Monday, January 3, 2011

Nothing wrong with a little light Facebook creeping...right?

Q: Dear Dr. O,
Im not going to lie and say I've never stolen a peek on a boyfriends facebook account, I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't give me a little thrill once I find a way on their account to "stalk" what they've been doing and who they have been talking to..I know this a big issue of trust and lately with my current boyfriend I haven't even wanted to know because I did trust him and the things he said to me. Lately though I noticed that he was talking to this one girl a lot. I mentioned it because his behaviors seemed a little extra shady and different, but all he said was that he had told her that he had a girlfriend and that I had nothing to worry about. I believed him or I believe him, but a couple days later when I realized he had left his facebook page open while he was at work and I was home alone on his computer I noticed a conversation he and this other girl were having. It was happening right in front of me, the girl kept bringing up the fact that he never wants to hang out with her and his response was always a long the lines of making excuses that he does want to hang out but is busy for now (no mention of a girlfriend)...low and behold I am feeling very anxious and hurt, the whole conversation let off a vibe from him that made me think he lied about ever telling this girl he had a girlfriend like he told me he did. My question is to you, how exactly do I bring this up without saying I found out about it by lurking his facebook, I'm just afriad that he will turn it around and make me seem like the crazy one or the wrong one...I mean I know I'm crazy but at least I'm not a liar.

--Love, Taylor

Q: Taylor, not only are you not a liar, but you are not crazy in the LEAST bit. Yes, it's not normally a good idea to delve into your partner's Facebook account, but you had a genuine concern and you investigated it. And boom, there you go: you find something to actually be concerned about...possibly. :)

Think about if your boyfriend might just be the kind of guy who has a lot of platonic, female friends. My ex was like that and he would talk to other girls frequently. He didn't see hanging out with girls (even alone, sometimes!) as a big deal and neither did the girls he hung with. He sometimes failed to mention he had a girlfriend, either because he assumed that the other girl knew, or knew that there was no romantic pretext to the friendship and therefore no need to immediately say "I have a GF, get off my junk." If he's this kinda guy, you probably have nothing at all to worry about.

The fact is, some guys are NOT like my ex. Many guys seek out female friendships primarily to have sexual/romantic liaisons with them. Is your boyfriend that kind of guy? I'm not trying to say he's like a super horn-dog or anything, but if he's the kind of guy who has (pretty much) all guy friends and isn't naturally drawn to girls for friendship, then this FB thing is definitely a feasible source of worry. If that's the case, one or both of the following things are happening:

1) He is insecure and afraid of being belittled by this girl for saying he has a girlfriend. This is going to sound weird, but have you ever been hit on by a guy, said you had a boyfriend, and then have the guy insult either you or your boyfriend? Well, that's what your boyfriend is probably afraid of. It sounds really stupid and random, but guys fear nothing more than a bruised ego, and unfortunately that's exactly what can happen to them if they reject another girl--even if it's for a perfectly good reason like a girlfriend. This isn't a for sure thing, but a reasonable speculation of mine.

2) Your boyfriend is flirting with other girls and possibly hanging out with them behind your back. The fact is, you know nothing about this UNTIL you talk to him. Which gets me to my answer to your ACTUAL question. ;)

Alter the truth a little bit (if possible) and say that you were already logged in on his account, thinking it was yours. Say that you clicked on your inbox and noticed a strange e-mail from a girl--or, if this was FB chat, a strange chat from a girl. The rest you can't really lie out of, unfortunately. If he thinks you're "crazy" for that, then he has lived a very sheltered and naive life.

The problem with just bringing the subject up casually without mentioning the "proof" you found is that unfortunately, he can still lie. But the FB chat is proof. With that, he can't lie. You should be able to find out your answer regarding what's going on after you ask him. Keep a sharp eye out for the future.

--Dr. O.

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