Q. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost three years now. I’ve noticed that he has taken and saved screenshots or screen-recorded Snapchats of his close female friends, who are also my friends. They are usually selfies or full-body shots. Nothing revealing — well, maybe a little cleavage, but nothing sexual. These are pictures from the women’s Snapchat stories.
I accidentally found these images, and they make me feel a bit insecure. I also feel weird because his friends don’t know about him having them — or maybe they do. I’m not sure. What should I do? Let this pass or confront him?
I’m afraid he’ll think I was snooping. We’re both in our late 20s. It started as a long-distance relationship, in different countries, with strict parents. I have moved to his country for a job and my parents still don’t know we’re together.
I know he cares about me. Am I just overthinking this picture thing? They appear every couple of months.
— His Album
A. I have to wonder what other pictures are in your boyfriend’s phone. Is he someone who saves a lot of content? Does he tend to take screen grabs of many things and keep them for posterity? Or did you find 20 photos of these friends and nothing else? Context is important here.
If he does seem to be focused on shots of friends, you might consider asking him what they’re about, and yes, it would require admitting that you “accidentally” found them. It sounds like these photos are haunting you. If that’s the case, get it out of your system. It can be a simple conversation; you saw these photos and felt uncomfortable, and you’ve been wondering about his motives. (It helps that these pictures are public.)
Of course, the most significant problem is at the end of your letter. You’re serious about this man but haven’t talked to your family about him. That’s preventing you from making big commitments. The pictures have made you wonder whether this is worth the risk — whether he’s all in. It’s time to ask.
Yes, I would definitely bring it up and ask him why he is saving pics of other women. He sounds creepy . . . just saying. LIVE-LOVE-LAUGH
You don’t “accidentally” find something on someone else’s cellphone and, yes, you were snooping. OBSERVERATLARGE
It may be kind of weird that he saves pictures, but you know what, if your goal is to find a man (or a woman) who is not even a little weird, you are going to die alone. TWO-SHEDS
Are these photos a red flag? No, being almost 30 years old and not telling her parents that she’s involved with someone — to the point that she moved to a foreign country to be with him — is the red flag. Everything else is just background music. COSMOGIRL
Does he even know he’s taking the screenshots? Maybe he presses the buttons accidentally because he’s trying to hold it and scroll one-handed. CONCERNEDCITIZENONDUTY
I got a new iPhone, the one without a home button, and now I take a screen grab of almost everything (accidentally). MEREDITHGOLDSTEIN
Get Season 3 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to email@example.com.