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How to tell if your girlfriend is cheating: 17 signs most men miss

Image credit: Shutterstock - By Roman Kosolapov

Afraid your girlfriend is cheating on you?

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

In this article, I’m going to share with you 17 sure signs that your girlfriend is likely cheating on you.

In fact, if you suspect your girlfriend is cheating, then you’ll be able to finally get to the truth after you read this post.

I hope for your sake you’re proven wrong.

We have a lot to cover so let’s get started.

1. She seems distracted.

Your once attentive girlfriend barely seems to look you in the eye these days. You find yourself repeating things to her because she’s not listening.

It’s hard for her to stay in the conversation and she is always looking over your shoulder. If she’s cheating on you, you’ll find that she 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 her from feeling guilty when she finally breaks things off with you: if she’s pushed you away already, it will be easier for her to say goodbye.

Or, if she decides she doesn’t have the guts to leave, pushing you away makes it easier for you to call things off. She’s pushing you away for a reason.

2. She is dressing differently.

If your girlfriend suddenly cares about her appearance again after years of just bumming around in a t-shirt and jeans, lazing on the couch with her hair in a messy bun, and not putting much effort into a night out, something is definitely wrong.

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.”

Sure, it might be that she is finding her confidence in herself again – or for the first time ever – but there might be a different reason for the change.

If you suspect it’s because she is seeing someone else and wants to look good for them, you may be right.

Change begets change and if she is running around on you, she might put a lot of effort into her appearance so she can be attractive to her new man.

3. She doesn’t invite you out with her friends.

One sign that your girlfriend might be cheating on you is if she is suddenly spending more time with friends, but leaving you at home.

If she isn’t inviting you out or is insisting that you stay home and watch the game, you might be right to be concerned.

According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., her 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.”

She’s not giving you all the details about the get together either: not sure who will be there, not sure what time she’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.

4. She has started to talk about the future in a different way.

If she used to talk about the future and use the word, “we”, but now talks about things she wants to do alone, that’s not good.

Even if she tells you that she didn’t mean to be selfish about her plans, be wary that she may just be covering her 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 she isn’t including you in her 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.

5. She pays a lot of attention to her phone.

Sure, everyone pays a lot of attention to their phones these days, but if she is choosing to scroll through social media or respond to text messages instead of talking to you, you would be right to question her motives.

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.”

It could be that she doesn’t even realize she is doing it, but if she is having an affair, you can bet that she will get defensive and insulted by the assumption that she is doing anything other than updating her latest selfie pic.

Psychologist Weiss explains the possible scenarios in Psychology Today:

“Cheaters tend to use their phones and computers more frequently than before and to guard them as if their lives depend on it.

If your partner’s phone and laptop never required a password before, and now they do, that’s not a good sign. Your partner suddenly starts deleting texts and clearing their browser history on a daily basis, that’s not a good sign.

If your partner never relinquishes possession of their phone, even taking it into the bathroom when they shower, that’s not a good sign.

6. She’s not interested in getting physical anymore.

A roll in the sheets used to be a regular occurrence in your relationship, but lately, you feel like it’s getting more difficult to get her interested in sex. This can be a sign of infidelity.

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.”

Relationships have their ups and downs, but if you feel like she is pulling away from you and not wanting to be intimate, there’s a reason.

Body language expert Patti Wood, says:

“What you’re generally looking for is a shift from normal behavior. So, if they used to kiss you all the time and suddenly that behavior disappears it’s a shift from the baseline.”

It’s a good idea to talk to her about your concerns with physical intimacy and ask her what’s going on.

You’ll be able to tell whether or not she’s cheating on you by her response: she’ll either tell you that she’s having a hard time right now or something to that effect, or she’ll get angry that you bring it up at all and not want to talk about it.

Also, according to relationship and betrayal trauma-focused life coach, Karina Wallace you may also notice a drop in public displays of affection:

“If they do not hold your hand when they usually do or would usually invite you out but no longer do, they may be pulling away emotionally and physically.”

RELATED: What makes an average guy instantly become “hot”?

7. She’s too busy for you.

If she’s got a full plate and no room for you to spend any time together, but you used to spend all the time together, something is wrong.

According to relationship and betrayal trauma-focused life coach, Karina Wallace:

“They may play it off as just a preference but if you have been together a long time and this is not normal then its something to pay attention to…It alone is not saying they are cheating, but it can be a good indicator if there are a few things changing concurrently.”

She may even be too busy to talk with you properly.

People who might be cheating “tend to engage in sins of omission,” psychologist Ramani Durvasula says. “They operate on a ‘need to know’ basis, which is not healthy for a relationship.”

8. She doesn’t make time for you anymore.

What was once an intimate and fun relationship is suddenly so cold you need a sweater. If your girlfriend isn’t looking to spend time with you or asking you about your schedule, it might be because she is filling her days up with the company of others.

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.”

When you ask for some of her time, she may get angry and call you needy. Of course, it’s just her defenses to keep you at bay.

Also, according to Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. in Oprah Magazine, if they stop sharing about their day or their whereabouts, something may be up:

“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.”

While she doesn’t want to be with you, she also doesn’t want to hurt you and so that comes out all wrong and leaves the two of you feeling even further apart.

9. She won’t accept your marriage proposal.

You love her. You thought she loved you. You proposed and it was a hard no on her end. While you may be shocked by her response and certainly feeling rejected, there may be bigger reasons for that.

According to Everyday Health if a person had doubts about moving in or getting married, it could be a sign of cheating.

Maria Bustillos, author of Act Like a Gentlemen, Think Like a Woman, says someone who is not invested in the relationship, may always be looking for an exit, making them more likely to not commit.

If she’s cheating, she doesn’t see the point of getting married. Why she doesn’t just break things off with you is another issue altogether.

You may have to consider the point of carrying on in the relationship if you want to be married and she doesn’t.

And anyway, perhaps you don’t want to marry her if she’s been cheating.

According to therapist Kurt Smith in Huffington Post:

“While I disagree with the saying, ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater,’ there are always some significant mindset and behavior changes necessary to prevent this behavior from repeating…These new changes should be proven before getting married.”

10. She is talking about “her” future.

When you talk about the future, you notice that her use of the word “we” is inexplicably missing. She may laugh about it and say that she means the two of you, but people who are in love include one another in their plans.

According to Yvonne Filler, who runs The Affair Clinic in London:

“A couple we’ve been seeing for a few months explained the affair was suspected when the man kept making excuses not to discuss future plans.

“His wife found he wouldn’t commit to the big things like the loft conversion but also wouldn’t pay up front for holidays.”

In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways for you to tell that someone loves you before they say it: if they include you in their future plans.

11. You’ve caught her telling lies.

It might be hard to trust her anyway if you have already caught her telling you lies about who she is with, or where she has been.

“The human body is amazing in its capacity for discerning the truth in others,” certified coach, Shirley Arteaga says.

“There are usually signs of a cheating partner, and if you trust your gut, you will be able to learn the answer quickly.”

For whatever reason, women try to hide these mistakes instead of just owning them. Although, men do the same.

People don’t want to be exposed as liars and sometimes it’s just more comfortable to continue the ruse.

12. She doesn’t tell you where she’s going.

She’s all dolled up and ready to hit the town, but you have no idea who she is going with and she just brushes it off with a short answer like “just a few friends.”

It’s not that you need to know her every move, but it is common to ask questions and have an interest in what your girlfriend is doing.

Psychologist Paul Coleman, PsyD, says to Prevention that “someone who must ‘work late’ all of a sudden at times that go beyond a reasonable explanation may be cheating.”

If she used to tell you but now she is keeping you in the dark, she may be cheating on you.

13. She gets mad when you ask questions.

If you have gotten to the point of frustration and feel like you need to talk to her about what is going on, she’ll be angry when you start asking questions if she is cheating on you.

Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle, that unexplained mood swings could be a sign of cheating.

Or, if she is even thinking about it, she’ll lash out at you and somehow make it your fault that you would even ask those questions.

According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW in Psychology Today, she may be pushing the blame onto you:

“Cheaters tend to rationalize their behavior (in their own minds). One way they do this is to push the blame onto you.

“Often, their internal justifications for cheating leak out, and they behave judgmentally toward you and your relationship. If it suddenly seems like nothing you do is right, or that things that used to not bother your partner suddenly do, or as if you’re getting pushed away, that could be a strong indication of cheating.”

People who are lying and trying to hide the truth will go to great lengths to keep themselves and their integrity safe. It’s not personal. It’s about their inability to face the truth.

14. She’s on edge all the time.

Even if you are just hanging out, she seems cranky or nervous. She might be having major feelings of guilt about her actions and she will project those feelings onto and try to make you feel bad for the way you are.

According to Lillian Glass, Ph.D. in Oprah Magazine, you can tell if your partner is hiding something if “they are rocking back and forth” when they are chatting with you.

This shows a sign of nervousness.

It’s a defense mechanism that many people employ to protect themselves and the other person.

Despite cheating on you, she still cares enough to try to protect you from what is really going on.

15. She’s finding new hobbies and interests

You know what happens when someone falls in love. They start to become interested in what their new partner is interested in and they try their best to learn about it.

Well, if your girlfriend is suddenly becoming fascinated with all these new hobbies and interests that she never cared about before, then it might be a sign that she has found a new lover on the side.

New, romantic partners almost always open different parts of someone’s personality.

Dr. Caroline Madden, a licensed marriage therapist, says as much herself.

“Part of falling in love with someone is learning what they like…It becomes fascinating and interesting because they find their new lover fascinating and interesting.”

So if your partner has taken up a new hobby, or become obsessed with a new TV show, this might be one subtle sign that they’ve met someone new.

16. She’s avoiding contact

Is she going to bed early or later to avoid talking with you?

Is she not nearly as responsive as she used to be when you’re chatting to her on messenger?

There’s really no reason for her to avoid being around you except that it makes her feel uncomfortable or guilty.

Psychologist Ramani Durvasula says that people who might be cheating “tend to engage in signs of omission”.

“They operate on a “need to know” basis, which is not healthy for a relationship”.

Truth be told, people only avoid contact when they are hiding something, especially in a committed relationship.

So if you suspect that she’s avoiding you, then you might want to bite the bullet and ask why.

17. She’s easily annoyed and angry with you

This is going to sound weird, but cheaters sometimes rationalize their behavior in their own minds and believe that they’re doing nothing wrong.

She might do this by putting the blame on you.

For example, she might tell herself that it’s okay to cheat on you because you haven’t been paying her enough attention lately.

Or perhaps she’ll tell herself that you’ve been mean to her, which had forced her hand to find someone else and cheat on you.

How can you notice if she might be doing this?

The main sign to look out for is if she gets angry at you for even minor inconveniences.

Why?

Because she’s embedded in her mind that you’re treating her badly, so she’ll automatically think that your neutral behaviors are actually an attack on her.

This allows her to rationalize her behavior.

And anyway, if she is acting really short with you or is easily annoyed with you, then you might want to talk to her about that anyway.

RELATED: Avoid awkward silence around women with this 1 brilliant trick

In Conclusion

In going through the above signs, it’s important to recognize that “your significant other could display all…these signs and still not be cheating”, according to Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW in Psychology Today.

“It might not be cheating, but there is almost certainly something that you and your significant other to talk about.”

You’ve caught your girlfriend cheating: Here’s what you can do moving forward

If you suspect that your girlfriend is almost certainly cheating on you after reading the signs above, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the relationship.

Before you make any rash decision or action, you need to let your instinctive emotions pass.

Those feeling like anger, betrayal, and frustration won’t do you any good.

Give yourself time and space to feel what you need to feel without making in real decisions.

Trust me when I say:

You don’t want to live in regret because you acted too quickly.

Here’s how what you can do to get over being cheated on and move forward:

1. Accept how you’re feeling

You’re feeling upset, betrayed, and let down. You can’t help but question your self-worth.

Don’t worry, these feelings are perfectly normal.

The problem is, the more you try to deny these feelings, the longer they’re going to stick around.

It’s not until you accept how you’re feeling that you’ll be able to move on from those feelings.

2. Don’t blame yourself

You don’t need to ask yourself, “Wasn’t I enough?”

What your girlfriend did had nothing to do with you and you shouldn’t feel responsible for their actions.

The fact is, blaming yourself or someone else is wasted energy. You don’t want to play the victim, either. All that will do is give yourself permission to wallow in self-pity.

3. Ask yourself, what do you truly want?

Will you break up with her? Or are you going to continue to give the relationship a shot?

Only you can answer these questions. As I said above, you don’t want to make this decision when you’re angry and upset.

The fact is, it’s going to be different for everyone.

Do you have concrete ties like a house or kids?

If you do, then it might be worth it to continue the relationship.

You need to weigh up the pros and cons and figure out whether you can trust her.

Some couples successfully move on from infidelity and create a better, stronger relationship. Other couples don’t.

Relationship expert Amy Anderson offers some great advice if you’ve been cheated on:

“Always follow what your heart tells you…Do a weekend alone of soul-searching away from distractions and everyone’s opinions…Remember your core value system and try to get centered with a very clear head so you can derive the right answer you need for you…If you are happy staying with your partner who cheated, then that is what works for you… If you know you will always be suspicious or can’t move on from what really happened, you have your answer.”

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if your partner has cheated on you:

1) Do they care that they’ve hurt you? Do they even understand they’ve hurt you? And do they truly regret what they did?
2) Do you know the full extent of their cheating? Have they actually been honest with you about it?
3) Will you be able to move on? Or will the fact they’ve cheated always be in the back of our mind? Will you be able to trust them again?
4) Is it worth saving the relationship? Or is it better to move on?

5. Talk with your partner

If you want to continue the relationship, then it’s important to have a discussion about the fact that your girlfriend has cheated on you.

If you ignore it and continue with the relationship, then it’s negative energy that will fester in the background. In the long run, your relationship won’t be better off.

You need to be honest about it now and get it all out in the open.

Before you go through with this discussion, of course, you need absolute proof.

So make sure she has actually cheated on you and you’re certain of it.

When you start a discussion about what happened, make sure you figure out what outcome you’d like.

For example, do you want to stay together? Do you want to learn how truly remorseful she is before you decide?

No matter what outcome you’re looking for, talking about your partner’s infidelity is necessary if you are to fix the relationship or if you want to end it with some closure.

“People cheat for different reasons. They may love their partners at the time. Sex addiction, personal insecurity, and payback are just some of the reasons both men and women have extramarital affairs. None of them are good, but understanding why can help,” psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith told Psychology Today.

It’s going to be tough to confront your partner but it’s something you need to talk about if you are to move on with your relationship.

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Lachlan Brown

Written by 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 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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