When you're falling for someone, or in a steady relationship, you want to assume the best. But you don't want to be blind-sided if things come crashing down. With the world of social media, it's easier than ever to cheat - both physically and emotionally.
Without assuming the worst, it can be helpful to recognize potential signs that you're with a cheater. Here are 5 red flags that you're with a cheater:
1. They don't make an effort in the relationship.
They put little effort into growing or deepening your relationship. They may even struggle to maintain your relationship.
They don't say "I love you" often. They don't show affection much. They may give you a quick kiss as they run out the door, but they avoid eye contact and non-sexual intimacy.
Not putting forth effort in a relationship is typically an issue, but it doesn't always mean that person is cheating. However, it is a red flag and it is a behavior associated with cheating.
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2. They don't allow for quality time.
When spending time with one another, they're never fully present. They don't allow for quality time with you and may act distracted.
It can be as simple as scrolling through their phone while watching a show with you, or texting someone else while at dinner with you.
Phone use is a common distraction, but they may be distracted in other ways too. They may just have their head in another place, thinking of other things and obviously not present with you.
If they're not being present or allowing for quality time, you'll know. It doesn't necessarily mean they're cheating, but it's a common behavior among those who are.
3. They talk about others - a lot.
They regularly bring up a certain someone, whether that be a co -worker or friend. Their relationship may seem a bit flirtatious, but they swear there's nothing to it. No matter what comes up, they claim it's totally platonic.
They may even try and justify inappropriate behavior, like late-night texting or confiding personal information, by saying they're just a friend. And yet, they keep bringing that person back up.
If you've got a gut feeling about it, there's a good chance you're right.
4. They're secretive with their phone.
They don't allow you to know their passcode or use their phone. If you do have to use their phone for some reason, they go through it first and make sure it's "ok" before handing it off to you.
They may even give you their passcode for something, but change it as soon as you hand it back. It gives you a false sense of trust, and they hope you won't get suspicious since they handed their phone and passcode off that one time, no questions asked.
Despite being secretive with their own phone, they may have the desire to go through yours. They may expect to have your passcode, and if you don't care, they may browse your search history, messages, texts, and DMs, to make sure you're not cheating. It's a form of projecting their own guilt onto you and prevents privacy and trust from forming in the relationship.
5. You're regularly excluded from plans.
They regularly make plans without you. They may have late nights with friends, where you're not invited. Or, they may go to work events, parties, or trips and not offer to bring you along.
You may have not even met their friends or co-workers, despite them spending a lot of time with them.
It's normal and healthy to have friendships and make plans without one another, but they do it to an extent that goes beyond healthy.
It may feel like they don't like to do stuff with your or include you in anything. Or, they may even try to "hide" you from their friends. It's a lot easier to cheat if their friends don't know much about you. You two could be on a "break" for all they know, since you're never around.
What to do if you think you're with a cheater?
How to move forward if you think your partner is cheating, is entirely personal to you. It can be an emotional time, so taking a moment to pause and reflect, or seeking help from an outside source like a therapist, may help you to move forward with ease.
You may want to try and salvage the relationship, or move on gracefully. Whatever you choose to do, do it with a heart full of love and a mind open to new possibilities.
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