17 unfortunate signs he is secretly seeing someone else

When you’re dating it’s normal for it to take time before you become official in your relationship.

That can leave you wondering if you’re even a thing, or if he’s seeing other women at the same time.

You might not be able to technically call it “cheating”, but you want to know he’s not hitting up every girl within a 10-mile radius.

Maybe in your mind you are exclusive, but you’ve started to smell a rat and wonder if he’s up to no good.

Dating apps have made it so much easier to keep your options open. That means there are a lot of men out there having their cake and eating it.

The casual dating culture means that if he is seeing someone else (or several other girls) he’s probably not going to tell you about it.

So what are the signs he is seeing other women?

17 signs he is seeing other women

1) A lot of your plans are last minute

Spontaneity can be fun. Getting a text from your crush after a long day at work to see if you want to grab a drink is great. But the unfortunate truth is that if all your plans are always last minute it’s because he was keeping his options open.

When we give someone proper notice and create a plan to see them, it shows that we respect them and value their time.

Men that make plans in advance are not worried he might change his mind between now and the date, because he is excited to see you. He’s not thinking about keeping it flexible in case he gets a better offer.

Every single man who has been genuinely interested in dating me has asked me out in advance. Every guy who was only looking for something casual has dropped into my inbox at short notice.

Not being able to commit several days beforehand to wanting to see you shows a lack of interest, and is a sign he is probably seeing other women.

2) He’s protective over his phone

Most cheating men are eventually tripped up by technology. The number one way that men’s affairs are discovered is through their phones.

Their partner ends up seeing sexy text messages that have been sent or sexy snaps to and from their other lover.

It’s not surprising as, for most of us, our whole world is inside our phones these days.

Does he seem a bit guarded about keeping his phone private? Maybe you see another girl’s name flash up in a flurry of messages on his screen, and he quickly shields it from you.

Then he may have something to hide, or at the very least that he certainly doesn’t want you to see. It’s less about other women contacting him, and more about him acting shifty about it.

I saw a great meme that read:

“What am I looking for in a relationship? Someone who puts their phone face up on the table.”

Yeah it could be innocent, but the bottom line is if you have nothing to hide, why be jumpy about keeping your phone constantly out of sight?

3) He doesn’t like labels

One of the most glaring red flags you’re dating a player is the guy who “doesn’t believe in labels”.

I’m not saying there aren’t some sincere men out there who genuinely do feel this way, but it’s also a very convenient way for emotionally unavailable guys to hide behind the pretense of some sort of progressive ideology.

Open relationships, ethical non-monogamy, friends with benefits — there are many ways to be in a partnership these days.

But if he tells you he doesn’t feel the need for labels, isn’t sure whether he believes in monogamy or something similar, then chances are he isn’t thinking about committing exclusively to you any time soon.

If that’s ok with you, then great. But if you are secretly hoping he will fall for you and change his mind, you are setting yourself up for heartache when you realize he has moved on to someone else.

Not wanting to put a label on what you two have is a big indicator that he isn’t invested enough to move forward into a committed relationship.

4) He’s inconsistent with you

Consistency in behavior is one of the important rules for when you first start dating.

That means interest levels should remain strong throughout. If his behavior starts to be inconsistent then you might notice:

  • He blows hot and cold with you
  • He disappears for a while before popping back up again
  • He’s charming with his words, but his actions don’t back it up
  • He sends a flurry of messages, but suddenly stops replying
  • He’s full-on for a while then backs off

These peaks and troughs of interest levels might be coinciding with the appearance of other girls on the scene. If he is talking to someone else he may seemingly lose interest in you for a while, before reappearing again.

5) He avoids sharing anything about you on his socials

Of course, not everyone is social media obsessed, but almost 4 billion of us do use it.

If he hardly ever goes on Insta, Tik Tok, Facebook, etc. then you shouldn’t be surprised he’s not plastering you all over his feed and stories.

But if he does post regularly, but never involves you, it’s a bit more of a social media red flag in a relationship.

If he doesn’t want to be seen in pics together, tagged in stories, or show the online world that you two are together, it could be because other girls are on the scene too.

You might even get the impression that he avoids you on socials. For example, he doesn’t like or comment on your pictures and only communicates through private DM’s.

This type of behavior suggests he doesn’t want everyone to know about you.

Another sneaky sign he is seeing someone else is to watch out for fluctuating followers.

Guys who are active on the dating scene often get a scattering of new followers when they’re talking to other girls.

Unlike making new friends, the followers then start to disappear again — because we unfollow guys who become failed romances, but not guys who are just our friends.

6) He hasn’t deleted his dating apps

How long do you wait before deleting the dating apps after you meet someone?

It’s a tricky question with no defined answer. After all, particularly in the early days, it’s a good idea to avoid expectations. A couple of good dates certainly doesn’t mean you’re off the market.

But apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble have made it way easier for men to play around and keep it a secret.

They can meet other women from the comfort and convenience of the couch. They don’t even need to invest a lot of time, and after a bit of swiping, they’re speaking with someone new.

11% of Millennials say they use apps to cheat on their partner online.

Although people are looking for something exclusive on dating apps, a lot of guys are also looking for something casual, with four in ten people in a YouGov poll (39%) saying they use dating apps “to have something fun/interesting to do”.

If you know his profile is still active on dating sites, then it’s safe to assume he could be speaking to, seeing, and potentially sleeping with other women whilst he’s dating you.

7) He cancels dates

Canceling a date or two along with a good excuse is understandable.

People lead busy lives and things come up. But whilst it’s no big deal to need to reschedule occasionally, it isn’t a good sign if it’s a regular thing.

Pay attention to how much notice he gives you if he needs to cancel. There’s a big difference between telling you a few days before that he needs to reschedule and sending you a text 5 minutes before you were about to head out of the door to meet him.

If he’s letting you down at the last minute then it could be that he has had a better offer. That better offer doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going on a date with someone else. He could just as easily decide to go out with his friends instead.

But what canceling dates definitely does tell you is that he’s not putting all his eggs into your basket. This suggests he’s most likely playing the field still.

8) He’s contacting you less

A big change in someone’s usual habits is always a good indicator of their shifting feelings towards you.

When you first start chatting to a guy, it’s normal for him to be extra attentive to show you he’s into you. It’s also totally normal for that level of communication to die down a little bit after a while.

But if it dies down a lot, it’s one of the signs he has moved on to someone else.

You can end up agonizing over why he isn’t texting you.

There are always complicated factors that make every case unique, but the underlying truth is quite simple.

If he wants to see you, he will be texting you. If he isn’t bothered about seeing you, he won’t text you.

If he pursued you in the beginning but has backed off, he may be secretly seeing other women.

9) You have strong suspicions you can’t shake

Romance is vulnerable.

We’re usually scared of getting hurt, nervous about scaring someone off, worried about coming on too strong — and a whole host of other emotions.

Sure, that can mean that sometimes we get paranoid or read too much into things. But here’s the thing, you should trust your gut.

Your intuition is powerful. Unless you are the needy type, you are probably feeling suspicious because he is giving you reason to doubt him.

It might not be something you can definitely put your finger on. It’s more a collection of things around how he behaves.

Your gut feelings aren’t just guesses, it’s far more scientific.

The hunches we have are usually created from information stored in your subconscious. The little almost undetectable cues to the conscious mind are always being silently noted behind the scenes.

If you know something isn’t quite right, follow your instincts.

10) It’s all about sex for him

Not all guys are just looking for sex, but the sad truth is that some men do only want you for your body.

They’re looking for something physical, but not much else. It’s fine if you just want to hook up, but not if you’re looking for more.

These guys can be tricky to spot in the beginning. Until they get what they want they seem pretty charming and attentive. But once you’ve slept together the dynamic shifts.

Any effort he once made starts to fade. You don’t really feel like you’re dating anymore, and he only seems to come over for sex. It might not have started out that way, but it’s becoming increasingly a Netflix and chill “situationship”.

Either that, or he starts to back off completely once you’ve slept together and has already started to move on to someone else.

If he has a very casual attitude towards sex with you, you shouldn’t be surprised if he is sleeping with other people too.

11) You haven’t had the chat about being exclusive

I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually had the “are we exclusive?” chat. Despite being in several long term relationships throughout my life, I’ve never sat down and clarified whether we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.

You begin spending more and more time together, feelings are clearly growing, and then suddenly you’re in love. Not every situation feels like you need to discuss your blossoming romance.

But there’s also no getting around the fact that modern dating is different. And the truth is that you can never really assume exclusivity unless you have both agreed upon it.

If it’s not confirmed then he may not think he’s doing anything wrong by talking to someone else.

Feelings often develop at different speeds. You might be head over heels, but he still thinks things are casual.

If it’s been a while and neither of you has clarified where you’re at, and importantly where it is heading, then it could be a good idea to ask.

12) He’s not introducing you to his friends

When you start seeing someone you’re most likely spending time alone together. Most of us don’t introduce just anyone into our lives straight away.

It takes a while before you meet the friends, and even longer until you meet the family. But if you’ve been dating a while, and especially if you consider yourself to be in a relationship, then you should expect to start mixing in his inner circles.

If he’s seeing other girls at the same time as you, then he’s going to want to keep you away from his friends. It could get messy otherwise.

It’s one thing trying to hide other women from you, but it’s even more complicated trying to juggle other women if he integrates them into his life.

If he doesn’t seem interested in merging worlds with you then he might see what you two have as pretty casual still.

13) You see him with unknown girls

Depending on the size of where you live, you may see him with someone else.

I live in a big city and just the other day I saw a guy I’d had a couple of dates with having a drink with another woman.

Of course, there’s no way of knowing whether she is a friend or more. But it would be naive to not consider any girls you’ve spotted him with could be someone else he is also seeing.

If you do bump into him whilst he’s with another woman, how he behaves is key.

If he pretends to not see you, starts acting awkwardly, or doesn’t approach you to say hi, then she’s clearly not his sister.

Most of us have mixed friendship groups these days, but if he’s also constantly with other girls on his social media, who you don’t recognize, then the same applies.

The more unknown women you see him hanging around with, the more suspicious you are likely to be that he’s seeing someone else.

14) He seems distant

Being a bit distant can show up in several ways.

For example, he may seem a little bit emotionally distant. Almost as though you can’t get past the surface with him.

We get to know someone on different levels. You’re not going to spill your deepest darkest secrets on the first date, but as a bond grows you should learn more about someone and grow closer.

If things stay on a shallow or purely flirty level, then he’s not really trying to get to know you.

Maybe once upon a time, he was more attentive about getting to know you, but this attention has faded.

Perhaps when you are together he seems almost preoccupied, and not really present.

He might have started to give you the cold shoulder, and you can feel him pulling away.

15) There’s a new girl on the scene

Yes, men have female friends and it’s not a big deal. But every woman is going to get a little bit suspicious when a new attractive female “friend” suddenly pops up from nowhere.

Maybe it’s a colleague at work that he’s got to know more over the last few weeks. Or perhaps they met through a mutual friend and have been hanging out quite a bit since.

If you notice another girl’s name starts to come up quite a lot, then he could be secretly seeing her.

If you think a guy wouldn’t be so obvious, then don’t forget that affairs don’t just happen, there’s usually a build-up.

An ex of mine had an affair with a female friend he got closer to and there were definite signs.

I noticed he talked about her more, would mention he had seen her, and even brought home the Sopranos box set that she had loaned him.

Often where there is smoke, there is fire.

16) He’s suddenly busy

It’s not that people don’t get busy, they obviously do. But it basically comes down to priorities.

If he’s not making you one of his priorities, then he is choosing to put his energy elsewhere.

Maybe you only see him when he wants. It’s always on his schedule and on his terms.

Perhaps on several occasions when you’ve asked to see him, he isn’t available, but offers no real explanation why other than “I can’t”.

No matter what commitments you have, if you really like someone you make time for them. If he’s into you, he wants to message you and he wants to see you.

So if he’s “too busy” to do either of those things, take it as a not-so-subtle sign he’s lost interest in you.

When a guy has plenty of other options and is seeing more than one woman he’s going to have less time for you.

17) You’re warned about his player behavior

The bad boys have an undeniable appeal. It’s not that we go looking for a player, but players often have a lot of seductive traits.

They can be charismatic, confident, playful, witty, and all-around charming.

They have that swagger that draws you in. They’re not needy, they’re independent and that is totally sexy.

The problem is that their cool exterior is possible because deep down they don’t really care about you. You are just one of the girls they’re chatting up and dating, and there are usually plenty more where you came from.

If another woman warns you about a guy’s lothario ways, sure give him the benefit of the doubt, but keep your eyes open.

If she has no reason to lie to you, then you might want to heed her warning.

My motto is ‘Beware the guys who have “crazy” exes’. Are they really so crazy, or is it something about him that triggered them to behave the way they did?

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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