Is he cheating? What are the signs your boyfriend is cheating?
Knowing how to tell if your boyfriend is cheating, and whether you’re with a cheating boyfriend is essential for every woman because:
One of the only things worse than being cheated on is not knowing if it’s happening or not.
It’s a scary thing to think about, but if it’s going to happen to you, it’s better that you know about it so you can take action.
In this article, I’ll take you through 16 key signs that your boyfriend might be cheating on you.
Use this list to guide you and if you think you have reason to be suspicious, just keep watching and waiting. He’s sure to trip himself up at some point, and you’ll be ready.
1. He seems distracted.
Your once attentive boyfriend barely seems to look you in the eye these days. You find yourself repeating things to him because he’s not listening.
It’s hard for him to stay in the conversation and he is always looking over your shoulder. If he’s cheating on you, you’ll find that he has disconnected from your relationship in many ways.
According to family therapist David Klow, “if your partner’s actions start changing, then it might be a sign of infidelity.”
This is not to protect you, but to keep him from feeling guilty when he finally breaks things off with you: if he’s pushed you away already, it will be easier for him to say goodbye.
Or, if he decides he doesn’t have the guts to leave, pushing you away makes it easier for you to call things off. He’s pushing you away for a reason.
2. He doesn’t invite you out with his friends.
One sign that your boyfriend might be cheating on you is if he is suddenly spending more time with friends, but leaving you at home.
If he isn’t inviting you out or is insisting that you stay home with your girlfriends, you might be right to be concerned.
According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., his friends be may be uncomfortable around you because they know what’s going on:
“The cheater’s friends often know about the infidelity right from the start, and your own friends are likely to find out long before you do. This knowledge typically causes these individuals to feel uncomfortable around you.”
He’s not giving you all the details about the get together either: not sure who will be there, not sure what time he’ll be home, not sure what the plan is.
These are all signs that she is trying to play innocent and hide her affair.
If you insist on going, she’ll get mad. It’s easier for her to keep you away from what’s really going on.
3. He has started to talk about the future in a different way.
If he used to talk about the future and use the word, “we”, but now talks about things he wants to do alone, that’s not good.
Even if he tells you that he didn’t mean to be selfish about her plans, be wary that he may just be covering his tracks.
According to clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula in Oprah Magazine, “A major commitment makes it more difficult to pull out of a relationship quickly.”
If he isn’t including you in his plans, there’s a good reason for that. Part of the trouble with suspecting that someone is cheating on you is that your partner may be very good at explaining away why things are the way they are.
If you aren’t vigilant with your relationship, it may just walk right out the door without you.
4. He just don’t seem connected to you emotionally
Now don’t get me wrong:
No relationship will be as intense as it was in the first few months. That’s the passionate phase we’ve probably all experienced.
However, as time goes, we tend to bond and securely attach over time, leading to more trust with each other.
Emotional intimacy is what keeps this trustworthy bond alive.
You get to a stage where you’re comfortable revealing everything with your partner.
But if your boyfriend seems more withdrawn and less attached to you, then that may be a bad sign.
It could be that their focus has shifted to the person they’re cheating with, or they feel guilty so they are withdrawing.
5. He feels unessential
If you make your man feel unessential to you, then chances are he may be looking elsewhere for someone else.
For a man, feeling essential to a woman is often what separates “like” from “love”. And feeling unessential is a common trigger for pulling away and even cheating.
Don’t get me wrong, no doubt your guy loves your strength and abilities to be independent. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable!
This is because men have a built in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex. It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else—or worst of all, someone else.
Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct.
As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.
So, when the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship with any woman. He holds back because being in a relationship is a serious investment for him. And he won’t fully “invest” in you unless you give him a sense of meaning and purpose and make him feel essential.
How do you give your man a sense of meaning and purpose? How do you make him feel more essential?
You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form.
In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.
In his new video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use to make him feel more essential to you right now.
By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only give him greater satisfaction but it will also help to rocket your relationship to the next level.
6. He says like things like, “Why can’t you be more adventurous or fun”
A sign of infidelity is if he starts focusing on perceived flaws in the relationship.
He might be getting frustrated that you’re not like the person he is having an affair with.
This is particularly the case if he starts wondering why you’re not fun enough or why you don’t experiment in the bedroom enough.
When any relationship starts, even if it’s just an affair, it can start off pretty much raunchy and passionate.
Focusing on your flaws could also be a sign of hostility towards you because in his mind he is blaming his cheating ways on you.
7. He is suddenly on his phone much more than usual
Smartphones mean it’s easier to cheat, but it’s also easier to catch people cheating. A change in their way your boyfriend uses his phone is a big giveaway that he might be cheating.
If your boyfriend is suddenly on his phone much more than usual, he might just be engrossed in a game or busy on work emails.
Ask him casually why he always seems to have it in his hand. His reaction will tell you a lot about whether he might be cheating or not.
If he’s secretive with his phone when he never has been before, that’s also a really clear signal that something’s up.
According to counselor and therapist, Dr. Tracey Phillips, hiding things from you on their phone may be a sign of cheating:
“They could be trying to avoid receiving any questionable calls or texts in your presence.”
If he used to happily leave it lying around in the living room, but now puts it in his pocket wherever he goes, you should wonder why.
Also, look for him turning the screen away when you’re nearby or not wanting to charge it overnight by the bed.
These things too could have completely reasonable explanations. He might be turning the screen away because he’s planning a surprise for you, for example.
But be aware of changes and keep an eye out for patterns.
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8. Less or more sex
If your boyfriend’s having sex with another person, he’ll probably change the way he has sex with you.
Some men will end up not wanting sex with you if they’re cheating. They might even feel as if having sex with you is ‘cheating’ on the other person.
Or they might just have lost interest because there’s someone else on their mind. If he stops initiating and starts to avoid situations when you might initiate (like early nights) then think about why.
Other men will want sex much more when they’re cheating. Having sex more means it’s on their mind, whoever they’re with.
Sex expert Robert Weiss explains why:
“Both decreased and increased levels of sexual activity in your relationship can be a sign of infidelity. Less sex occurs because your partner is focused on someone else; more sex occurs because they are trying to cover that up.”
They might also be feeling guilty and trying to cover up their cheating by being ultra-affectionate. This can be especially cruel if you’d been going through a bit of dry spell.
The cheating re-sparks their sexual appetite, but you don’t realize it’s not because their feelings for you have strengthened.
Another thing to look out for is men who start doing things in bed they’ve never done before. Where did they learn it from, if not from you? Could be porn, but it could be another woman…
9. Constantly mentioning someone…or stopping mentioning them
When you’re into someone, you tend to talk about them all the time, often without really realizing it.
If your boyfriend is cheating, it’s a weird irony that he might find himself ‘telling’ you about it by talking about his new interest all the time.
If a woman’s name keeps cropping up in conversation, then you have cause to be concerned.
When this happens, it’s often a work colleague or someone he’s met in a totally innocent context and this means that he doesn’t realize there’s anything strange about talking about them. In his mind, he’s not talking about the other woman, he’s just talking about work.
If he mentions a woman all the time and then suddenly stops mentioning them, that’s even more suspicious.
It’s a good indication that something that started out as a crush or a bit of flirting has now moved on to something physical.
Once he’s actually having an affair, he’ll usually realize that mentioning her all the time isn’t a great idea.
10. Making a sudden effort with appearance
Many men don’t bother too much with their appearance once they’re in an established relationship (beyond the basis of showers and clean clothes). What should you think if your boyfriend suddenly buys himself a new wardrobe, or develops a complex new skincare routine?
If this happens, it’s certainly possible that he’s just trying to impress you, or that he’s having a quarter or midlife crisis.
But there’s also a strong possibility that he’s doing this to impress someone else. Think back to the first few months of your relationship.
Did he make more effort then, compared to recent times? If his new-found focus on appearance is similar to how he was when you first got together, then you have cause to be worried.
It means he’s doing the things he naturally does when he’s in a new relationship…except this time, the relationship is not with you.
Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and co-owner of Double Trust Dating, says that if your partner has had the same haircut for a long time but suddenly has a bold new haircut “this could indicate an effort to impress another person.”
According to Dr. Phillips in Bustle, you may also want to have a look for a change in their grooming habits:
“If your partner comes home and jumps right into a long shower, they may be washing away any evidence of cheating.”
11. Money disappearing
Cheating can be expensive. There will be meals out, drinks and maybe hotel rooms. If the woman he’s with is cheating too, they won’t have anywhere to go other than out and that costs a lot of money.
Even if she’s single and has her own place to take him to, he’ll want to impress her and that will usually mean expensive dates, flowers and gifts.
If your boyfriend earns well, or you don’t have joint finances, you might not notice the extra spending straight away. But over time, the costs will start to add up. Look out for letters from the credit card company landing on the doorstep – they might be reminders because he’s late paying the bills.
If he seem short of money all the time, when he never used to be, that’s another clear sign. Maybe he’s stopped suggesting your usual Friday night pizza, or he buys you a cheap gift for your birthday.
There might be little signs at first – simple things like buying a cheap bottle of wine rather than an extravagant one when it’s date night.
If those little things start to add up, and you can’t think of any other reason why he’d be worried about money, then you might have a problem.
(If you’re in an unsatisfying relationship, you need to get inside his mind and find out what he’s thinking. Our Make Him Worship You review dives deep into a popular new dating program for woman who want to better understand their guy).
12. Working more or developing new hobbies
Many men meet the person they have an affair with at work, so spending more time at work is a good indication there might be something up.
According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW in Psychology Today:
“Flat tires, dead batteries, traffic jams, spending extra time at the gym, and similar excuses for being late or absent altogether might also signal infidelity.”
Everyone has times when they need to work a little harder than usual, but if he’s working lots of overtime for no apparent reason, be worried.
This is especially true if his job hasn’t demanded this before. Also remember that overtime usually leads to something.
Either a promotion, or more money, or a big new project. If none of these things seems to be happening, it’s time to ask him why he’s working so hard and what he’s working on.
If he doesn’t have an answer, then it’s quite likely that he’s not actually working when he says he is.
Another thing to look out for is big new hobbies that take up lots of time. It might be that his new hobby is something his other woman also does and that he’s got into it with her.
It might also be that it’s completely made up, and is simply an excuse to spend time away from home.
Look out for anything – work or hobby related – that takes him away overnight or at weekends. It might be that he’s making it up and he’s not where he said he’d be.
Or it could be that the promotion he got that means work travel, is one he went for because of the travel…with her.
It might be that he’s not really that into triathlon, but she does it and being part of her triathlon club means weekends away competing.
If you’re suspicious, suggest coming with him next time and see what happens.
13. Ducking out of social or family events
We all have times when we don’t really feel like seeing friends or family, but cheaters often take that to another level.
This might be especially true if they think your relationship has probably run its course, but don’t have the courage to own up to it.
If he is still happy to see his own friends and family but is avoiding events with yours, then it might be that he’s cheating and slowly withdrawing from your life.
Even if he’s not cheating, it’s usually bad news if a man who was previously happy to socialize with ‘your side’ decides he isn’t happy with that anymore.
Be careful that you don’t assume anything, though, as this can be a tricky one.
Sometimes, people alter their social habits because they’re struggling with anxiety or depression, and men often don’t find it easy to talk about their mental health, even with those closest to them.
It might be that he’s willing to socialize with his own friends still because he’s more comfortable with them. Tread carefully, but don’t be a pushover.
When your previously lovely, happy guy starts being grumpy and difficult to please, then you definitely have a problem of some kind.
It might be that there’s something deeper going on for him, so do bear that possibility in mind.
But there will be a reason why he’s changed the way he interacts with you.
When men cheat, they sometimes begin to feel resentful of their girlfriends. He might feel that he;s met someone – his affair partner – who he really wants to be with.
And while it’s hugely unfair, he might feel that you are holding him back from being with that person.
This can happen even if your relationship was previously really solid and you were making plans together for the future.
He might still be happily making plans with you now, even as his mood and body language are telling you a different story.
Just because he’s having an affair and considering moving on to someone else, doesn’t mean that he’s sure of what he wants.
If he’s moody, it might be because he’s confused and hasn’t yet made up his mind about who he wants to be with long term.
It could also be more calculated than that. He might have already decided that he wants to move on, but hasn’t got the courage to tell you and own up to his affair.
Instead, he’s behaving badly in the hope that you’ll end it before he has to.
15. Lots of attention
Not every cheater wants to end their primary relationship. It might be that your boyfriend is cheating, but in the hopes that he can have a bit of fun while still staying with you.
If this is the case, it’s quite likely that he’ll become more attentive rather than less. He’s feeling guilty and wants to make himself feel better by showering you with attention.
Maybe he’ll book a romantic weekend away, or come home with flowers when he never has before.
Perhaps he’ll step up his game when it comes to Christmas or birthday presents and buy you something far more expensive than he ever has before.
Of course, it might just be that he’s been thinking about the future and realizes he wants to pay you more attention and commit to you more than he has before.
That does happen when relationships step up a gear.
But if you don’t think that’s what’s happening, and he’s super attentive out of nowhere, you do have reason to be wary.
16. You know something’s up
If you get that gut feeling that there’s something wrong, it’s probably because there is.
Intuition allows you to pick up on small clues about your boyfriend’s behavior. There might not be anyone big thing that’s changed that you can analyze rationally.
But you know that things are different from how they were and you’re wondering why.
It is important not to allow an openness to intuition to become insecurity, though. Be really honest with yourself.
If you have a history of being suspicious of other people but never being proved right, it might not be your intuition speaking, but your insecurity.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something you should be working on.
If you know that you’re not generally insecure, and you have an overwhelming feeling that there is something wrong, then you’re probably right.
You know your boyfriend better than anyone.
Most importantly, you know exactly how he is when he’s in the first flush of lust with someone, because he did that with you.
There is absolutely a reason that you’re feeling what you’re feeling. It might not be that he’s cheating, but it’s absolutely right that you try and find out what is going on.
Don’t assume, but be aware and start to ask questions.
How to save your relationship
First, let’s make one thing clear: just because your partner is exhibiting a couple of the behaviors that I just talked about doesn’t mean that he is definitely cheating. It may simply be that these are indicators of trouble ahead in your relationship.
But if you’ve seen several of these indicators in your partner recently, and you’re feeling that things aren’t on track with your relationship, I encourage you to act to turn things around now before matters get any worse.
The best place to start is by watching this free video by relationship guru James Bauer. He introduces a novel concept in relationship psychology which I mentioned above—the hero instinct.
Many things can slowly infect a relationship, including distance, lack of communication and sexual issues. If not dealt with correctly, these problems can metamorphosize into infidelity and disconnectedness.
When someone asks me for an expert to help save a relationship, I always recommend James Bauer.
James is the real deal when it comes to relationship advice. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel.
The strategies James Bauer reveals in this video are extremely powerful and might be the difference between a “happy relationship” and an “unhappy break up”.