Afraid your girlfriend is cheating on you? It’s a terrible feeling, but you’re not alone.
According to a study conducted by the University of South Alabama, anyone who has a cheating history (even if it was in a previous relationship), may cheat on you again. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try again with someone. You just shouldn’t give them another chance.
Another thing to consider is that while introverted people are less inclined to put themselves out there and hit on everyone they meet, they are more likely to accept it if someone does.
The smell of someone else’s perfume Unsavory texting habits late evenings at work on a regular basis. You may believe you can spot the signals that she’s cheating, but experts warn it’s not as simple as you think.
According to research, men are more prone than women to cheat, but here’s the thing: that gap? It is, indeed, steadily closing. Men aren’t having fewer affairs, but women are cheating more frequently than they used to (thanks to women’s superior ability to conceal their betrayals).
To this point, according to a 2019 study, women are far better at spotting dishonest men than men are at seeing cheating women. Researchers found that both men and women could tell when a man was being dishonest, but men had a harder time figuring out when a woman was lying.
What are your options now? It’s clear that you need to take a step back and enhance your awareness of what’s going on in your relationship. Fortunately, we chatted with two experts to learn what warning signals to look for.
The Difference Between Emotional and Physical Cheating
Any act that involves physical contact with someone of the opposing sex is considered physical infidelity. Some couples may consider this to be having intercourse, although many others would agree that kissing or caressing someone counts. Emotional cheating, on the other hand, entails forming a strong bond with someone who is not in the relationship. This usually entails seeking emotional support from that person rather than from the partner.
When you start sharing your hopes, dreams, fears, and joys with others, you are investing in them rather than your primary relationship. You have definitely broken the trust in your relationship when you share private details about your relationship and trash your partner. This type of cheating is tough because you convince yourself that it’s not physical.
Emotional infidelity might be more difficult to detect because it tends to progress slowly over time. Experts believe, however, that it can be just as destructive, if not more so, than actual cheating.
What Is Micro-Cheating, Exactly?
Micro-cheating became popular in the last decade as social media and other forms of technology became increasingly common. It refers to small, seemingly harmless things that, as the term suggests, fall in the gray area between being faithful and not being faithful.
Keeping a dating app profile (even if you’re not going on dates), sending seductive DMs or social media remarks, or secretly chatting with an ex are all examples of micro-cheating.
Unfortunately, micro-cheating is relatively easy to accomplish these days. Many people have dating apps that don’t require much information or a credit card to use, and they may maintain them merely to look at them.
Of course, if they aren’t literally physically or emotionally cheating on their partner, some people may assume there is nothing innately wrong with their behaviors and conduct. Last, you and your partner are the only ones who can agree on what “micro-cheating” means.
Telltale Signs She’s Cheating
While cheating is a lot easier nowadays, being caught is also much easier. When it comes to infidelity, there are a few things to keep an eye out for.
She has a new texting companion
You were once the reason she was constantly glued to her phone, DMing humorous memes and texting back and forth. However, if you notice that your partner has been staring at her phone a lot lately while maintaining discretion, it could mean that there’s someone new in their life who is occupying their attention.
Infidelity can lead to an increase in emotional intimacy. A new connection that is not described and conducted in secret can raise red flags.
Sure, she could be messaging her sister or best friend, but if she appears overly enthusiastic about the conversations that are taking up her time, that could be a warning sign.
She’s Harder to Reach
It’s one thing if your partner has always been difficult to reach throughout the workday, but if your typical lunchtime conversations start going to voicemail, that’s a change worth noting. This is especially scary if your partner won’t talk to you at certain times of the day or night and doesn’t seem to have a good reason.
If you notice you can’t reach them, I recommend bringing it up. There’s a risk they’re trying to hide something from you if they can’t explain why or are continually making dubious excuses like leaving their charger at home or putting their phone on silent.
She Is Putting In Extra Effort Into Her Appearance
Take notice if she’s suddenly started working out, wearing more cosmetics, and/or looking sexier. Of course, just because you decide to work out or dress differently does not mean your partner is cheating on you. Whether they suddenly put a lot more effort into their appearance and it has nothing to do with when you spend time together or go on dates, you might wonder if they’re attempting to impress someone else.
- She’s taken up a new hobby that she previously despised
Remember how you were immediately interested in anything your new love interest was interested in? If she seems to have suddenly developed a new interest in something, it could be a sign that someone new has entered her life.
You might wonder why she started watching sports, listening to a new form of music, or signing up for cooking classes when she previously had no interest in any of these activities. Sure, she could simply be pursuing new interests, or she could be influenced by someone else.
- She continues to pick fights with you for no apparent reason
It’ll be more difficult to compete with her if she’s in the honeymoon phase of falling in love with or hooking up with someone new.
It’s possible that you’re being compared to the individual with whom they’re cheating. Of course, you’re getting the short end of the stick because she still has stars in her eyes for the other person, who appears to be wonderful.
- She is more protective of her phone
Take note of how she acts while she’s on her phone or when you go into her room while she’s on her laptop. If she quickly puts her devices away, turns them off, or covers the screen, it’s a big red flag that she’s trying to keep something from you. It’s generally not a good thing unless she’s throwing you a surprise party.
- She’s more shut down than she’s ever been
Although not everyone in a relationship exhibits the same level of emotional openness, if your partner used to often express their thoughts and feelings to you, something may be wrong.
When your partner is no longer emotionally available and other symptoms are present, it can be a red flag for cheating.
Finally, the best way to tell if any of these indications indicate infidelity is to trust your instincts.
You are probably correct if you feel something is odd but can’t put your finger on it.
What to Do If You Suspect She’s Cheating
The only way to know for sure if your lover is being unfaithful is to confront them directly. However, setting the correct tone for a difficult conversation is critical. After all, you don’t want to make potentially damaging claims against someone if it turns out they’re completely innocent. I recommend finding a time and a place where there are no distractions and you can both give your whole focus to the topic at hand.
Consider how you would want to be treated or approached in a similar situation. Find the best time to talk to someone (not before a big job presentation, family event, or other important situation) when you have time to share your feelings and hopefully hear theirs as well.
You can bring up some of the habits you’ve noticed that are bothering you once you’ve set aside some time to address them. Ask questions rather than making assertions to keep the conversation respectful, concentrating on how their behaviors make you feel.
- “I’ve noticed you haven’t been sharing much with me recently, and it’s making me feel detached from you,” you might add.
- Is there any reason for this?
- Alternately When I walk into the room, it appears like you quickly hide your phone, which concerns me.
- What’s up with that? and more.
The more level-headed you can remain, regardless of how they reply, the better.
That way, you can absorb her explanation and decide whether or not you want to pursue a relationship with her. You have to figure out if she is sorry for what she did, asking for forgiveness, or planning to change the way she acts.
If your partner is micro-cheating, they may not even realize they have crossed a line. Consider this the ideal opportunity to establish clear boundaries in your relationship about what is and isn’t acceptable.
There are usually two sides to every story, so consider giving your partner the benefit of the doubt until you hear their side of things.
Jumping to conclusions is not only bad for your mental and emotional health, but it can also be bad for your relationship.