Are There Married People on Dating Apps?

Elle Silver

Not everyone you meet online is honest about their married status.

Imagine you've recently met the greatest guy. He's swept you off your feet. You feel like he may be "The One." You think you're falling in love with him.

Soon, he's invited you to go away for the weekend. You drive together to this destination and have a fabulous time.

At the end of the weekend, you two drive back home. You think things can't only get more serious from there. In the coming months, you'll only deepen your relationship. Maybe you'll even get married.

That's when he finally tells you the truth. There's someone else. She's not just his lover.

She's his wife.

Think this scenario sounds crazy? This happened to one of my friends. She was devastated after learning that her new boyfriend was actually married.

But this isn't some solitary occurrence. A friend of mine who's a psychologist confirms she has clients who have had the same thing happen to them.

When I was dating after my divorce, I also met married men on dating apps. Lucky for me, they were honest about it.

But not everyone is.

I don't think this is something that men only do to women either. Women do this to men, too.

A lot of married men and women are on dating websites and apps.

According to a survey performed by the GlobalWebIndex:

Globally, about half of the Tinder audience is single, whereas just over 45% are attached (34% saying they are married and another 11% being in a relationship) ... Among married users of Tinder, the global gender split is about 55% men to 45% women.

If you're dating, I just think you should know there's a chance that any one of the people you've just met online could be already married.

More people are cheating on their spouses than ever.

Studies show that 22% of married men have been unfaithful to a partner at least once in their life. Fourteen percent of married women have done the same.

Rates of infidelity have only risen in recent years. Why?

I blame it on accessibility.

Dating apps and websites like Ashley Madison have made it exceedingly easy to have an affair. Single folks, who want honest relationships, unwittingly get caught up in some cheater’s web of lies.

According to surveys, 70% of married women and 54% of married men did not know their spouses were cheating.

But what about the people these spouses are cheating with? Do they know their new lovers are married?

How to protect yourself from dating a secret married person.

At least there are ways that you can protect yourself from falling for someone who's already married. Here are my four steps:

1. Do a web search.

Please don't think you're doing anything wrong if you do a Google search of someone you've just met online. It's not creepy or a sign that you're a stalker if you ask for their last name soon after matching with them, and then do a simple web search before ever meeting.

Why wouldn't you want to do what any employer would when deciding whether to hire a new job candidate? Apart from taking a look at their LinkedIn profile, you should also search their Facebook page.

I'm not asking you to friend them, but many people have public profiles and you can at least see if they have a lot of photos posted of them with someone who looks like their significant other.

You should look at their Instagram as well and any other social media accounts. For those who have private profiles, keep digging. You'd be amazed how much private information is now publicly available online.

You can find information about any property purchases they've made and with whom. Again, I'm not asking you to be a cyber-stalker. Just do your due diligence.

And if this person doesn't have any social media profiles, then that might mean that they're using a fake name. In that case, stay away. Beware of what they might be hiding!

2. Ask to visit their home.

If you're dating someone new who refuses to let you go to their home, I'd say that's a red flag. Again, I'm not asking you to go to your newest paramour's house on the first or second date. But at some point, you need to ascertain that they're not living with a spouse.

Don't let them make your place into their "love den" while their spouse is hard at work at home, taking care of the kids.

3. Ask to meet their friends.

Meeting your newest paramour's friends is a big step in the dating process. People often wait a while to introduce their newest beau to their friends as it signifies declaring you're a couple.

It's an important step in solidifying that this person is here to stay in your life. However, I think it's also a crucial step in vetting your newest boy- or girlfriend.

If they won't introduce you to their friends, it might be because they have something to hide.

4. Follow your intuition.

The problem is, by the time you finally visit your new love interest's place or meet their friends, you're already emotionally invested in them. They can also postpone you going to their house with claims they have a roommate. They can easily hide their friends from you.

As far as doing a web search, there are ways to wipe your personal information from the internet. In the end, you're left with your intuition.

Has your new sweetheart told you details about their life that just don't add up? Do the details of their story often change? Do you simply have a feeling there's something they're not telling you?

You're probably right on that note. Far from paranoia, our intuition is usually telling us exactly what we need to know. We might just not want to listen to it.

Our intuition is our built-in lie detector. It's how you know someone is married without them having to actually tell you. It's a creeping feeling you get. When you get it, don't ignore it.

You know what they say: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That new great person you've just met might actually be married.

This is a growing issue on dating apps. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

You'll be glad you did.

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I'm a relationships expert with a focus on post-divorce dating and family. Everything I've learned about love, I've learned the hard way. You can learn from my mistakes.

Los Angeles, CA

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