Is my boyfriend on Tinder?

We chat at 1 p.m.

Hello Meredith,

I've been with my boyfriend for almost eight years. We are both divorced and in our late 40s. Though we've had some trust issues in the past (i.e., he was a weasel), he's been on the straight and narrow for several years now and we've been very happy together.

My question is this: Last night an ad for Tinder popped up on his phone's lock screen. I wasn't snooping; it was charging on the bedside table and lit up. When I asked him why that would appear, he claimed ignorance but then said "but I'm not even on Facebook right now." I'm not tech savvy enough to know if an ad would appear if he used to have the app but not anymore. Or if he never had it? And his answer about not being on Facebook definitely threw me. He claims he only knew you needed to log on through Facebook because his best friend uses it (which is true, I've been around while they discussed).

But how would he know that? Without bludgeoning me, am I not seeing the obvious here? Is he back to his old ways or is it possible that an ad could appear without his ever having had the app? I know I don't get those ads.

I threw him out last night but just want to be sure before I bail completely. I forgave him once years ago but I'm not going to do it again. I feel stupid even asking, but don't want to give up after eight years because I don't understand how pop-up ads work. Thank you and please be gentle, readers.

– Ignorance is bliss?


I took this problem to a team of people who do computer, app, and website things. Their guess is that you saw a Tinder push notification (as opposed to an ad). They also said that you can't get that type of message if the app is not installed on your phone.

After I explained your issue, one of them said this: "It would be one thing if they had just started dating a few months ago and he forgot to delete the app from his phone, but they've been together for eight years so it's definitely sketchy."

That's the tech response – but there's also the answer that has more to do with feelings. Your boyfriend has been well-behaved for some time now, but at the first sign of a problem, you didn't believe his story. It doesn't even sound like you were surprised he'd gone back to his old ways. That says more than anything else. There is no trust here, and your gut is telling you to walk away.

– Meredith

Readers? Can you explain the ad? Should the letter writer walk?