Catching someone "in the act" may be the only surefire way to diagnose a cheater. But, unfortunately, plenty of unfaithful people are sneaky enough to get away with it for a long time. That's why it's smart to know the things you didn't realize are signs of cheating.
In a perfect world, people who are into monogamy would pair up and the people who aren't into monogamy could pursue open relationships. Everyone could be up-front and honest about their desires, and then no one would get hurt. Cue the unicorns and rainbows.
Unfortunately, the real world does not work out so neatly. Although there are plenty of theories about why people cheat, the fact remains that it sucks to be cheated on in a relationship. Therefore, it's smart to be on the lookout for these clues (without letting the fear of cheating totally overrun your relationship).
The signs may seem as innocuous as a bunch of unexpected presents and some sudden mood swings. Or it may be as subtle as trusting your gut feeling. Whatever the case, hopefully you and your SO will be able to address the problems and work through them. But hopefully, none of these signs will crop up in your relationship.
If you have nothing to hide, then there's no problem in leaving your cell phone laying about. So if your partner suddenly gets really guarded about a cell phone, Huffington Post noted that this may be a sign of cheating.
Are you suddenly showered with gifts from your SO? According to Today, sometimes cheaters buy their partners gifts out of guilt. If this is a new behavior, you may want to take notice.
Did you come across a Facebook message that seems more flirty than friendly? It may be a red flag. As noted by Reader's Digest, many cheaters are now found out on social media. Your SO's messages may reveal what you need to know.
If your SO is constantly picking fights or needing time alone to sulk, then this may point to an affair. According to Your Tango, persons who are cheating are prone to unpredictable behavior and mood swings. They may act out of character completely.
Is your partner taking forever to text or call back? According to Cosmopolitan, if someone is lousy at keeping in touch with you, it may be because they're juggling more than one love interest at once — without being above-board with anyone. And you have exactly zero time for that nonsense.
Sure, you may be thrilled when you partner throws out those old ratty jeans in favor of more tailored clothes. But this may not be the best sign for your relationship. As noted in the Huffington Post, if your partner takes a sudden interest in dressing better and working out more, there may be someone else to impress. Take note.
If you and your partner share finances, have you noticed a sudden and unexplained outflow of cash? This is basically never a good sign, but as noted in Women's Health, that money may be going toward the wooing of another person.
Is your partner suddenly fuzzy-brained and prone to forgetting about you? According to Love Panky, a partner who acts confused about what's going on when you aren't there is potentially covering up an affair. Or, if the memory problems are legit, it's time to get to a doctor for a checkup.
If your SO compares you (unfavorably) to other women, then this is just a bad sign. And according to Redbook, such comparisons to other women may mean he's thinking about those ladies in a more-than-friendly way. It's a gross habit all around.
It's a cliche because it's true. As noted in the Daily Mail, taking longer work days or even traveling for the job may point toward an affair. Is there really a work meeting at 8:00 p.m.?
Trusting your gut is almost always the best idea. If you feel like something is up with your SO, even if you can't quite put your finger on it, then chances are you and your partner are due for a serious conversation. Your suspicions are often correct.