout, or get aggressive to prove his points.
Be empathetic and encourage him to practice mindfulness, express his feelings, and let you know what is going through his head.
Talk to him about couple counseling and its benefits.
2. Ask him about the reason why he’s on Tinder.
Take a deep breath and listen to his side of the story.
Try to remain calm and don’t try to overreact. It’s important to hear his side of the story before you make a decision or say something to him.
This will help you evaluate your feelings in rapport with your boundaries and values regarding this situation as well.
- Choose a proper moment to talk about this;
- Don’t try to use sarcasm or hold grudges so he would come to talk to you about it;
- Don’t be shy, embarrassed, or afraid: ask him the questions you want to ask;
- Try to find out if there’s something that you can work on so he won’t feel the need to download or have Tinder;
The only situation where an excuse could be reasonable is if he’d had the app a long time ago and didn’t delete or deactivate his account properly.
The rest of the ‘excuses’ are mainly decisions made with full awareness.
The reasonable part of those cases would be plainly telling you the truth instead of deceiving you.
He might be using a burner account and to find out if he’s telling the truth, you might use SwindlerBuster as a third-party app to help you narrow it down.
3. Remind him about your boundaries and your priorities.
The moment that one starts to look for things outside of the relationship to feel something, something in that relationship isn’t right.
If you have talked about the impact of dating apps in relationships before dating exclusively then use this as a pivot point.
Therefore, you should:
- Discuss your intentions and expectations from the moment you entered the relationship until now.
- If you talked with him earlier on then it’s time to remind him of how important exclusivity and faithfulness are to you!
- Encourage him to tell you how he is feeling and what he thinks/feels about this relationship and find a solution together.
4. Reflect on how his actions are making you feel (Assess the Relationship).
We agree with dating coach Susan Winter regarding authority and neediness in a relationship.
If you’re in a committed relationship then letting him know how his actions impact you doesn’t necessarily mean that you lost your relationship.
You might feel hurt and jaded and that’s why you start overthinking and you think that you might look needy.
On the contrary, being open with him and letting him know that not keeping his promise has hurt you to some extent will make you even more assertive.
The moment that you set your boundaries, you’ll either get him to reflect on his actions or you’ll finally define whether you want to be with him or not.
- Let him know that being on Tinder (whether he’s being active or not) is making you feel undervalued and unappreciated.
- Try to find out if there’s a lack of communication lately between you too and if this could be fixed.
- Take your time to think whether having a boyfriend who still uses Tinder is the boyfriend you want in your life.
- Think whether his behavior crosses your boundaries.
5. Understand that this situation cannot change without his engagement.
Your relationship isn’t promising if your boyfriend has been actively on Tinder and doesn’t offer to have a look at his profile or let you know more about it.
When he downloaded Tinder without a particular reason and has strong feelings for you, he will feel humiliated in front of you.
He might try to explain his actions and won’t try to justify what he did.
Thus, if you found your boyfriend on Tinder and he doesn’t do anything to explain himself and gets defensive, don’t try to accuse him.
In this case, it’s better to remain calm and let him know that you don’t like his actions and that you need his help to make the relationship work.
- Acknowledge his feelings and let him know that you intend to solve this issue and not make him feel bad or attack him.
- If he doesn’t try to communicate openly with you then it’s time to reflect on how this relationship is impacting you and make a decision.
6. Try to see if his intentions align with his actions.
If your boyfriend claims that he’s using Tinder to make friends then check if his intentions are pure.
Suggest to him other ways of meeting friends and why you don’t think this is a good idea.
Check how he reacts when you tell him other ways of finding friends and if he considers your opinions.
On top of it all, check for external signs. If he isn’t using Tinder to meet friends, he’ll get way too excited to get Tinder notifications.
Then, he’ll be constantly on his phone, he will slowly distance himself emotionally and physically from you.
Also, he’ll try to hang out with you less.
7. Assess and reflect on his actions.
Check how he reacts when you mention that you found out that he’s on Tinder.
Even if he hasn’t been active lately, does he try to manipulate or blame you for the reasons he’s on Tinder?
If your answer to this is yes, then we’ve got a red flag.
Until now, I have constantly mentioned that you shouldn’t accuse him.
But, if he tries to gaslight you when you ask him about his Tinder account then it’s better to take a look at this situation differently.
- If you sense gaslighting, blaming, or a high sense of defensiveness then take it as a sign to reconsider the entire relationship.
- See if he’s kind and truthful with you.
- You have every right to leave the relationship if you don’t feel like you could trust him again.
8. Take time and space away from one another for a while.
If your boyfriend was on Tinder before dating exclusively and you never requested his account to delete after you date, there’s no need to overreact.
Take your time. He might have thought that there was nothing wrong with it and it wasn’t bothering you since you didn’t discuss it earlier.
But, now if this thing bothers you, have a conversation with him and let him know that having a Tinder account is a big no-no for you.
You can tell him that since you’re dating exclusively now, it makes you feel uncomfortable to see his Tinder account.
Take the time you both need to reflect on the recent events. After the dust settles it’ll be easier for both of you to think and do things more rationally.
9. Prioritize yourself and ask for help.
It might look like nothing but when you find out that your boyfriend has a Tinder, it can be traumatizing.
It can leave you questioning his love for you, and your trust in him.
Especially if he’s been on the Tinder app for a while when you requested him to delete it.
- Thus, take your time to process what you’re feeling.
- It’s important to understand him too but more important is to not ignore yourself and your feelings too.
- If this process is way too overwhelming for you then try to ask for professional help. You can also talk to a therapist or to a counselor to define what you’re feeling and what steps to take.
- Rely on your support system such as friends, family, support group(s), etc.
When my boyfriend and I fight, he downloads Tinder and says he does it out of boredom. Should I trust him?
Definitely not. In this case, you shouldn’t trust him because he chose an immature way to deal with relationship issues or plain boredom.
When couples fight, it’s quite normal to distance themselves a bit and maybe not talk for hours or days.
But, downloading Tinder is a form of escape for him. And it isn’t a healthy one.
If he’s a narcissist or a controlling partner, he might do it to just let you know that there are other options than you.
If he doesn’t take any action to change his behavior then try going No Contact and reflect on your relationship.
A partner who actively makes choices that hurt you – while being aware of those choices’ impact on you – isn’t a partner you should trust.
Is it a red flag if your boyfriend wants to be on Tinder to make friends?
Yes, to use Tinder as a platform to make friends is a red flag.
There are multiple other sources to find friends if he’s that sociable and has a need to meet new people.
He can join different communities online or in person, go to a bar, join a basketball game, or anything but Tinder.
This is not an excuse for him to have a Tinder account if he is dating you exclusively.
Indeed, other apps than Tinder are designed only to make friends such as Bumble BFF.
Tinder isn’t like other apps: Facebook or Instagram. It is a dating app.
He might be using this as an excuse to be more than friends with these people.
And if he’s a narcissist then he might use it as a tool to manipulate you.
He wants to keep you under control and show you that you might lose him any minute.
He can use other apps to make friends and still cheat.
You can chat on Tinder and just be friends but the thing is there’s always going to be room for suspicion considering that Tinder is a dating app.
If your boyfriend downloaded Tinder without telling you and is being defensive, this is a red flag.
If you’re in a committed relationship and he talks about how he would download Tinder to make friends then that’s different.
He might ask you about suggestions and you would discuss people’s profiles together then that can not be labeled as a red flag.
The moment that he communicates with you and is open then he wants you to know about his actions, there’s likely nothing fishy going on.
However, if he does it behind your back, just to go on and tell you he’s trying to make friends there, then you’ve just spotted a bright red flag.
In conclusion: My boyfriend downloaded Tinder!
To define why your boyfriend downloaded Tinder and how to react depending on your relationship with him, we need to analyze this from a broader context.
You might have started dating but not exclusively and he feels like he has no obligation towards you, so he continues to be a part of dating apps.
On the other hand, even if you are dating exclusively and don’t discuss your priorities in the beginning, he might take advantage of it.
He might think that there’s nothing wrong if he is still a part of Tinder.
Thus, reflect on how you communicate with one another and on what type of relationship you’re in.
Don’t underestimate yourself. Set boundaries and choose whether it’s worth it to mend the relationship, or move forward and mend your trust in people.