One day I was sitting on a patio at a popular intersection and noticed my friends new boyfriend walking by with another girl. They were laughing, they seemed overly familiar, and they put off a flirty vibe that made my intuition shout out at me. I debated whether or not to tell my friend, because I didn’t want to hurt her (and hell, it could have been nothing) but knew deep down that it was my duty as a friend to at least bring it to her attention. She could do with that information what she wanted, without my judgment, but with all of my support.
After debating my approach, I shot her a text asking what she was up to. She’d quickly become known for tagging her new beau in every single status update and check-in post, so when she said she was doing her own thing that eve, I casually asked what her bf was up to. “He has a work thing, why?” And that’s when I knew – in case I had any doubt – that I had to tell her.
I told her what I saw, and sent her the pic I took of the possibly philandering partner and the girl, which I snapped from my stoop on the patio. *(Quick note: when reporting this type of info to a friend who wears rose-coloured glasses, they’ll want proof. In the case of finding a significant other on a dating app, a screen shot will suffice, and will do the trick to not make you look like a jealous friend trying to cause drama.)
That was a fluke situation where I happened to be at the right place at the right time. But now, with everyone on dating apps these days, you don’t need to be at a busy intersection to notice these things. Instead, we can log onto our dating app of choice and swipe the day away, only to find a slew of fish we thought were already reeled in! Talk about pressure.
So what do you do?
Here’s the deal: The relationships of acquaintances or casual friendships you maintain aren’t your business. Stay out of it. You don’t know what ‘type’ of situation they are in, or whether the app was deleted but just not ‘uninstalled’ from their phone, and really, it’s not your place to get involved.
When is it your business? If/when you discover that the partner of a good friend — (who may or may not be aware that her partner is available for the picking) — is on a dating site. Bring it to her attention in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way, but be aware that by doing so, she might question your intentions. You may lose your friendship with her, or she might stay with him, and whenever you have to hang out with them you have to pretend/ignore that once upon a time, you were that girl that ratted him out to his girl. But I’m telling you, it’s all worth it if you know that you’re doing your best. At the end of the day, a friendship rests on that.
In my case, I felt like it was my duty as a friend to tell her. For me, it would feel wrong to omit that detail, since omission is a type of lying. To be honest, whatever the outcome of the situation was I would be okay with it, and I wouldn’t judge her. I knew it could ruin our friendship. I knew her immediate response might either be full-fledged denial to me, or a polite thank you. And I knew if she put her partner on the spot and asked him to explain himself, that he had the choice to deny it or fess up, and discuss it with her. She’d likely label me as the culprit of bringing it to her attention, and he might not like me after that, and in turn, she might spend less time with me. But she and I were close friends. Friends who shared an intimate relationship and leaned on each other through break-ups, and disastrous dates, and spent a lot of time together. We built a trust.
So I forged forward, even though it resulted in her writing me off as a friend. As an aside, they had a whirlwind relationship where they met, got engaged, married and divorced all within two years.
An “I told you so,” wasn’t necessary in my case. She and everyone learned it for themselves, eventually.