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Why is my boyfriend on an online dating site?

Check out our e-report on guys cheating online.

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Four years of confusion

Should I break up with my video game playing boyfriend?

Guys,

My boyfriend and I have only been together for a couple of years now and recently I caught him on a horny match online dating sight. I was shocked and hurt, knowing that the both of our previous partners had cheated and we had always told each other that we would never do that. I know that snooping is never a good thing but I went on his email site to find out that he had registered on an online dating site looking for women. I waited a few days before I confronted him. He said he was looking for something on one of the search engines when the online dating site popped up. He said that he was just curious about what it was and that he wanted to look at naked girls. I told him that was considered cheating. He then apologized to me and now he keeps telling me that he loves me and tries to kiss me and hold my hand, but I am hurt beyond belief . I am head over heels for him and I do want to believe and forgive him but I just can’t get over this.

Please help me understand. Please tell me honestly if I should keep this relationship going. Am I over reacting?

Gina

Dear Gina,

Thanks for your question.

You might be overreacting. You might not be. Let’s try and figure this out.

Looking at naked girls isn’t cheating in our minds, but it sure doesn’t help build trust if he does it without your knowledge. Guys are visual creatures, and we like looking at women. And if we’re being completely honest, we definitely fantasize about the women we’re looking at, especially if we’re attracted to them—the naked part helps a lot with this. We’re not saying he should tell you his every move, but we also don’t think you should be completely unaware of his dalliances.

Basic rule: Guys, whether they’re happy in their relationship or not, will look at nude photos—or more—if they can. Try not to take it personally even though it feels hurtful.

However, it’s an entirely different matter if he was on this online dating site, trolling for women to hook up with. That would be considered cheating in our minds, even if nothing ever happened, and certainly would be cause to question the entire relationship. Because if he’s happy with your relationship he absolutely should not be on an online dating site unless of course he’s doing research for an upcoming article he’s writing, which we doubt.

But one question that’s bothering us is: What made you want to snoop in his email inbox in the first place?

If you haven’t already, you need to sit down with him and talk about this. Find out why he did what he did, and have it be part of a general discussion about your relationship: where it is now, where it’s going, what does he want, what do you want? The best way to handle these types of situations is to gather information and then evaluate after everything is out in the open.

Good luck,

THE GUYS

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15 Comments on Why is my boyfriend on an online dating site?

  1. I’m in a similar situation to this and not sure what to do with it. Started casually seeing this guy I’d been friends with for years after separating from my husband. I didn’t want a relationship, just someone I could trust to be a friend with benefits. That changed very quickly, and we ended up connecting on a much deeper level and agreeing that we had both found exactly what we needed when we weren’t looking. Months later we were taking “pictures” with his phone, and after he had me helping him with locking them up in an app to keep his son from seeing them. That’s when I spotted pics of other women. He had been receiving nudes from a couple of girls, including an ex, and he had saved the pics. He swore he hadn’t asked for them and thought he had deleted them. Because he isn’t very techy, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. From that point he became secretive about his phone, which made me more suspicious. Finally one day after ignoring gut instincts for weeks, I logged into his fb on my tablet and found messages he was sending multiple other women asking for nudes, women he knowes personally, and some had sent them. I also checked his email, which he had logged into himself on my tablet before, so it was easily accessible, and found emails from at least half a dozen hookup sites. Clicking on the links in the emails takes me right to his account, and every single one is roughly the same…he has no pics uploaded, his age is wrong, and his location says he lives about an hour away from where we actually live. All profile info is blank, no responses for his info or what he’s looking for, but on a couple he has “friends”. None of the accounts are paid, all free and he can’t contact anyone. The notification panel that shows numbers for how many new messages he has is always going up (yes, I check them frequently now, but I will explain why), so he isn’t reading messages. From what I can tell, he’s just browsing profiles. Because his Google account is on my tablet, I can see his Web history, and he does visit these sites, but not regularly. When I have confronted him about all this, he swears he doesn’t want anyone else, he admitted that he “f*cked up” with the pics from women he knows and swore that won’t happen again, and he claims that he’s trying to delete his accounts on the hookup sites, most of which are owned by the same organization/company. He isn’t much of a talker when it comes to getting deep and discussing feelings, but he tells me constantly that he loves me, treats me with so much care and respect (other than this), we have a good sex life, and he does all the little things the “experts” say indicate he really does love me. We are also expecting a little boy in 3 months, which he agreed he wanted before we got pregnant, so we started trying. He’s also 15 years older than me, in his 40’s, so he’s not some immature young guy who just isn’t quite ready to settle down. He swears there’s nothing wrong with me, nothing I did or didn’t do to cause him to do these things, but other than that, he doesn’t really talk about it. I don’t understand why he’s doing this. Is there a different kind of thrill looking at pics of naked women that are potentially members of our community rather than women who do porn? He’s still doing the hookup site browsing, but not the talking to other women he knows about inappropriate things or asking for pics. I almost left him after that incident, despite being pregnant, and that I think scared the hell out of him. However, the websites I can’t wrap my head around. I’ve told him I don’t care about porn, I enjoy it myself, but that looks like he’s still on the market and looking to replace me if and when something “better” comes along, or he wants something on the side.

  2. @Distraught……We know this must be hard especially with the baby on the way. Is he trolling for other women? Hmm….that’s hard to say. Certainly what he’s doing, or did, is inappropriate for a guy in a committed relationship. Was it more about the fantasy, or was he actually trying to hook up with some of these women? He says he wasn’t, so you have to believe him at his word. Still, clearly this raises some red-flags. Is he doing it because he’s stressed about the baby and how that’s going to change his life? If so, that has to make you wonder how he’ll handle life’s other stresses for which there are many more to come. Have you had a serious heart-to-heart with him and told him very clearly what you need/want from him/relationship? And asked him what he wants? It almost seems that he’s now being carried along by the river, but that he’s not sure he wants to ride anymore. Whatever it is, there’s internal conflict going on. As per your other question. Sure, there might be an additional thrill to seeing community members, or regular people naked. It probably seems more real. What we wouldn’t do is start questioning yourself. This is on him, not you. Any other thoughts/questions?

  3. Thanks for the insight! He swears he doesn’t want anyone else and that I am more than enough to keep him happy, and he does seem sincere. I’ve told him if he wants out to just tell me, it wouldn’t hurt as badly as finding out later on that he cheated, but he keeps saying I’m everything he wants. He already has kids, the youngest being 13 and the only one still at home, and he is excited about this baby coming, he’s a very proud Daddy. Everything else about this man and our relationship is amazing, we don’t even argue really, except for this issue. I guess I’m just afraid to have my entire world crushed because I trusted too much and it ends up blowing up in my face.

  4. @Distraught…..Okay. So just keep your eyes open moving forward. Hopefully he understands that his behavior was NOT okay and he’ll get himself together and focus on you and the baby. And congrats by the way! Very exciting time for you. Enjoy! Keep us posted or ask another question anytime. ps. And we hope you’ll share our site with friends. Like us on Facebook. Thanks!

  5. @All the Women out THere…….We’d love to hear your thoughts on The Perfect Guy? Leave a comment, a description or respond to someone else’s comment. Let’s have a conversation.

  6. I have been searching for something close to like this. I’m glad I came upon this. I was afraid at first to search for this but I realized how many individuals were having the same situation as me.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 months. We’re both active in our sexual lives and we never have any complications. Before we dated, I knew he likes meeting people on Dating Apps (i.e. badoo, skout, POF, MeetMe etc). Last month, I kinda of snooped because he’s been on his a lot in that duration, so he fell asleep one night with his phone on the bed and I wanted to save batteries for him, so I helped him close his apps. Then I came upon all these dating apps still opened and I went through the messages. I saw messages like, “Hi. How are you baby?”. Just small messages like, “You’re gorgeous, you’re hot etc etc”. I confronted him about it and he got angry at me. I took pictures to make sure I had proof. We talked it out. He told me that’s sorry and that he promised he would never do it again and in return, I delete all those pictures. So I did. Those stopped. Then one day, I was going through his e-mail because he told me to delete some old e-mail, I came upon FetLife e-mail from a female that sent him a friend request and they have already been talking through there.

    I recently, tonight, Just went through and found out that they have been talking. He gave her his number, but she didn’t give him hers until she knows him a bit better. So they exchanged a short sentence or two, about what type of people they are and what they’re interested in. The last message, he wrote, “ugh your gorgeous and geeky mmmmmm”. My boyfriend is into kinky things, so I’m assuming it makes sense that he’s on the site. But this is the ONLY girl that he’s been talking to. I’ve sort of mentioned it to him about being truthful and honest and how it goes a long way if we want to go long term. We both also have been cheated previously in our relationship so I just don’t know what to do.

    It makes me paranoid of what he’s doing when I’m not home because I work long hours due to being a server. He tends to usually reply when he gets home around 630-7pm. Usually replies once a day. I asked him, if he’s ever stressed, to talk to me. He hasn’t mentioned to anyone that he’s taken or in a relationship. He keeps our relationship status hidden and only viewable to him only. People that he talks to, doesn’t even know he’s taken until I posted pictures I tagged him in on FB. I don’t know if he’s just dragging along and wants to just find another before he dumps me, or he’s just saying all these things because he’s simply passing the time and bored. He and I love each other, we have a lot of fun with each other, and we have talked about marriage and kids one day, but I think it’s because he’s 22, that maybe he needs get some things off his bucket list before he settles down completely.

    I need some advice or I think I will go insane. Thank you for taking the time to read this comment. It means a lot to me that I can share this story with others in the same situation.

  7. @SYL……We’re glad you shared your story. It does help others in the same situation as you. So what does your gut tell you? Seems to us that you may already be leaning one way with your thinking. So let’s break this down. With any sort of questionable behavior you want to see if there’s some sort of pattern. One time behaviors are not as worrisome—even though they can certainly make or break a relationship—as repeated behaviors. This is the second time you’ve found him talking to other women, and this is after he promised to stop. (Sounds like a pattern to us. And there could be others that you don’t know about. Sorry.) Also, the fact that he keeps your relationship a secret makes us wonder, like you, if he’s keeping his status unknown so he can pursue other opportunities. You see, when a guy is truly in love, or way into a woman, he wants to tell everyone about her. That means his friends, family, and yes, other women. It’s a guys way of laying claim to a woman, partly to fend off any other possible suitors. And that’s where we might start. Ask him when he’s going to make your relationship public. And then go from there. Could it backfire? Might he break up with you if you do that? Yes, he could and he might. But if that happens, you’ll know that he was never ALL IN even if he said he was. The other thing you might do is really think about whether you trust this guy enough to move forward. Honestly, he doesn’t seem mature enough to be in a long-term, committed relationship. (Many 22 year old guys aren’t.) Thoughts? Other questions? ps. We hope you’ll share our site with your friends. Thanks.

  8. These comments have been very helpful as I have had the same concern as “Distraught” My man is loving and committed, however he still has an online dating profile. I’ve seen them and there he does not show a pic nor does he use his name, but he does flirt with others online. While I have voiced how I feel about this, he has continued to do it. I believe he tries to hide it out of guilt and I really try to empathize and understand the “thrill” or “ego boost it gives”. I really do not feel he would physically cheat on me, but it hurts just the same. The advise given to “distraught” was very helpful to me. Thank you.

  9. @Nen….Glad it was helpful. Good luck. And please let your friends know about us. Thanks.

  10. My*fire*burned-out // January 17, 2017 at 2:12 am //

    I’m going through the same thing. He refuses to be intimate with me anymore. And he don’touch me. He don’t kiss me or say he loves me. But somehow “WE’RE ENGAGED” I caught him before on dating sites. He said I’m crazy and tripping. And the email was spam mail but he wouldn’t got notification saying he fantcied a certain profile. He told me he rather watch porn and masterbate than be with me sexually. I BEGGED himy to make me understand what’s going on and how can I fix it.
    He’s on these sites RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and has all his notification sounds the same so I won’t know what app it is. And I told him today I’m an backed into corner to make decision. And if I stam “I’M FORCED TO SHARE HIM WITH DATING AND PORN SITES ” and if I walk away I am risking losing him for good. But either way no matter what I DUNT HAVE HIM. He don’t want to talk about it. He gets extremely angry when I find out & confront him. And then says im crazy tripping. Always trying to fight. Then says “only way you found out was bc you went my shit denies it later. What should I do someone please help ne

  11. @MyFireBurnedOut…….We are sorry. We know you’re having a difficult time with this. But what exactly are you getting from this relationship? Love? Affection? Security? Sex? From what you’re saying, all of those are lacking. So what is it?

  12. wow. Honestly, if that were my situation he is definitely giving you signals that he wants *you* to end it. He is ending it in his own way. I mean, guys keep secrets, but to that all in front of you! He obviously does not care about your feelings.
    My man is very loving and affectionate towards me and our girls. I just feel that it is half out of boredom and half out of a feed for his ego. I mean, these women are real. Talking to them directly, and not some porn site where their compliments or pictures are for “anyone”. What hurts me is that he feels he needs to keep this from me. Especially after I have asked him to stop. I know he does it. He knows I know, but if he were displaying the actions that your man has been…I would say goodbye now before I say “I do”.

  13. @D…..Thanks for sharing.

  14. Guys, I’ve been looking for a male perspective on this EXACT topic for months. I really need to know what you think of this twist. I was very happily married for 15 years. Our bond of trust and intimacy has been shattered by his shocking and escalating online activity. Here’s the escalation of activities, and his explanations:
    1. Masterbating to online porn
    2. Masterbating to fetish porn (escalating to kinkier porn to get a thrill)
    3. Creating profiles on sex hookup sites (escalating to view pictures of real women v porn to get a thrill, had to create a profile to view the pictures)
    3. Sexting with real women from hookup sites (escalating to get a thrill)
    4. Creating profile on fetish site, posting extreme fetish ads for real life kinky hookups on this site and other sites (massive escalation to requests for kinky sex that he says he never had any intention of fulfilling)
    So, according to him, he went from porn, to getting sucked into what felt like thrilling and increasingly transgressional activities that he never would have acted on in the real world. He has been deeply remorseful, ashamed, horrified by the shattering of our marriage and the pain that it has caused me. He has deleted everything, handed me full access to every device, remaining account, password, has said that I can install spyware on his devices, has agreed to a polygraph, is in therapy, and so on. He can’t believe now that he ever thought what he was doing was hot. Blah blah.

    And, I’m still shattered, shocked beyond belief. I still feel like I’m in an alternate universe. I would advise any friend to leave a guy who did this. When he moved from porn to profiles, he crossed a serious line. When he moved from looking at pictures to interacting, and from interacting to placing ads, I find it nearly impossible to believe that he did not intend to follow through. I also find it nearly impossible to believe that he WOULD have followed through. I also know that he loves me, but without trust, love is not enough.

    So, GUYS, from a guy’s perspective, do you think it’s possible to f* around that much online and with a mobile device, and get a thrill, and that’s it? Do you think any guy who places a hook up ad intends to hook up? And if so, are there some guys who will not go through with it? Or, if they put it out there like that in an ad, they’re in. He might not be in now that he’s been caught before it went any further and now he’s been shocked with reality. Anyway, I’ll stop trying to write your answer. I’ll just shut up now. Thank you guys.

  15. @Bonnie…….We’re sorry. We can only imagine how you must be feeling. And we’d like to help, so here’s what we can do. We’re happy to give you a short reply here, but honestly, we no longer answer longer and complex questions in the comments section because we just can’t keep up. We now answer these types of questions—ones that certainly deserve a longer, more in-depth conversation—as part of our Ask a Private Question service. (Yes there’s a fee involved so read the testimonials on our Relationship Coaching/Advice page to see what clients say about us. Especially the skeptical ones.) That said, here’s some feedback. You ask a lot of questions, but the crux of the issue is WHY he did what he did, not whether or not he was going to take it to the next level. No guy who is satisfied in his relationship is going to create profiles and interact sexually with people online. Something is/was missing for him and clearly he needed to find it elsewhere. So the questions now are: Can he find what he needs within your relationship? Can you learn to trust him again? Will he do it again? Will the two of you be able to reclaim what you had and rebuild and repair your relationship? What are the steps to do that? Is it possible to move past this? We hope this helps a little. If you’d like to discuss further, check out the steps with the Ask a Private Question option. No pressure. You take care and hang in there…..THE GUYS

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