Should I Tell a Friend Her Dude is on Tinder?

Jun 25 at 9am

Hi Jessica,

I recently found the husband of my closest friend at work on Tinder. She is pregnant and had just flown abroad the same night I spotted him "active" at midnight. I'm conflicted as to whether to tell her or not. On one hand, I feel like she should know about his "extracurricular" activity. On the other hand, I don't want to get involved in a couple's private matters, especially when an incoming baby is involved. It's a tough decision to make and either way I feel like it will affect my friendship with her. Do I tell her so she can at least investigate for herself, or do I not tell her so she can go on preserving the family she is about to create? – To Tell or Not

Everyone is different, but personally I think there’s little worse than a friend knowing something potentially ground-shaking about my relationship that I don’t know. It’s awful and kinda embarrassing. It’s not possible to anticipate what kind of hornet's nest you’re stepping into when you get involved in someone else’s love relationship, so only do whatever you can live with, no matter the consequences. I don’t advise you to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” though. Don’t project your desires onto your friend and her relationship because you can’t know that she’d feel the same. She may not be monogamous, they may have an agreement of sorts, or she may just be your opposite in this matter. All you can do is take a risk (‘cause let's face it, no matter what you do here, it’s a risk), and hope for the best.

While some people just use it to look, we all know how easy it is to hook up something quick and dirty on there (especially at midnight the night your wife leaves the country). You’re involved because you can’t unsee what you’ve seen.

Doing nothing is an action, TTON. Sitting on this information is not exactly ‘not getting involved,' it’s harboring a secret, and in some ways being complicit in this guy’s questionable behavior. Tinder is more of a petting zoo than an anthropological study of the Bay Area wilds. While some people just use it to look, we all know how easy it is to hook up something quick and dirty on there (especially at midnight the night your wife leaves the country). You’re involved because you can’t unsee what you’ve seen. The weight of hiding this will be with you even if you choose to keep it secret, which sucks.

This would be complicated if your close friend was a friend in any context, but because she’s your work friend it’s even more touchy because you can’t really take space from each other. No matter what you do this will impact your friendship for sure, and there’s no telling how she’ll react. So why not ask her? You can’t, of course, say, “Hey Jane, do you want to know if your hubby has been on Tinder while you’re growing a human being made from his seed in your body? ‘Cause I know the answer!” but you can find out what she would want theoretically in this situation. Tell her you saw a friend’s boyfriend on Tinder and you don’t know what you should do. Tell her you don’t know what their agreements are or if your friend would even want to know about it, and that you’re scared of getting involved in her personal matters – all the stuff you told me. Ask her what she would do, or what she’d want in a situation like that. If she tells you it’s none of your business then it is your official homework to butt out, case closed. If she says she’d want to know, then you can honor that by segueing into the truth. Good luck!

xo, Jessica

The Mission’s resident advisor gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with all kinds of relationship issues. So we asked Jessica if she’d come on board to do a weekly advice column, Truth Talk, for The Bold Italic. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, you can post your question anonymously here or email her at truthtalkwithjessica@gmail.com, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.

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