Does your boyfriend guard his phone like it’s got nuclear launch codes on it?
It’s strange, right?
You wouldn’t be paranoid to wonder if he’s cheating; sometimes that’s true, but it’s not always the case.
Here’s a guide to phone-clutching boyfriend syndrome.
1) He’s cheating
First let’s start with the top concern:
Sometimes your boyfriend hovers over his phone like a protective Mother Goose because he is indeed cheating.
If he looks like he just got busted in the bedroom with another woman every time you come within five feet of his phone, then something is obviously going on.
Knowing what to do about a boyfriend who’s cheating is a different story.
If the evidence is on his phone then it’s natural you’re going to want to look at it.
You can confront him or try to get a look on his phone, but if he is cheating, you can rest assured that he’s going to be ultra-careful about keeping his phone away from you.
2) He’s sexting
Cheating’s close cousin is sexting. She’s a wily little devil, and she finds her way into even the most seemingly stable relationships.
One of the top things it might mean when your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone is that he’s sending explicit photos and messages to another woman.
Maybe she’s sending him nudes and sexually explicit messages too, maybe not.
It doesn’t necessarily means he plans to have sex with her, or that he has had sex with her.
But then again, it doesn’t necessarily not mean that.
And some consider sexting, and virtual sex to be the equivalent of cheating.
Pro-tip on this: if he won’t let you see his phone and he’s also often wearing headphones (or a headphone in one ear) it’s a classic sign he’s listening to sexually explicit voice messages from a woman.
3) He’s trying to make you jealous
One of the lesser-known things it might mean when your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone is that he wants you to be jealous.
He actually wants you to think he might be cheating or talking to other girls to cause an angry reaction in you.
If your boyfriend is playing these kinds of manipulative games, then your relationship has real issues – and so does he!
Mind games never lead anywhere good, and if he’s trying to test your reaction he might end up getting more than he bargained for when you tell him you’re done with his crap.
That said, trying to provoke jealousy in a partner is more common than some people realize.
And even though it’s extremely childish, sometimes he really just does want to piss you off and make you doubt the relationship.
4) He’s talking to friends he knows you don’t like
Another one of the big things it might mean when your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone is that he’s chatting to buddies he knows you hate.
Maybe it’s a guy who’s a bad influence on him…
Or an old friend who he got in trouble with in the past and is talking to once again.
He doesn’t want you to see that he’s falling back into his old ways, so he averts his phone from your gaze whenever you’re in range.
You could look at this as his way of trying to avoid an argument with you.
But you could also look at it as his way of disrespecting your advice and concern for him.
5) He feels you don’t respect his privacy
Sometimes your guy doesn’t want you to check out his phone in order to make a point of principle.
He feels you don’t respect his privacy enough and makes a point of shielding his phone from your view as a big stop sign.
He’s telling you in no uncertain terms that he wants you to mind your business, and that he believes that does not include what he’s doing on his phone.
This is also related to trust.
He’s telling you that you should trust him enough not to snoop on his phone activity.
6) He’s intensely focused on a work task
These days smartphones are pretty advanced.
There’s a lot you can do on them, including various work tasks.
One of the more unusual things it might mean when your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone is that he’s busy at work.
He doesn’t want you to interrupt him, because he’s trying to focus.
This can be especially tricky on a phone since it’s not as big as a computer. He may be deep in a Zoom call or poring over a tricky spreadsheet.
It sounds like an excuse, but it can very much be true.
Some work tasks require all of his attention, and breaking his focus to chat for a second or explain what he’s doing to his girlfriend would trip him up.
So he shakes his head or moves his phone away from your view.
7) He’s in an angry interaction and doesn’t want you to see
Your boyfriend may have a dark side he doesn’t want you to see.
Let’s be honest here:
Social media and the internet can be a pretty toxic place.
Fights and arguments break out and spiral out of control in no time.
He may be cursing someone out on a message board or telling a guy off for having political views he doesn’t like.
Then you come in and try to look and he yanks his phone away, because he doesn’t want you to see how many times he wrote “fuck” in one sentence…
Nor does he want you to see the horrible things he just said about a girl and her weight during a political argument.
8) He’s doing things on it he’d be embarrassed to show you
In other situations, your boyfriend doesn’t want you to see his phone because he’s genuinely embarrassed.
There are a lot of reasons why this might be, and here’s a list of just a few common ones.
- He’s reading religious or spiritual material that he thinks you will find silly or bizarre and criticize him for
- He’s on an app that’s meant for kids playing an idiotic game like Farmville
- He’s having an emotional or intense conversation about how he feels and doesn’t want you to see
- He’s discussing the relationship he has with you with a friend and really doesn’t want you to see
9) He’s addicted to his phone
There are times when the simplest explanation is the truth, so let’s hop to it.
One of the top things it might mean when your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone is that he’s incredibly addicted to his phone.
He certainly isn’t the only one, considering people are dying to send text messages and getting killed at pedestrian crossings to check their email.
But the point is that addicts tend to not behave very rationally.
Try grabbing a heroin needle from an addict before he can shoot up: he will not respond well!
The same goes for a
10) He’s upset at you and using his phone as cover
Phones can also be a place of refuge for a guy when he’s mad or sad and doesn’t want to talk about it.
He could be hiding behind his phone to avoid talking to you about something he’s upset at you for.
Or a doubt he’s having about your relationship.
His phone is his way of pretending to be busy and not to care.
So when you try to see what he’s doing he pulls away or gets upset. Because he’s already upset at you to start with and the phone is his way of trying to hide.
11) He wants space and time alone
On a related note, sometimes your boyfriend is using his phone as a kind of meditation device.
He wants space and time alone, and the phone is a placeholder for that.
When you express interest or want to check out what he’s up to, he may react poorly because he’s in his own head and feelings at that time.
The phone is really just a flimsy pretext and he’s trying to reflect or calm down in some way that’s personal to him.
If so, why not just put his phone down and do it, then?
In most cases, it’s because he wants to use the phone as an excuse not to talk rather than directly just saying he wants to be alone.
Time to phone it in?
If your boyfriend is hiding his phone from you it’s an uncomfortable experience.
Let’s face it:
He’s hiding his phone…
And you have to wonder what else he’s hiding.
It’s enough to make you lose trust altogether or even feel locked out of the relationship as a whole.
If he won’t even show you his phone, how are you supposed to build trust, communication and intimacy?
It’s enough to make you want to give up on love.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.