Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax: Boyfriend’s still looking at online dating service

 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: I’ve been dating my wonderful boyfriend for almost 2 1/2 years. We met online. I recently discovered that he (unlike me) has kept his online profile this entire time. I used his computer to look up a recipe since it was on the kitchen table, and I saw that he still receives emails from the site recommending matches — and he reads them! I don’t believe he is actively using the site, and I know he’s not cheating on me. We’re very happy together. But am I wrong to be a little weirded out by this?

Online

You are not “wrong” — or “right” — to be weirded out by this. It’s a feeling based on a fact, and so denying or correcting yourself would be an early step in ignoring information just because it’s negative. Bad precedent to set.

What matters now, and where “right” and “wrong” are valid, is what you do with the information. It would be wrong to come out, accusations blazing, and corner your boyfriend on the profile and the emails. There are just too many possible explanations for what you saw.

The right thing would be to tell him you noticed these emails, tell him how you feel about it, and pay careful attention to the way he reacts — body language, emotions, words — and run it through the filter of what you know about him already. Then you decide whether this is something, and he is someone, you need to worry about.

That’s the right way not only because it’s fair to him, but also because approaching it with an open mind gives each of you the best chance to see what’s actually happening here. If instead you jump to conclusions, you risk introducing anger and defensiveness, both of which are notorious for making the truth both harder to express and harder to detect.

Saying you “know” someone is not cheating is also a mistake, because it, too, is a step toward closing your mind to negative information. You may be confident he’s not cheating, or not worried that he’s cheating, or comfortable with your ability to sense when someone is cheating, etc., but you don’t “know.”

No one knows about anyone but themselves, and the sooner we get comfortable with that, the better we handle the vagaries of any relationship. (And the better our bull detectors become.)

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at washingtonpost.com.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Try it: The flavors of olive tapenade pop in a surprising way when you make it at home.

    Cooking

    Got olives? Try tapenade at home

    Olive tapenade, an earthy, salty paste of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and other flavorings, is easy to find jarred in specialty shops. But when you whip up a batch yourself at home, the flavors pop in a surprising way that makes you never want to buy it in a jar again.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Cold corn:</span> Vichyssoise is just one option of a refreshing soup during a hot summer.

    COOKING

    Dive in to a big bowl of cold soup this summer

    The sun is blazing. The sweat is dripping. The air feels as if it is sticking to your skin.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Fresh and crisp: </span>Oven-baked Parmesan adds a salty crunch to this salad recipe from “Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen.”

    Today’s Special

    Parmigiano-Reggiano earns its reign as king of cheeses

    I love Italian cheeses, everything from Gorgonzola, mozzarella and burrata to pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano, the King of Cheeses.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category