How to catch an Instagram cheater: 18 ways to spy on your partner

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Afraid your partner is using Instagram to cheat on you?

It’s a terrible feeling, but you’re not alone.

This is becoming more and more common as social media has made cheating more accessible.

What starts off as harmless communication can spiral into a full-blown affair.

So in this article, I’m going to share with you 20 full-proof ways to find out if your partner is cheating using Instagram.

In fact, if you suspect your partner is cheating on you, then you’ll be able to finally get to bottom of it after you read this post.

I hope for your sake you’re proven wrong.

Let’s go.

What is Instagram Cheating?

Before you go hunting for an Instagram cheater, it is important to ask yourself what an Instagram cheater looks like.

So we really need to ask ourselves:

What is considered cheating?

Cheating, regardless of the platform you do it, is anything that destroys the trust you have with your partner.

It involves being emotionally or sexually unfaithful to your partner with who you are in a monogamous relationship with.

Being intimate sexually or emotionally with another person is usually considered cheating.

But the bottom line is really this:

If you feel like there is something you have to conceal, even if it is a message exchange, it is possibly categorized under cyber-cheating or micro-cheating.

And these can sometmes gradually progress to physical affairs.

Recommended reading: What is considered cheating in a relationship? The 7 main types

The Rise of Instagram Cheaters

Instagram is the most common social media platform with over 400 million active users monthly, and the average user spent two hours and 22 minutes a day on social media in 2019.

Therefore, it’s only common that cheaters have started to use Instagram to seek out cheating affairs.

In fact, in 2014, a British study revealed that Instagram was cited in a third of U.K. separation cases. Numbers have risen since.

Unfortunately, online emotional affairs on Instagram have become increasingly rampant.

How to Catch An Instagram Cheater (Signs of Cheating on Instagram)

Here are 18 signs that your partner is using Instagram to cheat on you:

1. Your Partner is Secretive About Their Phone

This is the first and most pronounced sign that your partner is cheating on you on Instagram.

If you walk into a room and find your partner staring at their phone screen or laptop, pay attention to their body language.

A cheating partner will hide their phone quickly or slam their laptop immediately.

After all, they don’t want you to see who they’re texting or who they’re chatting to.

It’s also possible that they’re worried about a random message flashing on the screen from the person they’re having an affair with.

While we all deserve privacy if you ask to use their phone and they say no, Psychologist Robert Weiss explains why this is a problem:

“Honestly, what could possibly be there – other than information about your surprise birthday – that they would want to keep secret?”

Also, watch out to see if your partner goes into another room to make a phone call.

This is an obvious sign that they don’t want to hear what you’re saying or who they’re talking to.

These are clear signs of a cheating partner who does not want you to overhear their conversations.

There should be trust and openness in a relationship. Unfortunately, the above signs point to a cheating partner who is clearly hiding something.

Chances are he/she is secretly texting or calling their partners they met on Instagram.

2. Constant Liking and Commenting on Another User’s Profile

If your partner is always liking and commenting on another person’s photos and videos, chances are they are up to something fishy.

In the same vein, perhaps you’re noticing the same person commenting on your partner’s photos?

This is particularly the case if your partner is engaging on Instagram with someone you’ve never heard of.

When you’re in a relationship, you usually meet your partner’s friends or at least hear about them.

If they’ve never mentioned someone that they’re constantly interacting with on Instagram, then there might be a reason your partner is being so secretive.

Constant liking and commenting on someone’s profile is generally a sign of infatuation, which can sometimes develop into cheating.

And look, Instagram is a social platform, and you are bound to interact with many people.

But if it’s interaction with just one person that you’ve never heard of, then you need to take note and look for some of the other signs in this article to figure out if your partner is cheating.

3. Ignoring You on Instagram Posts

Tagging partners in your Instagram posts is a common practice most happy couples engage in.

Unfortunately, a cheating partner is a less caring partner, and they probably won’t even acknowledge the fact they are tagged in your posts.

Reply back to your comments? They probably can’t be bothered.

A huge red flag is if they untag themselves from posts that you’ve tagged them in.

The psychology behind these actions is that your partner does not want to acknowledge your relationship in public anymore.

After all, they don’t want someone to know about your relationship.

And they probably want the world to know they’re single.

According to dating expert, David Bennett:

“If they turn their attention away from you, or run their social media accounts like you don’t exist (never mentioning you or your relationship, at least not significantly), I would suspect something is up.”

4. They’re Making Plans Without You

There’s nothing worse than seeing your partner tagged in photos from an event you heard nothing about.

But if you’re noticing this type of behavior occurring on their Instagram regularly, then you need to take note.

This type of shady behavior can occur in other ways as well, according to dating expert Justin Lavelle:

“If you are seeing your partner post about activities, outings, and events that you are not aware of at all, this is also a red flag that the relationship may not survive.”

It’s obviously healthy to have a life outside of your partner, but you still need to both be kept in the loop about what’s happening in each other’s lives.

5. Your Partner Texts or Calls Less and Less

Besides ignoring your tags and comments on Instagram, a cheating partner will be texting you less day by day.

According to Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. in Oprah Magazine, they may stop sharing tidbits with you about their day-to-day life because they’re more interested in someone else:

“The most interesting aspects of their day may relate to their new flirtation…This can be more devastating than sexual infidelity as it implies the intimacy of day-to-day life is now being shared with someone new.”

Even though you notice they are always spending time on their phones, it’s a red flag if that activity is not directed towards you.

The question is, who are they talking to, if not you?

6. Suddenly Posting Attractive Photos and Selfies

Always be on the lookout for any change in your partner’s Instagram posting patterns.

Look, most couples post romantic photos of themselves together. That’s normal.

But if your partner has switched to exclusively posting sexy photos of themselves, then something might be up.

You may think it is a phase and in time they’ll remember to post a photo of you two together.

But if that time never comes, and your partner is obsessed with posting “the perfect selfie” then they might be trying to catch someone else’s attention.

Or they could be sending a message to their followers that they are no longer in a relationship and they’re looking to date other people.

Don’t get me wrong:

They could just be professional photos to build up their account or for their own business. This is fairly common.

But if there is no real reason for posting attractive photos with excessively seductive dressing, then something might be up.

7. They smile while on their phone

Let’s face it, we all get engrossed in our phones when we’re messaging friends.

If they’re not only on their phone more often, but smiling while doing it – try asking them what’s so amusing.

It could be something as harmless as a funny meme that caught their eye.

If so, they’ll be more than willing to share it.

If it’s something they don’t want to share, they’ll feel caught off guard when you ask and probably stumble over their words as they come up with an excuse.

So, next time you catch your other half lost in their smartphone, ask what they find so amusing and see how they respond.

8. Talking and Texting Late Into the Night

Is your partner always on their phone?

Would they rather keep their head down looking at their phone than talk to you while you’re having dinner together?

Do they seem to be texting someone late into the night?

These signs show they’ve lost interest in talking to you and might instead be flirting with someone else.

Unfortunately, late-night communications are considered a form of micro-cheating and are usually the thin line between harmless flirtations and inappropriate physical intimacy.

Surprisingly, most men don’t think the late-night calls and texts amount to cheating.

On the other hand, women find that talking to other women late into the night disrespectful and a sign of infidelity.

Fortunately, Instagram has a way of showing you if one of your followers is online in real-time.

If your partner denies being on Instagram late into the night and not communicating with you, a simple screenshot of them being online will prove them otherwise.

9. Engaging With Old Instagram Posts

What would ordinarily cross your mind if someone new scrolled through all your hundreds of posts to like the first one?

In most cases, it means someone is interested in you and wants you to notice.

A similar situation applies if your partner has suddenly taken an interest in another person’s old posts.

Liking someone’s old Instagram posts is a sign of someone trawling through their Instagram account for minutes and sometimes hours.

When someone likes an Instagram post that is more than a few months or years old, it means they took a long time to get there.

You don’t put in this much effort unless you are interested and invested in that somebody.

Check your partner’s Instagram activity for his/her recent likes and follows.

You might not know it, but excessive infatuation and infidelity can manifest in a simple comment or liking a post.

10. They Follow and Talk to Their Ex-Partners on Instagram

If your partner is spending a lot of time talking about, following, posting, or commenting on ex-partners’ social media feeds, you might have a problem.

As reported in Psychology Today, studies have shown that “people were more likely to stay in touch with exes they still had feelings for.”

“Those who stayed in touch with an ex tend to be less committed to their current partner than those who did not.’

It’s generally not a good sign if they’re in constant communication with their ex. Who knows what that could lead to.

However, perhaps you already know that they’re chatting to their ex on Instagram.

If this is something you’ve known about and accepted about them prior to the relationship, you will need to talk to your partner about how this has become a problem and why after all this time.

If this is a new behavior, it’s better to talk to your partner sooner rather than later, so that you don’t continue to worry about what it means.

Boundaries need to be set by you – and your partner – for what micro-cheating looks like and you both need to take responsibility for your actions.

Even if flirting happens online, it’s still a form of flirting where people could get hurt.

11. Your Partner is Actively Adding New Attractive Friends

If your partner is constantly following exclusively attractive females or males, this could point to a hidden agenda.

Your partner could be intending on texting, calling, and flirting with the new friends at the expense of your relationship.

Chances are the partner is hunting for some extra-marital affairs with more good-looking friends on Instagram.

We can all agree that there is something fishy about someone already in a relationship constantly interacting with people of the opposite sex.

12. Your Partner is Constantly on the Phone

Noticing a change in your partner’s phone habits?

If your partner used to leave their phone carelessly at your disposal before and now they always have it on them, there is something wrong, and you know it.

Psychologist Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. tells Bustle that a sign of cheating to watch for is “if their cell phone has a code on it or they take their cell phone to the bathroom, even at home.”

If the partner is going even to the strangest places with the phone, they most likely don’t want you laying hands on the phone.

After all, you might find incriminating evidence of communication with another lover on Instagram.

These serial cheaters will always want to walk around with a fully charged phone.

If they never used to carry their phones and chargers everywhere, automatically there could be someone they want to communicate with all the time.

It sucks that it is not you, so take action and raise the issue before it is too late.

13. Your Partner Has Two or More Phones

What is an explanation for having two phones if you are not cheating?

Some people use a phone for work purposes and the other for unofficial business, mostly for family and friends.

But if you know for a fact that your partner doesn’t really have a need for two phones, then you need to ask yourself some hard questions.

It is important to note that serial cheaters will do whatever it takes to hide their affairs.

Therefore, if you want to know how to catch an Instagram cheater, you have to learn how to outsmart them.

Ask yourself where you would hide the second phone if you were in that position?

When you find the phone, and you suspected all along that the partner was cheating, you may find incriminating evidence to raise a concern.

14. Their Friends Are Being Weird

If you can’t seem to find any evidence of cheating but you are certain something is wrong, message his or her friends on Instagram and see how they respond.

If they barely interact with you, then something’s wrong. It’s a surefire way to tell if your partner is cheating.

Paul Coleman, PsyD, says that “there is a good chance your partner’s friends may know what’s really going on before you do.”

Friends almost always know what is going on, and if you are desperate to get the right information before you confront your partner, friends are where it’s at.

15. Your Partner is Only Following the Opposite Sex

You might dismiss it as your partner just being friendly and social. However, intense scrutiny will help you will unlock a serial cheater’s pandora’s box.

If your spouse insists on following only people from the opposite sex, it could mean that they are interested in having extra-marital affairs with these new followers.

Pay attention to any patterns, especially any common traits among these new followers. Are they too good-looking?

Do they resemble your younger self?

Do you have any common traits such as hair color, body type, or other body features?

Chances are your partner is looking for a replica of you and trying to relive the earlier moments you two had in your relationship.

Or he/she is just cheating.

Either way, there is a reason why your partner is suddenly gathering followers from the opposite sex.

16. Your Partner Has Created A Pseudo Account on Instagram

This might be a tough one for you to crack.

The purpose of creating a pseudo account is obviously to stay hidden, especially if there are no posts on the pseudo account.

You can quickly check their Instagram account for two or more accounts linked to the main one.

As a good partner, he/she must have informed you of all the Instagram accounts in their possession.

However, if they have not and you come across a strange Instagram account logged in on their phone, you know what that could mean.

Fortunately, Instagram algorithms allow users to get new friend suggestions. If you notice a constant suggestion on your list, don’t let it slide.

You could be staring at your partner’s pseudo account, even though you have no proof that it is theirs.

17. Weird behavior

Has their behavior changed all of a sudden?

Not just the fact they’re leaving the room to be on the phone, but in other ways too.

  • Have they stopped saying I love you?
  • Do you no longer talk about the future together?
  • Have you stopped sharing the little things that have happened to both of you throughout the day?

These changes in behavior tend to happen gradually, so you may not even notice it’s occurring at the time.

But then you get to a point where you realize everything has changed.

When you notice other areas of his life, such as him always being on the phone and withdrawing from you, the little things tend to add up more.

18. Your gut tells you so

At the end of the day, it always comes down to that gut feeling. It’s a hard one to ignore.

Whether something is simply off in your relationship or the signs are very clear, some things you just know.

While it can help to have a bit of proof behind you, if you’re not prepared to wait it out then you need to just go with your gut feeling.

Confront them and see what they say. If you haven’t gone snooping, then you haven’t broken their trust. So, there’s no harm in asking them to confirm or deny your suspicions.

Their reaction could be enough to convince you either way. Pay attention to their body language and choice of words – it will help determine whether or not they’re being honest with you.

How to deal with online cheating on Instagram

When it comes to the online relationship world, things are a lot more subtle and ambiguous.

According to research, the internet has actually changed when people consider cheating. It used to be very cut a dry: a sexual encounter.

These days, simply liking the wrong Instagram post is enough to leave your partner in hot water.

So, how do you move forward when your partner has been caught online cheating?

Start the discussion. Open up and let them know what you suspect and why.

They may be completely oblivious that you consider their actions cheating in the first place. Your partner may have made a genuine mistake… or they could have been hiding it from you for a reason.

Emotional affairs can appear so much more innocent than physical interactions, yet they can be so much more damaging to a relationship.

They may also consider the fact you have snooped after them online a betrayal of trust, which can also impact your relationship just as deeply.

It’s up to both of you to work out how you feel about the cheating and breach of trust and whether or not you’re able to move forward.

One thing’s clear: it’s important to get on the same page when it comes to online cheating and has the discussion as early as possible.

Hindsight is always 20/20!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Instagram Be Used for Cheating?

Yes, it can. As a social media platform, it has millions of users and you can message whoever you like.

Once you have connected with a new user, it is easy to message them and start a direct conversation that could potentially lead to infidelity.

How Do I Catch Someone Cheating?

Collect sufficient evidence before raising your concern. It is always advised to exercise patience if you want to catch a cheater. They often slip and end up being caught in the act.

Which Other Platform Do Cheaters Use?

Cheaters are not limited to Instagram. If you have tried catching an Instagram cheater and failed, other platforms you can try include Telegram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, or Signal.

Most importantly, keep an eye out for their body language, how they behave with their phones, and how they treat you.

How to Catch An Instagram Cheater

If you suspect your partner is cheating on Instagram, the above tips should enlighten you and help you make the appropriate decisions.

Remember, it is always a good idea to have your facts right to avoid making wrong accusations.

That being said, trust your gut feeling, be patient when hunting an Instagram cheater, and share the above tips with your friends and family to catch Instagram cheaters.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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