If I saw a friend's partner on a dating app, here is how I predict my stream-of-conscious would go: "WTF. Wait... is that really Nick? No way. Oh f*ck. That's Nick. WHY, Nick?! You have a girlfriend and she rules. She is, in fact, hotter than you. AND NOW YOU'VE PUT ME IN A SUPER WEIRD POSITION. Are you even active on a dating app? Do you know how this works? I can see you. GOD DAMNIT, NICK!" If you see your friend's partner on a dating app, what the hell are you supposed to do?
My first impulse would be to swipe right on hypothetical Nick and call him out on his BS. However, that could be misinterpreted by Nick and eventually my friend, leading to more drama and weirdness and maybe even Nick thinking it's OK to take his dick out in front of me one day. (Hellooooo men of 2017!) Also, what if we didn't even match on the app? All would be for naught.
My next idea would be to screenshot Nick's profile and send it directly to my friend (his girlfriend). This would definitely explode in my face, and would be baseless. What if he forgot to delete his old dating app profile? What if someone else was using his face to catfish? What if it was for a short film shoot? (Been there.) Because really, who would be dumb enough to have a profile up on a dating app while in a relationship anyway?
Woof. Nothing about this circumstance is fun.
If you happen to be in the unfortunate position of having seen your friend's partner on a dating app, here are some things to consider before choosing a course of action:
Think About How Close Of A Friend This Person Is
This sounds harsh, but I do think it's important to consider how well you actually know Nick's girlfriend before careening into action mode. You don't want to be stirring a pot that is not yours to stir. I spoke to relationship expert and founder of SpoonmeetSpoon Meredith Golden about when you should actually say something to a friend whose partner seems to be swiping away on a dating app.
"If [the friend] is someone from school who you had coffee with twice, don’t say anything," says Golden. "For all you know, they could have an arrangement and both be on [a dating app]." Fair point. Open relationships and polyamory are increasingly common.
Plus, she adds, it's a dating app. One of this acquaintance's friends will be swiping and let her BFF know that her SO is on a dating app.
If You Must, Share The News In A Sensitive Way
If Nick's girlfriend is your very best friend, you should share the news. Wouldn't you want to know if your SO was on a dating app? First, make sure that the profile is real and current. If you saw Nick on a dating app with a "last active" indicator, check that. See if any of his profile pictures are recent. Maybe even text a close friend who you can trust — don't blow up your BFF's spot — about whether she knows anything about an open relationship.
If you decide Nick is probably just really bad at hiding his indiscretions and is on a dating app with nefarious intentions, think about how you'd like to hear the bad news. I think an email or carefully crafted text, where you can be clear on your wording and allow your friend to digest the news on her own time, is best. Don't send the screenshot, but make sure you have it on hand, as she'll probably want proof.
Here's the deal: Even if you are right, and Nick is a cheating loser, your friend is going to associate you with this terrible revelation, and will likely be mad at you too. "The friendship has to be close enough that it’s worth taking the bullet," shares Golden. "And as a friend, it’s imperative that you support your friend after delivering the news."
I think Golden has it right — be as nonjudgmental and supportive of your friend as possible. If Nick and her break up, offer your free nights to be there for her, and offer your couch for her to stay on. If she decides to stay with him, be there for her anyways. While your romantic endeavors strangely injected you into their personal life, you're not a part of their relationship. Finally, good luck. This is the trickiest situation and I'm sorry you're in it.
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