He Uses Dating Sites
Q: I have been involved with a wonderful man for over a year, and we are very, very close. We had both been registered on several online dating sites when we met, but I have lost interest and deleted mine since we have grown closer and closer. I am truly in love with this man, and I thought he shared my feelings. Now, I recently found out that he is still actively using his sites all the time, talking to women, downloading their photos! I questioned him about it and he says, "You knew I was on those sites." Which is essentially true, but if we have something so special, why is he still looking? This really shocked me to the core. I feel betrayed and hurt.
Am I old fashioned? I feel like he has been cheating on me with all these "cyber women"! Am I wrong in saying that, if he wants our relationship to continue, it's them or me? Take your pick, kid. -- Debbie, 36
Dr. Susan: You couldn't be more right, Debbie. He's splitting hairs to say you knew he was on those sites. After a year of intense closeness, it's only natural you'd expect him to be monogamous, or at least not actively playing around on dating sites. Only he can answer the question of why he's still looking when he's got you, but I can venture some guesses. He enjoys the game more than anything. He's a habitual liar. He never had any intention of settling down with one woman, and all that closeness you feel for him isn't reciprocated. At least it's not reciprocated in the same manner. Some guys insist they can feel very close to one woman while still messing around with a changing batch of other women.
Tell him how hurt you feel, that you thought he was being monogamous, emotionally and otherwise, and that you had begun to have hopes of something long-term developing from your relationship. And tell him he has to choose. He can continue to be with you, or not. But no more dating sites while he's with you. Be prepared to lose him, but try not to weep too long. The guy doesn't seem worth it.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.