My boyfriend is on dating sites; Is he cheating?


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Hi Guys,

My boyfriend has just walked out on me after three years of what I thought was a great relationship. I discovered by accident he had been using a dating site, and in the last two months had been winking and flirting with women on it. I didn’t say anything for a couple of days because I was in shock and wanted to be calm when I discussed it with him.

When I did he looked me in the eye and said he would never, ever do that to me. At that point I did get mad and told him to leave. He then said it was my fault for being insecure. Now he won’t speak to me. And he has made me feel like I’m such an awful person. But then he sent me an odd text saying he loves me.

I’m in bits. I feel like my life isn’t worth living. Where did I go wrong?


Dear Kacey,

Thanks for your question.

This is an example of a guy getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar and then denying it ever happened. And in your case his strategy seems to be working. Because now you’re second guessing yourself, and wondering if maybe you’re the problem. Yes, you did breach the trust of your relationship by snooping, but we can assure you that you’re not the one who caused irreparable damage to the relationship. He did. So let’s look at what really happened.

We assume something must have tipped you off, causing you to be suspicious of your boyfriend. Because otherwise we can’t see how you could “accidentally” discover he was on a dating site. (That’s why “accident” is in quotes.) But the problem here, is once you procure information in a covert fashion it’s very difficult to do much with it. Once you tell him how you discovered the information he’ll immediately shut down and feel that you violated the trust of your relationship. And if you don’t tell him, you set him up to lie even further. Either way, it’s a tough place to work from.

Hmmm…….kind of a Catch 22 wouldn’t you say?

However, even though you “accidentally” discovered the information, now that you have it, it trumps any argument he can raise. Because when it comes right down to it, he’s the one who breached the trust of the relationship. He should be apologizing to you, asking for forgiveness, and agreeing to go to couples’ counseling, or whatever else it takes to restore the trust.

And relationships are built on just that: trust. We don’t see a lot of it between the two of you. Sure, it’s clear he loves you, but that doesn’t mean he’s a great boyfriend, and someone to throw your lot in with. Any guy trolling a dating site while he’s in a relationship is cheating, plain and simple. You might say, “But he never did anything?” To which we’d respond, “But only because the opportunity didn’t present itself.”

Kacey, ask yourself if this is the kind of person you want to build a life with? Without trust, love doesn’t mean much.

Please leave us a follow up comment and/or question here in the comments section. We’ll respond here as well.

Good luck,


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31 Comments on My boyfriend is on dating sites; Is he cheating?

  1. @Tabitha….Has he apologized yet? Has he said that he’ll never do it again? And has he asked you to take him back? So what’s your plan Tabitha? Do you feel you can forgive him? That said, you need to determine if you believe this is a one-time incident that you can live with, or if this is a symptom of a bigger issue. Meaning, there’s a reason he went on POF, and it’s not solely because he’s depressed or wants to be wanted. People don’t do this sort of thing unless they believe something is missing from their relationship/life. Otherwise there would be no point. Going on POF gave him something he wasn’t getting from the relationship. Now, let’s be clear. We’re in NO WAY saying this is about you. It’s not. This is about his perception of the relationship. He’s fixated on what he doesn’t have, rather than all he does have. Make sense? If you have any chance of reconciliation you need to get to the bottom of this and he needs to spill the beans and be honest with you. Thoughts?

  2. Yes he did. But idk he says it just because he knows I want to hear it. He still says he didn’t think it’s cheating. And said he’d delete it. But hasn’t. Been 3 days. It’s hard since a hurt my foot I need his help and we are moving into a new place we just signed a lease.
    My plan is to take a break. To be as much as possible like we are away. Made some rules etc typed up a paper and gave it too him yesterday and he agreed to it.

  3. @Tabitha…..Well, keep us posted if you’d like. And hang in there. Any chance you can break the lease? Seems like an inopportune time to be moving in together.

  4. Hi guys. I have been in a relationship for 3 yrs. We are crazy about each other. There was understanding, love, care and trust. In the beginning, I knew he was on an online dating site. But I did not find it wrong as he wasn’t active.about 8 months ago, We had huge fight and broke up for a day but we got back together. However the past 6-7 months we are having constant fights over small things. I have been facing many problems in my life recently and it has made me go into depression which is hurting him. And he is having problems in his career. He gets angry when I’m down but he is also extremely loving. But it hurts me. During this phase, he started talking to a girl who is his friends girlfriend and he did not tell me. I found out and confronted him. He said he didn’t mean anything wrong and that he realized it was his mistake not telling me. Everything was good after that. But he constantly tries to make me jealous by telling me some girls finds him attractive and it makes me insecure but I forget about it. And sometimes he apologizes. Recently, when he asked me to access his mail. I accidentally went into the spam folder without realising and I found out that he just Registered on another online dating site about 10 days ago. This is bothering me now and hurting me. I want to confront him but I’m scared too.
    What is the best way to handle this?

  5. @Hg……Well, we always think the direct approach is best. Of course he might say you were snooping and accuse you of not trusting him. So this is your call. It could go either way. Understand that if you do bring it up things could spiral downward, or your relationship could improve. If we’re being completely honest with you, there’s a lot in your relationship that needs to be worked on. But the lost trust is first and foremost. He’s misbehaving. (Talking to this other girl behind your back. Going on dating sites.) Obviously he’s dissatisfied in some way. (And maybe you are too?) So if truly want to save your relationship, when you confront him, keep that goal in mind. That what you really want is to fix the crumbling foundation and get back on track. Is that what you want?
    ps. We’re happy to discuss here, but this is as in-depth as we can get in the comments. If you want a more in-depth discussion you might want to consider the Ask a Private Question option. (Read testimonials on our Get Relationship Advice page to see what clients say about us.)

  6. I have just found my partner of 3 years on tinder. Chatting and laying to other women. Totally heartbroken as got a baby together and been through tough time with appendix and sepsis after giving birth. I do a lot. I have been back to work since my baby was 5 months old and study and look after the baby and that’s what he does? Lies to women about being single and business owner. I have found hook ups sites before with recent pictures so not the first time. How do I deal with that now ? We are renting and he already refused to move out. I got this place and paid deposit but is in joint names. Utterly broken. I will try and catfish him to see if he will actually go and meet a girl.

  7. @Karolina……We are so sorry. So do you want to try and reconcile with him or do you want him to leave? Do you think you’ll be able to trust him again?

  8. Maria Ramirez // January 1, 2018 at 4:06 am //

    Hello guys.
    Well me and my babydady have been going through a rollercoaster. We fight about the littlest things. I used to be a drug addict until I found out I was pregnant. I hurt his feelings so bad by putting him down only because I didn’t feel good enough. I did tell him I cheated on him only because he got me mad coming home drunk at 4am with a girl dropping him off while I was pregnant. Now I feel like he is more distant always playing video games and late at night on his phone. I just noticed he downloaded a sugarmamas, courgars dating app ,tindr and antichat. Also he receives notifications of porn on his Gmail. I don’t know what so say or do. It’s already New year’s and I don’t want to start the year off wrong but then I don’t want to hold that in but then he’s gonna say why am I on his phone.he already lost my trust once. We have a son and I do not know what to do. But I’m afraid he’s cheating on me.

  9. @Maria……We’re sorry to hear that your relationship is so up and down right now. Honestly, both of you seem to have hurt one another for quite some time. (Your cheating. His porn surfing. His possible cheating. Your drug use.) What’s lost right now is the trust you have for one another. The first step to healing your relationship is restoring that trust. How do you do that? Well, that’s going to take time and many heart-to-heart conversations, talking through the issues, apologizing, trying to help each other move forward. Sometimes this is very difficult to do without the help of a professional. (Counselor. Psychologist. Therapist.) Would you consider one of those options? (We’d recommend it.) What do you think?

  10. I’m an older woman, 62. My husband passed away 4 years ago. I met a friend and we started going to Meetups together, hiking, kayaking, concerts, etc. Found out we are attracted to each other, but me, I’m as shaky as a newborn colt trying to date and not feel guilty. Fast forward 2 years and we are still seeing each other. Although he sees his ex at least once a week, talks to several other exes, I decided to be the adult and not be insecure. Last week at my house I noticed him looking at his phone (which he does A LOT) and keeps it well protected. I recognized POF. So I logged in and sure enough, he’s been accessing it several times a day. I confronted him and he turned it all on me. Just like people here have said. He’s claiming that talking to exes and looking at POF are just that and not cheating. I heartily disagree. I also have told him on several occassions that I feel he attempts to gaslight me. What are your thoughts?

  11. @Carol…..We’re sure you have a pretty good idea what we’re going to say. TRUST YOUR GUT. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not, no matter what he says. But here’s the biggest issue we see. (Besides the obvious one that he’s at the very least flirting with other women, and at most, seeing them.) He’s not being honest with you. Maybe you wouldn’t like it, but if he told you, “Look Carol. I really like you, but I want to see other people as well. I don’t want to be tied to a serious relationship.” (Or something like that.) Then at least you’d know where he was coming from and you could decide how you wanted to proceed. Him flipping things on you, and trying to make light of it, is just a guilty man walking. What do you think? And what do you plan to do?

  12. So I was on my boyfriends phone fixing something for him when a text came in from his ex girlfriend saying “take me out for lunch”. He says she’s been texting stuff like that and he says no. I asked him why he unblocked her he said in case there’s an emergency like she gets shot or something. Last year he was talking to a different ex girlfriend behind my back. What do I do?

  13. @jackie…..This all comes down to trust. Do you trust him? As per his ex-girlfriends. There’s no steadfast rule about communicating with ex-girlfriends. That said, how long did he go out with these women? It would be one thing if he had a long-term relationship and was still friends with her, it’s another that he has TWO different women who he seems to be in contact with. Were they both long term?

  14. Kristina Forrester // February 12, 2018 at 12:25 pm //

    My fiance is doing exactly that looking up dating sites and then blaming me and getting mad at me as if it’s my fault that I came across his lies! I’m really hurt, makes me feel not good enough.

  15. @Kristina…..We are so sorry. So what is his excuse? Did he have one? Or did he just blame you for “snooping”? So what do you plan on doing? Remember: Trust is a necessary component of a relationship’s foundation. Do you trust him?

  16. Yes they were both long term.I don’t know if I can trust him. I was trusting him last year when I found out he was talking to his ex behind my back. I gave him another chance and now see he is talking to another ex. I feel like I trust him but don’t want to be wrong

  17. @Jackie…..Okay, thanks for filling us in. Here’s the thing. Like we said, there are no steadfast rules about whether one should talk to an ex or not, except for one….Rule: If the communication with an ex is creating an issue in your primary relationship—as it is in your case—then at the very least there needs to be a heart-to-heart discussion about the issue. And depending how the conversation goes, you can decide how you want to proceed moving forward. For example: If he pushes back, or accuses you of being jealous, or makes a lot of excuses, or isn’t able to understand your point of view, then you might need to give this some serious thought. This is about priorities and respect. Who is he prioritizing here? What is he prioritizing? And does he respect you or not? Does he respect your relationship? We don’t get the sense that you’re being unreasonable. This is him hiding things from you, and then continuing with the behavior even though it bothers you. What do you think?

  18. He says that he doesn’t care about her and won’t talk to her anymore. But how will I really know if he is or not. I text messaged her online and she said they are just friends. He said she asked him to get together and he said he told her no and that he also thinks she was going to ask him for money. They lived together for a year. Also he accuses me of cheating on him and I’m not.

  19. @jackie……Him accusing you of cheating is a way to reverse things and put it all on you. This is a strategy employed by some men. You ask: How will you know? Well, all you have is trust. That’s how relationships work. If he really wants to hide it from you he will. Questions: How long have you been dating? And is it serious? Do you have plans for the future together?

  20. We have been dating for 15 months. We have known each other for 6 years. I want him to move in with me or at least I did. He really thinks I’m cheating he investigates to see if I am.

  21. @Jackie…….Right now it sounds as if the two of you are at an impasse. There’s some trust issues going on for both of you. Honestly Jackie, it’s time for the two of you to start having some very open and honest conversations about your relationship. What you want? What he wants? What you both need? What’s working? What isn’t? Communication is the key. And if that’s difficult to do by yourselves, maybe make an appointment with a professional and go together. Couples counseling or that sort of thing. Would he be open to that? Are you?

  22. Vanessa Esquivel // February 15, 2018 at 9:18 am //

    So I’ve been reading your situations and it has me heartbroken. I will never understand why a male would risk everything when he had and has a woman that loves him. I was in a rocky relationship and barley found out he was cheating and was on numerous dating sites. He blamed it on me when I confronted him and said I started the drama when my friends told me he has 2 Facebooks and is on every dating site. He woukd comment on girls pics that they’re beautiful but when I send a picture of myself he ignores it… heartbreaking. He has his paranoid stage but til this day I’ve faithful. I can’t let go and I pray to let go. It hurts. I’m still in denial.

  23. I would be open to it. He would go if it was the only way to keep me. We both want to stay together. We love each other and enjoy each other’s company, have fun together and don’t fight much. He doesn’t trust me because he doesn’t trust any woman ( his ex wife cheated on him). I don’t trust him cause he was dating his ex girlfriend behind my back when we first started dating(and I had trusted him at that time).I started trusting him again and then I find out he’s talking to a different ex behind my back that he was hiding.why does he do it will it ever stop. He tells me how much he loves me and wants to marry me. He treats me very well. We are together most every day. I feel happy around him. Everything is good. We compromise very well. We get along very well. He says he is happy and appears to be happy so why the other women I don’t get it.

  24. @Jackie…..So one of the ex’s is his ex-wife? Are there kids involved as well? Have you ever been married? Kids? (We’re just trying to understand your situation more.) From what you describe you have a great relationship. Warm and loving for the most part. He just needs to understand why this is hurtful to you? Besides the obvious reasons. Is there another reason it bothers you for him to talk to his ex-wife?

  25. @Vanessa…..Thanks for sharing. We are sorry about your situation as well. It’s hard to say why some people risk everything for a tiny bit of approval. In general, people have a difficult time appreciating what they have, and tend to focus on what they don’t have. That’s not the best way to live one’s life though. Hang in there.

  26. No its not his exwife.he doesn’t talk to her ever.I’ve been married and have kids. The first ex girlfriend he was dating behind my back. Kissing, dinner etc. This one now asked him to take her out to lunch. He never erases any text messages ever hers were erased. Seems secretive and hiding it.

  27. @Jackie…..So thanks for filling us in. So what’s your plan?

  28. Chia Phinisee // February 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm //

    Hey guys.. so I just saw my fiancé of 1 year was recently on Tinder when I asked him he said he was on there trying to let females know about my e-boutique business.. now let it be known I don’t believe that story! But he’s sticking with it.. also mentioned he’s bored (no job).. I was in a 10 year relationship before this and I’ve have some trust issues, there was a lot of lying, cheating and emotionall abuse in that old relationship. So I told myself I won’t do that again. So this new relationship is showing signs of lying and cheating and breach of trust! Idk what I should now?

  29. Well I don’t like dating someone that I feel suspicious about.I think counseling would be unlucrative he would just say the same thing – I want you, I love you, I don’t want anybody else. I want to think he won’t be deceptive but I can’t ignore the facts. I’m going to continue to date him but I will be leery of him and see what the future brings.

  30. @Chia……Well the good news is that you can see through his lie. (He’ll stick to it forever.) So a few questions: Do you trust him? Or rather, before this incident did you trust him implicitly? Or can you think back to some situations where you weren’t sure about him? Anything specific?

  31. @Jackie…..We’re sorry. It’s not a great place to be, dating someone whom you’re suspicious about. Hang in there and keep us posted.

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