Dear Annie: Earlier this week, I was swiping through a dating app, when I think I saw something really surprising and terrible. I’m about 99 percent sure I saw my buddy’s long-term girlfriend, “Becca.” Should I tell him? I don’t have a screenshot or other evidence, because I was so freaked out I just closed the app after seeing her face. And I’m worried that there’s a chance it’s another girl who looks exactly like his girlfriend. Also, I’m not sure what their relationship is like; they could be in an open thing or something. We’ve never talked about that, though he has talked about being serious with her. I want to stay friends with him, and I think hearing about potential infidelity would make him want to shoot the messenger, especially because I don’t have real evidence. But I also think I’d want to know if my girl were cheating on me. I’m spiraling! What should I do? – Tinder Trouble
Dear Tinder Trouble: Be careful not to sound the fire alarm when you’re not even sure you’ve smelled smoke. It may not have been her. And if it was, there may be an innocuous reason. Some people don’t realize that just deleting the Tinder app doesn’t automatically delete their account. Or perhaps she and your friend have an open relationship, as you speculated. Or perhaps she is cheating.
The main point is that you don’t know for sure. So assume that there’s an innocent explanation, and innocently bring it up with your friend – e.g., “I saw a girl who looked exactly like Becca on Tinder! I was so shocked that I immediately closed out of the app.” He can do with that information what he will, and you’ll have made him aware without unnecessary alarm.
Dear Annie: I lost my sweetheart of 55 years last summer. A two-year battle with esophageal cancer reduced the love of my life to a shell of her former self. I held her hand as she passed, after making the life-ending decision for her.
After staring out the window for a while and listening to a few folks tell me how I was going to feel and what I had to do, I decided that this whole thing was bigger than just me – that my family members and tons of friends just lost her, too, and they were grieving also. I decided to join them every chance I got. I traveled over 6,000 miles visiting family and friends to share our love for this wonderful woman. I’ve entertained dozens at our home to celebrate and toast our love of her. In fact, since Thanksgiving, I have lost four friends and family members and have attended their funerals. One friend had the same terrible disease as my wife. I’ve found peace in helping his spouse as she navigates her way through the financial and legal mumbo-jumbo that comes with this horrible loss.
I miss my honey every day. I still wake up early. I still mourn her loss. But as my daughter tells me, “she’s up there listening.” I realize that she would want me to carry on. Hope this might be of some help to others who are grieving. – Don From Michigan
Dear Don: How beautiful that you reached out to so many in your time of grief and let empathy be a healing balm. I’m sorry for your loss, but I second your daughter’s statement: Your wife is up there listening. And I’ll bet she’s mighty proud to see her husband helping others.
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