Relationships // November 18, 2013

So if you clicked this article, you’re either A) bored at work and looking for something interesting, B) a weirdo like me who is just super fascinated by anything dating related or C) you actually suspect your boyfriend might be cheating on you.

If it was “ding ding ding” Letter C for you, first off, I’m sorry, and secondly, I have to tell you that if you really do suspect he is cheating, he probably is cheating.

When it comes to knowing whether or not your boyfriend is cheating, the first thing you have to go with is that ever-present gut instinct of yours. We girls like to think the best of people and sometimes ignore the obvious signs, or act like our gut instinct doesn’t exist. But if we get real with ourselves, we know to trust that instinct -- because it is usually spot on.

If you have that feeling in your gut, here are a few signs he may be cheating (note that these aren’t all individually indicative, but when the majority of these things seem to happen together … you have to wonder. It’s like that old phrase, “If it looks like a dog, walks like a dog, and barks like a dog, then it’s a dog.” ... And in this article, yes, dog stands for douche bag dude):

  • He can’t “say your name”—He steps outside or walks into a different room to take a phone call if you’re around.
  • He has an excuse for everything—You catch him in situations that are strange and his explanations about them just seem off. Example: Your guy says he was out with his friends last night and when you ask him about it, he is weird about giving you more details. If it doesn’t make sense, there’s probably a lie somewhere!
  • He is acting extra defensive for no reason and starts arguments where normally there wouldn’t be one.
  • He is acting standoffish and needs more space. More and more things going on in his life seem to be “none of your business.”
  • He starts acting less interested in you—stops saying the sweet things to compliment you and make you feel like the only woman in his life. This also applies to the bedroom—if your sex life has taken a noticeable nosedive and when you try to get him in the mood, he doesn’t want to have sex, there may be a problem.
  • He starts distancing himself emotionally—putting on the moves to try and get you to break up with him (because he may be too cowardly/guilty to do it himself and admit his mistake.)
  • Your communication seems to be way off—conversation is a lot more difficult than usual and you notice he’s not making an effort to talk with you or ask about your life, etc.
  • He starts hesitating when talking about the future with you, when it used to be something you both enjoyed musing about. Ex: There are very few of those, “Aw our kids are going to have your eyes and my smile” comments or, “It’ll be so crazy to see Europe with you one day.” This is a sign that he doesn’t see you in his future and he may avoid making future plans with you entirely.
  • You have plans and they consistently get pushed back. Ex: He was supposed to meet your parents and for some reason, something keeps coming up every time you plan it.
  • He doesn’t invite you along to spend time with his friends the way he used to.
  • He’s unavailable and hard to reach for extended periods of time where he used to be much more available and transparent with you.
  • He starts finding faults and criticizing you where he didn’t before. (This is to make him feel less guilty for what he did by putting you down. He wants to make you feel bad, just because he feels like crap himself. And yes, he is a piece of crap if he cheated on you.)
  • His appearance significantly changes and he no longer looks like the person you’re used to dating. This new look could accompany other new, out-of-place things about him. For example, he may have a total new taste in music. He may be looking to fit in/impress someone else.
  • He accuses YOU of cheating on HIM. He thinks that maybe he isn’t as bad of a person if he questions you. It makes you, the girlfriend, the subject of attention and wrongdoing instead of him. (Guys are dumb sometimes.)
  • He stops saying “I love you” or dodges your “I love yous” and changes the subject.
  • He says he wants to take a break and take some time for himself without good reason. (Usually this means he wants to be able to test-drive other women.) Note: if he does want a break, make sure you understand the terms of your relationship, and whether or not you are still exclusive during this time period. Either way, know that this may be a time where he isn’t exclusive and know that this “break” may be an easy way out for him or as a result of something he did -- like cheating. It is statistically rare that people come back from breaks and remain in successful, monogamous, long-term relationships.

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So, when it comes down to it, if many of these signs are present, it may be time for you to let your gut make the decision for you. If you feel like you have to scroll through your boyfriend’s phone or dart into his email inbox while he’s in the shower, you’re doing it for a reason. Be a confident woman and know your value and worth. If the signs are there, you owe it to yourself to get real with the situation, find out answers, and move on!

Published in Relationships