Should You Monitor Your Boyfriend’s Online Activities?

September 4, 2012
Should You Monitor Your Boyfriend’s Online Activities?

If your boyfriend spends a lot of his time online, you’re welcome to feel a little worried. The Internet provides tons of opportunities for activities that could threaten your relationship, and the fact that he’d rather spend a whole lot of his time online instead of with you or with others he cares about may be a big warning sign about what sort of man he is.

Not every online activity is cause for concern, but there are a few points you need to keep in mind when determining whether your boyfriend is acting inappropriately on the Internet or not.

Context matters: Where is he going?

If you’re concerned about your boyfriend’s online activities, there’s a good chance you’re worried he’s engaging in, or at least looking for, relationships with other women. How seriously you take these concerns depends a lot on where he’s spending his time online.

If he’s hanging out on a lot of message boards dedicated to obscure, male-dominated, extremely-geeky interests, then you probably shouldn’t worry. DIY video game system forums aren’t known for fostering affairs.

If he’s spending a truly inordinate amount of time on social networking sites, then you have greater cause for concern. While Facebook and its cousins aren’t devoted to matchmaking, lots of people meet or deepen their connections using these sites.

Finally, if he’s spending a lot of time on a mixed-use social networking website with a dating emphasis, like OKCupid, then you’re justified in asking him some serious questions.

 

“As long as your boyfriend’s habits aren’t threatening your

relationship, then let your boyfriend do whatever he wants.”

Is online flirting inappropriate?

Some people will disagree that there’s something wrong with your boyfriend spending time meeting people on a website like OKCupid. These people will argue that there’s nothing wrong with a little harmless flirting.

And overall, I agree — there really isn’t anything wrong with sharing a little verbal fun with other attractive women when you’re in a relationship.

The thing is, I define “a little harmless flirting” as randomly meeting someone you feel a connection with and verbally playing with that connection for a short period of time.

Actively putting yourself in a position to meet new, attractive single people so you can seek a connection with them in a space where they’re looking to meet other singles is not “a little harmless flirting.”

The porn question.

Aside from cheating fears, the second big concern women feel about their boyfriend’s online activities revolves around pornography. Should you worry about your boyfriend’s porn consumption?

If your boyfriend spends a lot of time watching porn (hours a day), or if his porn use interferes with his work or social life, then you should worry. If your boyfriend watches illegal pornography, then you should worry, and you should probably alert the authorities.

Otherwise, you don’t have a lot to worry about if your boyfriend likes porn. Most women’s boyfriends like porn. It’s normal, it’s natural, and you might find you like porn too if you open your mind to it and watch it with him.

If your boyfriend’s into porn that depicts certain healthy sex acts the two of you don’t share, and if you’re interested in those acts, rather than worrying about the implications of his erotic hard wiring, use his pornographic interests as a jumping off point for exploring new avenues in your sex life.

Overall, as long as your boyfriend’s Internet habits aren’t actively threatening your relationship, and as long as his habits aren’t actively interfering with your ability to share a happy, healthy social life, then you really should let your boyfriend do whatever he wants online without scrutiny.

Sam has been writing about dating and relationships for more than three years now. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, has self-published a few of his own books and is currently working on mastering the double right turn in his salsa dancing classes. Connect with him on Google+.

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5 Responses

    You should really have an article about lesbian online dating. Some things are the same but some are toootallyyy different!

    C. Price
    Cynthia (DatingAdvice.com)

    Alice, you bring up a great topic. We will be launching articles for our lesbian and gay readers very soon! If you know of any writers who are experts in the field that could contribute, shoot me an email: cynthia@datingadvice.com

    My bf was still logged onto his Facebook on my computer and I ended up snooping in his messages. Long story short, he was messaging his ex gf and I told him bluntly, we’re done. Not gonna waste my time

      C. Price
      Cynthia (DatingAdvice.com)

      It’s really no worth sticking around to see if he does this again. Props to you for getting out of the situation before it escalated. Unfortunately, another one of our users had a similar situation. See what Dr. Wendy said to her here: http://bit.ly/OAMTmg

    If you don’t want him to snoop through your activities, then don’t do it to him. I’ve seen too many friends blow a good thing with a great guy by not getting their emotions under control.

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