Woman in committed relationship discovers boyfriend secretly on dating apps


**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a client, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

The advent of online dating (OLD) has changed the way we think about romance and relationships. For many, it has become the go-to method for connecting with potential partners worldwide. But OLD can be challenging in ways that traditional dating never was.

It's now easier than ever to find potential mates, even when you're already in a relationship. This was the case for "Sylvia" who found out her boyfriend of three years was secretly using dating apps to meet other women.

"I thought things were going well in our relationship until my sister stumbled upon his dating profile," Sylvia said. "The worst part was that he seemed to have no problem lying to me about it."

Sylvia met her boyfriend through a mutual friend. "It wasn't love at first sight or anything like that," she said. "But we shared a lot of mutual interests, so we had great conversations."

After a few dates, they made it official. "He said that I was the one for him and that he wanted to be with me," Sylvia said.

The couple moved in together after two years of dating. "We talked about getting married eventually and having kids," Sylvia recalled.

But then she found out her boyfriend had been cheating with several women he met through various apps. "I didn't want to believe it. It seemed so out of character."

The man Sylvia had grown to love appeared to be "honest and sincere." She said he was "kind and caring." But his secret revealed a different side of him.

Sylvia eventually confronted him about his online activity, but he denied everything. "He kept saying he wasn't cheating on me," she said. "But the evidence suggested otherwise."

Although he never confessed, Sylvia moved out of their shared apartment and broke off the relationship.

Sylvia is admittedly more cautious when it comes to dating. "It's been more than a year, and I'm still wary of meeting someone new," she said. "But I still believe in love... I guess."

Has technology made it easier to cheat?

Cheating is not a novel concept. However, the advent of dating apps may have made it easier for people to engage in infidelity. Once someone creates a profile on a dating site, they can quickly connect with other users and begin a new relationship with little to no barriers to entry.

This has resulted in a rise in couples dealing with infidelity issues. According to a 2021 study by The Journal of Sex Research, "lifetime infidelity range between 20% and 52% depending on the way infidelity is defined and measured."

The changing landscape is especially concerning for couples who are in committed relationships. Cheating strains the relationship and often leads to feelings of betrayal and hurt.

One might be tempted by the ease of access that online dating provides for many reasons. According to the study, some predictors of online cheating include "relationship satisfaction, solitary desire, dyadic desire, relationship length, and some sexual activities."

"Cheating in relationships is common in the United States among all age groups. The internet makes this phenomenon easier than ever, expanding opportunities for different types of cheating. And getting caught." —Karen Sosnoski, PhD

Not surprisingly, the study concluded that "higher scores on relationship satisfaction predicted a decreased likelihood of having engaged in infidelity and lower satisfaction an increased likelihood of engaging in infidelity."

While dating apps may make it easier for people to have affairs. it doesn't mean that technology is the driving force behind cheating. Infidelity is a personal choice, as is the decision to stay in a committed relationship.

Whether you have cheated or been cheated on, the best thing to do is talk openly and honestly with your partner.

Transparency is vital in any relationship.

And while technology continues to change many facets of life and relationships, it cannot fix broken trust. Re-establishing trust and building a solid foundation requires hard work and communication from both partners.

What do you think? Is technology harming relationships? Or can it be used in positive ways to strengthen relationships? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments.

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Intimacy + Relationship-ing Coach | Writer. Helping singles & couples create healthy loving relationships.

Los Angeles County, CA

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