Your SO used to set their phone on the bathroom counter while going through their bedtime skincare routine, but now they keep it in the pocket of their sweatpants. They used to leave their phone right on your nightstand, and now they slip it under their pillow when sleeping at your place. If you notice that they no longer leave their phone out for you to see, Dr. Brown says that could indicate that there are conversations with someone else that they’re trying to hide.
Of course, we all have different habits when it comes to having our phones on us. Some of us may put it in our pocket without even thinking about it. The point is, if bae used to be nonchalant about leaving theirs out, and now they seem to be more protective of it, that’s shady behavior that could be related to cheating.
It’s important to note that while all of these behaviors may point to possible cheating, there’s no way to tell for sure if your SO if being unfaithful simply by noticing these changes in habits. So, if you observe one or more of these, experts agree it’s time to have an honest talk with your partner about what you’re noticing.
“The sooner you know, the sooner you can work it out (or move on),” explains Trombetti.
Dr. Brown advises remaining non-accusatory and non-judgmental during this conversation.
“Let them know that you are observing some different behaviors, and ask them how they are doing,” he says. “You want to start off assuming their good will until and if there is a reason not to trust them.”
If they seem evasive or you don't trust their response, Dr. Brown suggests asking them more directly if they are seeing someone else.
“You will really need to pay attention to not only the words that they use but also the tone of their voice and their facial expressions,” he adds. “That is why you must have this conversation in person and not over text. You also want to make sure that the environment offers some privacy so you want to do this and at a time and place that offers the best opportunity to process what you both say and hear.”
Being suspicious that your SO is cheating can be highly distressing, and while looking out for some of these signs may help you to figure out whether there’s any validity to your hunch, they aren’t sufficient evidence on their own. Revealing your concerns to your boo is the best way to honor your bond: It allows you an opportunity to clear up any possible misconceptions or unwarranted fears, and it allows them the opportunity to explain their change in behavior and ideally, do whatever it takes to maintain your trust.