Love Letters

Her longtime flame claims innocence about a Tinder ad

He claims he’s not using the dating app, but something seems fishy on his phone.

Q. Hello, Meredith.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost eight years. We are both divorced and in our late 40s. Though we’ve had some trust issues in the past (i.e., he was a weasel), he’s been on the straight and narrow for several years now and we’ve been very happy.

Last night an ad for Tinder popped up on his phone’s lock screen. I wasn’t snooping; it was charging on the bedside table and lit up. When I asked him why that would appear, he claimed ignorance but then said “I’m not even on Facebook right now.” I’m not tech-savvy enough to know if an ad would appear if he used to have the app but not anymore. And his answer about not being on Facebook definitely threw me. He claims he only knew you needed to log on through Facebook because his best friend uses it (which is true; I’ve been around while they discussed).


Am I not seeing the obvious here? Is he back to his old ways, or could an ad appear without his ever having had the app? I know I don’t get those ads.

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I threw him out last night but want to be sure before I bail completely. I forgave him once before, but I’m not going to do it again. I feel stupid even asking but don’t want to give up just because I don’t understand how pop-up ads work. Thank you, and please be gentle, readers.

 –  Ignorance is bliss?

A. I took your question to people who do computer, app, and website things. Their guess is that you saw a Tinder push notification (as opposed to an ad). They also said you can’t get that kind of message unless the app is installed on your phone.

After I explained your issue, one of them said: “It would be one thing if they had just started dating a few months ago and he forgot to delete the app from his phone, but they’ve been together for eight years, so it’s definitely sketchy.”

That’s the tech response — but here’s the answer that has more to do with feelings. Your boyfriend has been well behaved for some time now, but at the first sign of a problem, you didn’t believe his story. It doesn’t even sound as if you were surprised he’d gone back to his old ways. That says more than anything else. There is no trust here, and your gut is telling you to walk.

 –  Meredith



I agree with the tech persons’ responses. Ads just don’t “pop up” when the phone is in screen saver, so it seems fishy. You threw him out, not just based on this, but based on history.


I’m more concerned that you refer to your boyfriend as a “weasel” than anything else. Looks like your respect for him went out the window long ago.


I occasionally get dating-app pop-ups when I finish a game of solitaire.


If my guy’s phone lights up and he’s not in the near vicinity, I typically ignore it. I think the fact that you looked says something.


Download Tinder and see if you start getting pop-up ads. Sounds like you’re gonna need it anyway.


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