One of the most common questions, if not the most common one, that every woman wonders, in every relationship, is “is he cheating on me?”, or “is he thinking of cheating on me?” or even “will he cheat on me at some point”? And no matter how you phrase it, the ultimate question, behind every woman’s suspicion, is the same: “Is there something that he wants or needs that he’s not getting from me? Am I good enough?”. Of course it’s obvious that behind such questions, there is always self-doubt… and as much as we hate to admit it, all of us (or definitely the good majority of women) wonder this every now and then in our relationships.
One of the things that I liked from the very beginning with my relationship with Serge, was the honesty. It’s probably the first relationship that buried those questions so far at the back of my mind, that I had almost forgotten their existence. He never gave me any reason to doubt him and he made it crystal clear from the very beginning how much he detested cheating. And so my mind was put to rest… Until one day I had reason to doubt everything. While spending one lazy afternoon in Serge’s bed reading a book, while he was downstairs watching a movie, I heard a notification on his phone. I hadn’t noticed until then, that his phone was charging right next to me, with him nowhere to be seen. It didn’t even cross my mind to go through his phone or even see who texted him, but the minute I turned my head towards the pages of my book again, I realized that it wasn’t a text message. It was a Tinder notification. And suddenly I was furious. I’m not one to pry, I wouldn’t dare open the message; but that didn’t stop me from heading downstairs and snapping at him. He didn’t even sweat it, he laughed and merely said with great ease “Tinder is still on my phone? I completely forgot I had it!” And just like that, he locked his phone and put it on the table next to him. He did it so skilfully that I thought to myself ”how silly of me to think that he would pick up girls from tinder to cheat on me”.
And I remained in that mind-set for two weeks after his first Tinder message. Until one night, I came back late from work, exhausted, but after dinner, there it was again; the message notification, three of them, one right after the other… all three from tinder, from a sender named “KT”. And that was it; I lost it. I was infuriated and started shouting at him, asking questions, firmly believing that he was lying to me. For one thing, I was definitely angry at him for exchanging messages with random girls from Tinder, and not even admitting to it. Three messages in a row from a girl on Tinder, wasn’t a conversation starter, it was definitely a response. But on a whole different level, I was angry at myself, and taking it out on him. I was angry at myself for letting him fool me the first time, and for believing his excuses. I was angry at how naïve I was. I recall me shouting at him “stop lying to me!” and him saying “I’m not!” I told him to delete it; he said he would, but he wouldn’t do it right there in front of me. I said, “if you are not replying to them, then show me. Open the message in front of me”, but he wouldn’t. As if I needed that confirmation to know that he was lying. So when we went to bed that night, I waited for him to get in the shower so that I could go snooping for his phone. I need to stop and clarify here, that I’m not that kind of girl – I respect someone’s privacy and it’s none of my business messing around their phone. But my anger and curiosity took over the best of me that night. He was so good with words, that he almost made me think I’m crazy, even after seeing all those notifications. So I wasn’t going to have it – I’m not a psychotic bitch, I don’t get possessive or jealous, especially without reason. So I needed to prove that to myself. And while all these thoughts were taking over my mind, I suddenly found myself with his phone unlocked (I’ve known the password for months and still didn’t attempt to snoop before that!) and looking at the tinder application on the homepage. I opened it without even giving it another second of thought, and there I was, all of my suspicions confirmed, proving to myself that I’m not crazy: A few minutes before I got home, he had messaged a girl on Tinder: “How is your evening going? Do you have anything planned? Xx”. And that message was following a long conversation with her, which started days ago – which unfortunately I didn’t have time to read. And there I was with the confirmation in my hands, and waiting for my mind to be put at ease; I wasn’t crazy afterall. But instead, for the first time in my relationship with Serge, I felt cold sweat dripping down my back and a surge of jealousy that was overwhelming.
I didn’t know how to bring up the conversation again – I couldn’t tell him I snooped around in my phone and I couldn’t tell him one more time “I just know that you are talking with girls, don’t lie to me!” – he would just say I’m crazy. But then again, I couldn’t not talk to him about it. By the time he got out of the shower, I was pacing restlessly around the bedroom, trying to calm myself. Naturally he noticed it, so he asked me “what’s wrong?”, to which I just blurted out “Why are you talking to girls on Tinder? Stop lying to me, I know that you are, just tell me why!” Once again, this led to him denying everything. But there was one thing that he said, which I had to admit he was right: “Look at this place! Your stuff is everywhere, your clothes, make up, accessories; you think I would bring another girl in here with all your stuff around my house?” When this conversation led to yet another fight, and us sleeping in two different rooms, I couldn’t put it off my mind. I kept asking myself why he was chatting to other girls, I kept wondering whether there was something that he wanted, I started doubting myself. I somehow knew that right now he wasn’t sleeping with anyone else, and he wasn’t dating anyone else, not yet at least, but I couldn’t help but wonder: Is he looking for someone new, to start dating and get rid of me as soon as he finds her? Or is chatting to girls on Tinder, merely for an ego boost, something to pass his time and make him feel better about himself? And ultimately, why am I not good enough that he has to go look for other girls? In either case, it all came down to me questioning what I’m doing wrong. With a twenty year age gap, I somehow highly doubted that he was just looking for sex with someone else; but maybe, just maybe, he was looking for someone that he would actually have a future with, in contrast to me. And that scared me, probably more than the fact that he might just be looking for sex. Somehow thinking about it rationally, I knew it was just an ego boost, a way to pass his time when he had nothing better to do and feel better about himself. And that was confirmed, when two days after that, even though the topic wasn’t brought up again, Tinder was gone from his phone.
I was going to end this post by just drawing the conclusion myself, but this time, I have a definite answer, and it proves me right. A few hours ago, over an early Sunday dinner and a light conversation about dating, I brought up the topic again and half jokingly I said “All men look for an ego boost every now and then. Girls do it too. But I know that’s why you were talking to girls on Tinder”. And this time, for the first time, he didn’t deny it: “Correct, but that’s very rarely, and it’s just a chat. And that’s when I’m with a friend and we just do it as a joke”. I knew there was still a bit of lie in what he said, but he had admitted to it, and I didn’t want to push the topic anymore. I was suddenly more at ease with the idea, and although I don’t particularly like it, I just laughed and told him: “Look, I don’t get why you need an ego boost. You are 42 and you get to fuck a 23 year old, that should be enough of an ego boost”. It made him laugh in agreement; but I didn’t need his approval on that one – I was sure that was true from the very beginning. So I was finally at ease, and even though I don’t like the idea of him looking for an ego boost through pointless conversations with random Tinder girls, I know that at this point, he’s content – and that’s enough for now.
What do you think? Did you ever go through the same experience? How did you deal with your boyfriend chatting to girls on dating websites/applications?