What to Do if You Discover Your Partner Is on Tinder or OnlyFans

You think you've found the one … then you realize you're not the only one. If you stumble across your partner's OnlyFans account or online dating profile, it can feel like your world has fallen apart.

Research suggests that one in four dating app users are logging in to cheat, so it's understandable if you assume the worst. Spotting your partner on Tinder doesn't always mean they're searching for a side piece, though. An OnlyFans account doesn't have to spell the end of your relationship either, but it is time the two of you had a talk.

Here's what to do if you discover your partner's second life online.

Stay Calm

Your first instinct may be to call them and ask what the hell they think they're doing, but try to keep your cool. You need time to process your emotions and what the discovery means for your relationship.

It's understandable if you feel betrayed or devastated, according to online dating coach Perri Schneider, but "relationships best function with communication and honesty." Consider your options and how you want to move forward. Confiding in a friend can help you to offload some of your feelings, so you can think more clearly.

Finding an OnlyFans account is somewhat different. Your reaction will largely depend on how you feel about your partner paying for explicit content and how much they are engaging with creators. Some people consider it cheating; others do not. Take some time to figure out what it might mean for the two of you. When you're ready, here are some tips from experts on how to approach these difficult conversations.

Talk to Them

OK, it looks bad, but there are a number of reasons why your partner might have popped up on a dating app. Perhaps they deleted the app but not their account. If so, no big deal. Let them know that someone came across their profile and ask them to deactivate it.

Could it be a fake account? It's rare to have your identity stolen by a catfish if you're not a model, but it does happen. If this is the case, your partner can report the account and get it taken down.

Maybe they are on dating sites because they like the validation of being wanted, with no intention of engaging. This isn't so harmless. They may not be planning to cheat, but they're still signaling to the world that they're available.

People tend to do this because they feel their needs are not being met, Schneider told Newsweek. "Most likely they are looking for validation, attention and the enjoyable feeling of being pursued."

In this scenario, you need to decide if their needs are something you can accommodate or if this relationship isn't for you.

If it's an OnlyFans account and you feel paying for adult content is a dealbreaker, you need to ask some questions. Is the account active, or does it date from before your relationship? Does your partner just look at pictures or videos, or are they talking to the people they're subscribed to? The reason many people take issue with a partner using OnlyFans is that it's more personal. They don't get to chat with the actors they see in porn movies, but direct messaging and paying for personalized nudes is different territory.

Understanding what your partner gets from OnlyFans can determine how you move forward, according to Schneider.

"It depends on how open the partners are with each other and their shared sexuality," she said. "I think it is possible for them to understand what it is that their partner is seeking through their subscription."

If you've decided you don't want to be in a relationship with a person who uses OnlyFans, that's OK too. "Everyone is entitled to their own comfort level of how their partner consumes adult entertainment.

"It is best to be upfront and honest with your partner about what you are and are not comfortable with."

What If You Think They're Lying?

If you've had a conversation with your partner about their dating profile or OnlyFans subscription but suspect they're lying to you about it, ask yourself why. If they've cheated or betrayed your trust before, you may well have doubts. You need to decide if this relationship is worth continuing or if it's better to break up.

"If you cannot trust your partner, that is a bigger issue," said Schneider.

"The first step you can make is having a calm discussion and begin with exactly how you feel. Share the concerns you have with your partner and why you feel worried that they are not being truthful.

"Make sure to give your partner the space to explain for themselves and do your best not to jump to conclusions."

Tempting as it might be to create a fake dating profile and conduct a "loyalty test," this is a bad idea. If you discover their account is inactive, great—but you'll look like a stalker if they find out and their trust in you will be shaken. If your sting works, you're just causing yourself further hurt.

If the trust has gone, sometimes it's best to move on. Here's some expert advice on how to determine if your relationship is toxic and how to free yourself.

Found partner's dating or OnlyFans profile
A woman looking over her boyfriend's shoulder to check his phone. If you find your partner's Tinder or OnlyFans account, it's time to have a difficult conversation. Motortion/iStock/Getty Images Plus