Lately, it feels like everyone is extra obsessed with whether or not their significant other is cheating on them. Honestly, I get the paranoia. Social media has made infidelity easier than ever – and it also given someone a million different ways to feel jealous about how their partner is interacting with other people. Back in the day, cheating seemed a little bit harder – there weren’t as many ways of secretly communicating with someone. Today? There are so many ways to do that. From text messages to Facebook messages to Instagram direct messaging to Snapchat to sliding into someone’s Twitter DMs to websites like AshleyMadison.com that literally help people cheat, the list seems endless.
Suspicious messages can be deleted the second they’re sent or received, and a partner would never be the wiser. And it’s not just chatting – your boyfriend could be sexting with another person, or video chatting with them, or… damn. This is even making me feel a little anxious. And I’m not trying to freak you out! The point is, there are a lot of ways to cheat successfully, and naturally, it makes society nervous.
This is why there are also so many ways to, supposedly, find out if your partner is cheating. I can’t count how many ads I’ve seen on Twitter about apps you can download that will let you see your partner’s private Snapchat activity, or that promise to clue you in on your BF’s text messages (these will not work). Girls especially are often encouraged to snoop – I hear people talk about looking through their boyfriend’s phone or social media profiles like it’s no big deal. When I point out that that behavior is invasive, they come back at me with this: “How else am I supposed to know if he’s cheating on me?”
And I get it. If you truly think your partner is cheating, you want to find out. Movies and TV shows make that worse, with elaborate story lines about girls who do serious sleuthing to discover that their partner has been lying to them. But the truth is, snooping like this is stressful and pretty crappy. There are other ways to find out if someone is being unfaithful than sneaking around to look at private parts of their lives. Like what, you may ask? Let me show you some tips on how to find out if your boyfriend is cheating that do not involve a shady app download code or a detective outfit. Trust me on this one – I have your best interest at heart.
Actually CommunicateOkay, let me be clear here: if you suspect your boyfriend of cheating, you need to talk to him right away. Relationships are built on trust and communication, and if you can't go to him with this concern, then... well, why are you with him? Sure, there is a chance that he'll lie to you, but you have to talk to him about how you feel anyway. Chances are good that you'll be able to pick up on something. Unless your boyfriend is a sociopath, it's going to be difficult for him to lie to your face without some sort of tell. He'll either get super defensive and angry in an unwarranted way (if you scream at him and he gets angry, that's different, but if you calmly ask and he gets angry, that's shady) or he'll act incredibly strange. Then observe his behavior afterwards. If he starts acting super lovey-dovey in an over-the-top way, he could be compensating for the fact that he knows you're suspicious. Regardless of how he acts, you have to say something. It's the first step in figuring this out. Source: iStock
Bring It Up When He's Not Expecting ItIf you're worried your BF is going to lie to you, then bring up this conversation out of nowhere, as a surprise. If you text him before hanging out and say something along the lines of, "Can we talk later?" he's immediately going to go on edge. If he is, in fact, cheating on you, he will prepare for the conversation he's dreading, which means he'll have more time to come up with lies and excuses that are elaborate and planned. But if you say it out of nowhere, you'll catch him off guard, and you'll get a more honest reaction. I wouldn't blurt this out in public or when you're with friends, but do it at another time. Out of nowhere, say, "Are you cheating on me?" then look at his face and watch his reaction. If he's cheating, you will more than likely catch something there. And if he starts sputtering and can't think of something to say, well... that's shady AF, man. Source: iStock
Switch Up Your Routine To See His ReactionDo you and your boyfriend have a pretty specific routine you follow? You know, you hang out on Mondays and Wednesdays, but you never see each other on Saturdays. You talk at 11PM every night, but then you're asleep by midnight. Stuff like that. If you do, try changing that routine. Say, "Can we hang out on Tuesday instead?" or "Can I call you back?" and see his reaction. If he can't seem to possibly work around it and his excuse isn't legitimate, something could be going on. Of course, it would have to happen a few times for you to be sure. Source: iStock
If He Keeps Lying, Present It As Fact Rather Than A QuestionOkay, so now I'm about to get into the things you should do only if you are pretty sure your boyfriend is cheating, but you also think he's lying to you. Here's the first one! There are some guys who will lie to their girlfriend over and over and over again, and they will lie well. I watched a guy lie to his girlfriend in an incredibly convincing way many times, and it was honestly a little scary. If you suspect your boyfriend is lying to your face when you ask if he's cheating, then switch up the way you ask. Instead of saying, "are you cheating on me?" make up your own white lie. Say, "My friend saw you with another girl" or "I saw your text." See his reaction - you'll be able to tell if you're onto something. Of course, this is not an easy way to find something out. There is always the chance that this will totally backfire, which is why you have to be careful about it. Don't say something specific, like, "My friend saw you with a girl at the movies." Just say, "A friend told me they saw you with another girl. What's going on?" Keeping it more vague gives you a better chance of finding something out. ALSO, only do this if you're good at lying! If you can't get it out in a convincing manner, they're going to know. And lastly, please don't do this if you aren't sure he might be cheating. If you lie like this to a guy who isn't cheating on you, he's going to, rightly, get pissed. Be careful with this one! Source: iStock
Ask A Friend Of Theirs You're Close WithLike I said: this is something you should do if you're almost positive he's cheating and you're also almost positive he's been lying to your face. If you're comfortable with any of his friends, consider asking them if something is going on. This is... a tricky situation. Their friend is more than likely going to stick up for them and lie to you. You're putting them in a weird spot. But if you guys are also friendly and they're a decent person, you might be able to tell if they're lying too. Again, please be careful with this. If you don't really think your boyfriend is cheating and you haven't talked to him first, and you jump straight to asking his friend... well, things are going to get weird and probably pretty bad. Source: iStock
Pick Up On Subtle Changes and Try To Find A PatternIf you think your BF is cheating, it's easy to start to pay attention to every little thing and drive yourself crazy. So, again, only do this detective work if you're really sure he's doing it - not just if you're jealous and he's insisting he's never done anything wrong in a sincere way. There are a lot of little signs that someone might be cheating, but a lot of us are conditioned to look for the big signs - random texts, being blown off, a lack of hooking up. Start looking for small changes, like, for example, if your boyfriend starts to use a new phrase you've never heard before. Or if he suddenly likes something new in bed out of nowhere. Or if he suddenly won't go with you to this one place you've been to before. Pay attention, and try to see if you can find a pattern - but please don't drive yourself crazy. Source: iStock
Ask The Person You Think He's Cheating WithIf you think your bae is cheating on you with someone specific, like this girl he works with, and you're really almost positive it's happening, then maybe you should consider asking her. Sometimes you'll have better luck, because the person who is cheating with your bae might actually feel more guilt about lying to you than they do. It sounds effed up because it is, but not every person cheating with someone is a terrible human being. Sometimes they messed up and don't know how to get out of it. And sometimes, they don't even know the person is in a relationship. If you're pretty sure it's happening, ask. Source: iStock
Stop By UnexpectedlyI hate encouraging anyone to snoop around in a way that is invasive and anxiety inducing, but sometimes a little detective work is necessary. If you're almost positive your bae is doing something shady, then just try innocently stopping by their house when they don't expect it. Show up to say hi or to surprise them, and see what they're doing. You might stumble upon something, you might not. It's not a perfect method, but... it's a last resort. Source: iStock
Go With Your GutIf you have a real gut feeling that your partner is being unfaithful, even if they've sworn they aren't, then I don't know, girl... I advise going with your gut. If it's telling you something like this, there just might be a real reason. You have to listen to yourself sometimes, because gut feelings exist for a reason - as hard as that might be. Source: iStock
Snoop A Little - But Only As A Last ResortOkay, so, I hate snooping. Looking through your BF's phone is a terrible idea. Reading their private emails and messages... it's not okay. It's not acceptable for a healthy relationship. But if something's going on and you're, like, 100 percent sure he's cheating, then glance at a text. This should ONLY be used as a last resort, as something you do if you know he's cheating but just need hard evidence, and he won't come clean. Please do not do this regularly! It is so stressful and it is not healthy behavior. I can't say that enough. Source: iStock
Do you think your bae is cheating on you? How would you find out? Share in the comments.