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How to tell if your girlfriend is cheating: 14 signs most men miss

Image credit: Shutterstock - By Roman Kosolapov

When you meet the woman of your dreams, the last thing you are thinking about is what happens if she cheats on you.

Typically, people come together with a common goal of sharing their lives, but sometimes, for reasons people don’t always understand, one partner strays from the other.

Why is it easier to cheat than to just break up and start clean? Nobody really knows, but it is common enough that the other partner is left wondering what happened and if it’s really true.

It is common for the other partner to get a sense that something is wrong long before they know that their partner is cheating, but it’s difficult to confirm without actually coming out and asking!

Here are fourteen ways to tell she’s cheating on you.

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.

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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.”

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:

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“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.

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.”

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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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