Have You Ever Spied on Someone to See if They’re Still Using the Site When You Think You’re Starting to Get Serious?


Have you ever spied on someone to see if they’re still using the site when you think you’re starting to get serious?

How did you feel when you saw that they were “active within 24 hours”?

Did you confront/question your partner about their recent activity on the site or remain silent?

Did you feel you SHOULD continue to date other people because they were still active?

Find out my thoughts on the ability to “check up on” on your partner by clicking here:

If you’re serious about finding love and want to learn my insights into the tricky world of online dating, check out my CD set Finding the One Online to change your life forever!


Join our conversation (107 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 41

    Hmm, just broke up with my on and off bf, because of his match and eharmony profile. I found out by accident he is on these sites. I have asked him about it and he said, he is not using them except the time he had a free trial months back when we weren’t together. He would not do that to anyone, let alone me! Funilly enough, while having this conversation with him he was online and checking back my fake profile ( I don’t use these sites, just created one to see if I am right about my suspitions). That says it all.

  2. 42
    Ben There

    Of course I check the online activity of the women I’m dating. I spend more than $600 a month dating and because of the time and expense, I date one woman at a time.   It’s fine if they want to play the field. Just be honest and let me know so I can plan accordingly (if after a couple months I’m still “one of many” I move on). I dated one girl for nearly a year and always wondered why she had a Match account that she checked once a week. She finally explained she only thought of me as a “really good friend” [with benefits]. Basically I was her free entertainment while she looked for Mr. Right. I spent nearly a year and wasted thousands of dollars when I could have been looking for Ms. Right. There were other red flags, but the Match account was an important one.

    It’s not true that deleting a Match email is registered as “activity.” Rather, if you OPEN a Match email and then delete it, then it’s considered activity. I’ve checked this — I always delete them without reading them (on Yahoo mail I mark them as “read” and move them to a Match folder).  

    Someone else alluded to this.   There is a way to check for activity on all three major dating websites WITHOUT logging in.   On the Cupid or Match type in the web address and add “/search” and it allows you to search without logging in (of Fish you merely click on search without logging in). You cannot send or receive email, but you can search profiles and see if they have registered activity.

    Something else I do before we have the “exclusive” discussion is I STOP LOGGING IN as a signal I’m NOT active or looking. My profile is up, but there is no activity. If her profile goes down, so does mine (I mirror her actions).        


  3. 43


    Why don’t you talk to women about being exclusive sooner.   If you dated me for a year without having a conversation about being exclusive/in a relationship, i would think you weren’t that interested in me long term.

  4. 44

    new to online dating, I put a profile up, np picture. I met 3 people total, the third being the special one. After 3 dates I told him I’m taking my profile down , he didn’t mention his which was fine at that time. A month into our relationship I let him know I couldn’t sleep with him if his “advertisement ” was still up. He is very interested in alternative activity and “studies” it. I found he had an active profile on alt.com. He swears to me he only logs in to see videos and he really believed he had taken his “public” profile down. Wondering if this could be true , could he log in and not know his profile was public. He states he didn’t know and wasn’t getting emails , saying guys dont get emails.

  5. 45

    I had a first date with this man I really liked, after a two-weeks exchange of emails and texts. I supported him in his current tumultuous life – a trial, recent divorce, kids, a recent post-divorce fling. I finally met him and he was half charming as I had thought from his earlier communications – but I was still in my head, living the fantasy I had created about him. He talked about his wife, how he still loved her, “although not in love with her anymore”, about his other female fling, about his trial. I felt more like a friend, although I wanted something romantic. I started to get intimidated and frustrated, but kept it sweet till the end of the date. I was still somewhat attracted to him. He said he would call, then after the date immediately texted me. I was still in shock that my fantasy did not match the reality and texted back, a bit aloof. Then I regretted, and two days later, when he did not call, I sent him a flirtatious text, saying that, indeed, I had enjoyed the date and would like to see him again. No reply. In the meantime, the fantasy in my head diminished and reality checked in. He had disappeared, whoever he was… But in the meantime, I kept checking his profile to see if he was online, and he was. Today I can no longer do that, he has disappeared from my contacts and I am afraid he has blocked me so that I don’t see his activity online. It’s sad, but I am in a good place now: I can accept that this is over, if it ever was anything other a little bruise on my ego…

  6. 46
    Leanne Dombrowesky

    I met a man, we both had online dating profiles. I removed mine completely when I realized I was very happy being with him exclusively, regardless if he felt the same way. I figured if he was to check, not seeing my profile would be a great way to show him my integrity and feelings toward him without it being a huge discussion issue, It is what it is…if you are happy with who you are seeing, be happy. If you cant resist playing the field, then your not being honest, with yourself, or, with your current relationship. It all boils down to honesty. Do I check to see if he is there? No. Do I wonder ? Occassionally. If I am not good enough or it doesnt work out for us, he is certainly entitled to keep looking online. I would not want to be with someone who may think theres “better” than me out there. If they are not happy with me , then they are welcome to continue on looking for   whatever makes them happy.

  7. 47

    The last time I tried the online dating thing I found myself in an exclusive relationship (HE was the one who wanted it) with a man who was ALWAYS “online now.” When I asked him about it he kept giving me lines that smelled like  BS. I even told him he was free to date others if he wanted, assuming that I would be free to date other men. He  insisted that wasn’t what he wanted, yet there he was, day after day, “online now.” I finally created a fake profile and he  took the bait. I actually  showed  up for the date and nearly gave him a heart attack–so worth it! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. While Joe (and others) may feel that this type of behavior can erode a good relationship, in my case it saved me a lot of trouble. This guy was hinting at marriage and trying to talk me out of a major career move and a house purchase. I’d have been FURIOUS if I’d blindly skipped along in life believing his crap only to get dumped (which he admitted he was planning to do once he had another  girl lined up) and  miss out on two of the most important events in my life. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

    1. 47.1
      Jane S Lopez

      Wow, I am in awe of you, Wendy!! Great job looking out for yourself. I sure wish I’d been a fly on the wall to see his expression when his FAKE DATE aka you showed up. Ugh. I’m so done with online dating for this very reason.

  8. 48

    Just thought I’d throw this out there: I’ve not logged on Match.com in the 6 months since I’ve been seeing someone. I told a friend my online profile name so she could read what I wrote  (by doing a user name search & not logging in)  since she was having trouble writing her own profile. Match.com said that I was “Active Within 24 Hours” which is complete nonsense. So, I can honestly say don’t trust the site when it says something like that or if it says that someone’s available for IM.  

  9. 49

    What exactly does Active within 24 hours mean on match.com? I have been in a 7+ month relationship with someone I met on match.com, I get daily emails from match.com even after deactivating my profile 6+ months ago. I delete them all.  Out of curiosity I opened one this week, I did not log in, I then searched for myself, again not logged in, and it tells me I have been Active within 24 hours. I never logged in though!

  10. 50

    @GAR #49 – Well what I’ve found is it isn’t an exact science on Match meaning they change things frequently and believe me I know because I study this daily. Their system over there sucks. It’s  inconsistent, aggravating, a massive  invasion of privacy. I’m sure it causes many fights and breakups which is great for them because people stay on the site and renew to find someone new.

    Right now if you get a wink on Match and you open it through your email address (whether it’s on a  computer or iPhone)which the wink is forwarded to even without logging into the website you ARE seen as “online now” on the Match site itself obviously meaning “active within 24 hrs”. So if I don’t want to be seen as “online” I delete it WITHOUT opening it.

    As of today 10/26/12 (but not always) if I open and read an actual email someone wrote to me  at Match that was forwarded to my email account it DOESN’T show that I’m “online” or “active within 24 hrs. but it has in the past. More so on my computer than my iPhone.

    If people are using smartphone apps it’s even more inconsistent meaning I’ve seen an iPhone app show my profile as “active within 24 hrs” when I haven’t logged in in 3 or 4 days.

    I use fake profiles to double check all of this so at least I know how my profile is being seen activity wise and of course I can be online whenever I want without having any women know that I am. I watch the woman I’m dating right now when she’s online every day  and my profile hasn’t logged in in a week……LOL She’ll never know either.

    By the way you shouldn’t be getting “daily emails” at all if you know how to hide your profile and change your settings so I’m not sure what you’re talking about?

  11. 51

    “By the way you shouldn’t be getting “daily emails” at all if you know how to hide your profile and change your settings so I’m not sure what you’re talking about?”

    How do I correct this?  

  12. 52

    I need to share this with you all as I have questions too.   I tend to side with Rebecca #33.   I have been seeing this girl for over a year now.   We are both still on match but she is no longer paying for it. (I know this for a fact) I had been checking, spying, stalking… whatever you want to call it.     So…   One morning “we” get up and we’re talking about match…   She tells me that she is not checking it anymore, but she does get the emails…   I came clean and told her that I see her online all the time..   Asked her why… etc…. She said she was NOT checking it…..     So, I showed her exactly what I do.. I logged on…. Showed her my saved search.   And guess what…. it said “ONLINE NOW”…   She was with me all night, it was first thing in the morning and she had not even picked up her phone yet so there was no way that she was online or had even checked a match email.     This is really frustrating…   But the truth is that, at least on match.com, you cannot judge a person by their activity.   I don;t understand why they would do this… but they do….

  13. 53

    I believe you JC but if she’s not “available” to date she should have her profile “deleted” or at least”hidden” NOT “searchable”  then only the people that have her on their favorites list can see if she has in fact MAYBE logged in within the last 3 weeks and that’s only when it’s hidden not deleted. If it’s deleted no one can see it because she can’t log in. The bigger question might be ……… If you’ve been dating over a year why aren’t BOTH of your profiles deleted(not hidden)  then you wouldn’t have any problem.

    Rebecca’s post #33 and mine under it are from over 2 yrs ago btw(2009) and Match changes things all the time without notice.  The customer service reps aren’t 100% reliable either…lol believe me they’re not rocket scientists over there. Match bought Yahoo Personals 2 yrs ago so I was forced  to go  even though I hate the way they do a lot of things. All the quality people are on Match and they know it so they do what they want. It’s not a Monopoly because there’s 10,000 other sites that suck but it’s damn close. I wouldn’t PAY for any other site that’s for sure.

  14. 54

    I met my ex through POF. We quickly began dating 2-3 times a week, emailing daily and sleeping together. I removed my profile almost immediately but he was online multiple times daily on POF and Match. It messed with my head. Here we are with all this togetherness and he’s still looking. After 2 months and seeing some odd comments on his Facebook from some skanky girl, I asked to be exclusive and we agreed. Two weeks later I was at his place and his computer was wide open to a dating site. I asked about it and first he denied then said he just clicked on an email.   He wanted me to give him a chance to show he was a good bf. I agreed and he often referred to that night as a turning point in our relationship…he realized he had a good girl and he needed to change his ways. Things were great and we got engaged two months later. Fast but we felt it was right. The day after the engagement I was on his computer to post pics. I see his Skype app open. I click and see he had been dirty talking with girls after that night that supposedly changed his life and a few weeks before our engagement.   I also saw he sent money to that skank I saw on his FB. I was devastated!! He tried to say he was just goofing around but some of the stuff he said to them he was saying to me!! I tried to but it behind us but I just couldn’t shake it. We we were dating exclusively and I considered it cheating. My trust was broken. He kept saying I was focusing on the past. Just because it was before we got engaged did it not count? I snooped on him and saw he was on a sex dating site. He swore it wasnt him that put it up. It was from a sister site he was once on. But I saw in his email he was clicking on emails from this site. If it was spam why is it open in your inbox?? Things were tense and I couldn’t trust. Just two weeks ago I checked his computer And found he was searching match and emailing girls on another site like FB saying they were good enough to eat. We are broken up and I’m sad, hurt and disappointed. He’s already back on Match. I’m still hurt. I feel duped. If I hadn’t “spied” I wouldn’t have known how untrustworthy he is. Sure if you look, you will find but do I want to live with my head in the clouds thinking all is great? His behavior in the beginning was a good predictor of his current behavior. Beware of the red flags!!

  15. 55

    I think it is paranoia that drives someone to spy on another and is someone that looks at a profile on line for any reason to ‘catch’ someone.   They are out of touch with today’s man/woman relationship and has security issues.   If you ‘spy’ on someone to see if they went online to check mail or something, that isn’t ‘catching’ someone dating or sleeping with someone.   What i hear ladies saying is it is ok to track, bait, check on ‘their’ guy as if stalking was ok too?   What if you take your secret to your guy and he wasn’t online or “cheating” on you?   Tell them, you didn’t trust them and were spying on them.   Most guys would probably run away from a woman like that..i would, that is paranoid insecurity.   SO be careful, he may have the same attitude and just have you followed, catch you ‘talking’ with a guy gym buddy or some fellow on the street that he knew you liked a lot and assume your having a cheating relationship with them, it is no different.   The dating site has a ton of innocent relationships, many distance communications with people you don’t ever intend to be with or cheat with, but have become friends and they send emails that way.   Sometimes it is just to say hi to someone that wanted to date you and your telling them, no…but had to go online to do that.   Sometimes emails are automatically sent out from those sites and to click on them, they log you in showing activity.   Bottom, line gals, trust and be upfront, else it is just as bad to spy as to have someone checkout a profile.   How many times have you checked out a guys bod or tell your girlfriends how secretly you think someone was really hot?   What if your guy was right there and could read your mind? or had the inside scoop on those conversations?
    We are all human, and no one is perfect, the danger of spying is YOU will be caught, and the lack of trust is revealed, and a guy will sense that lack of trust well before anything else, and ladies that lack of self-confidence is very unattractive.   The   conclusion could be you will be left.
    Well, my vent..thanks for reading!

  16. 56
    Fast freddy

    I met a girl on match.com.   We had the “exclusivity” talk, and she didn’t take her profile down.   I hid mine.   She had a “Free” account (from evidently having a profile before, and then letting the subscrip end, they gave her x months free to come back or something).  
    She said she didn’t check it, and I can’t remember, early on, if I checked her out after she said she quit logging in and we had the “exclusive” talk.   I know shortly after we went “exclusive” i would occasionally log in to my acct and see that she hadn’t.   Especially when we would have a disagreement about what was expected in the relationship (she wanted more  of a text buddy, I wanted more of a relationship, I think).   But we got real serious, and were “supposedly” exclusive.       
    Months later, after some real weirdness on her part, for about a month, i called her.   A month of few texts (and she was a BIG texter), no meeting, and no phone contact (and we live only 5 minutes apart).   Got her VM.   Left VM.   About 2 hours later, I was leaving a store, and she texted me.   Said she was out with friends and couldn’t talk.  Having been burned bad in a relationship before, I was getting that sinking feeling in my stomach, like someone was punching you in the gut all the time.   So, when I left the store I swung by her house.   Just drove down the street.   And what did I see?   She walked out on her back deck.   In tshirt and sweatpants.   This was less than 5 minutes after she said she was out  with friends.   She didn’t see me.   But I saw enough.   There was no car in the driveway or anything.   But she was there, and had just told me she wasn’t.  
    At that  point, I knew we were done.
    My question is, was I  “wrong” for checking on her?   Or was she wrong for lying to me?   I’ve had girls say I was wrong for driving  by/stalking/whatever (please note, I just drove down her street, one time, didn’t slow down, get out of the car, etc).   But my buddies all say (and some  of my friends who are girls, too), I was justified.   When that sinking feeling exists for longer than a day or two or something (in my case it was a month,  maybe a bit more), they say that kind of stuff is justified, if it’s limited and not repeated harrassing, etc., and she was wrong to lie in the first place.   In fact, she never knew I did it.          

  17. 57

    Well, she was wrong to lie to you, and you were wrong to stalk her.   What did you tell her when you broke up with her?

  18. 58

    @Fast Freddy two wrongs don’t make a right and you were both wrong my friend. You should have ended way earlier. If someone isn’t giving you what you need, end it. Don’t stalk her.

  19. 59

    You didn’t need to stalk her.   I think you got enough indications that she wasn’t meeting your needs.   That should be enough to walk.   I do think the male friends vs. female friends viewpoint is interesting.   I was at jury selection recently involving a stalking case.   Really the guys actions weren’t much more than yours, but things went wrong.   Plenty of men on the jury were sympathetic to the defendant because they said they had at least contemplated what the male defendant had done, check up on a partner who might be cheating on them.   The women all were VERY against it.   I think it’s because women at least physically feel more vulnerable.   So the idea of anyone coming near you and watching you is scary.   Men may not like that either, but don’t generally get the gut fear.   I had no idea until I heard this over and over in that room.

  20. 60

    Freddy- if you are describing this accurately you drove down your girlfriend of several months street. No, i dont think thats wrong. But thinking you have a girlfriend that never sees you and only texts you and you live in the same city? I think that was wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *