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Should I believe him?
September 26, 2009 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Should I believe him?

I've been with my boyfriend for 5 months.

One of my single friends was looking at OkCupid (a dating site) and came across a profile he had up there.

It listed him as single, and it said he had been active in the past week. My friend told me that she had seen this and sent me the link.

I asked him about it right away.

He told me that he hadn't been on that site since we were together. He said the only reason he logged this week was that the site sent him a message that someone emailed him.

He said he clicked on the link, looked at the email, and that was the end of it.

I asked him why the profile was still up. He said it was deactivated until he signed in to read the email. I've used that site myself in the past, and I know that if it actually were deactivated, then the person wouldn't have been able to email him, or even see the profile.

I also asked him why he even wanted to read the email in the first place. I told him that made it seem to me like he was still looking. If you were happy with your relationship, why would you be interesting in seeing what someone off a dating site wrote to you?

He said he just wanted to see if the email was someone he had been talking to on the website.

I asked him if they were people he'd had a romantic interest in. He said no.

He said that I'm the only person he wants, and he's not looking for anyone else.

Am I STUPID to believe all of this and stay with him? There's a big part of me that says I was fortunate to catch this now, before getting further involved.

If you were committed to your relationship, and you got an email from a dating website you had either forgotten about or thought you had deactivated, wouldn't your reaction be to delete the account? Instead of logging in to find out what the email said?

Compounding this all is the fact that he is flying to see me *today.* (We've been long distance for a month and will be for another month or two). I would feel horrible asking him to cancel now, and couldn't afford to refund his ticket money.

Other issues that may be relevant:

When we became serious, we agreed to not have any secrets, and not consider anything private from each other. This was actually *his* idea, and required a period of adjustment for me, though I was ultimately fine with it.

Only last week, an acquaintance asked me out, and although I turned him down right away, I also told my boyfriend about it, because it's the sort of thing he'd want to know.

He asked me not to socialize with that acquaintance anymore, and I was fine with that.

So I feel peeved that I've maintained that level of openness, yet meanwhile my boyfriend has a dating profile up behind my back and thinks nothing of receiving email from there and not telling me.

What do you think? Am I making a big deal over nothing?

As to his general trustworthiness, we did have issues with his honesty before we were dating seriously, but none since that I know of. He's been generally very loving, caring, and supportive in the relationship.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (51 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wasn't too sketched out about the OKCupid thing, but then you said something that you (maybe) thought was irrelevant: "He asked me not to socialize with that acquaintance anymore, and I was fine with that."

Serious control issues. On top of long distance. On top of only 5 months together (only 4 of those near each other). The profile thing might not have been enough on its own, but this just seems like something you should cut off before it gets worse.
posted by timory at 5:47 AM on September 26, 2009 [17 favorites]


On the one hand: if I got any email, period, I'd probably read it just out of curiosity.

On the other hand: his response sounds kind of defensive and false (reactivated the account?), and you had "issues with his honesty before [you] were dating seriously." People don't change that quickly. What were those issues?

Also, "he asked me not to socialize with that acquaintance anymore," and "we agreed to not have any secrets, and not consider anything private from each other," all seem like big red flags. They smack of controlling, jealous behavior, especially if he doesn't seem to be holding up his end of the bargain.

It's of course hard to tell much from your post, but I think you need to consider - in a larger context than a remaining account on a dating site - whether or not he's trustworthy and whether he's being controlling. It sort of sounds that way.
posted by you're a kitty! at 5:52 AM on September 26, 2009


Not sure... I have had this exact situation, except the "no secrets" thing.

I had an OK Cupid profile still open during a relationship. She also found out, and wasn't happy, and it partially lead to the end of the relationship. But I wasn't using it, I just kept getting the emails, so I had checked in when I got a personal message.

You can argue either way whether this was wrong. In retrospect I would make sure my OKCupid was closed down when I next get into a serious relationship.

I would definitely take this as a warning sign, but unless you go in and adjust your preferences, it is very easy to relieve a "you got a message", and then what would you do? Would you check it? Even if you weren't interested?
posted by niccolo at 5:55 AM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


The honesty issues involved him lying about other women he was seeing when there was no reason for him to do so- we hadn't agreed to become serious yet.

I totally hear you guys on the control issues, but I actually don't mind that at all. It doesn't bother me.

The issues of trustworthiness are what really bother me.
posted by Ashley801 at 5:57 AM on September 26, 2009


Like timory, I was willing to be forgiving until He asked me not to socialize with that acquaintance anymore.

You KNOW how OKCupid works. Trust yourself and don't listen to him try to explain his actions away.

So...if you don't want to see him anymore, ask him to cancel his flight. If you don't care whether or not he comes, just tell him about your doubts and then go on with your life whether or not he flies out. Surely he can manage to amuse himself for a couple of days. It's really not your problem.

Also, I'd call up that acquaintance and have a cup of coffee. :)
posted by motsque at 5:59 AM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I totally hear you guys on the control issues, but I actually don't mind that at all. It doesn't bother me.

Really? It, uh, should.
posted by you're a kitty! at 6:06 AM on September 26, 2009 [50 favorites]


I have never been on that site. But I do hear they send you emails saying somebody had sent you a message to try and get you back on because they want your money.

I suggest some trust building exercises. When you are both home, tell him you just want to be reassured and would it be ok if you looked at the account to verify what he is saying?

Then look at the account with him. Read his messages. If I were him I would be ok with that.

If something is bothering you, get verification and ask. Mind reading does not work.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:12 AM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


A history of lying followed by a demand for total honesty is a sign of an uncomfortable relationship with the truth.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:15 AM on September 26, 2009 [30 favorites]


If I received a notification that I received an email through a social networking site, I would follow the link and read the email for a number of reasons, mostly curiosity. Also, I would keep in mind that OK Cupid is not *just* for dating, though it seems to be its primary use. So, that in and of itself is not sketchy. The fact that his profile exists doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I have plenty of non-active profiles all over the internet, and it wouldn't even occur to me to go to the bother of deleting or deactivating them. I wouldn't even be too phased about his incorrect assertion that his account reactivated when he checked the email, because if he has not been on the site, then maybe that's how he thinks it works.

Things that make me go hmmm though:

1. Why was your friend checking out his profile? If I were your boyfriend, I'd be a little weirded out by that. I guess his profile could have come up in a basic search, and she checked it out in order to be a good friend, but it also seems like your friend was checking up on him, whether you asked her to or not.

2. It seems like you both are going to great lengths to be honest and trustworthy, and yet don't actually trust each other all that much (your reaction to the OK Cupid thing, his request that you not socialize with the friend who asked you out). Maybe you both have been seriously betrayed in the past? Whatever the reason, I think you need to discuss these issues further.

Since this doesn't seem to be part of a pattern or a frequent occurrence, I don't think giving him the benefit of the doubt would be a mistake. If stuff like this keeps cropping up, however, then you could consider this situation the first clue. Keep in mind, trust isn't about rules, mandated disclosure, and regulating someone else's behavior. It's about trusting your partner to act appropriately in various situations, to tell you anything that is significant, and to respect your relationship. It's also believing him or her when they answer questions or explain an ambiguous situation. While I certainly don't think this situation is a dealbreaker, if you two can't really relax into trust with each other, that is a red flag and something to walk away over. Best of luck to you both!
posted by katemcd at 6:16 AM on September 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


The control issues should worry you. I dated a guy that showed signs of it. I thought it was no big deal. I kind of like a strong willed man, so whatever.

Until those "no big deals" turned into him demanding I stop seeing male friends, reading my text messages and asking if "you slept with him too" every time I told a story that involved a male he'd never met.

Suddenly, it was a big deal.

Beyond that: He flat out lied about the OK Cupid. You know that, because you know how it works. So what else has he lied about?

On the flip side, I too completely forgot I had an Ok Cupid account once. So, honest mistakes can happen.

I suggest you two talk it out calmly face-to-face. Then judge for yourself if he's on the up-and-up. I've found it's always easier to tell if someone is being dishonest when you ca see them in person.
posted by caveat at 6:39 AM on September 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


It reads to me like your gut's telling you that you can't entirely trust him. In my experience that's a pretty good indicator that something is amiss. Trust yourself, first and foremost.
posted by Chrysalis at 6:41 AM on September 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Nthing this:

I totally hear you guys on the control issues, but I actually don't mind that at all. It doesn't bother me.

It eventually will become a problem. This is one of the first things done in psychological abuse situations. Establish control over the partner. Separate the partner from their independence, force them to become dependent on the other partner.

This is very serious. There are many patterns of abuse, and asking, then telling, someone not to socialize with their choice of friends is very, very bad.

You may be able to tolerate this now, but it will not get better if you permit it to happen. Behavior permitted is behavior encouraged.

As far as trusting him, that's a distant second to the control issue. No, you can't trust him. He lied to you, even if it was just a little white lie. Trust has to be earned and maintained.

He may be a great guy - change a flat tire in the rain for you, and all that. But I strongly encourage you to A) seriously re-evaluate your relationship with him B) Establish your boundaries, and calmly, politely, but firmly, demand that he respect them. If he fails to respect your needs, your boundaries, you cannot and will not be able to change him. You will then be faced with this choice: Live with a partner who does not respect you, and who manipulates you; or leave him.
posted by Xoebe at 6:44 AM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this recent AskMe question related? If so, are you becoming consumed by this possibility to the point it is interfering with the way you want to live your relationship? If you have serious trust issues, nip them in the bud right now. Do not go further with the relationship until you have totally "cleared the air" with your friend. If you aren't willing to do that, resolve yourself to always having that touch of queasiness in the pit of your stomach. Best of luck to you.
posted by netbros at 6:50 AM on September 26, 2009


So, there's a small problem with a lot of the poster's replies above ("You know how OkCupid works..."). The problem is this:

I've used that site myself in the past, and I know that if it actually were deactivated, then the person wouldn't have been able to email him, or even see the profile.

I don't believe this is accurate (at least not last time I checked). If you disable your account, new people can't find you, but if you already have an on-going email thread with someone, they can still send messages that get delivered.

And, yes, logging back in will re-activate the account.

Why not just ask him to change his status to not-single?
posted by toomuchpete at 6:55 AM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know that if it actually were deactivated, then the person wouldn't have been able to email him, or even see the profile.

I have no opinion about your boyfriend's veracity, but I haven't even clicked on the OKCupid website in over two years, let alone logged in, and I still get emails telling me people have been checking my profile.

I have never been on that site. But I do hear they send you emails saying somebody had sent you a message to try and get you back on because they want your money.

OKC is free.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:03 AM on September 26, 2009


If he lied to other women he was seeing casually when he was also seeing you casually, what reason is there to believe he wasn't--and isn't still--lying to you? Particularly when you have pretty solid evidence that you've caught him in a lie.

It sounds like he's someone who lies about little things (i.e., he's not exclusive with anyone but lies about dates) in order to control whatever situation he's in. However ok you are with being asked not to hang out with certain friends, are you also ok with be lied to regularly?
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:07 AM on September 26, 2009


I have never been on that site. But I do hear they send you emails saying somebody had sent you a message to try and get you back on because they want your money.

OKC is free.


The site about section lists what looks like 15 staff members. Somebody is getting paid somewhere and that is linked to how many people use the site. So I wouldn't be surprised if they did and others above have said it happens.

What I'm saying is, just ask him. Ask to look. You can do that
posted by Ironmouth at 7:10 AM on September 26, 2009


I also asked him why he even wanted to read the email in the first place.

This makes me wonder if he's lying 'cause he's a habitual liar and skeezy or whether it's because you come off as demanding to him and and he thinks it's easier to lie and avoid confrontations with you.

Yes, I don't know anything you or your relationship, but based on what you've written here, you're needling him about why he would even think to read that email and that seems a bit much. Are you that demanding in other areas?

To me, he could want to read it out of boredom, curiosity, want for attention etc. There's no inherently bad reason for him to want to read it, yet you're treating the situation as if there is.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 AM on September 26, 2009


With his history of lying I would have trouble believing him too. But I would be most disturbed that he hadn't changed his profile status and according to his story deactivated the account but didn't deactivate it a second time (I guess he forgot how?). And if you aren't keeping secrets wouldn't he have given you the password to his account so you could log in and see what the email was about as soon as this became an issue?

This is a lot of drama and uncertainity so early in your relationship - you should still be in the honeymoon period. If he cancels his flight at your request because of his behaviour you are in no way obligated to refund the price to him.
posted by saucysault at 7:38 AM on September 26, 2009


Red flag. You're not going to relax until you know, right? So have a "friend" open an OK Cupid profile and chat him up.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:40 AM on September 26, 2009


So have a "friend" open an OK Cupid profile and chat him up.

Please don't do this. All that will do is create more drama, conflict, etc. Just be straightforward, whatever your next step is.
posted by Pax at 7:43 AM on September 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


When we became serious, we agreed to not have any secrets, and not consider anything private from each other. This was actually *his* idea, and required a period of adjustment for me, though I was ultimately fine with it.

Yeah, this is a big control issue. Now, if he'd said "I want to be completely open with you and not have any secrets," I would just say he was a bit naive, but this "we won't have any secrets from each other" thing is pure self protection on his part. Control freaks are scared people - they need to feel that they know what is going on at all times in order to feel safe (I know this from personal experience). They also need to know that they can escape if they need to - and for this guy, it might mean that he needs to know that if you guys break up, he will be able to find someone else.

This doesn't mean that he's cheating on you, it doesn't mean that he doesn't care about you, but it may mean that he feels scared about this relationship and is trying to make sure that he knows exactly what you are thinking and doing, while always making sure he will not be screwed if you break up - and this is not a fertile place for a healthy relationship to grow. If you want to maintain this relationship, I think this is a good time to talk about trust and what it means to the both of you. My experience is that trust is far more valuable than honesty in relationships.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:57 AM on September 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


When we became serious, we agreed to not have any secrets, and not consider anything private from each other.

Well, then this should also have included "By the way, before we met I had an OKCupid profile". Lying by omission would perhaps not be a deal breaker for me so early into the relationship, but it would be an enormous red flag. Any other inkling of doubt and I'd be gone.
posted by meerkatty at 8:05 AM on September 26, 2009


He's not fully happy in your relationship. You will not fully trust him after this. I don't think you can recover from it, because every little thing each of you does from now on will be viewed through this prism.
posted by modernnomad at 8:25 AM on September 26, 2009


The OKCupid thing is silly. He checked an e-mail, so what? Having a profile there is no more evidence of him cheating on you than finding out he was talking to some girl when you weren't there. Ask him to put his status as in a relationship or something if it bothers you.

The problem is his seemingly controlling behaviors.

When we became serious, we agreed to not have any secrets, and not consider anything private from each other.

And this is dumb. Everyone needs a private sphere. "Totally honest and open" is high school level fairy tale. Trust isn't knowing every second of each other's day and every place they go- trust is not knowing everything but knowing the other person cares about you and isn't going to hurt you.

If you don't have trust, it doesn't matter how much you know, it will never be enough. You don't have trust.
posted by spaltavian at 8:45 AM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would read the email out of sheer curiosity. That, in and of itself, is nothing. You know this, or at least you should, and now hopefully you do.

**said in a nice tone**

You both sound too controlling, to be perfectly honest.

It's absurd to ask you to discontinue your friendships (even acquaintances) for something so ridiculously trivial. So someone innocently asked you out. BIG FUCKING DEAL. His position is weak and lame, and should be a huge red flag to you going forward. I think you know this, I think it's right there at the tip of your tongue. He's shady. You've had issues about his trustworthiness in the past. I would pay attention to your gut here.

However:

I also asked him why he even wanted to read the email in the first place. I told him that made it seem to me like he was still looking. If you were happy with your relationship, why would you be interesting in seeing what someone off a dating site wrote to you?



This is also absurd. If he says he read it out of curiosity, I would take that at face value. That you're asking why he even read it? smacks of your own insecurity and control issues.

Agreeing with spaltavian that "totally open and honest" is a fairy tale. People need to have some of their own untouchable, unquestionable privacy.

I rarely say this, but I say it out of love, DTMFA.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:17 AM on September 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


It seems like you are about 23-ish, fairly recent college grad looking at your other questions? I don't think that the control issues are the staggering problem that everyone seems to make of them. I think it's reasonable to ask your girlfriend not to hang out anymore with a guy who asked her out (though it would be required that you take it in stride if that request is refused), and "having a totally honest relationship with no secrets" seems like a common sort of boneheaded, earlyish twenties, still feeling out who I am, relationship thing to do; not some kind of red flag run away now signal.

It seems that you like him and that your relationship has decent lines of communication open and is good in various other ways. If that were true and I were you I think that I would decide to believe him on the OkCupid thing and maybe start watching him for signs of shiftiness more than I was before and then re-evaluate my position in a month or two.
posted by Kwine at 9:25 AM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think you've got a strong gut feeling that you are with the wrong person here. You need to listen to this feeling.

The times I've ignored my gut feeling about relationships like this I've really regretted it.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 9:28 AM on September 26, 2009


Yeah, you're fucked. A request to not socialize from someone you know for 5 months? And you oblige? And you want him off OkCupid? And he's supposed to oblige? What are you guys living in the 50's? Sounds like you have other issues that you are imposing on this relationship. Like low self-esteem. I think stuff like this is a really big deal by the way. Finding a good person ain't easy.
posted by phaedon at 9:46 AM on September 26, 2009


"And you want him off OkCupid? And he's supposed to oblige?"

I don't like people I'm in relationships with having active profiles listing themselves as single on dating websites. I don't think that's particularly ridiculous or means I have self esteem issues.
posted by Ashley801 at 10:06 AM on September 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


Another vote that the OK Cupid thing is not as big of a deal as you were making it, right up until he asked you to never hang out with an acquaintance and you agreed and don't mind that he's controlling.

You're both attempting to control the other person but only you're actually being totally open and honest and giving up friends of other sexes. That seems untenable for a lot of reasons.

No, I don't think you should believe him. Further, I think you should DTMFA and next time find a guy who doesn't make you doubt him and yourself.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:41 AM on September 26, 2009


He's lying, and as other posters pointed out, there are red flags all over the place that this is heading towards an abusive/control relationship if you let it continue.

Get out now.
posted by medea42 at 10:58 AM on September 26, 2009


I think it's ok for couples to have any rules they want within their relationship, as long as they are mutually agreed upon, and mutually followed.

It sounds like you two have a rule of "no contact with people of the opposite sex." You two are defining this differently. You believe you should:
a. Take no action that implies to others that you are available.
b. If someone asks you out, listen to the asker.
c. Say no.
d. Tell the other person.
e. If the other person says to not have contact with the asker, you stop contact.

But he believes he should:
a. Run an ad (you know best if he's advertising himself for friends or for something else)
b. Read a response to his ad.
c. (I assume) say no.
d. Don't tell the other person.
e. Explain how getting an email is irresistible and must be tended to anytime one comes along.

You can see that those two are similar situations, but do the steps to follow are not the same. Frankly, since he set the rules to this game, and then broke them when it was convenient for him, I would not believe him. However, that doesn't mean the relationship must end. It does mean that you two need to further define, or redefine, the rules. Which, honestly, sounds a lot of work for a 5-month long-distance relationship that's already had a few snags.
posted by Houstonian at 11:05 AM on September 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, then this should also have included "By the way, before we met I had an OKCupid profile". Lying by omission

I don't understand this. Not mentioning the fact that he used a dating site in the past makes him untrustworthy? Maybe he didn't see it as something worth mentioning? Calling it 'lying by omission' is a means of painting innocuous behaviour as somehow duplicitous. Extremely unfair.
posted by Adam_S at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2009


Next time you're together, sit him down at a computer & get him to login to OK Cupid. He still knows the password, have him walk you through his account & show you there's nothing going on there.
posted by scalefree at 11:44 AM on September 26, 2009


He asked me not to socialize with that acquaintance anymore, and I was fine with that.

He's logging into dating websites and you're not allow to have male acquaintances? Wow.

When we became serious, we agreed to not have any secrets, and not consider anything private from each other.


Nothing is private? Really? Are you inviting him into the bathroom for tampon changes? Bouts of stomach flu? Are you permitted to have no private thoughts without allowing him to intervene?

The way you've described it, I can't imagine this relationship working. Not sure if it'll be OKC or his controlling that'll end it.
posted by 26.2 at 12:45 PM on September 26, 2009


My first thought was what if the roles were reversed? How would he react if YOU had gotten the email, etc.? From the sound of things, I bet he'd have gone off and ridiculed any explanation you'd offered, regardless of how true it was. Yet you are expected to believe him without question?

My double-standard alarm just went off the charts. Lopsided relationships like this always end up with one person subjugating themselves and living in placate mode. Get out now.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 1:02 PM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am going to offer the opinion--I suppose in summary of many previous responses--that you are making a big deal about a non-issue (the dormant dating profile) and completely ignoring a serious issue (the refusal to acknowledge that people have private lives). Do I think you should break up? No. It's still early in the relationship, you're still young, and maybe--just maybe--it'll turn out that you two will be able to slough off the jealousy and immaturity.

Two pieces of advice: (1) chill out, (2) if anything legitimately uncool happens, walk.

Oh, and your friend is a shit-stirrer.
posted by kittyprecious at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: "I have never been on that site. But I do hear they send you emails saying somebody had sent you a message to try and get you back on because they want your money.

OKC is free.


The site about section lists what looks like 15 staff members. Somebody is getting paid somewhere and that is linked to how many people use the site. So I wouldn't be surprised if they did and others above have said it happens.
"

Just fwiw, OKCupid has a paid option now, though basic functions still remain free.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:03 PM on September 26, 2009


Wow. This sounds a lot like one of my ex-boyfriends named Aaron. Hun I know this from experience-- he sounds controlling, and he is def using OKC to find/look/talk to other girls which is the first step towards cheating.

You seem like a nice girl and you will find many other guys to date! Dump the loser and sever.
posted by dragonette1 at 3:11 PM on September 26, 2009


should you believe him?




absolutely no.



But, see if he is happy to see you and keep your antenna up.
He is definitely looking for something better.
posted by naplesyellow at 5:27 PM on September 26, 2009


The controlling behavior is an issue you need to be concerned with. The OK Cupid stuff could be innocent. I get emails and messages even though I have my account set to seeing someone and almost nothing on my profile. Also, my boyfriend and I are Facebook friends, but he doesn't list himself as being in a relationship. It's not like either of us hides that we're in a relationship together. It's no big deal if there's trust.

You guys don't have that and it's eating at you. You're becoming oversensitive because you feel you can't trust him and it's a good idea to reexamine everything.
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:30 PM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't like people I'm in relationships with having active profiles listing themselves as single on dating websites. I don't think that's particularly ridiculous or means I have self esteem issues.

I'm just trying to tell you you're not stupid for dating a guy who still has a profile up. If you don't like people you're in relationships with having active profiles listing themselves as single on dating websites, then break up with him. If you believe he has done so with malice, then you must be kidding yourself if you think him deactivating that account at your request is going to change anything.

You don't have that kind of power.
posted by phaedon at 3:12 AM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So have a "friend" open an OK Cupid profile and chat him up.

That'll show him who's being secretive and deceitful!
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:33 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just get him to login to the dating site with you at his side. He's probably deleted the emails but I guarantee he hasn't cleaned up his OK Cupid account.
posted by scalefree at 5:31 PM on September 27, 2009


I really think one of the worst things you could for both your relationship and, perhaps more importantly, your ego is to sit there and ask him to login to OKC while you watch.

Think about innocent/flirty messages you've ever exchanged online in some fashion, things you've sent in text messages, hell.. flirty remarks you've said at bars. Now, imagine those were all logged and then looked at through the prying eyes of a jealous lover with little or no context.

Quick example, my most recent ex saw an email come in from someone who was a fan of my YouTube videos. It said, in its entirety "Can we just bang already?". I had NO idea who this woman was, nor if it was even a woman (it being just an email and all) and I chuckled and ignored it. I'm pretty sure to this day, my ex would tell you that she still firmly believes this was someone I was fucking around with (but not actually having sex with). Because, reading that email under that mindset changes the meaning entirely. But, oh well. I DTMFA ;)

NOTHING is going to seem like innocent, fun & harmless flirting. You'll look at everything sent to him (or from him, if you also go that route while you're poking around) as an outright offer for sex, and you'll sit and wonder "how can he resist such offers in his own backyard, when we're away from each other for months at a time?".

Nthing what everyone else is saying - you both have trust issues, you're off to a very bad start, and Long-Distance Relationships rarely ever work. Having the level of trust issues you're both displaying on top of this LDR pretty much guarantees that rocket's never gonna fly.
posted by revmitcz at 8:12 PM on September 27, 2009


I don't think this has been specifically mentioned yet but - OKC offers users the option to list themselves as "single", "seeing someone" and "available" - "available" means you listed yourself as seeing someone but also listed yourself as looking for potential sex partners.

I'm in a relationship, and I maintain an OKC profile (although I don't check it much) which clearly states that I'm in a relationship. It sounds kind of like your boyfriend is taking advantage of your unfamiliarity with the conventions of the site. If the two of you have both agreed to one another that you are in a monogamous, committed relationship, then his OKC profile should list him as "seeing someone". Personally I think that, while flirtier than say Facebook, having an OKC profile is no worse for a relationship than spending an evening out at a bar without your SO, provided you are honest about your actual relationship status. My SO doesn't have an OKC account, but if she did, and it listed her as "seeing someone", then I wouldn't have a problem with it. Seeing what else is out there via occasional online scoping of the opposite sex is not a relationship crime, and can in fact strengthen your commitment to the person you're with. Yeah you can lose someone this way, but you can also lose someone to a co-worker, a barista, a church friend, etc. You can't make your SO live in a bubble.

On the other hand, if his profile says he is "single" or "available", then one of two things is happening. Either the two of you have not clearly and unambiguously made a commitment to be exclusively monogamous with each other, and therefore he understandably feels he has the right to date other people (or advertise as someone who can date other people) . . . or . . . the unfortunately far more likely second option is that he did clearly agree to be monogamous with you and has decided not to honor that agreement in his online profile, in hopes of either replacing you or getting some on the side.

The second possibility is of course dumpworthy, and finding out which is the case should be as easy as looking at the profile and asking him a few questions. If you aren't exclusively committed to each other (or aren't sure if you are), ask him. If he says yes, he needs to change his online status to reflect that. If he says no, or evades the issue, you have to either decide you're OK with him not being exclusively committed to you, or DTMFA and move on.
posted by chaff at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2009


OKC offers users the option to list themselves as "single", "seeing someone" and "available" - "available" means you listed yourself as seeing someone but also listed yourself as looking for potential sex partners.

Whoa... no, "available" doesn't mean "you listed yourself as seeing someone but also listed yourself as looking for potential sex partners." It means (1) at one point you checked the "seeing someone" box, and (2) at one point (possibly much earlier) you listed that you were looking for anything other than just friends. It's true that OKCupid has an option to say that you're looking for "sex partners," but not everyone whose profile says "available" put down that they're looking for sex partners.

if his profile says he is "single" or "available", then one of two things is happening....

While the two possibilities you listed are genuine possibilities, it's an overstatement to say that "one of two things is happening." I've personally experienced a third possibility. I was in a relationship with someone I met through OKCupid, and we had a clear conversation where we agreed to be exclusive. Later on, she looked at my OKCupid profile and was surprised I was listed as "available." Would it have been a good idea for her to assume I was up to no good? No, as you can probably guess from the fact that I'm even talking about this, I hadn't done anything wrong. I had eagerly changed my relationship status from "single" to "seeing someone" -- those were the only two options in the "edit profile" section. But I did this too quickly, signed off immediately, and didn't look at it again -- forgetting that I hadn't changed my "looking for" section to just friends. I never selected an option that said "available"; the OKCupid website itself put that on their website as an incorrect inference from the fact that I updated one thing and forgot to update another thing.

Similarly, even if you saw that his profile still said "single," it'd be entirely possible that he simply forgot to change it. You're entitled to be suspicious (after all, you already are suspicious), but I wouldn't end a relationship over that one text field.

I'm not saying not to worry about this, but you can't solve the problem by looking at his profile. As many commenters have said, you have to address the deeper underlying trust issues, and there's no computer shortcut to doing that.
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:26 PM on September 28, 2009


Thanks Jaltcoh - I was unaware of how that worked (and it looks like I was not the only one). I agree that a real solution will only start with a conversation between the OP and her boyfriend about what they both want, and the online dating issue is kind of a red herring.
posted by chaff at 6:11 PM on September 28, 2009


No.

The same thing happened to me this year. He told me the exact same thing you heard, "He said the only reason he logged this week was that the site sent him a message that someone emailed him."

Where do guys learn this stuff, anyway, since they're all using the same line?

I knew it was a lie, and it was just another one of those red flags that over time added up to the point where I ended the relationship.

I've learned there's two kinds of people that use online dating sites. The one group is sincerely looking for one person and don't want anything to do with those sites once they've found that person. And then there's the other group who are totally addicted to dating sites and it's like hell to pull them off of them.

It's obvious if you have found the one you want to be with, you wouldn't even be interested in having anything to do with a dating site any longer and when they send emails, you certainly wouldn't click the link. It's totally sleazy behavior.

He's stringing you along. It's mean on his part. Drop him.

As far as everyone here that defends that sort of behavior, wrong. No way. It is unacceptable.
posted by VC Drake at 12:15 PM on October 1, 2009


He's stringing you along. It's mean on his part. Drop him.

This is obvious to me too but the OP doesn't seem ready to see that, which is why I recommended forcing the issue by making him show her his OKC account. It's another way of saying DTMF I guess, because he is a dog and he is still looking for other women to be with.
posted by scalefree at 5:45 PM on October 1, 2009


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