Q: Meredith, I have been dating a woman for months and we've been exclusive for weeks. We met online.
We've met family and friends and talk about many things in our future. I spent a recent holiday with her and met her extended family. It seems like a very good match.
However, a few weeks ago I was at her place and took a nap. When I woke up, she had her laptop open and quickly closed it. She didn't move fast enough, and I could see she was on Match.com. I asked her about it and she assured me she was just checking to make sure her subscription does not renew. It seemed suspect, but I decided to trust what she said and moved on. So fast forward days later when I went on the site to completely disable my profile so I don't get the annoying mass marketing emails from them, and I discovered her profile is not hidden and she has been active on the site. This seemed like a red flag to me.
I brought this up to her, and she admitted to the profile being up, but promised she never initiated contact with anyone. She showed me her account so I could see that was true. She also disabled her account while I was watching. She never gave a real reason to why she had remained active. I suspect it's an attention thing. I think some women like the attention? Aside from this little bump, our relationship is flourishing ...
– Digitally Confused, Mass.
A: You're right about the attention. It can be addictive (to men and women). Some people have to keep logging onto dating websites, while others compulsively check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When these sites become a part of our routine, it's difficult not to ask, "Who's looking at me now? And what am I missing?"
Lingering on a dating website when you have a boyfriend is certainly sketchier than checking Instagram, but your girlfriend dealt with this the right way. She opted for transparency, showed you her account, and then deleted her profile. She didn't make excuses or get defensive, she just fixed the problem.
For now, focus on your off-line life with this woman because it sounds pretty good. Her mistake was a yellow flag (I wouldn't say red), but the relationship is still new. The more you learn about her over time, the easier it will be to understand her motivation.
Readers? Should this have been a deal-breaker? Can he trust her? Why was she still on the website? Is this just an attention issue? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.