Q. I saw someone my friend is dating on a dating app, do I tell them?
A. The world becomes super small when reduced to a 5 or 10km radius. It’s inevitable to see people we know - with fewer and fewer degrees of separation - on dating apps. With that has come a whole set of evolving social norms, that we may or may not all be on the same page about.
IMO, questions of privacy as they relate to people and dating apps go beyond social etiquette and are questions also of consent. What is our expectation of privacy when we create profiles, send texts and sexts on these platforms?
This is further complicated when, like in your case, someone appears who should maybe not be there for reasons we think we are privy to.
I do not believe there is any one answer for all scenarios. But, I invite you to first consider the following:
Do you have enough information to make an informed decision about if this is something your friend should know - ie. if they are still dating; if their relationship is monogamous; if the app isn’t on f*ckery unearthing old accounts (this does happen, I’ve checked) etc…
If it were someone you were dating, and it wasn’t out of line for this person to be on dating apps, would you want to know? And perhaps more importantly, knowing your friend, would they want to know?
And lastly, what do you feel when you think about telling your friend? Is it love and protection? Is it vengeance? Are you prepared for them to feel hurt or embarrassed?
If you can answer these questions affirmatively you have your answer. If not, you have your answer. We love our friends and we ideally want what’s best for them. But we also don’t always know what that is.
I’m of the thinking that people have the right to privacy for their presence and activities on dating apps. Short of abusive/unsolicited behaviour, what happens in the DMs should stay in the DMs.