I've been dating my boyfriend for almost three years now. I’ve noticed, on occasion, that he has taken screenshots or screen-recorded Snapchats of his close female friends who I am also friends with. They are usually selfies or full body shots. Nothing revealing or anything. Maybe a little cleavage or something but nothing sexual. These are pictures they post on their Snapchat stories.
I accidentally found them, and they kind of make me feel a bit insecure, and I feel, like, weird because his friends don't know about him having them – or maybe they do. I'm not sure. What should I do? Should I just let this pass or should I confront him?
I'm afraid he'll think I was snooping. We are both in our late 20s and got together in our mid-20s, and it was a long-distance relationship, in different countries, with strict parents. My parents don't know about him, and I have moved to his country for a job and my parents still don't know we're together. I know he cares about me, but am I just overthinking this picture thing? They appear every couple of months. He doesn't do it often.
– His album
I have to wonder what other pictures are in your boyfriend's phone. Is he a someone who saves a lot of content? Does he tend to take screen grabs of many things and keep them for posterity? Or did you find 20 photos of these friends and nothing else? Context is important here.
If he does seem to be focused on shots of friends – pictures that you believe are revealing in specific ways – you might consider asking him what they're about, and yes, it would require admitting that you "accidentally" found them. It does sound like these photos are haunting you. If that's the case, get it all out of your system. It can be a simple conversation; you saw them felt uncomfortable, and you've been wondering about his motives. (It does help that these pictures are public or have been shared with him.)
Of course, the most significant problem sits at the end of your letter. You're serious about this man but haven't talked to your family about him. That's preventing you from making big commitments. The pictures have made you wonder whether this is worth the risk – whether he's all in. It's time to ask.
Readers? Are these photos a red flag?