Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the person you were interested in would ever cheat on you? Say there were an augmented reality app available for your smartphone that you could simply hold up in a public area to clearly label people either “faithful” or “cheater garbage” in neon graphics.
Alas, such technology has not yet been developed, so the best thing we can do for now is look out for potential signs of infidelity, and ask our partners pointed questions if we’re suspicious. Before doing this, though, you should first know the early signs of cheating behavior.
To council on the subject, I reached out to Renachantel McClain, a licensed psychotherapist who works with couples on rebuilding relationships after infidelity. “The best advice I would give couples is to sit down and talk to their partner if any of these signs are present and you have concerns,” she recommends. According to her expert testimony, these are the early signs that your partner is cheating:
1. She Uses Nicknames Instead Of Your Actual Name
“This could be a way to avoid slipping up and calling you someone else’s name,” McClain says. Which does make sense. We all say some very stupid things, and this is never truer than when we’re either having sex, or are engaged in a conversation we don’t much care for. So with that, a gal might choose to manufacture a nickname to make sure such slip-ups won’t happen.
2. She Prefers Texting To Conversation
Texting is fairly impersonal and can be done while doing many things — like when going to the bathroom (don’t kid yourself, we all do it). This impersonal form of communication could mean that while she’s texting you, she’s in someone else’s company. “When you’re texting back and forth but your calls go directly to voicemail, she could be with somebody and doesn’t want them to know she’s communicating with you,” McClain says. Likewise, she doesn’t want you to know she’s communicating with them.
RELATED QUESTION: Is This Considered Cheating? Need A Man’s Opinion
3. She’s Putting More Effort Into Her Appearance
If your gal is suddenly altering her looks to better herself, it could be a sign that she’s putting herself back on the market, despite her current relationship with you. Though she might just be trying to take it up a notch for her own sake, McClain insists drastic changes in wardrobe, hairstyle, and physique could indicate that she’s trying to impress somebody outside of the relationship.
4. She Suddenly Needs Condoms
There’s a good chance your partner hasn’t suddenly picked up on watching Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, or some other MTV reality show that makes motherhood look absolutely terrifying, so if she suddenly opts to use condoms when you normally don’t (assuming you’re in a trusted relationship) this may be a sign that she’s seeking some sexual attention outside the confines of your relationship.
5. She’s Much More Involved With Social Media
Social media is a great way for singles to scope out talent. A study on the popular dating app Tinder discovered that 40% of its users aren’t single and that three in 10 users are actually married! So if she’s never been much of a social media user, but has recently picked up on social media trends, she could be starting the process of looking, McClain states. This kind of flirting is usually done by liking another person’s images, sending instant messages (which can easily deleted later), and hiding apps like Tinder within inconspicuously named smartphone folders such as “Games” or “Work.”
6. She’s Overly Affectionate…
If she becomes more cuddly than normal or chooses to pay for meals on date night more often than ever before, these could be signs of guilt. She could feel bad for cheating, and feels like she can make up for this deceit by keeping her admission from you and buying a bounty of gifts and affection as a placeholder.
RELATED READING: Understanding The Five Different Levels Of Cheating
7. …Or She’s Become Defensive
Has she suddenly become a more negative and defensive person? This could be evidence of the guilt she feels after cheating, and instead of becoming overly affectionate, she instead becomes cruel, playing the victim. She may even accuse you of cheating for this same reason. If this is the case, get rid of her. You’ll be better off for it.