If you’ve got the nagging feeling that your boyfriend might be cheating on you, you’re probably ready to use your detective skills before confronting him. But how can you tell if he’s being unfaithful or if he’s going through something that has nothing to do with his feelings for you?
Of course, the definition of cheating is different for every person. Some people don’t consider cheating anything less than sex, while others see even flirting as cheating.
If you’re not quite ready to confront him, though, consider the following 21 signs your boyfriend might be cheating on you.
1. He goes radio silent.
If you don’t live with your boyfriend, you probably expect him to be in contact with you, or at least to respond to your texts. Otherwise, how else could you establish a dating routine or know that he’s actually there for you?
You try to make plans with him – but he’s suddenly taking way too long to respond, if at all.
If he goes radio silent for long periods of time though, this may be a sign that he’s cheating on you – or at least exploring his options. He might say something like:
I didn’t see your text, sorry.
Oh, I’ve been really busy lately.
I don’t check my phone during school/work hours.
Or, he might give some other blatantly obvious excuse not to contact you.
It’s 2021 – get real. Everyone is practically inseparable from their phones these days. If he takes a while to get back to you, it means he intended to, and it’s not accidental.
2. He smiles at his phone often when he’s with you.
Another way to tell that your boyfriend might have a fling on the side is if you catch him being on his phone a lot – and also smiling at it while he’s with you. Unless he’s looking at memes, he’s likely chatting to another girl.
Of course, you could confront him about it – but chances are he’ll deny it or get very defensive about it. Remember that the only person he should be grinning lovingly at is you!
3. He accuses you of cheating.
This is definitely one of the weirdest signs your boyfriend may be unfaithful, but it does happen a lot. Some guys feel so insecure about what they’re doing that they might actually accuse you of the same! Crazy, right?!
If he’s suddenly paying attention to all the guys you’re talking to or the male friend at work you always spend your lunch break with, he might be more tuned into the signs of cheating because he’s guilty of it!
Check out How to Deal with False Accusations in a Relationship for some ways to deal with it.
4. He’s changed… in bed.
If you suddenly can’t recognize a new bedroom move or he starts to kiss you in a different way, you know there’s something fishy going on. Chances are he’s kissing you or touching you the way his side-piece does – or, he’s been watching way too much porn.
5. You can smell her on him.
If he doesn’t manage to brush his teeth or have a shower before meeting you, you could swear you can literally smell his fling on him. You can probably even tell the type of perfume she’s wearing.
How can he be so obvious about it? Does he really think you wouldn’t notice?
6. He’s put a password on his phone.
The guy who wouldn’t care if you went through his phone suddenly has a password. Dodgy AF! You probably don’t want to say anything about it because you’ll have to admit you tried to check his phone, but the unknown is killing you.
7. His guilt kicks in suddenly.
A guy who’s cheating on you probably doesn’t have much remorse, at least most of the time – but occasionally, the guilt can kick in. In these cases, he shows unexpected and unexplained affection and strong appreciation towards you.
You might even wonder what’s wrong with him, as it feels unnatural and unlike him. He’s probably trying to make himself feel better about being unfaithful and prove to himself that he’s still a decent guy. Which he isn’t!
Don’t fall for him bringing you flowers if he never does or buying you jewelry; you could almost immediately tell that he’s guilty.
8. There’s a shift in his romantic energy.
If you feel like his romantic energy towards you has totally shifted recently and that he’s not that interested in having sex with you, it could be a clear sign that he’s spending his energy elsewhere.
Is he constantly saying how tired and stressed he is – and how it’s just a phase you have nothing to worry about? Those are the excuses of a lying cheater!
9. There’s a shift in his schedule.
Not only is his romantic energy slightly off, but his schedule is off as well – and you can’t quite tell why. He stays late at work, he’s busier than usual, he books whole weekends away and you don’t hear from him for days.
When you confront him about it and ask for more of his attention, he laughs it off or makes you feel like you’re making it all up in your head.
10. He doesn’t have much to say.
Gone are the days when he could spend hours just talking to you and wanted to share all his thoughts with you. Suddenly, he doesn’t have much to say, and you find it incredibly odd!
He doesn’t seem to be reacting to your questions or pay attention when you really want to tell him about your day either.
If he feels distant, distracted, and silent most of the time, it’s probably because his mind is preoccupied with someone else.
11. He’s become irritable.
When someone isn’t as committed to you anymore, most of the things you do will start to irritate them. Sometimes they might even exaggerate it because they’re seeking a justification for what they’re doing.
If you’re not all that great, he’s got an excuse to cheat – at least in his mind!
He may be thinking: “She’s really annoying recently, and she’s changed from we first started dating”. He ends up treating you differently whether that’s actually true or not. He might also be trying to build up a list of reasons when he breaks up with you like:
It hasn’t been the same for a while.
This isn’t working for me.
Trust that when he’s decided to leave you, he’ll give you a speech listing all those moments when you annoyed him and how he can’t deal with it anymore (either that, or he’ll dump you over text – and not regret a thing).
12. He doesn’t look you in the eyes.
If he’s cheating on you, he’s probably feeling the guilt – and therefore avoids eye contact with you. Even when it’s just the two of you in the room, he seems withdrawn and tends to avoid your eyes altogether. After all, the eyes always tell the truth – and he knows it.
13. He no longer mentions that co-worker, or best friend.
If he used to talk often about his school friend, co-worker, or girl best friend but suddenly never mentions them, it could be a sign that he’s involved with her.
If you’re in that person’s company together and he started ignoring them completely, he may be trying to make sure you don’t suspect anything – when actually, it makes it that much more suspicious!
Another thing he might do is say something negative about the other person, just to make you feel like he doesn’t like her. It’s a classic cheater move.
14. His attire changes.
Suddenly, your boyfriend is starting to put a lot more effort into how he dresses and how he looks – and he even starts to buy and wear clothes that aren’t typical of him.
He obviously has got someone else who likes seeing him in those clothes or even buys them for him.
15. You’re getting jealous or anxious.
Women have a strong gut instinct, and 9 out of 10 times they can tell when something’s not right in their relationship (although they might choose not to speak out straight away). If you aren’t the suspicious or jealous type but suddenly feeling overwhelmed by those emotions, something is probably wrong.
The more you let it go on, the more anxious and frustrated you’ll end up feeling. So, if you want to confront him, just do it. It can only improve things in the long run, not make them worse.
16. He’s being mean to you.
If your boyfriend is suddenly calling you names and being mean, that’s a sure-fire sign that something is wrong. Don’t let him get away with it! You deserve to be treated with respect, whether he has any left for you, or not.
Remember that if he’s cheating on you he’s the last person who should have the audacity to treat you badly.
17. He’s secretive about his finances.
If your boyfriend is trying to hide the fact that he’s seeing someone else, he’ll keep you in the dark about his money and what he spends it on. He may also be stingy because he’s spending on dates with someone else!
18. He doesn’t tag you in photos anymore.
This is one of the most telling signs that he’s cheating on you and might have been doing it for a while without you noticing.
Even if you took the cutest selfie, he’s avoiding uploading any pictures with you. Perhaps he’s even removing tags of you in his old photos in order to appear available to the other woman.
19. He doesn’t make plans with you.
If the time you spend with him becomes more and more rare or spontaneous, it means he’s filling in his time with someone who’s a bigger priority than you.
He is might start acting casual when you suggest making plans a few days in advance – and he won’t even discuss going on a vacation with you.
He’s probably planning his exit strategy that depends on how keen he is to pursue things with the other woman.
20. He constantly talks about breaking-up when you fight.
One of your boyfriend’s exit strategies is to make it look like it’s all your fault. Therefore, every time you argue or fight, he gets very negative about the relationship as a whole and says things like: “What would you do if we broke up?” and “I’d always love you as a friend no matter what”.
These statements might be a sign that he won’t be as devastated if the relationship ended – because he’s got a lover to fall back on. It’s suspicious!
21. He stops saying “I love you”.
It’s undeniable that when one person stops saying “I love you”, something must have changed about their feelings. Even if he does love you still, he’s probably feeling guilty about what he’s doing and knows it’s wrong to say it when in practice he’s cheating on you.
The Bottom Line
Although the above signs may help you figure out whether he’s cheating, the only way to know for sure is by asking. Here are some valuable resources that might help if you think your boyfriend is cheating on you:
- Here’s Why Each Zodiac Sign Tends to Cheat in a Relationship
- 5 Things Cheating Says About a Person
- 7 Different Types Of Cheating
- 10 Reasons We Cheat, Even If We Love Our Partner
- Lying in a Relationship: When It’s Not Ok – and What You Can Do
If your suspicions are correct, it may just be time to call it quits.