On Our Year Anniversary, I Found Out He’s Still On Two Dating Apps

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for just over a year.

On our anniversary, his friend asked him to meet up for drinks. I didn’t mind because I thought it was going to be short – like three to four hours. Well, my boyfriend didn’t come back until 12:30 a.m. I could tell he was drinking and I confronted him about it because I was worried about him. He apologized and we went to sleep.

That night, I couldn’t go to sleep and something told me to look through his phone. I found out that he had two dating apps up and was active on them (we met on Tinder and agreed to delete our accounts). I also found sexual pics and videos that had been sent to him.

I woke him up and confronted him about it, and he apologized quickly, saying that he never planned on meeting them, that he thought our relationship was too good to be true, that he was scared. He started to cry and got on his knees to tell me he loves me, he’s sorry, and didn’t want to lose me. He then got dressed, started speaking negative things to himself (like “I messed up our relationship”), and stormed out the door.

I went after him because he was not gonna run away from this. I grabbed his key and we went back into the house and talked about it. He then stated that he would delete everything. He deleted the messages and apps, he is planning on changing his number, and he got rid of his phone passcode because he wants me to have access to it.

The next day or so, he stated that he needed to take a drive … and he stayed out until 12:30 again. He wouldn’t tell me where he was going so I checked his iPad for his location. I found out he went to a massage parlor. At like 11 at night.

I did confront him on that and he played the victim; like, “How did you know? Where did you see it on my phone?” At this point I’m just confused and don’t know what to do. I love this man and he wants to make it work, but it seems like I keep finding all these secrets. I want to fight for our relationship and help him get help because I refuse to have some women break what we built, but I won’t take being lied to. I need some advice.

– Secrets


“I refuse to have some women break what we built …”

The other women are breaking what you built? It’s their fault? That doesn’t sound right.

Your boyfriend is in charge of his own decisions. Based on what you’ve told us, it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to be in an exclusive, committed relationship. That’d be OK if he wasn’t telling you otherwise. Also, it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to be a respectful partner. The anniversary thing isn’t great. It sounds like you were waiting around.

I know you care about this person, but the success of this relationship seems to require surveillance. That can turn into a full-time job, and already he’s learning how to get around it. Those “How did you know where I was?” questions … it won’t take long for him to hide from you. (I’m sort of surprised he didn’t know how you found him. Even I know how to track a phone.)

This kind of relationship is exhausting. At the moment, you’re the one fighting to save what you have. It sounds like he’s more interested in not getting caught.

You would be better off with someone who loves being in a long-term commitment with clear boundaries. This man is making promises he might not want to keep. I assume he’s doing that because he loves having you in his life, but a year in, that’s not enough.

– Meredith

Readers? Any advice for making this work?

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