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I saw Grindr on my boyfriend’s phone

he's denying having it

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Warning: advice may be brutal and sassy

The Dilemma

Sam (he/him) l 24 l Gay l London

I saw Grindr on my boyfriend’s phone 🥺

We’ve been together for 14 months so he shouldn’t still have it.

He said he’d not deleted it since we got together but has never been on it.

I just don’t believe this.

I also think I’d have seen it in the last 14 months if it had been installed all this time.

It’s eating away at me because I don’t believe him, yet if I raise it he’ll call me crazy!

Am I crazy?

Title: I saw Grindr on my boyfriend’s phone l Content Topic: Sam is questioning his sanity after seeing Grindr on his boyfriends phone | We help Sam find the answers | LGBTQ+ Advice Column

The Response

No, Sam you are not crazy!

And please don’t ever think you’re crazy for allowing yourself to experience love, vulnerability, heart ache, and hurt.

These are the real feelings that come with allowing ourselves to love and be loved – and while it isn’t always easy, what is life if we don’t allow ourselves to experience it!

You sound like a delight, and I am so sorry to hear how this troubles you 💙

◊ ◊ ◊ 

However, one must remain impartial here, because I’m all aware that the advice I provide is likely to influence your next move.

But my thoughts are that which I will always say to my friends:

What does your instincts say?

Trust your instincts

As harsh a reality as it is, our instincts just know.

✨ Our instincts know when something is off

✨ Our instincts know when something is out of place

✨ Our instincts know when our world is misaligned

Does your world feel misaligned?

Practical solutions

To help you practically, I recommend first considering what possible outcomes may result from having a conversation with your boyfriend about this. After determining possible outcomes, we can then work back what information we need from the opposing person, and how to get it, to help us navigate to the outcome that feels right for us. Here are some questions to kick things off;

If he admitted he has been on Grindr, could you forgive him and move through it considering he has been honest?

If he needs something extra sexually, could you forgive his action and explore these sexual needs with him yourself?

If he admits he’s been window shopping, is this an unforgiveable step for you?

If he knows being on grindr risks separation, he has no motivation to be honest with you

Now you know how you’d feel if he has be on Grindr, and whether forgiveness is within your remit, you can plot practical steps to communicating with him. This includes:

  • creating a safe space for you both to talk
  • ensuring you talk to him when you’re both calm, sober, and have sufficient time to discuss at length
  • have planned what you are going to say, and considered how information received may make you feel in the moment
  • made a promise to yourself not to react or raise tensions, in the event of a worst case scenario

Create a safe talking space

I find creating ‘safe spaces’ during difficult conversations can get the best from the other person.

To do this, I go into a conversation with intention; letting the person know that the space is, and will remain calm, and that an honest and civilised conversation is the best solution to us both moving forward.

One might argue that remaining calm when another has betrayed us is doing ourselves a disservice – this is a short sighted view. I’m not creating the safe space for the benefit of the other, I’m creating the safe space to ensure I get clear and honest information from the other, to benefit myself.

It is a strong act of self love.

If forgiveness is in your remit

If forgiveness is in your remit, you could sit him down for a calm conversation and open with;

“I’ve given it lots of thought, and it’s okay if you’ve been on Grindr, but I need to know truthfully in order for us to move through it”.

This creates a space that makes him feel safe to know he can be honest, and quite often elicits an honest response from people.

The skill is to lead the dialogue to your desired outcome, through compassionate and patient communication.

In order for you both to forget and move on from this, complete transparency and honesty is required.

If forgiveness isn't in your remit

However, if forgiveness isn’t in your remit, the dialogue becomes inherently harder. If he knows being on Grindr risks separation, and he doesn’t want that, he has no motivation to be honest with you. I would suggest something like;

“As you know I saw Grindr on your phone recently which has caused me lots of confusion. You said it’s been on your phone since we got together, yet I question why I’ve not seen it there at any point in the last 14 months. Additionally, I question why you wouldn’t have removed it any sooner.

It’s really important to me that we’re completely open and honest with one another, and that we move through issues in the relationship together. That’s why I need you to tell me honestly if you’ve been on Grindr, either talking to guys, or if you’ve slept with other people. I am unable to move forward from this until you’ve talked to me honestly about this.”

The skill with this is to make it feel like it’s a safe space for him to talk open and honestly, without letting him know that separation is the outcome should you find he’s been on Grindr – in effect, you’re keeping your cards close to your chest.

However, this doesn’t resolve that you still have three possible outcomes:

  1. He has been on Grindr, and he opens up honestly about it
  2. He has been on Grindr, and he denies ever going on it
  3. He has never been on Grindr, and his current explanation is truth

This is then for you to decide, Sam.

Only you can know how you feel when he responds.

Only you can know if you believe what he says.

Only you can know if you want to continue in the relationship

My final thoughts

I admire anyone who has the strength to forgive and move on from betrayal in a relationship.

I for one am not someone who can love another after they’ve wronged me.

I’ve given you my tips on how to create spaces that elicit the most honest and authentic responses from people.

All else you can do is follow your instincts – they’re there to save you.

Best of luck x

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