Nerds In Love Column: Foreshadowed Cheating

I’ve been seeing this guy for about 3 months. We met on Tinder. He’s fun and we have a lot in common. Today he was showing me something on his phone in pictures and he scrolled by 2 pictures of a blonde girl in a bra. He moved his fingers to scroll fast when it came up.

He’s also been updating his Tinder profile. He’s adding better pictures of himself and changing his bio. Mine is set to be hidden. So no one will see me and I’m essentially off the market.

Finally, we were at a party with some of his friends and one of the girls was asking how Tinder works. He pulled out his phone and started explaining, and then the girl said “oh, this ones cute!” when he showed her his latest convo. I felt almost invisible the entire time.

Should I stop seeing him because he’s foreshadowing a cheating situation. Or am I just being crazy?

I can’t tell you for certain whether he’ll cheat on you or not, but what I get from your letter is that you’re unhappy right now, and that is worthy of addressing. Let me reassure you that you are not, in fact, crazy for having feelings, including feelings of being disrespected, ignored, hurt, or mistrustful. It sounds like this guy is doing some things that make you question your trust in him, and it is not crazy of you to acknowledge that by any means. In fact, if you feel like he’s trying to tell you that you’re being “crazy,” and that he’s dismissing your concerns when you raise them as the ramblings of a lunatic, that’s a manipulative communication technique called “gaslighting,”and it’s never okay.

However, I don’t see in your letter that you have raised your concerns with him, or that you’ve had conversations about your expectations of your relationship at this point. Are you exclusively monogamous at this point, or do you think you should be (and act accordingly) but don’t know what he thinks? Or some other combination thereof? All betrayals of trust are betrayals and the hurt they all bring is very real, but there is a difference between someone acting thoughtlessly or recklessly because they don’t know or misunderstand what you want from them, and someone deliberately lying to you and trying to make you feel crazy for spotting their inconsistencies. Without knowing which it is, my advice would be to talk honestly with your guy about what you want from him, and why you’re not okay with what you’ve gotten thus far. His reaction will give you a lot of data about how much he values your feelings and well-being, which in turn will help you evaluate whether you want to be with him or not.

If you’ve already tried talking to him (honestly, openly, with self-respect) and you’ve gotten the response that you’re crazy, what I get from that is that you’re being asked to question your sanity and security, rather than he give up an action that hurts you. That attributes a lot of malice to his actions that he may or may not have, but the impact seems to be the same on your well-being either way, and only you can decide how much of that impact you’re okay with.

I know I’m answering your letter from a while back, so I hope you’ve found some peace in the meantime. Let the Nerds in Love crew know if you have an update for us, and best wishes for you.


Kim Hall, BA, QPPMH is a clinical intern and graduate student in mental health counseling.

Be sure to listen to the Nerds in Love podcast for more dating advice!

Remember, this advice doesn’t substitute for actual professional mental health assistance. If you’re in crisis and need help, please contact:

1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Lifeline)

You can find a therapist over at

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