You’ve met someone new and the two of you click. They do all the right things, like text you regularly and plan fun dates. Yet, for some reason, your gut says something's off about them. Maybe it's how they go MIA in the evening or hide their social media. You could be sensing that they're not as available as they claim to be, and they've, in effect, made you a side piece. If you feel like the person you're involved with is being shady, knowing which dating behaviors might mean someone’s cheating with you can be a game-changer. If someone's actively hiding another relationship, are there signs you can pick up on? "Yes, absolutely," Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakup bOOST podcast, tells Elite Daily. "People who are cheating can only hide this type of behavior for so long."
Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author ofThe Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, agrees. "There are usually tell-tale signs if someone’s cheating with you — they can be subtle, but they're there," she tells Elite Daily. So, if your instincts are telling you something's up, here's what to be on the lookout for if you want to know if someone's stepping out with you.
1. Their Phone Behavior Is Suspicious.
If you want to know if someone you’re dating could be hiding another relationship, Dorell says to pay attention to patterns that happen when they call you. If you find that they're unavailable in the evenings, that could be a sign they're hiding something, she explains. “If you can only get in touch with them during daytime hours and rarely on weekends, chances are high that they're with their significant other,” says Dorell.
The other phone call behavior to keep an eye out for is someone who only calls you when they're on-the-go. If they only call you “while they're out walking or in their car and seldom from home,” says Leckie, there's a chance they do so because they might live with a partner.
2. You Haven’t Met Their Inner Circle.
Meeting someone’s inner circle and introducing them to yours is an important rite of passage in a relationship. So, if you feel like the person you're dating is keeping you completely compartmentalized, Dorell says to take note. “This could be a sign that you are the 'other woman,’” she warns.
3. They're Particular About Where You Spend Time Together.
Where you spend your time with someone can also offer hints as to whether or not you're the only one in their life. For example, if they never allow you to see where they live and insist on meeting at your place or a hotel, Leckie says this could be a sign they're hiding you.
Also, if their home is off-limits, they could be hiding someone from you, adds Dorell. “If they're cheating with you, chances are high they won't want to bring you home in case their main person comes home or you see pictures of their other relationship,” she explains
4. They Pop In And Out Of Your Life.
While everyone's busy from time to time, if someone you're dating rarely makes time to spend with you, or they only can carve out an hour or two at a time, Leckie says this may be a hint they're dividing their time up between two people. “[Someone who's cheating with you may] kind of just pop by for an hour or two here and there. They might even completely disappear on the weekends and rarely spend the night — if at all,” she explains.
5. Special Occasions Are Off Limits.
One of the best things about being in a relationship is getting to spend the important moments together, like birthdays and holidays. If someone you’re dating makes it clear they're unavailable, or just goes MIA on those days, Leckie says that could mean something's up. “They're never with you on [holidays] because they're with their main partner,” she warns.
6. They’re Secretive About Social Media.
Finally, if someone you're dating forbids you from posting about them on social media without a good explanation, Leckie says that’s another major red flag. The same goes if they prevent you from seeing their social media profiles.
What To Do If You Suspect They’re Cheating With You.
If some or all of this is resonating, it may be time to take action and find out if the person you're dating isn't being honest about their relationship status. Dorell says changing up your current patterns could be enough to provide you with the information you need. “For example, if you can never get ahold of them after 5 p.m., you can choose to leave a voicemail at that time or text. Keep it light and stop replying to their messages during the day,” she says. “Interrupt the pattern and see what happens. This is particularly effective if you've already decided that you're prepared to leave the relationship.”
If you favor a more direct route, Leckie suggests just straightforwardly asking them and observing how they respond. “Tell them you need to start going out and doing things together and see how they react. They may even ghost you if they feel you're catching onto them," she says. "Know that if you ask them, though, chances are good they'll lie unless you catch them red-handed — and even then, they may lie. Don’t expect people who are living a lie to tell you the truth.”
Ultimately, the experts say your gut may be your best defense in a situation like this. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not. If it feels shady, it is,” says Leckie. And if your instincts are all telling you they're seeing someone else, her advice is to cut them loose. “Don’t allow yourself to be used. Don’t buy into their obvious lies and excuses. Walk away from these situations and don’t look back,” she concludes.
Most of all, don’t internalize their bad behavior, says Dorell. What they're doing says everything about them and nothing about you. “Them choosing to cheat with you has nothing to do with your worth or lovability,” she explains. “If you were unaware it was happening, forgive yourself and move on. There'll be someone else out there who'll be available and open to making you their priority.”
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast