Hello, all you sneaky “detectives” who literally belong in the FBI. Welcome to an article dedicated solely to subtle signs your boyfriend could be cheating on you.
We see you and know that if you wanted to dig up some dirt or evidence on your boyfriend, you probably have the means to do so. But maybe you’re just feeling slightly uneasy about something your boyfriend is doing—or he’s just acting super suss.
Good news for you: We’ve already spoken with 12 dating experts who lay down some subtle, not-so-obvious signs a guy could be cheating on you.
But remember, the definition of cheating is subjective to who you ask. Some people may not consider micro-cheating an actual, legit problem, and others would consider following a new person on IG full-on cheating. Basically, it’s probs best to get on the same page with your S.O. about what “cheating” means before you call them out for any of the below.
And full disclosure, make sure your partner is ticking off multiple boxes here (key word: multiple) before calling them out. If there’s only one thing that really hits home, it’s worth bringing up in a conversation, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cheating. Talk it out.
1. You get ads for sketchy things that you didn’t search for.
For all of you living with your partner (or just quarantined together rn), it’s likely you use the same Internet router—which would also mean you share the same IP address across multiple devices in the household. What this means: Brands may retarget your phone based on prior Google searches or site visits… so if an ad for Ashley Madison pops up, or a product that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary for both of you is suddenly a targeted ad on Instagam, “It may have been triggered by your partner’s secret searches, and could be cause for alarm,” says dating coach Damona Hoffman, host of Dates & Mates podcast.
2. They use ‘Close Friends’ on Instagram… and you’re not included.
“Obviously if your partner isn’t following you on social media, that’s a pretty big red flag. But now that apps are allowing the creation of different lists and groups, it could indicate cheating if your partner isn’t including you in those lists,” says relationship coach Jonathan Bennett, CEO of Double Trust Dating.
3. There are long periods of radio silence.
You guys, it’s 2020. Who is really hangin’ without their phone for longer than five minutes? “If your partner doesn’t respond for a long time with no good reason, it could indicate cheating—especially if they are usually very responsive other times,” says Bennett.
4. They’re smiling at their phone often.
If a dog meme isn’t the thing on their cellular device eliciting that pearly-white smile, it’s a sign they’re getting a message from someone…who isn’t you… that’s also making them supes happy, says Bennett.
5. They are frequently accusing you of cheating.
“This may be a sign of their insecurities and the fact that they’re actually the one cheating on you,” says Joe Flanagan, lead developer at GetSongbpm.
6. They suddenly have a password on their phone.
If they didn’t before, it’s not necessarily ideal that they do now. “They might make up a few excuses for doing this, telling you that they’ll fix it, but they never do,” says Flanagan.
7. Sudden unexplained affection and appreciation for you.
“This may sound odd or even paranoid, but sometimes when your partner, who has been annoyed and angry with you for a while, mysteriously becomes nice and apologetic, they may actually be cheating on you,” says marriage and family therapist, Lauren O’Connell. Why? Because they’re “acting out their anger, frustration, and disappointment with you by seeing someone else, which then turns into guilt with you,” she explains.
8. They turn off “Find My Friends.”
If you normally share your location with each other and suddenly it’s turned off periodically or permanently, that could be a sign, says O’Connell.
9. They no longer charge their phone on their bedside table.
Look, it doesn’t matter where they charge their phone…but it does if they used to consecutively charge their phone beside them before bed, but are now charging it in the kitchen. That could mean cheating, says O’Connell.
10. The bathroom is becoming their fave place.
It could mean cheating if they “suddenly start going to the bathroom to brush their teeth or take a shower before greeting you when they come home,” O’Connell confirms.