Disclaimer, I don’t make a habit out of listening in on other people’s conversations, but every now and then you hear something so juicy, you get out your phone to ‘fake scroll’ so you can really tune in.
This happened to me last Thursday at the hairdressers. The woman next to me was complaining to the hairdresser about her bad love life when she exclaimed: “Like the last guy I went on a date with was married!”
OK girlfriend, you’ve got my attention!
Turns out there are a bunch of married dudes on the dating apps wanting to see what all the fuss is about – and the way this guy did it was so sneaky, it almost impressed me.
She explained that she swiped right on this guy, and they shared a few brief messages before he told her that he was feeling overwhelmed by the app and will be shutting it down, but if it’s OK, he would prefer to chat to her via text .
So, they exchanged phone numbers and started communicating via text. The next night she went on a date with him, and she found him so charming they ended up getting naked together. Hey, why not.
He had explained that he was traveling interstate for work and would make sure they went out again next time he was in town. She was chuffed and was looking forward to seeing him again.
Now lean in, dear reader because this is where the scandal comes in! The next day she’s on Facebook and she notices that in her ‘requested friends’ column a picture of the guy she went on a date with has popped up… except the name doesn’t match the photo.
You see, she went out with a Ben, and this bloke is called ‘Tony’. Hmm…
She goes into full female Inspector Gadget mode and dives into this Facebook profile. It appears he does indeed live interstate… with a wife and child.
She knows it’s him because his profile picture is the same one he had on his dating app (idiot!) and it would appear he decided to give himself a fake name while traveling interstate for work so he could see how the other (single) half live.
Turns out if you save someone’s mobile number into your phone contacts, Facebook will then find their profile and put them in your ‘suggested friends’ list. Wow. Bloke got sprung by Mark Zuckerberg!
Now it doesn’t end there, oh no. She then looks up his wife’s Facebook profile, finds out where she works, gives the business a call, asks to speak to the wife and tells her everything.
Over the next week, the wife asks for screenshots and details about their date, which she provides and effectively blows up their marriage.
Sadly I got no more details because it was time for the hairdresser to wash out my foils (boo hiss!) but it got me thinking how easy it is to use the apps for cheating shenanigans.
I remember coming across a friend’s married brother on the apps a few years ago. Old mate had airbrushed his photos (cringe) but it was definitely him.
So it probably comes as no surprise that according to a recent study by research firm GlobalWebIndex (GWI), a whopping 30 percent of dating app users are married, while another 12 percent are in a relationship.
Now, I get that those coupled up before the dating app era probably feel like they’ve missed out on some fun dates and bedroom antics, and to be fair… you have.
But it’s not all sexts and cocktails my friends, oh no. It’s also finding yourself on nightmare dates, getting catfished, and trying to decipher if someone is really the six feet they claimed to be on their profile. Spoiler alert: the grass is not always greener.
And do you know what’s even more annoying to a singleton than realizing they’ve gone on a date with someone they have zero interest in … going on a date with someone they DO have interest in but they’ve been duped because that person is married .
So here’s an idea all you clever dating app makers…how about we make it a rule that you can’t join an app unless your verified. It’s 2022, surely it can’t be that hard?! Oh, and married peeps, stay off our turf! Good lord, the dating world is never boring.
Jana Hocking is a columnist and collector of kind-of-boyfriends @jana_hocking