Ask Margot-They Keep Updating Their Profiles
Two online daters say their mates keep checking and updating their profiles. What gives?
I met a guy online about nine months ago and we’ve been talking about marriage a lot lately. So I went online and deleted my profile. I noticed his profile is hidden, but he checks it every day. What is he checking on? Why keep going back? What do you think is going on?
— Spying Now On Other Partner
I’ve been dating a girl I met online three months ago. She’s very into me, but won’t even tell me
where she lives because she was stalked about a year ago and is really skittish. Should I push this issue or just sit and be patient?
|It’s ok to look at the menu as long as you plan on dining at home.|
— Decent Guy
Dear SNOOP and Decent Guy,
I get a lot of questions along these lines. Dating in the electronic age has its own set of challenges. That’s the bad news. The good new is, they’re easily overcome and the solutions are applicable to all relationships, whether they’re forged online or IRL. Because most boil down to one thing.
Now, I’m no zookeeper, but there’s an 800-pound gorilla standing between you and your partner. And the gorilla’s name is Trust.
For you, SNOOP, you wonder if you should trust your guy knowing that he’s still visiting the online singles scene.
This happens a lot, and usually it’s the woman who discovers her man is still looking despite his new and thriving relationship. Maybe your fella really is looking to step out or trade you in for a better model. But you don’t offer up much evidence to prove that, so I — unlike you — am going to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Because as my friend Pace used to say, “It’s ok to look at the menu as long as you plan on dining at home.” In other words, sometimes looking is just looking. And unless he’s peeping in windows, it’s not a crime.
Have you considered that maybe you’re doing the looking — as in, looking for a reason to distrust him?
Instead of trying to figure out what he’s up to, ask yourself these questions to figure out what you’re up to:
If you still feel the need to know what’s going on, talk to him. But don’t accuse him of anything.
- Why did I decide to check him out (do two sneaks make a right)?
- Has he really given me a reason not to trust him, or am I being oversensitive?
- Do I really think he’s the cheating kind?
- And if so, why would I want to date a guy like that?
- Do I get this upset when he checks out a cute girl when he’s out with me?
And be prepared for him to ask how you know. In that brand of irony that only Cupid trades in, your snooping might be enough to make him not trust you.
|If you still feel the need to know what’s going on, talk to him.|
As for you, Decent Guy, you’re dealing with a woman who sees a potential stalker in every suitor. You’re paying for someone else’s sins. And there’s no amount of atonement you can make to ease her fears. Because it’s not about you, really. She’s got a gorilla of her own and it’s this stalker dude.
Until she gets rid of that gorilla, there’ll never be enough room in the relationship for you. And while it’s not your responsibility to help her get over this, some compassion is in order. Being stalked can literally ruin a person’s life. And even after it’s over, it isn’t over.
Perhaps the best thing to do is for both of you to own up to the situation. She’s just not ready to date again. And while you may truly care about her, you know that simply waiting for her to feel better is unlikely to change things. If you think there’s some potential here, maybe you should end the romance now on good terms with the idea that when she feels better, she can contact you to see if you’re still interested. Meanwhile, you go your own way and try to find someone who’s ready, willing, and able to engage in the kind of relationship you want.
Still not convinced? Ask and answer these five questions:
Trust. It starts with “T” and that stands for trouble right here in romantic River City. What is it that makes us trust another person? And how can we know when we trust someone enough to enter into a committed relationship — or even marriage? Well, as the old saying goes, “If you have to ask...”
- Can you really date a woman who won’t tell you where she lives?
- Are you willing to deal with and indulge her neuroses?
- Can you really get to know someone who’s walling herself off?
- What’s the risk of the stalker getting on your trail?
- And are you willing to risk that?
Good luck to both of you!
Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. Send your faith-based dating questions to AskMargot@match.com.