The guy I’m seeing refreshed his dating app pictures. Does this mean he’s not interested in me?

Hey Evie,

I’m in the really early stages of meeting and connecting with this guy I met on an app. We’ve been on three amazing dates (on coffee meetup and two dinners, the second ended in me going home to his house.) He’s my dream guy – on paper and in person. Tall, dreamy, funny, charming, ambitious and hardworking. I stopped going on my dating apps and started focusing my energy on him after our first meet (I was blown away!) and we’ve been in constant contact since, texting each other updates and pictures about our days and sending each other our favorite EDM songs. We’ve spoken about everything from me meeting his family soon to going to Tomorrowland next year, and I thought we were both on the same page about how amazing this connection is.
As you can probably imagine, it was much to my surprise when I logged into the app on which we first connected last week and noticed he’d shuffled around all his pictures, prompts, and info. I feel like I’m overreacting since I know it’s just an app but I was really sure he felt the same way I did and had stopped actively searching for more options. Am I being dumb or is this a red flag? Should I be watching my back? Do I bring up him changing his dating app pictures and ask what’s up with that? Thanks – Confused, NV (28F)

Deep breaths, girl. While it’s a bummer to see he’s still active and he’s recently done a little profile spring cleaning, it’s not necessarily the end of the world. It’s also not necessarily even a dealbreaker at this early stage of dating. Let’s unpack this a bit (and lift that cloud of confusion looming over you!):

You’ve had three great dates and a clear spark which is something not many can come home and proudly say. But, and I stress the but here, you’re still in the glittery, glitzy phase that comes when you meet and date someone new. Given you haven’t mentioned any talks about making it official and choosing not to see other people, I’d stretch as far as to say you’ve not even entered the honeymoon phase, but are knocking eagerly at it’s gates.

It’s easy to project long-term dreams and fantasies onto a new connection. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that myself; building up strangers I’d glanced at briefly on apps into mysterious, magical men in my daydreams, itching at the prospect of them whisking me away towards a happily ever after.

BUT, and before you get any more carried away with attaching yourself to Mr. Dreamboat, remind yourself that even after 3 magical dates, he’s basically just a stranger.

He likely does have a plethora of amazing qualities (like the love of techno you share), but I bet my bottom dollar you’re both showing up to these dates with only your best, groomed and curated selves. The bad bits, the ‘flaws’ and the not-so-attractive-qualities don’t get invited out on these early dates, so as amazing as he might sound (on paper and in person!), remind yourself that you have a long way to go to know the real him. Try and hold off carving the fantasy version of him in your head into anything else until you’ve met up more, have each lowered those veils of perfection, and know each other a little better.

On top of that, it’s important to remember that he’s still figuring out his feelings too. He might be equally infatuated with you, but not quite be at the “delete the app” stage yet. He might be worried you’re still doing your own app-browsing, and choosing to do the same to save face.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (especially if you don’t know whether that particular basket is seeing other people!) as they say. 

People use dating apps for all sorts of different reasons. Some like to keep their options open until they’re truly sure about someone. Others scroll purely for the validation, the ego boost, or out of pure boredom. We can’t know his reasons for updating the profile without asking him directly.

It may be time to bring up where he sees your connection headed. Sure, you can mention the fact that you noticed he updated his profile if you wish, but I suggest avoiding this altogether. If anything, it insinuates that you’ve been regularly browsing his page (which we’ve all been guilty of – don’t worry!) but isn’t something you need to outright admit.

It takes bravery to be the one to bring up the where-is-this-going convo, but doing so can and will save you a good deal of worry. Plus, 3 dates in and a night together and you won’t be rushing in bringing this up. You don’t have to dive in and ask whether he fancies a church or outside wedding, but approach the question with curiosity and open-mindedness. If the answer he gives isn’t what you want, be prepared to cut your losses and walk away.

Returning to the topic of app updates, it’s valid to feel a little disappointed but don’t let this overshadow the good times you’ve shared. If you’re able to relax and go with the flow for the time being, keep seeing him, keep having fun, and see where things naturally progress. Don’t leave the what-are-we elephant hanging out too long in the room, but if he consistently shows up for you, then the app activity becomes less relevant.

I personally don’t think this screams red flag. Nowadays, we are constantly on our phones, scrolling and swiping and sending pickup lines more than ever. Commitment is a little harder to come by, and although there is a sting to finding out that someone you like and have connected with is still active on these dating apps, this is just the reality of what dating is like nowadays. It’s not a pretty one (especially if you’re a romantic like you and I), but it’s one that you need to prepare yourself for. What’s more important is that you pay attention to his overall behavior.

Ask yourself

  • Is he still investing time and effort in you?
  • Does he seem genuinely excited about your connection?
  • Idealizations aside, do you see a future with this man?

If you answered a big “YES” to all of the above, then this might just be a minor blip. If not, then it’s information to factor into your overall assessment of him.

You deserve someone who’s just as enthusiastic about you as you are about them. Keep your own dating options open if you need to, at least until you both agree to be exclusive.

I hope this helps. You’ve got this!

P.S. Don’t forget, even Tomorrowland tickets can be refunded 😉

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Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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