I’ve been dating a guy for a month, we slept together recently and said we’d be exclusive. However, he still goes on match.com (this is how we met). I don’t know that he is necessarily doing anything bad, maybe just chatting with women to stroke his ego… but it bothers me that he’s doing it .
I know I am being sneaky/snoopy by checking up on him to see how often her goes on the site (and he goes on often!), but I am looking out for myself. It’s not like I’d call this guy my boyfriend already, I know it’s still early… but what’s your opinion?
Is this guy bad news or should I just relax and be fine with the fact that he still logs on to match.com at this point?
Author’s note: I have expanded the content of this article since it’s original post (as I do from time to time). This is thanks, in part, to your excellent comments and questions from the audience. As such, some of the comments (which I have preserved) bring up points that I have since addressed in this revision.
Right off the top, you mentioned that you and he have agreed to be exclusive. It’s reasonable to interpret that as meaning you’ve agreed to not date anyone or sleep with anyone else, but I want to ask: when you agreed to be exclusive, how did this come about? How clear was his side of the agreement to being committed?
I am asking because I don’t know if this agreement is assumed on your part or if he explicitly said, “Yes, you and I are exclusive…” or, better yet, “I want to be exclusive with you.”
I’ll explain why I bring that up in a moment, but at any rate I agree with you that checking his dating profile seems out of step with having an exclusive relationship with you…
I also wouldn’t even classify this as snooping, per se. You didn’t hack into his phone. You didn’t somehow break into and read his emails or texts. You’re just seeing what he’s doing online and that information is freely available to the world. Your motivations for checking up on this are worth looking at, though, because it gives me the feeling that either something inside you feels like you don’t quite trust this guy or that you don’t trust the relationship you’re in to have trust as a quality (and so you’re always checking and testing because you don’t have that trust to begin with… this is separate, but I want to address it for your sake in general).
If I were in your shoes, I would say something along the lines of: “Hey listen… when we talked a little while ago, you said we’re exclusive… that is what we agreed, right?”
(I would listen for if their answer is a clear “yes” or if it’s some vague, weird, wishy-washy response… in which case, I would interpret that as a not-yes and assume that you are definitely NOT exclusive and assume he is indeed acting accordingly…)
If he says yes, I would go on to say: “OK, good, that’s what I thought. Look… we live in a time where everyone can see everything that’s going on online with people. Something in me made me curious and I looked at your Match profile and saw you’d logged on recently after we said we’d be exclusive. And I while it did make me feel confused and a bit nervous, I figured it’s always possible it could have been something innocent – maybe you were canceling the service, changing your billing info, etc. But then I saw you kept logging in…
“So look… I’m not here to ‘catch you’ or worry about what you may or may not be up to… if you want something other than an exclusive relationship… if that’s not what you want with me or in general, 100% in your mind, heart, body and soul… then that’s honestly fine. I don’t think it makes you a bad person, I wouldn’t hate you, I wouldn’t be mad at you. Life is complicated and the heart wants what the heart wants. So…
“When I saw this, it just doesn’t line up with someone who wants to be 100% exclusive. Again, I don’t think it makes you bad, but I have to look out for myself. I’m not going to be in something where I have to worry or wonder that the person I’m exclusive with is as ‘into’ the relationship as I am. If this is a misunderstanding, explain it to me. If this was a mistake, tell me… I can forgive, but I won’t forget.
“Life is to short to spend our time, energy and youth on something that isn’t spectacular. So if you do want an exclusive relationship with me, let’s go all the way. Let’s have it be spectacular and go all in… or let’s not do it at all. I’m fine with either and if you don’t want that, we can part ways as friends – sincerely, no hard feelings. And if you do want it, let’s clear the slate and commit to that.”
Now… I’m really not one to spoonfeed words to anyone reading my articles. You rarely see me do that. However, in this case, I feel that the conversation points I laid out above do more to instruct than even my explaining of my viewpoint would have…
So in this first section, I wanted to walk through getting clear on how committed he really is in the first place. As I’ve said many times before, it is in your best interest to remain single until a man steps up to enthusiastically, clearly and sincerely propose a committed relationship with you.
Now to keep that in perspective, I also say it’s in your best interest to do and be everything you can in order to make the kind of men you desire to really want to commit to you. Everyone wins.
When both people really want a great relationship, the relationship feels effortless. That is not to say that no effort goes into the relationship – my statement is that the work that the relationship takes doesn’t feel like effort… it feels like a labor of love… a meaningful contribution to something worthy, fulfilling and great.
People are so quick to snap up something half-hearted and then try to make that half-hearted relationship into something more. I’m not saying that never ever works out, but you are much more likely to succeed in your love life when you take the easy path which is: Say NO to what is what you don’t want and learn what makes what you want most likely to come to you.
So this may or may not be a situation you need to say NO to…
It is possible that when you talk to him, you’ll gain insight into his position. Only you can decide if what you learn convinces you to keep participating in the relationship or not.
I said earlier that it’s worth looking into your own sense of trust in relationships since our internal relationship with trust can have a large impact in our relationships…
Distrust is a slippery slope.
You will never, ever know what the other person is doing at all times. In this case, you know he goes on match.com because you can see it. But since the beginning of time, men and women have had to learn to trust one another in their relationship.
I can tell you from personal experience that this was a skill I needed to learn. In my past, there have been times when even though the relationship was good, my insecurity would eat away at me. I would think things like, “Well, things seem good, but what if she’s doing something behind my back and playing me for a fool, etc. etc.” This type of thing has a lot more to do with our own personal insecurities and not so much with what the other person is or isn’t doing.
A problem with suspicion and snooping is: the more you fear and suspect, the more that fear and suspicion eats away at you and creates more fears and suspicions!
This creates a vicious cycle that destroys trust in the relationship and ultimately causes a problem where there was none.
Trust is very hard.
You have to remember that you don’t know his full story yet. At this moment, you are reading into the situation negatively, assuming that he has bad motives or could be playing you.
The fact remains though that you don’t know, but hopefully having a conversation with him will bring you closer to knowing. It might, it might not.
It is true there are dishonest people in the world and it’s perfectly reasonable and healthy to be suspicious when you get the sense that you’re with someone who’s lying to you. We have great instincts for this sort of thing.
However, there are times where we ourselves are paranoid… perhaps because of negative beliefs we have or prior bad experiences. My only point in bringing this up is that we always want to leave room for self examination and ask, “Could any part of this be coming from me?” I say this not from a blaming standpoint, but for the purpose of seeing where you might be limiting yourself and thus a place where you could improve and empower yourself (and your relationships as a result).
Yes, it’s scary. Yes, sometimes things don’t work out, trust gets broken and/or people get hurt. But that is the game of life and love – if you’re going to play at all, go all in.
Hope it helps,