Finding someone to love in real life seems to be quite the challenge these days. So, cue the millennial age of matchmaking via smartphones. While dating apps can be awkward to begin with, swiping across a friend’s partner takes it to a whole new level.
Everyone wants to do the right thing when it comes to those they care about, but in a situation like this, it can be hard to decide what that may be. Here are some pointers to help guide you through the mess.
This may be the best option in the case of an acquaintance or someone you no longer keep in contact with. You don’t have the same emotional investment with your old pal from high school who posts that yearly “happy birthday” to your wall as you used to back in the day. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the emotional energy on letting him or her know.
You don’t know your acquaintances as well as your close companions. You may not have the slightest idea of how this person would react, if this person already knows, or if this person is in an open relationship. If you are unsure of these things, it is probably better to do nothing.
Let It “Incidentally” Be Seen
Not everyone can handle confrontation. Just knowing and sitting on information like this can give anyone anxiety. It may be passive aggressive, but it will be effective if you don’t want to be the bearer of bad news.
Sure, he or she may see right through you, but this method has its advantages. For starters, there will be no denying he was on there and you do not have to be anxious about how to bring it up. Granted, this may be hard to do with certain dating platforms.
To make this method work, if you spot a friend’s spouse on the dating app, make sure that you don’t do anything that will prevent you from coming across him or her again (like swiping left or swiping right and making your presence known). Next time you are with that person, you can ask for his or her advice on picking that special someone. You can then be be just as shocked when you see the spouse online.
Talk to the Partner
Nobody wants to be the boy who cried “wolf.” Your friend’s significant other may still have an old profile up from before the couple became serious or exclusive, especially if you know your friend is in a newly blossoming romance.
So, if you spot a friend’s significant other on a dating app, ask whether he or she knows there’s still an active profile out there. This is a great way to avoid throwing out unwarranted accusations and causing unnecessary tension or arguments. Your goal is not to create drama or problems for the person you are trying to look out for.
This method can help take some of the weight off of your shoulders as well. You will be offering a chance to remedy the situation on his or her own accord—whether that means the husband simply deletes his account, or he has to come clean.
You may feel better knowing you gave him the chance to do the right thing and may have avoided causing your buddy unnecessary heartache. Although, there is a possibility you may still end up needing to be the bearer of bad news.
Tell Him or Her
You will want to do this if you have a strong and trusting relationship. This news will not be easy to take, and this approach will be easier with someone who will believe you. You do not want him or her to be in denial and think you are lying. In fact, it is a good idea to have a screenshot so that there will be no denying what you saw.
If you spot your friend’s partner on a dating app and plan to tell him or her directly, plan ahead. You know best what will help soften the blow. The best thing you can do is have the good ice cream, wine, tissues, and sappy romantic comedies ready for after you break the news. Be ready to help navigate through the wreckage.
This may seem unhelpful, but at the end of the day, it is going to depend on the relationships involved. What may work for you and one of your buddies, may not with another. This will (hopefully) be uncharted territory for you guys, but you know him or her and know what may make this less painful.
Figuring out what to do if you come across a friend’s spouse on a dating app is, in part, going require going with your gut feelings. One of the most important things to consider is what would you want if the shoe were on the other foot. Regardless of the how, this will be a difficult time, and you need to be prepared to help pick up the pieces.