Is cheating in a long-distance relationship common? The fact is, the temptation is too high, and since the partner is not around, the sense of guilt is less. People often succumb to the temptation. But if you are observant of your partner, the subtle signs of cheating will be apparent even in a long-distance relationship.
“It is ordinary for a woman to find out her husband’s cheating on her, but not if you’re the woman and it’s your husband.” -American author Melissa Banks said this once, and a truer statement has yet to be made. Is your current relationship the one that will last? Are you afraid that your partner might not remain faithful to you? Being cheated on is a horrible feeling.
If you haven’t been cheated on, there are no words that I can use to describe how humiliating and dehumanizing it can be. You might want to believe that you and your partner are special. That the two of you are so madly in love with each other that no amount of distance, people, or circumstances would ever get in the way of the love you share for each other.
Unfortunately, the reality is not that beautiful. The truth is, cheating in a long-distance relationship is really quite common. So common, in fact, that it is the main reason as to why so many long-distance relationships end. However, you should not get disheartened yet. Even though unlike a normal relationship, it is difficult to keep tabs on your partner in a long-distance relationship, there are ways to know if your partner is cheating on you in a long-distance relationship.
There will always be a nagging sensation in the back of your mind telling you that the relationship is ending, but if you act on those feelings without proof, you risk jeopardizing the relationship. Luckily for you, we can help you recognize the signs of a long-distance affair.
Statistics For Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship
Long-distance relationship cheating stats show that 22% of people in such relationships find it hard to stay faithful. It could be a lack of physical contact or the opportunities available when you are away from your partner that leads to cheating. Research shows that 37% of people break up within 3 months of becoming geographically close. The reason could be cheating or the fact that the couple has already drifted apart in the LDM.
There are plenty of stories of cheating in a long-distance relationship. Infidelity can be witnessed all around the globe. So to give you an idea of how rampant cheating in long-distance relationships is, here are some statistics. Over 40% of all long-distance relationships fail. It has been seen that 37% break up in the first few months, and 24% had difficulty staying faithful in a long-distance relationship.
This number might seem high, but it is actually the same as regular relationships. This means that your partner is just as likely to cheat on you in a long-distance relationship as they would have even if they lived in the same city. However, the difference is the likelihood of catching them. Trying to spot the long-distance relationship cheating signs is a lot harder than finding the signs if your partner was near you. We’re here to help.
18 Subtle Signs Of Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship
Trying to understand the signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship can be quite nerve-racking. It is very easy to convince yourself that you are being paranoid and that your partner deserves more trust. While I do agree that trust is important, especially in a long-distance relationship, it is important to know that blind faith is never rewarded.
Below we have listed the 18 subtle signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship. While I do hope that this list serves you well, I believe that I should warn you. If your partner shows one or more of these traits once in a while, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are cheating. You should be worried once this pattern of behavior becomes the norm for them.
Related Reading: 15 Benefits Of Long-Distance Relationships
1. They ask you if you’re happy (hoping for a negative response)
It is not easy staying faithful in a long-distance relationship. If your partner asks you if you are happy with the current state of the relationship, they still care about you. If they ask you this multiple times, they hope that you will say no. The reasoning is that if you are not happy with the relationship, they have an excuse to break things off with you and not feel bad about doing so.
This is one sign that your partner is having an affair as they are constantly trying to get you to break things off with them. Other manifestations of this may include your partner constantly blaming the strength of your relationship for petty fights, and continually saying that your relationship is a lot weaker than it used to be. What’s worse, even though they’re the ones cheating in a long-distance relationship, they may try to blame you for the weakening relationship.
2. Inconsistent signs of affection
How to know if a guy is cheating on you in a long-distance relationship or a girl is being unfaithful to you? Pay attention to whether a hot-and-cold dynamic has taken hold in your relationship. One of the subtle signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship is when your partner shows random bursts of emotion and affection. This one is really tricky to spot as it is easy to confuse these outbursts with genuine emotion.
If your partner’s displays of affection are infrequent and random, it is quite possible that they are cheating on you. Such inconsistency is a sign of cheating guilt. It is possible that your partner is feeling guilty for cheating and compensates for that by being extra affectionate.
3. Long distance relationship cheating signs: Avoiding your calls
Another sign of cheating in a long-distance relationship is if your partner seems to be avoiding your calls. If it happens more often than they can explain why, it is possible that they are having an affair. If someone is cheating, sometimes the pressure of having to lie to their partner is so great that they choose to avoid their partner as much as possible. You need to be careful while observing this.
If your partner isn’t available once in a while, they are not avoiding you. If they are unavailable most of the time that is when they are actively trying to avoid you as staying faithful in a long-distance relationship is too hard for them. Long-distance relationship cheating is characterized by a sense of aloofness on part of the cheating partner. This is a red flag you cannot ignore.
4. Dishonesty is a sign of cheating in a long-distance relationship
Dishonesty is one of the most obvious signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship. If your partner is frequently dishonest or if their stories don’t add up, it is possible that they are cheating on you. If they lie about small and menial things such as where they were or who they were with, you should consider the possibility that your partner is cheating on you.
Lack of honesty and transparency can chip away at your bond, especially in a long-distance relationship. So, if your partner is constantly dishonest, it’s a clear indication that they’re trying to hide something. Even though long-distance relationship cheating is easier to hide, they’ll get mixed up in their white lies sooner or later.
5. They keep things vague with you
One of the subtle signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship is if your partner has started to be purposefully vague with you. This is a sign they are losing interest in the relationship. They might tell you that they went out but they will avoid telling you the details of their trip.
They will give you a general overview of what they did, but they will no longer tell you the whole story. You start to feel more and more distant from them. If conversations like these keep happening on the regular, you can be sure that your partner is cheating on you.
6. There’s a decrease in flirting
One of the telling signs your long-distance boyfriend is cheating or your girlfriend may have found someone else is that they are no longer attracted to you, and hence, no longer make an effort to flirt. If that’s the case, it is possible that they are having an affair. Now, this does not mean that if your partner isn’t flirting with you every day, they are definitely having an affair.
There can be multiple reasons why your partner might not be flirting with you once in a blue moon. It may be because they’re too stressed out from their jobs, or they’ve got a lot on their mind. Nonetheless, if it’s obvious that they are no longer interested in you, it is highly likely that they don’t care about staying faithful in a long-distance relationship.
7. Your partner is now short-tempered
One of the signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship is if your partner has suddenly become short-tempered and gets agitated frequently when talking to you. If your partner frequently gets angry over petty issues, it means that they no longer respect you or the relationship.
However, as with everything else, it’s important to note that there must be a pattern of disrespect and short-tempered behavior for you to even consider the possibility of a long-distance affair from their end. If that’s the case, this irritability is a sign that they may have checked out of the relationship emotionally and are just figuring a way out. When this happens it is quite likely that your partner will soon start cheating on you if they haven’t already.
8. Your partner has sudden changes in schedule
Another classic sign of cheating in a long-distance relationship is if your partner has sudden and frequent changes in their schedule. Sometimes schedules do change, but they do not change every week. If your partner frequently uses the excuse that they are unavailable because of a change in schedule, they are most likely lying and are using it as an excuse to avoid spending time with you.
Possibly, your partner now prefers to spend time with their new romantic interest, and withdrawing from you and your relationship is the only way for them to be able to do that. That’s why frequent excuses to spend less and less time with you is a red flag that indicates long-distance relationship cheating.
9. Unexplained expenses are a sign of cheating
This one is slightly difficult to find out depending on your relationship status with your partner. It is highly unlikely that you will know about your partner’s expenses if the two of you are just dating. If you two are engaged or otherwise share each other’s financial information, then you can figure this out.
If your partner frequently has unexplained expenses, it is possible that they are not staying faithful in a long-distance relationship and are spending their money on another love interest. Before you start thinking things like, “How to deal with a cheating boyfriend in a long-distance relationship?” after spotting a few mysterious expenditures, we suggest you gather more proof before accusing them of anything.
10. Frequent cancellation of plans
If your partner frequently tries to reschedule dates or simply cancels dates, it should be pretty obvious that they are no longer interested in having a relationship with you. Now while this does not have to mean that they are cheating in a long-distance relationship, you should still be concerned about such behavior as it implies that your partner is not happy with your relationship and is looking for something else.
This is definitely a sign that your relationship is in trouble and when a relationship is in trouble, the likelihood of someone cheating increases. Even if this may not be a sure shot indicator of cheating in a long-distance relationship, it still is a worrisome sign that points to the growing distance between you two. This distance can be the perfect setting for a third spoke to enter into your equation.
11. Reduced effort to communicate
One of the more subtle signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship is when your partner no longer makes an effort to communicate. They will seem disinterested in talking with you, and it will seem like they are no longer making an effort to carry the conversation. Their responses will seem apathetic, and your conversations won’t last as long as they used to be.
Once this starts happening, realize that your partner is dissatisfied and might cheat on you. Now it is important to realize that your partner might sometimes just be tired and if they seem disinterested once in a while it is completely fine. You should be concerned when such behavior becomes normal.
12. Long-distance affairs lead to a lack of intimacy
If you feel that your relationship has started to lose its intimacy, it is time for you to be worried. From sexual to emotional intimacy, your closeness on every front takes a hit in a long-distance relationship. It takes sustained effort from both sides to keep that connection strong.
However, if your partner is slacking on that front, it indicates trouble in your romantic paradise. Now a lack of emotional intimacy does not in itself mean that your partner is cheating. However, if a relationship lacks emotional intimacy, it is very likely that your partner will try to fulfill their emotional needs from someone else. A lack of intimacy often leads to no one staying faithful in a long-distance relationship.
13. Your partner deflects your questions
If you ever do confront your partner about your suspicions, if they try to change the topic or if they try to deflect the question, it is possible that they are in fact cheating in the relationship. At first, they might deny the allegations, but over time, they will avoid the question entirely.
This is especially worrisome if your partner starts to use gaslighting phrases. Such phrases are designed to make you question your own reality and doubt your thoughts. “Are you crazy? You’re seriously doubting me?” “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill” and “You’re insane to be thinking like this” are all phrases that can end up making you question yourself. If you notice gaslighting in your relationship, it’s time for you to realize that there may be cheating in this long-distance relationship.
14. Sudden change in appearance
If your partner suddenly seems to care about their appearance and makes an effort to groom themselves, it is likely that they are trying to impress someone that they like. While you should encourage them if they want to look like the best version of themselves, you should also be open to the possibility that they are trying to look good for someone else and not just themselves.
This in itself isn’t proof that they are cheating in a long-distance relationship, but if your partner also shows other signs of cheating, then it is time that you face the truth and acknowledge the fact that there’s something seriously wrong in your dynamic.
15. You can’t reach them
If your partner is cheating in a long-distance relationship, it is quite likely that you are not able to get in touch with them regardless of what methods you use. From your texts being left on seen to your calls going unanswered, you may find it increasingly hard to get a hold of your SO. This may even leave you feeling like you no longer know what’s going on in your life.
If you feel like your partner is purposefully avoiding your calls or attempts to reach them, they probably are. If you are barely able to talk to your partner, it should be a good sign that they no longer care about talking to you. While this doesn’t mean that they are cheating, this behavior certainly increases the chances of your partner not staying faithful in a long-distance relationship.
16. They try to pick fights
One sign of cheating is if your partner constantly tries to pick fights with you. You should know that this is cowardly behavior. They do this as they are interested in someone else, but they do not have the courage to tell you or to end their relationship with you. So they start to pick fights on small and inconsequential issues.
This is done in the hope that they can eventually pick out a fight big enough that warrants discontinuing the relationship. Yes, unfortunately, long-distance relationship cheating often entails such cruel behavior from the partner. If this behavior reminds you of your counterpart, you need to realize that they’re toxic and will not be staying faithful in a long-distance relationship.
17. They keep bringing up their mysterious friend
They have this “mysterious friend” with who they are supposedly hanging out every day. This friend frequently comes up in conversation, but you do not know what this friend even looks like or anything personal about the friend. All you know is that they are hanging out with your partner quite often.
If your partner suddenly has this new and mysterious friend, it is highly likely that this friend is the person they are cheating on you with. Now it is possible that your partner does in fact have a new friend, if they are still staying faithful in a relationship, your partner would have no problem sending you pictures of this friend and even making them talk to you.
18. Their friends are being weird
If your partner is having an affair, you will be the last one to know. Their friends, however, would know about the affair from the very start. If your partner’s friends are being weird around you like they are avoiding you, or if they are suddenly being extremely nice, it is possible that your partner is cheating in a long-distance relationship and their friends are trying to cover up that fact.
The truth is, if you know where to look and what to look for, cheating in a long-distance relationship is pretty easy to spot. More often than not, it’s our unwavering trust in your partner that might make us blind to these signs. On the other end of the spectrum, it may be trust issues and anxiety that make us question everything a long-distance partner is doing.
So, make sure you assess these long-distance relationship cheating signs truthfully, without letting your jealousy or trust issues get the better of you. Think of all these signs from an objective point of view, and you may have your answer.
Stories Of Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship
The internet is full of stories of guys cheating on their girlfriends, and girlfriends cheating on their boyfriends. It may seem like almost every relationship is doomed to end in infidelity. While we at Bonobology have hundreds of accounts of cheating on our website which I encourage you to read, the story of a reader from Minnesota always stands out.
Richard and Janice had been dating for about a decade when Richard had to go to Canada for a year, to head a project for his company. The two had been dating each other since they were 17 and had seemingly forgotten what trust issues or jealousy even felt like.
About three months in, Richard started to get a bit more busy than usual with his new job. The couple didn’t talk as much anymore, they didn’t have as many virtual date nights, and it was obvious that their first rough patch in years was afoot. Richard felt bad about not being able to be more present in his relationship, and he asked his best friend, Jacob, to spend more time with Janice in an attempt to not let her be so sad about the lack of attention from Richard.
About four more months of jilted communication later, Richard now had a lot more free time on his hands. However, it felt like Janice was almost trying to get back at him for not being free all those months ago since she was now too busy spending time with Jacob and Richard’s common friend group. Assuming that nothing could go wrong, Richard let it go.
Ten months into his 12-month stint in Canada, Richard got a call from a distant friend that he claims he’ll never forget. This friend told him that he saw Jacob and Janice make out in the club the other day, and they went home together. Of course, when he confronted Janice about it, she said all the things that cheaters say when they’re caught and denied it. Luckily, he had photo proof to back it up.
Ending a decade-long relationship is no easy task. For the longest time, Richard tried to forgive his partner after cheating, since she seemed genuinely apologetic. But to know that she lied to him for months on end while at the same time cheating on him with his best friend was a sort of pain Richard could not get over.
“Cheating in a long-distance relationship can eat away at your soul. You don’t know how it starts, you don’t know what they did in your absence and as a result, all you’re left with is your anxious imagination which can lead you down a dangerous rabbit hole. For a while there, I lost myself in that rabbit hole,” Richard told us.
Every time someone is cheating in a long-distance relationship, the cheater is filled with regret as the realization that they just betrayed someone who cared for and loved, comes crashing down on them. Though regret may take over, mending a relationship after infidelity isn’t always something that’s easily done.
Nonetheless, if things like, “How to deal with a cheating boyfriend in a long-distance relationship?” or “How can I forgive my cheating girlfriend?” have been lingering on your mind, read on to find out the course of action available to you.
Related Reading: The Affair Aftermath – How To Get Over Cheating Guilt
What Can You Do If Your SO Is Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship?
Cheating in a long-distance relationship can be harder to ascertain than it is when partners are proximal to each other. More often than not, you have nothing more than your gut instinct to go on. However, if that gut instinct is telling you that your SO may have found another love interest, and you can relate to the aforementioned signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship, it’s maybe time to address the elephant in the room.
Of course, when your trust is broken, your first instinct may be to call it quits and move on. However, relationships and matters of the heart often prove to be complex and straightforward options like ending things and moving on may not be a realistic option.
For instance, how do you deal with long-distance relationship cheating when you’re still in love with your partner? What if your partner says they still love you and want to make amends? How should you handle the situation if there are children involved? Or if it’s the case of cheating in a long-distance marriage? Your options in such situations can be markedly different than if you’re casually dating.
So the answer to what you can do if your SO is cheating in a long-distance relationship depends on the specifics of your situation. Let’s explore a few options:
- In an online relationship: If you see the signs your long-distance boyfriend is cheating or your long-distance girlfriend has another partner, it’s time to reassess your equation pragmatically. If your relationship has never ventured out of the virtual realm, it’s quite possible that you’re the third party, the other man or woman, in the equation. In this situation, quietly exiting with your dignity intact is your best bet
- In a casual relationship: In case, you or your partner had to move to a different city while you were still in the phase of dating casually, then you need to question whether them seeing other people even qualifies as cheating in a long-distance relationship. Did you agree to be exclusive? Are you in love? Was a long-term commitment discussed? If not, it’s time to embrace the “lot of fish in the sea” spirit and get swiping all over again (sigh!)
- In a long-term relationship: Long-distance relationship cheating hurts the most if you have been in a long-term, committed and stable partnership. In this case, your feelings of pain, betrayal and angst are beyond justified. Once you notice the signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship, have an honest conversation with your partner to understand why they betrayed your trust. Based on their response – whether it was a one-off thing, are they emotionally invested in the other person, do they regret cheating on you – decide if you want to forgive your cheating partner and give them another chance or end the relationship and move on
- In a relationship with children: If there are children involved, the equation becomes a little more twisted. Is your significant other a good parent to the children even if they may not exactly be the model partner/spouse to you at the moment? Are you financially independent and emotionally stable to take on the responsibilities of being a single parent? Is staying together for the sake of the kids’ something you could make your peace with? Are you willing to forgive and rebuild the relationship? It’s imperative to weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision, and not act in haste
Advice For Couples Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship
If you’re experiencing long-distance relationship cheating, the absolute first thing to do is to confront your partner about it and think about whether you want to stay in the relationship or not. Weigh out the pros and cons, think about what’s good for you, and if your relationship is beyond repair.
Once you make your decision, the next step in our books is to work toward it. If you’ve decided that you can’t let your partner go over infidelity (which is totally fine, as long as both partners are committed to change) you must make sure you both do all you can to fix the relationship after infidelity.
If you’ve decided to leave, do so with determination, and cut out your partner from your life, no matter how hard it may seem. If it feels like you need help to cope with the overwhelming emotions you’re feeling, don’t be afraid to seek help from mental health professionals. Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors can help you work through the grief of a breakup, or even help you figure out how to save your relationship.
People who are betrayed don’t heal so easily. If you have lost interest in your partner, you need to have the courage to tell them that the relationship is over rather than cheat on them. You will hurt them, but by not cheating on them, you spare them a far greater pain. You should either try staying faithful in a long-distance relationship or let the relationship end.
Statistics show that 40% of long-distance relationships don’t work out of which 24% are because of cheating. This number might seem high, but it is actually the same as regular relationships. This means that your partner is just as likely to cheat on you in a long-distance relationship as they would have even if they lived in the same city.
The first signs of cheating are when your partner doesn’t pick up your calls or call back. Isn’t too keen to video chat, or make plans to meet. They keep things vague and become irritable and pick up fights.
You know your long-distance relationship is over when you feel that you lack something in the relationship even when you meet. When your partner isn’t keen to go on holiday or video chat every night. They are not affectionate or involved anymore.
Yes, distance can be a reason for a breakup. Because not everyone is good at communicating over a long distance and they could grow apart in the relationship. Your partner’s priorities or level of involvement can change.
You might be tempted to cheat in a long-distance relationship, that feeling is actually quite normal. But cheating is never okay, regardless of the type of relationship it is. You must remember that cheating is a betrayal.
Cheating in a long-distance relationship can be triggered by myriad factors, the most common among which are partners drifting apart, feeling alone, and unmet sexual and emotional needs.