How to Know if a Guy Is Cheating on You

Three Methods:Looking for Physical SignsLooking for Emotional SignsAsking Directly

There are few feelings worse than suspecting your boyfriend is cheating on you. But if you start to feel like something is off in your relationship, you're better off knowing the truth than worrying about the possibility whenever you're together. Determining whether your guy is cheating on you doesn't mean you have to start spying on him, though. Just keeping an eye out for some warning signs can help you figure out whether you should continue to trust him.

Method 1
Looking for Physical Signs

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    Look for obvious evidence of another woman. It may seem like a cliche, but finding a smear of lip gloss in a shade you don’t wear on his shirt is a good sign that he’s cheating. Smelling another woman’s perfume on his hair or clothing is another warning sign.[1]
    • If you notice a lipstick stain or strange perfume on your boyfriend once, it may just be from a friend or relative, so you shouldn’t necessarily worry. However, if it happens more than once, you may have cause for concern.
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    Take note of changes to his physical appearance. When a guy starts seeing a new woman, he often starts to take more pride in his appearance, so he may starting working out more, using self-tanner, or whitening his teeth. If his grooming routine begins to change, it may mean that he’s seeing someone else.[2]
    • A guy who’s cheating may shower more often because he’s trying to wash away another woman’s perfume, so if your boyfriend is suddenly showering two or more times a day, you may have reason to be concerned.
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    Notice if he is obsessed with his phone. Most of us have our phones with us at all times, so there’s nothing suspicious if that’s the case with your boyfriend. However, if he never lets it out of his sight so he even takes it to the bathroom with him, that may be a sign that he’s hiding something like another girl.[3]
    • Even people who are in a relationship deserve privacy, so it’s never a good idea to go through your boyfriend’s phone to look at the call log, text messages, or emails. That’s true even if you suspect that he’s cheating.
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    Watch out if he’s always on social media. There’s nothing wrong with having a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or other social media account. However, if your boyfriend is constantly scrolling through his Twitter or Instagram feed, it may be a sign that he’s no longer committed to your relationship.[4]
    • If your boyfriend is a social media addict, he may be using the apps to communicate with other girls or even meet new people.
    • Just as with his phone, you should respect your boyfriend’s privacy even when you’re suspicious. Don’t try to figure out his social media passwords, so you can go through his accounts.
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    Notice if he’s constantly closing doors behind him. That’s a classic sign that he has something to hide, particularly if he always used to leave them open before. He may be calling or texting another girl and trying to prevent you from finding out.[5]
    • Even if your boyfriend isn’t closing doors in order to communicate with other people, it can still be a sign of a problem in your relationship because it signifies emotional distance.[6]
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    Listen to warnings from your friends. If friends and family members that you trust start dropping hints that your boyfriend may be seeing someone on the side, you may want evaluate your relationship and see if there may be truth to their suspicions.[7]
    • Always consider the source when it comes to accusations that your boyfriend is cheating. Some friends and family members may be genuinely concerned about you, but others may be letting their own baggage affect their perception. For example, if you have a friend who’s recently had a significant other cheat on her, she may be more likely to accuse your guy, even if he’s done nothing wrong.

Method 2
Looking for Emotional Signs

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    Take notice if he’s prone to mood swings. If he’s happy and upbeat when he’s saying goodbye to you but quiet and withdrawn when you’re together, it may be a sign that he’s seeing another girl. Balancing more than one relationship is difficult, so it may start to take its toll on your boyfriend.[8]
    • Problems in one relationship can carry over to the other, so if your boyfriend is fighting with his other girlfriend, you may deal with the fallout in your relationship.
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    Pay attention if he stops saying “I love you.” It’s probably obvious, but if your boyfriend used to tell you how he felt all the time and now no longer communicates his feelings, it can be a significant warning sign. That’s because he may no longer have much emotion to invest in your relationship if he’s putting all of his feelings into another relationship.[9]
    • See how he reacts when you say “I love you.” If he’s reluctant to even say “Me too,” that’s a big red flag.
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    Observe how affectionate he is with you. If he’s no longer as affectionate as he used to be, it can be a sign that he’s seeing someone else and saving his affection for her. A noticeable decrease in kisses, hugs, and other physical displays of affection can be a sign that he’s cheating.[10]
    • All affection doesn’t have to be physical. If he stops using his favorite nickname for you or doesn’t use your special emojis in texts, you should also pay attention.
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    Notice if he’s more attentive than usual. Sometimes, guilt can cause a guy to overcompensate so if he’s cheating, he may try to make up for it by being overly nice. Showering you with gifts, taking you to your favorite restaurant, or allowing you to choose what you watch on TV can all be signs that he’s trying to ease a guilty conscience.[11]
    • Guys are usually plagued by guilt and become overly affectionate in the early stages of cheating. As the relationship with the other woman continues, the guilt -- and the increased attention -- may diminish.[12]
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    Pay attention to how often he picks fights. He may try to start arguments with you, so he has an excuse to leave and go see another girl. If your boyfriend suddenly starts picking fights every time that you’re together and you didn’t used to fight that often, it’s probably a cause for concern.[13]
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    Take note if he’s suddenly suspicious of you. If your boyfriend starts accusing you of cheating even though there’s no credible evidence, it may be a sign that he’s seeing someone else. That’s because he may be projecting his own behavior onto you -- he knows that he’s cheating, so he assumes you must be too -- or he may simply be trying to deflect the guilt that he feels. [14]

Method 3
Asking Directly

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    Ask if something’s wrong. You don’t necessarily have to accuse your boyfriend of cheating, but tell him that you feel like something is off with him. Being unable to communicate with your partner can cause significant problems in a relationship, so it’s best to just confront the issue directly. [15]
    • Make sure to choose a time to talk with your boyfriend when you know you won’t be interrupted. If you want to have a serious, honest conversation, neither of you should be taking phone calls or answering texts.[16]
    • Try to stay as calm as possible. If you immediately put your boyfriend on the defensive, you’re probably not going to get any real answers. Remember that your goal is a conversation, not a confrontation.[17]
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    Point out change in his behavior. You don’t want to come across as irrational or paranoid, so it helps to cite the specific evidence that’s led you to suspect him, even if it’s just the fact that he’s stopped calling you pet names or always takes his phone into the bathroom.[18]
    • For the best results, you should be as non-judgemental as possible when you’re laying out the reasons that you’ve come to suspect your boyfriend of cheating, so try to start your sentences with “I” and not “you.” For example, you might say, “I feel like we’re growing apart and I’m upset about it.” That can make your boyfriend more likely to listen to what you have to say.[19]
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    Ask point blank. If explaining the changes in your boyfriend's behavior that concern you doesn't lead to the topic coming up, you may want to just ask him directly if he's cheating. You're probably going to be angry and upset, but don't resort to name calling or physical violence. The calmer you stay, the more likely you are to get a straight answer from your boyfriend.[20]
    • Give you boyfriend a chance to answer your questions. Don't yell over him or assume you know what he's going to say. He may have an explanation for his actions that will relieve your fears.
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    Trust your gut. Unless you have ironclad proof that he’s cheating, your boyfriend is most likely going to deny whatever accusations you level at him. In that situation, you have to listen to your instincts. If you really feel like you can’t believe what he’s telling you, then the trust is already broken in your relationship, and that can be difficult to bounce back from.[21]


  • Before you get proof or confirmation that your boyfriend is cheating, you should decide what you plan to do if it’s true. For some people, cheating is a deal breaker because the trust is gone from the relationship. For others, a relationship can still be salvaged after cheating if your boyfriend promises to stop seeing other people. Know what your limits are before you confront him.
  • If your boyfriend is cheating on you, don’t let it make you cynical about future relationships. Even if you decide to break up, try to forgive him, so you can move onto your next relationship with a trusting, open heart.
  • Always put yourself first. If you’re not getting what you want out of a relationship, you’re better off being alone than with someone who doesn’t meet your needs.


  • Be prepared for your boyfriend to get angry and defensive if you confront him about cheating. Keep your cool and don’t let him rattle you if you’re confident that your instincts are right.
  • Don’t try to get even with your boyfriend by cheating on him. Two wrongs never make a right.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Youth Relationship Issues