This week, Ivy tells a student how to deal with online dating and friendship
My best friend and I never really dated much in high school. Now that we’re in college, both of us have downloaded all those dating apps to try and find someone to do cute fall stuff with. We both have met people through the app.The latest guy I met,“John”, was so sweet, and after the date I was so excited to see him again. My friend asked me about him and before I could give his name or any other real detail, she cut me off and told me she was excited about her own date coming up with a guy. Then, she showed me his Instagram. In the moment, I panicked and didn’t tell her that the John she was seeing was the John I had literally just been on a date with. I haven’t spoken to John either about it. What do I do?
First and foremost, college is typically known for experimentation with both intimate and platonic relationships. Addressing your immediate question, this John is a boy you just met. There are no direct romantic or emotional obligations to him. However, take into account the other girl he is talking to is your best friend. There should never be a time where you choose a boy, one you met online and only briefly in person, over a friend that you value as much as you do.
Considering how early it is in this online relationship, the easiest and most honest thing to do would be to tell your friend what happened. By telling her, you are being completely open about the situation you are both in while avoiding the secrecy that could tear you and you best friend apart.
There’s always a chance that your best friend might not take the news lightly. The possible upside of this situation, however, is that it is highly unlikely she would hold hard feelings towards you. Her response would probably be more of an appreciation that you told her upfront. Who knows, maybe you both could get a good laugh out of all the people you could’ve both matched with.
At the same time, please consider the fact that this John more than likely is not holding either of your best interests at heart. Given that the online scene is more open to seeing and dating multiple people at once, John may have other intentions that neither of you expected. Maybe this John is a gentleman, or does not know you two are close or is just trying to see which girl he enjoys spending the most time with. Just remember to always be cautious and safe in your encounters.
Online dating can often lead to sticky situations. While meeting people becomes more convenient, their true identities could be hidden behind their computer or phone screen. If you continue using online dating apps, please be safe. Let your friends know where you are going, have an emergency contact, meet in public areas and don’t share too much about yourself online. All of these tips make online dating more safe. Of course, still have fun when you go out, but don’t risk your friendship or your safety for someone you barely know.