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Boyfriend is on Tinder. Should I Break Up

Boyfriend on Tinder

Boyfriend on TinderEvery week I seem to get asked a similar question from a woman whose boyfriend is still on Tinder wondering if they should break up.

Here’s Nina’s story.

Hi Julie,

I have been dating a guy for 3 months now and just this morning we had a conversation where I asked him if this is what he really wanted (committing to being in a relationship with me), and he said, “Yes, this is what I want. I love spending time with you, I love how you make me feel (…)”.

I created a fake tinder profile a couple of weeks ago and swiped right on him. To my dismay, I just checked it and he had matched with “me” (picture and name of a different person, hence the fake profile) 9 hours ago (this morning right before our conversation.

My question now is what to do. I don’t feel I can trust him now as he had before said he was not talking to or seeing any other women. I feel a little betrayed. Should I confront him about this and tell him how I found out, or let it slide, or break up? Honestly don’t know what to do.


Should She Break Up With Him?

Dear Nina,

I’m sorry you’re going through this relationship anxiety with your boyfriend. This is the top question I get from female readers. (See the other links in this article from other women). They find out their boyfriend is on Tinder and want to dump him or don’t know what to do. I appreciate your honesty on how the past month has developed with your boyfriend. Let’s talk about a few things. I’m here to help you, but this is going to be tough love my friend, so get ready.

  1. You’ve been in a relationship for three months.

Three months is still new for a relationship. It’s the honeymoon stage, where everything is fresh and exciting. It’s the perfect stage, as you haven’t moved into a routine. Many relationships breakup at the three-month point, as some people only like the beginning stages of a relationship and don’t want to get serious. From where he sat, he probably enjoyed dating you and hadn’t moved to a more serious stage yet. He wanted to look at options.

  1. You asked your boyfriend if he wanted to be in a committed relationship.

You were happy enough with him to want your relationship to be exclusive. You asked. He answered. He might have told you what you wanted to hear, but he didn’t come out and ask you first to be in a committed relationship, although he said he wasn’t seeing anyone else.

Chances are he wanted to see where the relationship was going to go and got caught up in the Tinder swiping game. It happens a lot. If you’re sleeping together, he also might not want to give that up. He’s a guy. It’s how men are wired. You also don’t know if this morning when he said he loved how he felt with you, that he had swiped for the last time and was ready to delete his Tinder account, right?


  1. You created a fake Tinder profile after 2 months.

In all honesty, this is where the problem started. There’s a saying, “Seek and ye shall find.” Why did you create a fake Tinder profile to try to catch him? Probably because you weren’t sure he wanted to be exclusive with you.

Let’s talk about trust. It works both ways. You felt insecure about your relationship status early on and didn’t trust him. You wanted to catch him and behind HIS back, logged on as a fake person to see if he’d take the bait. It worked, he’s busted and now you’re unhappy. No guy wants to feel like his girlfriend is checking up on him, even if it’s innocent.

I’m not sure if you met on Tinder and if you took your profile down and he didn’t, but at two months, he probably wasn’t ready to be exclusive, or he would have said so. When a man wants a woman to be his, he does what it takes to make her is girlfriend. That includes taking down all dating profiles in good faith to see where the relationship will go.

The moment you think someone’s cheating or looking elsewhere is the moment you realize something isn’t right. Rather than seeing where your relationship would go over time, you tried to catch him, and you did.

  1. Tinder is a dating site with many users who aren’t single

Here’s a shocking fact. A GlobalWebIndex survey found that that 42 percent of Tinder’s members are already in relationships. Think about it. Almost half of the users are playing around on Tinder. Some are swiping only. Others are chatting only. Many are meeting and hooking up. Your boyfriend may be one of those 42%.

It would be one thing if someone in a relationship was on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram all of the time. They’re social networking sites. Many people are finding love on social media, but Tinder is a dating (and even known as a hookup) app. If you’re in a relationship and someone is active on a dating app, guess what? It’s wrong. I don’t care about the percentages, it’s wrong, period. Having an active profile on Tinder when you’re in a relationship tells the world that you’re single and looking. From your boyfriend’s perspective, he thought he was single and was keeping his options open. He also swiped on your fake profile before you had the conversation.

I understand that some guys and women too, like the validation they get when someone swipes right on their profiles. It’s a digital ego stroke. I also know that Tinder is like a game and people like to see who is out there and swipe right and never speak.

The problem Nina is something’s off in your relationship. You weren’t on the same page at the same time. If you trusted him, you wouldn’t have created a fake profile after two months. You know that a relationship is based on mutual trust. Without it, it cannot survive in the long haul.


  1. To Break Up, or Not to Break Up

I can’t tell you to break up with someone if you think he’s your soulmate. Something is missing in your relationship if he feels the need to communicate with women on a dating app. Something is also wrong in your relationship if you feel you need to check up on him. Something is wrong if he’s not happy with himself and needs the validation. The bottom line is, something is wrong.

He says he’s happy and loves spending time with you, which is probably true. But he’s also happy swiping right on Tinder.

I know if it were me, I wouldn’t put up with it. It’s a deal-breaker. I’d want to be in a relationship built on mutual trust. I can’t say if it’s a deal breaker for you, but as soon as you tell him you’ve busted him with a fake Tinder profile, or make up a white lie and say that someone found him on Tinder, I guarantee he will break up with you. You’re asking me if you should break up with him. I think you know the answer. The trust isn’t there.

So you can continue to be quiet and log onto your fake profile to see the exact moment he last logged on and make yourself sick in the process, or try to find someone who will think you’re amazing enough to ditch the dating apps to be in your arms. The choice is yours. I can only hope that you take your fake profile down and never create another one to try to snoop on a guy you really like.

I’m sorry you’re going through this now, but being on a dating site when you’re in a relationship is disrespectful. So is trying to catch him with a fake profile.

My best advice to you is as follows: The next time to have trust in a new relationship. Let it unfold naturally. Men don’t like being with an insecure needy person. If you felt the need to snoop, it was doomed.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo


Do you have a dating question for Julie? Send your questions here:

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating and Mobile Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. For more dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.


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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.

8 thoughts on “Boyfriend is on Tinder. Should I Break Up”

  1. I think everything is very circumstantial. I too recently found my boyfriend on tinder. Everyone I spoke to, and everything I read told me that it was useless and the relationship was over. I had been burned in the past and I thought “how will I ever get over this?”. I was ready to leave and as tears are streaming down his face and he’s on his knees begging me not to go, I couldn’t help but feel that he was so remorseful over his actions. We talk about it all the time, try to find the root of the problem and solve it from there. The connection we have doesn’t come around every day, and was too special to just give up on. (Side note: no numbers were exchanged on app, no pictures and no intent to meet, just flirting). If I left I would be saying “nothing was real, everything was a lie” and I knew deep down that wasn’t true. Yes he’s going to have to earn my trust back, he knows how bad he (screwed) up, but in the end we had a break through, and I believe everything happens for a reason. Now we’re more open with each other, we realize the thought of not having each other in our lives is too scary to comprehend, and the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it. So if he has remorse, doesn’t make excuses, and is willing to do whatever to get your trust back (even if it means having the same conversation over and over and over again) then I say people (screw) up, and true love isn’t worth throwing away .

  2. If a man states that he doesn’t wish to see anyone else and then proceeds to not find time to be with you and issues other red flags, it’s smart to look. Otherwise the charade continues, you feel insecure and the relationship isn’t honest. I found my guy on 2 dating sites despite his dictate that I was the only person he wanted to see. The trust was gone. It was over. I’d rather find out now that he’s a liar rather than a year from now. Please!!

  3. Hi Rebecca!

    I’m so happy I found your comment, the same thing happened with me and my boyfriend.

  4. Been dating my boyfriend year and half and see each other on weekends due to the fact we live 3 hours apart. Both have kids and we all spend time together. Needless to say I have invested a lot in this relationship. Until now I would of said I adored him. Recently it seems his actions changed toward me. My gut kept telling me something was up. But if I asked anything he would say everything was fine. Just last night he handed me his phone to look at something and I noticed TINDER APP. Of course out of curiosity I opened it to see if he was using and was shocked to find messages to a girl back and fourth. Even asking to meet. He thought I was just looking at weather on phone. Now I am crushed. Didn’t say anything yet but for sure struggling. I don’t care to fight over it but just broken hearted and staying out by him for 2 more nights. I just know if I pack up and leave it will not be good. What do I do?!? Thought about writing a note and leaving when I left. Just don’t want to argue. And I am so hurt.

  5. I’m sorry to hear your boyfriend’s been chatting with a woman on Tinder. Being in a long-distance relationship is challenging, especially in a weekend relationship. The way to make it work is to communicate. You heart and health are at risk, so it’s time to be strong and ask him if he’s interested in dating others, and then LISTEN.

    If he hesitates and says yes, then you have your answer and you should consider doing the same.

    If he says no, then consider saying, I inadvertently noticed you have the Tinder app on your phone. I know a lot of guys do, but it’s a dating app. Let him know you’re uncomfortable with him chatting with others and again listen.

    If you’re interested in a monogamous relationship and he’s not, it’s best to find out before you get in any deeper.

    Hearts can be broken and hearts heal. I hope you find resolution to this issue.

  6. 5 years dating and talking about our future. My friend sent me pics of him on Tinder 2 nights ago. I am devastated and let him have it. But also resulted in one of the most honest conversations we have had in a long time. I have still not made up my mind what I’m going to do. The connection with him is real and his remorse is palpable. He never met or acted on anything and even deleted the app, but didn’t realize his profile was still up. The emotions are raw right now and the deception is hard to get past. We will see.

  7. My fiancé and I have been together for three in a half years and currently long distance for two. We just got engaged one month ago and now my friend found him on tinder.
    I told him from the beginning that I would never be okay with cheating.

    It hurts he did this right after we got engaged.
    I confronted him and he aknowledged it right away. He told me he’s been making it every couple of months to “get an ego boost” and deal with bing lonely but never talked to anyone on it.

    He’s begging me to stay with him but I can’t decide what to do. It hurts so much.
    He got a dog the next day because he thinks that solved his prOblem and he’s speaking with a therapist to resolve his insecurities but I still don’t know if I can trust him or stay with him. I don’t know what to do.

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