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It’s never any fun when you start to suspect your partner of messing around. No matter who does the deed, cheating has wreaked havoc on many on a once-wonderful union. If you’re starting to think it’s happening to you, these signs will either allay your fears or confirm the worst. But before accusations and paranoia start flying around, just remember one very boring but very important thing: a beautiful relationship is built on trust, honesty, and freedom. So when you’re not sure, talk to her, and give her the benefit of the doubt.
1. It’s no longer “we”
We adore independent women. Their independence is their right, it’s part of what we fell in love with, and it’s important to anyone’s sanity. If you’re a couple who have always used “we”, though, and she’s now starting to say “you” and “I”, it’s a subtle yet clear message that you’re no longer the rock-solid union you used to be. She no longer thinks in terms of the two of you together, which might mean that she’s thinking in terms of someone else entirely.
2. She picks and picks at everything you do
Want to know how to make breaking up with someone a little bit easier? Just tell yourself that you’re in the right. People who are cheating on their partners, or are about to break up with them, will often find the slightest faults in every little thing that the other person says or does. It’s partly guilt, and partly a natural defense mechanism to make themselves feel better for their actions.
3. She’s acting like a GPS tracker
There’s a number one trick to cheating: don’t get caught. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to make sure your partner is never there to see you in the act. Which is why all of a sudden she’s started to be really interested in where you’re going to be during the day, at what time, and for how long. It’s so she can make absolutely certain she won’t be there too.
4. She’s avoiding your questions
“What’s that?” she shouts over the timely clatter of washing up. “Just gotta go to the store,” she says, cutting you off mid-sentence. “Not now, The Bachelor’s on” – just as you are about to lay bare your heart. Sounds familiar? Time to start digging.
5. She’s staying late at work. A lot.
Business trips, office parties, tight project deadlines – if these start to pop-up more and more often, there’s definitely something up. Especially if she’s just a pool lifeguard. But seriously, it’s one of the classic cheating symptoms, and is either 100% true or 100% false. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to check.
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6. She’s throwing smoke bombs
We can’t be too upset about this one – it’s straight out of the cheating-dude playbook. Basically, if you don’t want anyone to start questioning your activities, you start throwing down enough accusations and misdirections to distract them and make them focus on something else. It could be anything from making drama out of nothing, to wild and uncharacteristically irrational gestures. A classic man-move, and well played.
7. She’s not sharing with you
Cheating isn’t just restricted to the physical act. Sometimes, forming an intense emotional bond with someone else can be just as dangerous, and ultimately just as heartbreaking. And how do these kinds of bonds form? By opening up to someone else. If she’s not sharing her highs, lows, and in-betweens with you, trust us – she’s sharing them with someone else. Hopefully for you they’re just a friend.
8. She can’t commit
The old cliché about women wanting commitment and men running away isn’t just for Hollywood rom-coms – it’s quite often true. But if you’re a long-term kind of guy, you’ll find an unfaithful partner will quickly turn those tables. Now she doesn’t want to talk about the future, or commit to sticking around. She could have somewhere else in mind.
9. You’ve cheated on her
We don’t want to start pointing fingers here, but if you’ve ever cheated on her, there’s a good chance – and good reason – that she might return the favor. It’s not revenge, really. It’s more the fact that any infidelity will damage a relationship, and unless it’s repaired then it will be open to more pain.
10. Her friends list is full of strange new people
Any social butterfly or worker in a big company will constantly be making new friends. And there’s nothing wrong with having some fresh faces and people to hang out with. But generally, if there’s new people who seem to take up a lot of her time (and news feed), and there’s no explanation or invitation to meet them, you’ve got a reason to get suspicious.
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11. The bedroom’s now just for sleeping
Unless you’ve been married for forty years, no intimate relationship is complete without a healthy sex life. Sure, they slow down and get into a rut over time, but that doesn’t mean you’re still not enjoying each other’s bodies. But if the interest stops dead – we’re talking flat out refusal, night after night – there’s either a more serious relationship problem or she’s getting her kicks somewhere else. Either one could be a symptom or a cause, and either one spells out T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
12. She’s not gazing dreamily into your eyes
Eyes. The doorway into the soul. As The Eagles knew, if you’re lyin’, you can’t hide it in your eyes. And it’s true – they really do say a lot more than slippery words ever can. Does she no longer meet yours? When she talks to you, are they smiling, or glazed over? Or are they flitting about the bar, looking for a better match?
13. Her phone’s getting more love than you are
This is – how do we put it – more of a global problem than one just restricted to cheaters. Everyone these days is ignoring everyone else in order to pretend to talk to everyone else. It’s a strange situation when four people together in a bar are spending their time silently and furiously messaging people who aren’t in the bar, but you’re not alone, buddy. If she’s doing it while you’re trying to have a romantic picnic, it might be time to literally and metaphorically pack things up – whether or not she’s cheating.
14. You’re seeing less and less of her
Do you remember the time that you didn’t need an appointment to see her? When the two of you could hang out, with no prior planning or need to be anywhere? If it’s still like that, then congratulations – she’s a keeper. But if it’s proving frustratingly hard to find a spare spontaneous second with your lady, then she’s either got a lot on her plate right now, or she’s found another way to spend her quality time.
15. She’s starting to really bring up relationship problems
Communication is the key to every successful relationship, but sometimes it can be a double-edged sword. If she tells you that she’s unhappy with the relationship, for example, it’s usually a sign that something needs to change. But it also could be a thick hint that she’s justifying something (or someone!) that she’s done, or soon to do. There’s only one way to find out, unfortunately – keep talking.
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16. Her Fitbit is getting a workout
This is a weird one, and we’re going to say upfront that it’s probably not a totally, 100%, reliable indicator. But studies performed by the UCLA have found that women who are looking for new partners walk around more than women who aren’t. There’s no explanation, really, except that they might be trying to lose weight. Which could be for your sake too, we suppose.
17. She’s had a big makeover
If you’ve been dating for a while, it’s understandable that things might get comfortable. Where once she might have worn flashy new clothes and the latest accessories to impress you, now she’s into ratty old pajamas and bed hair. So if she’s suddenly dressing special again, it might not be intended for you. Unfortunately, she’s probably trying to catch someone else’s eye.
18. She’s started to hide her phone
Not just her phone, either, but her computer and diary too. Often it’s the simplest signs that are the most obvious. Has she changed her passwords recently? Is she quickly closing browser tabs when you enter the room, like a teenager looking up dirty pics? To be fair, she could be in the process of doing some grand and secretive romantic gesture, like buying you that Jaguar you always wanted. On the other hand, she could be having an affair.
19. She gets defensive
We’re pretty sure we saw this on an episode of Law & Order. There’s one surefire way to tell if a suspect is guilty: if instead of getting angry, they get defensive. Now, we’re not suggesting that you start a cross-examination here, but if your simple questions start to get wildly defensive responses, it could be time to start digging a little deeper.
20. There’s some new sexy underwear
When there’s a chance that the night will turn hot and heavy, some women don’t want to be caught out wearing any old underwear. It’s not just for the guys – sexy underwear will make them feel hotter and more desirable. If you spot a few pairs of lacy new things in the drawer (and you’re sure they’re not to spice up your relationship), it’s a good sign that she’s expecting to get frisky in another bedroom.
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21. She no longer wants to see your family and friends
When a relationship melts down, your family and mutual friends are often caught in the crossfire. Often they have to take sides, or try and console both parties, or are simply witnesses to some uncomfortable secrets. No-one wants to involve the people you love into things like that, so if she’s pulling away from them, it could be a hint that she’s ready to split.
22. She doesn’t care anymore
Men all over the world will complain about their partners and their so-called nagging. At every turn, they feel like she’s making the biggest fusses over the tiniest detail, like being there when your child is born. But look at it the other way. What if she didn’t care at all? When every one of your mistakes doesn’t even raise an eyebrow, maybe it’s trouble. Maybe she’s moved on to something more worthwhile.
23. You’re the clingy one
This is the ultimate vicious circle of relationships: the more insecure and clingy you get, the more they’ll pull away, and the more you’ll try to hold on. It’s the delicate balance we all face, especially if we’re confronted with the thought that they might be cheating. If you’re insecure, they might back away and start actually cheating. If you’re not, they might think they can walk all over you. But your brain has a fine-tuned sensor – if you’re starting to feel clingy when you’re usually not, chances are there’s something wrong.
24. She keeps going missing
If it’s been a month since you heard from her last, it’s fair to say that it’s probably over. Even if it’s just a few days at a time with no word and no explanation, it’s still looking a little suss. Not that you have to know where she is at all times. But if she’s the type that’s glued to her phone, and you’re not getting any of the updates? Put up those “Missing” posters.
25. Her plans don’t include you
When you’ve stopped getting invitations from her to far-off dates like weddings and birthdays, there’s three possible reasons. Either your jokes have been terrible lately, or no-one in the world is having a birthday, or she’s planning to dump you. Or a fourth, even more terrible, option: it’s slipped her mind because she’s busy daydreaming about some other stud.