Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Talk honestly about online dating emails

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Q: I've been dating my wonderful boyfriend for almost 2 1/2 years. We met online. I recently discovered that he (unlike me) has kept his online profile this entire time. I used his computer to look up a recipe since it was on the kitchen table, and I saw that he still receives emails from the site recommending matches — and he reads them! I don't believe he is actively using the site, and I know he's not cheating on me. We're very happy together. But am I wrong to be a little weirded out by this?

Online

A: You are not "wrong" — or "right" — to be weirded out by this. It's a feeling based on a fact, and so denying or correcting yourself would be an early step in ignoring information just because it's negative. Bad precedent to set.

What matters now, and where "right" and "wrong" are valid, is what you do with the information. It would be wrong to come out, accusations blazing, and corner your boyfriend on the profile and the emails. There are just too many possible explanations for what you saw.

The right thing would be to tell him you noticed these emails, tell him how you feel about it, and pay careful attention to the way he reacts — body language, emotions, words — and run it through the filter of what you know about him already. Then you decide whether this is something, and he is someone, you need to worry about.

That's the right way not only because it's fair to him, but also because approaching it with an open mind gives each of you the best chance to see what's actually happening here.

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