Tinder, smoke and fire

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 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.