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So You Saw Your Coworker’s Girlfriend On Tinder. What Should You Do?

Is it right to interfere with your coworker's personal life?

GREY Journal

Who is Alex and what is this? This is an advice column where I, Alex, answer your questions about dating and about life. Got a question you want to see featured? Submit it in the comments below!

Getting Involved in Your Coworker’s Personal Life

Coworkers talking in a coworking space
Coworkers talking in a coworking space
I saw my coworker’s girlfriend on tinder. Should I tell him?

If a person needed to ask for a plus two to the office holiday party so that they could bring their two non-hierarchal partners, I could see them needing to disclose their poly lifestyle. Other than that, though, I’m not sure why a person in a non monogamous relationship would feel the need to disclose that. I’m sure some do and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but given the stigma associated with non monogamy in basically all of its forms, I thinks fair to assume that most people in these types of relationships tend to keep that information private.

There are also plenty of other reasons that your coworker’s girlfriend might be on tinder that your coworker would be equally as unlikely to disclose. Maybe your coworker’s girlfriend has a vindictive ex who is making fake profiles of her on popular social apps. Maybe she runs a premium Snapchat with her partner’s permission. Maybe she’s just not that good at technology and merely deleted the app without deleting her profile. The point is, a tinder profile is merely evidence of a tinder profile.

Tinder is public (I’m assuming her face was on the profile as well). I’m not saying people don’t use it to cheat but if that is her intention, one of your coworker’s friends—who knows their relationship better—can tell him.   Because if you tell him, you’ve either helped him catch his girlfriend cheating or attempting to cheat—or you haven’t. If it’s the former, he’ll have to work with you knowing that you know something about his personal life that I’m sure he’d rather you not know—especially if their relationship survives. If it’s the later, he’s put in a situation where he’s forced to reveal something private about his life. And do you really want to know if your coworker has a hotwifing fetish?

Salvaging a Business Partnership

Business partners arguing near window in office
Business partners arguing near window in office
Is it worth trying to salvage a business relationship/ friendship that ended kinda sour with rumors and gossip? The only part to be salvaged would be the business aspect and then keeping it strictly business because the friendship is just too burned to recover…

No. Unless it is. Relationships, in all forms, are transactional by nature. The things being traded aren’t always easy to put into words and the scales are seldom completely balanced, but at the end of the day there is always going to be both give and take.

By confining this flawed relationship into a strictly business-based relationship, you are attempting to remove the difficult to put into words things that are being traded from the transaction of the relationship. But they’re still going to be in there. Dealing with this person will still leave a bad taste in your mouth. That may translate into being stressed out on the days where you have to interact with this person or maybe it means being unable to feel comfortable trusting them to complete a task or speak on your behalf.

All of that said, if this person has something to offer that outweighs this— such as a very valuable connection or skill—then it is possible that the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks. But I would caution you to be mindful of the impact that this kind of negative energy can have on your life. Plus there are a lot of really interesting and smart people out there to do business with. So unless dude knows Bill Gates or is Bill Gates, you can probably do without this person.

Correcting Your Partner

Girlfriend annoyed with her boyfriend talking on his cellphone at cafe
Girlfriend annoyed with her boyfriend talking on his cellphone at cafe
My partner has a tendency to stretch the truth. He doesn’t outright lie, but he embellishes on things in a way that I think most people find to be very obvious. He does this especially in social settings that make him nervous. I’ve been invited to a company party with a plus one and I’m planning on bringing him. What should I do if he starts doing this?  I’m very worried he might embarrass me or make our life together seem over-the-top in a way I’m not comfortable with.

My first thought was to tell you that you might want to bring this up with him before the gathering. Just gently letting him know that he does this—if he’s not aware—and making it clear to him that you’d prefer he didn’t do it. But I’m sort of against that idea now, because it sounds like this is a social anxiety thing and adding pressure to the situation might just make that social anxiety (and by extension this behavior) come on even stronger.

I think in correcting during the moment, you’ll be walking a fine line. On the one hand, when two people tell a story, one person embellishing and the other pulling it back can make for a charming delivery. But if you’re correcting your partner at every detail, you risk upsetting your partner and coming across as the bickering couple that no one really wants to spend time around for fear of being roped into passive aggressive showdown.

You’re aware of this flaw in your partner and you still choose to be with him. Instead of worrying about how others perceive him—or by extension, you as his partner—I’d focus on the things that’ve made you choose to overlook this flaw in the first place. If you try to correct his augmentations of the truth, you’ll only draw attention to them so you might want to consider instead drawing attention to the things about him that you find endearing or interesting. You can also take some comfort in the fact that most people are far too concerned with themselves to pay all that close of attention to a coworker’s partner at a get together.

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This article originally published on GREY Journal.

Alex Stone
Alex H Stone and his cat Jeff live in Minneapolis, MN. Alex H Stone has an MFA in Creative Writing. In his free time he enjoys taking pictures and sneaking into places he shouldn’t sneak into—but don’t tell anyone. For more Ask Jeff’s Dad, visit us on the web at www.askjeffsdad.com

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