Should I be worried if my partner is on a dating site?

Well folks, today I had this very brief but important question in my inbox:

‘My partner is on Tinder, should I be worried?’

Since the question is addressed to me, and not to one of the numerous agony aunt columnists out there for regulars, I can assume that the person who wrote me this is really asking this question within the context of consensual incest or GSA relationship.

As we know, Tinder is a dating site, and like all dating sites, it is used primarily by singles who are trying to find people to date. However, it’s my understanding that many of these sites also allow an option for people who simply seeking friends. I don’t personally know a great deal about what goes on in a dating site, having never felt the need to use one myself. However, I do understand that using such sites when one is already in a committed relationship could be potentially quite problematic (I am assuming here that this is a closed monogamous relationship).

The first issue this brings up is TRUST. In every functioning relationship there has to be trust between the two people involved, and when that trust is absent or broken it can bring anxiety, suspicion and jealousy into a relationship. This can be very destructive and make both parties feel miserable. Trust is also something which has to be earned, it isn’t just offered up on a silver platter, it’s built over time, and if it is destroyed it can take a lot of rebuilding. This goes without saying and applies to all kinds of relationship across the board.

So when is it a good time to trust and when is it NOT a good time to trust? That’s a difficult question, because there are so many possibilities on what can work right or wrong in a relationship… but in the context of a consang relationship where one person is using a dating site, the following needs to be considered:

  • Other than their presence on a dating site, is there any indication of current cheating? Things like being out all night with no explanation, going to nightclubs and places where people would ordinarily expect to find a date.
  • Has this person cheated before, and if so was it ages ago and long forgiven and forgotten, or recently? If there was any prior cheating, especially recent cheating then this is a very good and understandable reason to be concerned.
  • Have you seen the content on the dating site, or is this hidden from you? If things are being deliberately hidden from you, then of course this is going to arouse some suspicion. That said, people do need their own personal space, so in this area you need to find a balance that is right for both of you.
  • Is there communication with the people on the site kept on the site, or does the other person get calls or texts? Giving out real world info like phone numbers is a bit different than sharing a few messages with some screen name.
  • Apart from this one issue, how is the state of your relationship? If you’re otherwise happy then working through an issue like this should be straightforward, if not, then obviously you will need to address any other issues as well.

On the whole, relationships work best when each person tries to do what is right by their partner. Here, we need a balance where both partners feel not only secure in the relationship, but also trusted. Knowing that, how do so some people manage to feel insecure, even within the phenomenal double-love bond? What can be done to help?

Firstly, we shouldn’t minimize the fears that some people have. It could come from feelings of not being good enough/good looking enough/young enough/providing enough… all kinds of thoughts can crop into peoples minds which can make them fear losing their other half (especially if you have been cheated on in a previous relationship or marriage). In consang relationships if one person is already feeling insecure for all the normal reasons, there is the additional fear that the other person might go and find somebody else so that they can have a relationship they don’t have to hide! All of this comes into play and can lead to a lot of guilt and anxiety.

So, what should the tinder user do? If this person is simply looking for friendships, then surely a social media site such as facebook would be a more appropriate choice for not triggering such fears while still making friends. They might not be doing anything wrong on the dating site, or they might be, but even if they aren’t, the fact that this could be upsetting to you should be a cause for concern in itself. If the other person can keep such friendship seeking to social media and not on dating sites and delete their profile from tinder, then your part of the bargain would have to be not to pry or spy. All people need personal space, and if somebody doesn’t feel trusted then it’s going to cause more issues.

You’re fortunate enough to have the precious double-love bond that so few in the world can begin to understand. Make sure you honor each other with trust, and do not violate boundaries you have agreed to with each other. It’s about finding the balance that works uniquely for your relationship, and it needs clear and honest communication about where those boundaries are, making an agreement and sticking to it. You need to have a conversation about this because if you’re just sat there worrying it won’t do any good.

As with any other kind of relationship, cheating is not condoned, it’s immoral, and it is a violation of a promise. If you do find solid proof of any cheating, then you have the option to forgive the transgression, or to walk away. Ultimately the choice would be down to you, and neither option is easy. Hopefully, this isn’t the case and your fears are just that, fears.

I hope this helps 🙂