FB Question: “What do you do if you see an acquaintance from high school’s husband on Tinder?”
This question is awkward.
Like, it makes me feel awkward inside. And it’s the type of awkward that you don’t recover gracefully from. Like, after you banish the awkwardness, you still stand there, blinking awkwardly, slowly looking from side to side and not knowing what to do with your hands.
First and foremost, I will say, this question does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.
Your response depends on the type of relationship that you have with this man’s oblivious wife. For instance, if you graduated in 2009 and haven’t seen this person since – not even in the grocery store – but vaguely remember that you sat next to them in Introduction to Physics and Chemistry in your Freshman year … I honestly wouldn’t say anything. Sate your need to creep through their lives; go ahead. Make them the newest addition to your search bar on Facebook and scroll at least three years back and.
Hear me out. This person will see your revelation as a personal attack and probably won’t believe you anyway. When you send them screenshots (sorry for taking it to the screenshot album; honey, I am P E T T Y) they will promptly blame you for everything, even though you haven’t seen them in eight years and you’ve never met their wack, swipe-left-ass husband, and you’ll become an inside joke that brings them closer together, or a reason for him to gaslight and begin destroying her mind.
If you and this person are close confidants … that is an entirely different situation that requires an entirely different interaction.
Because if you don’t, when they find out from that person that they haven’t seen since high school graduation, and they call you with the “Girrrrrrrrl, let me tell you what happened today!” phone call … and they remember that you have a Tinder account … and ask you if you’ve ever seen their husband on there … and you hesitate for that split second …
But introduce it to them lightly. Don’t dive right in, don’t bring it up as a joke or in passing. Make a night of it. Because this is a conversation best had quietly, over a couple of glasses of wine, and be sure to keep a box of Kleenex ready. Because you are not about to just tell her a cut-and-dry bit of information. You are about to break her down, collect the shards of her, piece her back together, guerilla glue her, and find a way to place her back on that damn pedestal, no matter how damaged she is.
If – and I do recommend that you DO – you do tell your close friend this information, I also recommend that you not neglect important conversation pieces – her importance to you and the world around her. Ask her what it is that she thinks that she deserves, and gently guide her if she becomes self deprecating. Approach this as her sister, and be her keeper.
But most importantly: let her make her decision. However short-sighted, however impulsive, however dumb you may think it is, let HER make her decision, and support her. I mean … don’t encourage or accompany her to slash tires, bust windows, or confront the man; definitely talk her out of that. But on a deeper level; let her decide what happens next in your life. Don’t speak advice; speak support. Encourage her to make her moves, and hold your arms open to hold her when she comes running back.
We have to look after each other, no matter how awkward it may be.