It's safe to say no one likes to imagine a partner cheating, because it's an incredibly painful experience. Having your trust broken that way can ruin a relationship like nothing else. So watching out for the one thing your partner will do if they are thinking about cheating is wise. Unlike many of the old-school tips about detecting cheating, this one is totally modern.
If your partner's cell phone behavior changes suddenly and dramatically with no apparent explanation, then take note. Something is different in their daily routine, and you probably want to know what's up. For so many people, the phone is basically an extension of their life.
That said, there are many different ways infidelity can show up in cell phone use. First, pay attention if your SO is suddenly texting all time time, but not with you. "Of the infidelity cases I've dealt with in the past several years, the vast majority started out as 'innocent' texting between opposite-sex friends or acquaintances," said marriage author & conflict specialist Debra Macleod in HuffPost. What's the deal with this new texting buddy, really? Try to have a conversation about the texter, who is hopefully just an old friend, and not a potential affair partner.
Next, take note if your laid-back SO is suddenly super obsessed with cell phone privacy. "One clue is that their cell phone will be glued to their hands and their text and call history will always be clean," said relationship coach Chris Armstrong in Bustle. This may be evidence that your partner is covering up any evidence of a potential affair. On the other hand, dating a phone-obsessed person is its own kind of nightmare even when no cheating is occurring, so take that into consideration as well.
Also notice whether your partner is physically protective of the phone, and goes out the way to keep it from you. "I had one client whose husband slept with his cell phone locked, under his pillow,” said private investigator Daniel Gomez in HuffPost. Even a super-chill partner would probably find this sort of behavior a little suspicious.
It's also important to refrain from going overboard with this info, however. And even though it's super tempting, going through your partner's locked phone may not be a smart (or even legal) move. "If he's not aware that you know his password, and you have to unlock and open a series of apps on his phone while he's asleep to find what you're looking for, you've probably crossed the line at that point and have wrongfully invaded his privacy," said Judge Dana Cutler in Shape. If the suspicious phone behavior has you concerned, then have an open and sincere discussion about it. There could be a legit explanation for the change in behavior, but if cheating is the goal, then you can discuss it honestly.
So does this mean you should just hand over your unlocked cell phone to every Tinder date as a gesture of goodwill? Absolutely not. In the end, it's up to each couple to decide how much cell phone transparency is appropriate for the relationship.