I have reason to believe my best mate’s other half is playing about behind his back. They’ve been together for a couple of years – and we do get on – but I’ve never really taken to him. I’ve known my best mate for years and only want what’s best for him. I was on Grindr the other day and saw my friend’s man on there, posing with no top on. He was online so obviously looking for sex. I’m close to my best friend and think he deserves better. Should I tell him that his other half is a cheater or should I confront his boyfriend and find out what’s going on? I don’t want him to get hurt, but I don’t want to cause trouble. Glen, by e-mail.
The Guyliner replies We all like to be there for our mates. In times of joy and times of pain, your friends are the one constant you can rely on. Except, of course, despite your protestations of not wanting to cause trouble, you seem to be intent on causing a problem you can put yourself at the centre of.
You admit yourself that you never really warmed to your pal’s partner, so to go steaming in now with accusations that are, at best, flimsy and, at worst, destructive would be an error. You’d need more evidence than a topless pic on Grindr before you intervened – and that’s not to say you should anyway. Not everybody uses social apps as a knocking shop, and you don’t say whether there was any more info on the guy’s profile – what he was looking for or offering? He might just want to chat. Not that I’m defending his being on what’s primarily an app to meet men for sex or dates, but you don’t seem to have much to go on.
You should also consider the possibility that your friend is fully aware his boyfriend is on this app – maybe they’re in an open relationship or are into group sex and the boyfriend is the ‘shopfront’. If you know this definitely not to be the case, be careful before you do any more digging; you could compromise your friendship.
Getting involved in friends’ relationships is always a huge risk. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Confront the boyfriend and there’s a pretty big chance he’ll deny it – he has the good old get-out, “Oh my God somebody must be using my picture of Grindr.” Whether true or not, you won’t have much choice but to accept it. Challenging the guy also makes it obvious that you know something is going on: if it does later come out that he is having an affair and you knew without telling your mate, guess who’s going to get it in the neck? You, baby. You.
Going to your pal and telling him what you know has its own problems. He may not believe you, or may wonder whether you have an ulterior motive for telling him. There’s no way for you to come out of this well, except the very dull option of keeping it to yourself. Soap opera writers have huge reveals for storyline reasons, but this is real life, not EastEnders. Indiscretions have a habit of coming out eventually. This is not your moment; you’ll just have to let things play out.