Anyone looking for love knows there’s nothing worse than finding a cheater on a dating app. But what if you know this unfaithful person or they’re in a relationship with your friend? Do you expose them?
Waterloo, Ont., dating coach Chantal Heide says cheating has become much easier with dating apps because they facilitate the leading factor that causes people to cheat — attraction.
“Swipe right if you’d sleep with them, swipe left if no. Cheaters play a numbers game, in essence playing to the laws of averages,” she tells Global News.
“Apps make it very easy to reach out to numerous people in a short period of time, and the onus is on the person on the other end to do some vetting if honesty is an important criteria.”
Ceilidhe Wynn, an Ottawa-based matchmaker with Friend of a Friend Matchmaking, says it’s also about variety.
“It is really easy to go online and pick someone from a list of names and pictures,” she says. “Everyone also seems more anonymous, there’s a disconnect that makes [cheaters] feel like they won’t get caught or that they’re cheating.”
How cheaters function online
Heide says there are two types of cheaters on apps like Tinder and Bumble: those looking for “hopeful” people and those who are just looking for sex.
“Hopeful” people want commitment and intimacy, but they also make easy targets for cheaters. These daters may believe what the cheater is saying is truthful, and end up having sex with them to create an intimate bond.
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And it’s really easy for those who fall into the latter category, in particular.
“The number one reason apps are the main tool for cheaters is convenience,” Heide explains. “In a few minutes they can be up and running, and finding someone who hopes that what they’re saying is the truth.”.
If you catch a cheater
But as an outsider looking in, what should you do if you catch someone cheating on their partner online?
Heide says you should let the person who is being cheated on know as soon as possible.
“Cheating partners are already showing reckless behaviour, and they may be having unprotected sex and could ultimately infect their partners with an STI.”
“The unknowing partner is at risk, and you’d be doing them a favour by alerting them to the fact that they’re potentially in danger,” she says.
In April 2016, a company even came out with a website that allowed you see if your partner was cheating on you on Tinder, Vanity Fair reports. Swipebuster allowed users to add in the first name, location and age of the potential cheater.
If you don’t want to get involved
Some people just don’t want to get involved, however, especially in someone else’s clearly complicated love life.
Wynn says sometimes people can also make assumptions and jump to conclusions about the “cheater.”
“What if this couple is an open relationship and you’re not close enough to know about it? It has to be on a case-by-case basis.”
In this case, Heide recommends setting up a fake e-mail account and reaching out anonymously.
“If you want your friend to know but don’t want to get dragged into their messy relationship problems, you can always create a fake e-mail account and send a link to the profile you discovered.”
Sometimes it’s better not to meddle
Wynn maintains that when it comes to cheating, it can often be better to avoid meddling with someone else’s relationship, especially if you don’t know them well.
“At the end of the day, that’s a hard thing to hear and it would feel embarrassing. There’s almost no doubt the person is going to react negatively and probably towards you.”