My Boyfriend Refuses To Take Down His Online Dating Profile

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My boyfriend – who is over 60 – has had more dates than anyone I know and still receives notifications of women who have emailed him constantly. He has told me about some of them and still hears from many of them. Since we have dated for almost two years, I asked him to cancel his online dating account. I cancelled mine.

We live together. Whenever I have to go to a social function, it shows that he has been on Match.com reviewing matches sent to him. I told him it was upsetting and we had a little verbal disagreement. After another social event that I attended with girlfriends, I found that he had done the same thing again. This time I am not saying anything, but feel he is always looking for something better.

How do I know this? My girlfriend who is on Match.com looked at his site for me (which is still posted) and said he had been on that day, just a few hours ago, which was while I was gone. Is he addicted? Is this normal human behavior? —Barb

An existential question:

If a man cheats openly on his live-in girlfriend, is he actually a cheater?

I don’t know, Barb, but the picture you’re painting is of a really unfortunate arrangement.

Imagine a company that lets its CEO cook the books and embezzle from them because he’s a smart, charismatic guy. The shareholders would have every right to demand an ouster.

A man who is openly defying his two-year girlfriend to stay active on Match.

A woman who has so little self-esteem that she puts up with such defiant behavior.

Forgive me for the self-esteem line. I don’t know you. I’m not a psychologist. But your relationship does suggest a level of patience and tolerance that far exceeds the norm. And I’m not saying that in a good way.

Imagine a company that lets its CEO cook the books and embezzle from them because he’s a smart, charismatic guy.

The shareholders would have every right to demand an ouster.

But if the company knows and doesn’t fire him, whose fault is it that the behavior continues? You got it: the company!

And if I’m the CEO, I’m gonna keep on openly embezzling.

Why not? There are no consequences to my behavior.

I do hate to be the one to burst your bubble, Barb.

But really, what do you think he’s DOING on Match each day? Do you think he’s just browsing, like people browse through the mall?

Or would you guess that a man who has a membership on a dating site is actually, you know… USING that site for its intended purposes — to meet new women?

Put it this way:

I don’t go to Amazon to browse books. I go there to buy.

I don’t go to the gym to not work out. I go there to swim.

There is simply no viable, reasonable, acceptable response he can make — even if, somehow, he has not met ANY new women since “committing” to you.

I’ll be the first to admit — online dating can be addicting — especially when you’re getting a lot of attention. There IS a temptation, for both men and women, to try to continually “trade up”. But the whole point of dating — for most of us, anyway — is to find one person that makes you want to quit altogether.

If your live-in boyfriend doesn’t want to quit, he shouldn’t be your boyfriend.

Oh, and by the way, don’t ask him to take his profile down. That’s not your solution. He’s already proven to be the worst kind of selfish, insensitive prick who can’t be trusted with slippery concepts such as “monogamy”.

The only way to fix this is to dump this him when you’re done reading this.

You probably won’t do it, Barb, but I’m really hoping that you do.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    henriette

    This is bigger than where your relationship is right now.   I think you need to look at this as an issue of character.   What kind of person lives with a partner for 2 years but stays, looking around on a dating website even if he’s not actually “cheating”?   What kind of person remains on that dating website after his live-in partner tells him that it upsets her?   What we should all be looking for in our SO, above almost all else, is sterling character.   Your lover doesn’t have it so give him the heave-ho.   It’s better to be alone than with someone like that.

  2. 22
    Saint Stephen

    My boyfriend — who is over 60 — has had more dates than anyone I know and still receives notifications of women who have emailed him constantly. He has told me about some of them and still hears from many of them.
      
    By reading barb’s post i get the sense that her boyfriend is a reasonably attractive guy who does pretty well with the ladies. Such men rarely stay with one women for long and as such constantly looking to trade-up for the next best thing that goes about in skirts. And sadly, sometimes they do this right until the day they kick the bucket. I admit this to be a gross generalization but one that is also true.
    Attractive women harness their looks as a leverage to hook the best man, while attractive men use their looks as a leverage to bed many women as possible.  
      
    Here’s my candid advice for barb:
      
    Quit having sex with him and put your profile back up. When he see’s you online actively searching, he’ll be the one to broach up the subject and only then you both can reach a reasonable compromise about the issue. I think is high-time you let him know that if he wants to play the game; two can play the game.  
      
    I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact barb tolerated his sleazy behavior for two straight years – that certainly tells me that she’s got a high threshold for psychological pains.

  3. 23
    Jewel

    Paul Mawdsley @4 and 12. What you describe is spot on and so well written. You have described the narcissist perfectly. I was dating one for some 9 months, and it was his charm and positive behaviour that drew me in until I started to receive    confusing messages that had me doubting myself. When  I discovered betrayal, it was as Evan described in his @11 post, he changed his behaviour to keep the status quo. It is as you say Evan, do not negotiate with a man like this, just cut him off.

  4. 24
    Leesa

    isn’t  that type of  person that  Paul Mawdsley and heather (13) describing a sociopath?    i personally think they  are describing the tendencies of a sociopath.   i really like how paul has articulated his comments. i think they are very insightful and helpful in my understanding of why sociopaths do what they do

  5. 25
    mia

    How is staying active on a dating site after you’re supposed to be in monogamous relationship ‘sending mixed messages’?
    I’ve learned that actions are far louder than words. He might say nice things, flatter you etc, but if his actions aren’t consistent with his words, he’s sending a message, loud and clear. It’s just up to us whether or not we want to read it.  
    Barb can do better. Anyone in a situation like that can do better. Don’t we all deserve to be with someone who is caring and genuine when it comes to how they treat us?   

  6. 26
    Heather

    I agree with the poster who advised the OP to pack her stuff and leave a note about being on Match.com.

    I was in a very similar situation.   I dated a total narcissist, two years ago.   He was in frequent contact with exes, making me feel unwanted and disrespected and though he knew how I felt, continued to see them anyways.   He became very controlling, and got very nasty one day when I objected to his behavior and condescending attitude.   He told me “DO NOT contact me about this issue again today.”

    So, I decided to follow his instructions.   But I followed them too well.   That day, was my wakeup call that he would only get more demanding and verbally abusive.   So, I just stopped talking to him completely.   I was open to discussion of things if he should choose to contact me, but he never did.   I gave myself a one-week deadline and that if he chose not to contact me by then, I would consider the relationship ended.   The deadline passed.   He made one half-assed attempt at reaching out, but by Facebook and it was not a personal message, it was directed at “a very dear friend who has influenced me more than she will ever know.”

    Three months later, I wrote him a letter detailing why I was done dealing with his narcissistic, rude, abusive behaviors.  

    The OP really needs to leave this guy, he sounds like a total jackass and totally selfish to boot.   Yuck.

  7. 27
    Ruby

    You know, we can call the boyfriend a sociopath, but who moves in with a guy who still has his online dating profile up? I disagree with the person who said this isn’t about Barb’s lower self-esteem. His treatment of Barb is abusive, but she is putting up with it. She writes, “(he)…has had more dates than anyone I know and still receives notifications of women who have emailed him constantly. He has told me about some of them and still hears from many of them.” Of course, the other women are not aware of his living situation. I’ll bet this isn’t the only problem in this relationship.

    Why does he feel the need not only to continue to contact other women, but to tell Barb about these other women? Why is she tolerating this? In the immortal words of Dan Savage, “DTMFA.”

  8. 28
    Paul Mawdsley

    Hi Leesa. There is a definite difference between a sociopath (called Antisocial Personality Disorder in the DSM IV) and a narcissist (or Narcissistic Personality Disorder). You can see Wiki for the different assessment criteria. And there is also narcissism as a personality trait that exists quite normally in all of us from time to time. Unfortunately, the DSM IV is a product of the movement over the last 30 years or so for psychology, as a science, to become more “objective” and less intuitive, so the criteria describe the outwards signs of these disorders without providing any insight into what’s really going on inside the box. I like to approach things a little differently, using empathy and intuition to see inside things, more in the spirit of Freud and Jung and other early explorers.
    The way I see it, the difference between the narcissist and the sociopath hinges around the function of empathy in the person. The sociopath functions without empathy but has a strong core self. Empathy is completely shut down. A sociopath has no sense of another person’s emotional or intuitive perspective other than what is communicated overtly. A sociopath operates from a sense of boredom and a need for entertainment without real care for another individual or for any sense of social norms, societal rules or connection to community.
    I see the narcissist has having empathy but lacking a core self. He has a void and emptiness at his centre and operates from an overwhelming need to fill that void. Without a core self he has no genuine self-esteem so his primary drive is to fill the void and compensate for the self-esteem he lacks. He can never get enough of using empathy in a twisted form to feel and see himself through someone else’s eyes. He feeds himself through manipulating other’s views and feelings of him.
    According to Nathaniel Branden, self-esteem is made up of 2 components: self-value and self-confidence. Without a core self, there is no core self-value so the narcissist consumes the value of himself that he feels empathically through other people’s eyes.   Since self-confidence comes from our confidence in our ability to feed our needs, the narcissist’s confidence is based on his ability to manipulate the perceptions of those around him to fill his inner void. The narcissist has all kinds of defense mechanisms designed to allow in only positive empathic information about himself and all kinds of control systems designed to generate this positive feedback.
    The narcissist looks a lot like the sociopath because his primary defense mechanism is to not care about the person he is feeding on when that person’s needs are seen as conflicting with his. Early in a relationship the narcissist thrives on the positive feedback of young love so there is no conflict with caring for the other person. As his lover’s perspective starts to become less euphoric and more reality based, the narcissist resists, stops caring and implements the control systems created to maintain positive feedback. The narcissist is a paradox of using empathy without caring. He is only able to exist through empathy of another’s perspective while not caring about the person whose perspective he is consuming.
    Back to the main thread…Barb’s bf sounds more like a narcissist than a sociopath. He strikes me as someone who has a void and emptiness at his core, who needs to experience his value through another’s eyes and will not let caring about someone else get in his way when he’s filling his void.

    1. 28.1
      Jo

      One of the most amazingly insightful, and accurate, observation of a narcissist I have ever read. Spot on.

      And I should know … I’ve been living with one for nearly two years! But i now know what his problem is,   and maybe why he does what he does. I’m going to do a lot of reflecting about his behaviour patterns in relation to me. There have been a hell of a lot of behaviours too!   From this I can make an informed decision as my  situation mirrors barbs, plus lots of other nasty stuff. My narcissist can’t leave his ex alone either. He freaks when he gets caught out and turns very nasty.

       

      1. 28.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Dump him, Jo.

        Not because he’s a narcissist, but because he won’t leave his ex alone and turns nasty.

        It doesn’t matter what his personality is if he engages in behavior that is detrimental to your relationship and to you.

        Don’t justify bad partner-behavior because you’re afraid to be single.

      2. 28.1.2
        LC2

        Wow, Paul Mawdsley is 100% spot on, I lived with a man with NPD and it was a roller coaster ride I  chose to finally get off.   They will keep your head spinning  unless you go no contact.   My ex did not leave me alone for 4 years after I broke up with him.   How could a woman leave him?   He was charming, successful, generous and very smart.   Perfect man right?   Not exactly.   It all came with a price and that price was my dignity and security.  I left what could have been a life of financial security to live month to month as a  single mother of 2 boys in college  and wouldn’t trade it for the world.      Be strong and get out….unless you don’t mind him feeding off of you like a vampire.

    2. 28.2
      Karmic Equation

      Great explanation, Paul.

    3. 28.3
      Lita

      Wow! Thanks Paul.

  9. 29
    Mary Anne

    I’m currently in the same situation but we have only been dating a couple of months.   Needless to say, there are better men out there and you shouldn’t need to “ask” him to remove his profile if he really was in a committed relationship with you.   He would have already done it.   Run….just run.   This man is nothing but trouble for you!

  10. 30
    susan

    Seriously? He TELLS her about it?   How kind of her to listen. NOT!
    YES he’s a narcissist. YES she’s a mug for putting up with it.   He’s 60 for goodness sake, nothings going to change here.

    As per Evans continuing advice: ”sorry this is not working for me.   goodbye”
    thats the only way.   Ultimatums don’t work and neither does game playing.
    Being honest and having good boundaries does.  

  11. 31
    Jewel

    Ruby @28- Maybe she didn’t know the profile was up until her friend informed her of the fact. I dated a man for nearly a year in what we both agreed was an exclusive relationship. There were all the hallmarks and landmarks of a committed long term relationship and I trusted him completely. It all went south when a friend told me he  saw him at a singles night.  This information was hard to  believe at first because his behaviour to me  seemed committed the entire time we were together. This caused me to be confused, doubt myself, doubt my friends agenda and doubt my boyfriend.   It took me sometime to find out first hand that my boyfriend was a liar and cheater despite him appearing to be a caring, committed partner to me. I  know I dont  suffer low self esteem, but I was certainly very confused because his actions to me weren’t congruent with the story I was being told. Maybe it has been the same with the OP.

  12. 32
    Margo

    I’m sorry everyone, but Evan is right in all aspects on this one. Yes, this woman’s self-esteem is in the toilet, or she wouldn’t be putting up with her live-in boyfriend shopping on dating sites. His actions are a blatant display of disrespect for her. He needs to go. He’s trash. Period.

    Also, Evan is right in that this man will only lie about his intentions when she threatens to kick him out. It’s very clear how dishonest he is. He’s a user, and a scumbag. The only solution is to show him the door. That is, if she thinks she deserves something better. She needs to find a good therapist so that she can find out why she has put up with this man for as long as she has.

    Great advice, Evan!

  13. 33
    Ruby

    Jewel #32<<Maybe she didn’t know the profile was up until her friend informed her of the fact.>>
    The OP wrote, “Since we have dated for almost two years, I asked him to cancel his online dating account. I cancelled mine.” Sounds to me as if she only recently asked him to take down his profile. Her girlfriend just confirmed what she admits she already knew – that he had an active profile up. A man who loves his girlfriend doesn’t do that.

  14. 34
    Nadia

    Barb, I know the older you get, the scarier the prospects seem to find a partner. But Evan is spot on. You’ve unfortunately escalated the relationship by moving in together before you felt completely safe with what he offers. You could throw your own profile back up on match or go stay at a hotel for a couple of weeks, but those are just games that would provide a temporary reprieve at best. Unfortunately, you already know what you’ve got. Everyone deserves to have their feelings cherished, not disregarded. Really, as hard as it will be to start over, run; don’t walk.  

  15. 35
    Sabrina

    He is an utter narcissist!   Flaunting the messages he receives is just cruel.   The fact that he pays for Match.com (the only way to send/receive messages) makes it clear he is looking for more than friends.    
    I’m so sorry that someone you care about is mistreating you, Barb.   But you deserve respect and commitment!  

  16. 36
    valleyforgefox

    Let’s cut to the chase on this matter!     Stop the psycho babble here!   (It is a valuable intellectual exercise!)

    BOTTOM LINE:       Barb ….. you are dating a jerk who is not good for you!   Say with him ….you are a  huge loser!     Is that how you wish to define  yourself?

    THIS IS NOT THE LAST  MAN ON EARTH!   ALL ABUSED WOMEN ACT LIKE THIS IS MY LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE SO THEY PUT UP WITH ABUSE FROM ASS HOLE MEN…………..STOP IT!       PUT YOUR BAGGAGE DOWN AND WALK INTO THE LIGHT!!!!!!  

  17. 37
    Heather

    It is possible that she didn’t know that the guy was doing this.   If she cancelled her account, she wouldn’t really know that he was online looking for folks.   Now what she does with that information, is up to her, but if you’re behaving as a good and trusting girlfriend should, you wouldn’t necessarily know if the guy was cheating.   It’s happened to me.   I was told by one or two men that we were exclusive, etc only to find out that they were dating other women and probably sleeping with them too.

    This is why I do not believe a man’s words, but I do believe his actions.   What a guy says, and what he does, often can be two different things.   What a guy does, will tell you far more about his character than what he says.   It’s saved me a lot of heartache, assuming that a guy is lying til proven otherwise.   I’d learn much more quickly what a guy was really about, and able to bail out more easily, since I’d be less emotionally involved, and less trusting.

  18. 38
    Rosie

    I love this article and especially your last line, “The only way to fix this is to dump him when you’re done reading this.” Most women are the victims of their unconditional loves and unbounded patience for their unworthy men. Thanks for sharing this frankly.

  19. 39
    Coco

    Good article. About a month ago, I ended a half year relationship with a guy I had met online. I am in my mid twenties, he is in his early 30s. He is a professional and makes quite a bit of money. He is very smart, and fairly good looking.   I am a very distrustful person but I let down my guard with him and just enjoyed his companionship. His job kept him busy. He kept himself close to me, my family, and asked me to move in with him in July. I did my best to support him. We agreed to be exclusive after a month of dating, so I took down my profile. 4 months into the relationship I am telling my out of state friends about him, and where I met him. My friend is curious and looks at his online profile. She finds it still active and with new pictures from a wedding he attended recently, as well as his profile changed to basically brag about his professional status. I am instantly suspicious. I confronted him. He said he’d take it down, and he was looking for “friends”. (He is from out of state). Stupid and kind of in love, I believed him.
    About two months later I was left alone in his apartment like many times, and I cleaned for him, which he knew I did and seemed grateful for every time. I noticed a piece of plastic poking out from under his bed. Well…empty packages of kinky panties and a bunch of other stuff. I went home in tears. My best friend made a profile on the website to see if he’d respond. He did not 5 minutes later, asking for sex/dates. He was too much of a wimp to talk to me for a while. When he did, he was nonchalant and arrogant about it. A week after that he inundated me with apologies and other BS. Too bad.
      
    Dump them. Something like that has NO. OTHER. EXPLANATION. NONE. Before you get cheated on. Or probably already have been. Please.

  20. 40
    Olya

    I promise  myself and wish all the women ( and men)   who are reading this blog to live  by this simple principle:

              “Don’t let someone become a priority in your live, when you are just an option in theirs”  ..
      
      

        

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