So you’ve met a guy online that you’re starting to fall head over heels for. He’s smart, funny, good looking, has a stable job. You’ve even met his friends. But he hasn’t taken his dating profile offline yet—why?
Well, there are plenty of reasons, and most of them aren’t the end of the world. That won’t stop you from wondering why. And short of asking him, you may want to run through the possibilities. We’re here to help.
Let’s Address The Elephant In The Room
First things first: if you know his dating profile is still online, yours is too…unless you’re so paranoid that you keep a burner account. So let’s go into this process acknowledging that you’re in the same boat he is, at least on the technology side of things. You’re either hedging your bets or you’re not being honest with yourself or with him. Or maybe a friend has tipped you off—be wary there. Are they looking out for your well-being or are they trying to cause trouble?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s address the possibilities.
The Worst Case Scenario: He’s Cheating
If you two have actually discussed and agreed to exclusive dating, him keeping his online dating profile up is a bad sign. Most apps will tell you how recently someone’s profile has been active. If you’re going to do your recon, make sure to note how recently he’s’ been online.
Today, this week, last month? Trust your gut. Is there anything else going on in his life that gives you pause? You could confront him, but unless you’ve got a lot invested, if you’re sure he’s cheating this early on, there’s not really a reason to hear his side of the story.
He Could Still Be Curious
Guys troll around the internet to see what’s out there. It’s not the greatest behavior, but it’s a fact. A wandering eye doesn’t mean a wandering heart. Sometimes even committed men like to see who’s out there, similar to chatting up a woman at a bar but not letting it go any farther.
Give it the side eye it deserves and make a mental note of it, but it’s not an automatic sign to run for the door. This one is tough, because if you confront him about the profile (in any scenario, really) he could take his real profile down but have another just for chatting undetected. Again, not okay but not the lowest of the low.
He’s Not Quite Sold
You’re head over heels, but he may process his feelings a little differently. It doesn’t mean the relationship won’t last, or that you’re not on the top of his list of favorite people. It just means he takes things slowly and deliberately. Some people take commitment very seriously. It may mean a slower pace than you’d hoped for, but he may not be ready to pin himself down until he’s absolutely sure he’s met the person that’s right for him.
You Only Think You’re In A Committed Relationship
You’ve been together a long time. Maybe months, maybe even a year. But have you had the dreaded “where is this headed” discussion? Whether or not you think the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law, if you haven’t specifically discussed being in a committed relationship, you’re not truly in a committed relationship. No one likes those “what is this” talks, but they can really be helpful.
That doesn’t mean he’s actively dating. It doesn’t even mean he’s talking to anyone else. He may be perfectly happy with you, and isn’t really interested in changing that. But some men (ironically) feel more secure knowing they’ve got options. It’s not great for appearances, especially if one of your friends sees it. It’s best if he takes it down.
But that requires you to tell him that you know, and to specifically tell him you want a committed relationship and for the profile to come down. This may feel incredibly uncomfortable, but if you want a secure, committed relationship, you’ll need to address it sometime. Get on the same page and you’ll both be happier…even if it means the relationship doesn’t survive the talk.
He Just Forgot To Take It Down…Seriously
Hard to believe that a guy would forget to do something, right? Dudes are dudes. You hate feeling like a nag, but cliché as it seems, dudes can be forgetful about these kinds of things. Plus, ironically, online dating sites are rarely happy to see you go, so they make deleting profiles a pain, often requiring logging in from a desktop to completely delete an app-based account.
It’s very, very possible he meant to, saw it was complicated, then decided to do it later but forgot .Again, if appearances matter to you, you’re going to have to tell him how you found it if you want to ask him to take it down, and he may be uncomfortable and feel like it’s invasive.
But if he’s really committed, there shouldn’t have to be much discussion over it. It’s up to you to decide if you want to take his word on it or give in to curiosity and go back to check for yourself.
Know What’s Right For You
It doesn’t matter which of these scenarios applies. If you’re unhappy with him keeping an online dating profile, you have a right to tell him so, and a right to leave. It’s up to you if you want to give him a chance to explain.
Don’t feel like you have to accept his excuses, no matter how plausible they might seem. This is about respecting your own needs and boundaries, and not sitting around trying to make other people happy while you get treated poorly.
But remember—it’s worth gathering information before making your decision. It really could just be something he forgot to do. You know your guy better than anyone else.
Written By: Matthew J. Seymour, MSF
Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.
Reviewed By: Grady Shumway, LCSW
Grady Shumway, LCSW is a licensed social worker with specialized training in the mental health areas of depression, anxiety, trauma, psychotic disorders, and various other diagnoses. Trained in cognitive behavioral interventions, motivational interviewing, and moral recognition therapy, and holding a Masters of Social Work from Arizona State University, Grady has extensive experience working with individuals and families through various life challenges. At Healthy Framework, Grady serves as a mental health and counseling expert assisting the editorial team in ensuring that dating advice articles, dating app recommendations, and other resources are inline with best practices and provide information in the most helpful manner possible to readers.