Either of two things has brought you here – a gut feeling or some sort of evidence. But you’re still on tenterhooks, right? No one wants to believe that their boyfriend is cheating on them, irrespective of the proof to the contrary. There comes a time when we must own up to the truth, even if it makes us want to curl up and cry.
To resolve your dilemma, and ease your suffering, I’m here to shine the light on 18 definite signs of a cheating boyfriend. Let’s undertake this journey together and see how many boxes your boyfriend checks. As daunting as the task seems, you’re going to get through this just fine.
I’m going to sift through your intuitions and point you toward a few things you may have missed. It’ll either confirm your fears or dissolve them… but I will have your back throughout the process. Time to get started on the warning signs of a cheating boyfriend.
18 Definite Signs Of A Cheating Boyfriend
Studies tell us that men tend to cheat more than women on average and that 30 to 40% of unmarried relationships experience infidelity. Clearly, it’s something that can happen in any relationship. We know, it’s not a nice thought to have, but if your gut feeling he is cheating has brought you to this article, you must also know that it’s okay to have these doubts.
It’s important to remember that cheating and lying are choices people make. Gemma Halliday said it best, “Earthquakes just happen. Tornadoes just happen. Your tongue does not just happen to fall into some other girls’ mouth!” Betraying your trust and disrespecting you in the relationship are consequences your boyfriend was well aware of when he cheated. And I’m sure he feels guilty but his feelings are not what I’m concerned with.
It’s time to prioritize you by finding out whether your suspicions are warranted or not. There are always indicators of cheating, even if they’re subtle or virtually unnoticeable. These signs of a cheating boyfriend are our guidebook. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or living together, these clues are something you should keep an eye out for. Without further ado, let us get straight to the matter at hand:
1. Pants on fire
Have you caught your boyfriend in a lie? It can be something very trivial – maybe he told you he was hanging out at a Mcdonald’s, but you ran into him at a Baskin Robbins. He said he was meeting the guys for a game night, but you’re very sure that it was his car you saw parked outside a café. Now you’ve got a gut feeling he’s cheating, but no proof.
These are all early signs of a cheating boyfriend. He might try to pass them off as slips of the tongue but I assure you that there’s more to it. More so, if he isn’t usually prone to forgetfulness or absent-mindedness. Why the sudden oops moments? What is he trying to hide?
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2. Moody much?
The trouble with dating two women at once is that the stress of one relationship spills onto the other. A fight in his side-chick relationship could make him irritable and curt with you. Likewise, a good day with her may make your boyfriend ecstatic.
You’re trying to figure out the reason behind his whimsicality while he’s showcasing the obvious signs of a cheating boyfriend. He could also be acting moody because of the guilt cheating generates. The guy is unhappy in his relationship but doesn’t want to be the cheating jerk either. A catch-22 situation…hmmmmm, that explains it.
Related Reading: Everything You Need To Know About The 7 Types Of Affairs That Exist
Where’s the money going? And why is he being shady with the finances? Perhaps you’ve noticed a few odd expenses on his credit card receipt. Dinner at a fancy restaurant, or an expensive gift for a mystery person (I’m hoping he wasn’t stupid enough to use money from your joint account).
When you confront him about the money, he pegs it on inflation, and how pricey it is to maintain a lifestyle these days. How typical! This is one of the warning signs of a cheating boyfriend. Chances are a substantial amount of his paycheck is going into the other relationship. No wonder you’ve got a gut feeling he’s cheating but no proof that’s concrete.
4. Busy, busy bee
Where to, mister? I bet it feels like he’s always off to someplace and never has time for you. His schedule has suddenly become very hectic and is full of events and people you know nothing about. Office meetings, lunches, the gym, boys’ night out, and so on. Is he really that busy? I think not.
Take note of how his work habits have changed as well. If there’s nothing to justify the amount of time he has suddenly started spending at work, you may need to consider it as one of the signs he’s cheating on you at work.
This is one of the surefire signs of a cheating boyfriend (in a long-distance relationship too). It’s not that he doesn’t have time – it’s just that he doesn’t have time for YOU. His brand-new routine is built around the other relationship. Is it time to ask a few questions? I think so.
5. Signs of a cheating boyfriend – D for defensive
Touché. If he takes the most harmless remarks personally, then it’s a sign he’s cheated and feels guilty. My friend Meredith’s boyfriend got so defensive about the smallest of things. He’d retort with questions like “What are you trying to insinuate?” or “Why don’t you just come out and say it?”.
In actuality, no one was insinuating anything. There was literally nothing Meredith had to say. But that jumpy behavior was a tell-tale of the fishy things he’d been up to. Her questions seemed like interrogations to him because he was afraid of getting caught. It was one of the early signs of a cheating boyfriend which she missed.
6. What’s up between the sheets?
Changes in sexual appetite do not happen out of the blue. If he’s cheating on you, one of two things will happen: he’d either stop being physically intimate with you or he’d have acquired a new skill-set in bed. The former can happen because of the guilt he’s feeling and the fact that his needs are being met elsewhere. He’s stopped hugging or even holding hands with you.
The latter can happen because his sexual appetite has increased significantly because of the higher frequency with which he’s having sex. This is the most obvious sign of a cheating boyfriend because several side relationships stem from lust.
Related Reading: How To Catch A Cheating Partner – 9 Tricks To Help You
7. Signs he’s cheating on his phone – Some privacy, please!
This sudden need for privacy may seem super frustrating to you. An interesting thing to note is whether he closes the door behind him when he steps out to make certain calls. Closed doors hide secrets. Does he angle his phone screen away from you? Are his calls suddenly private? If yes, then these are all signs of a cheating boyfriend.
Moreover, does he say things like, “I need some space” “Can’t a man get a moment alone?” or “You’re crowding me”? Now, I for one, think it’s his guilt that’s crowding him. His sudden desire to keep things to himself may result in a gut feeling he’s cheated, but there’s no proof. You might even wonder if you’re being paranoid or he actually cheated.
8. So much absenteeism
It’s so easy to tell when people aren’t mentally present with you. Their distraction is appalling. A man could be right in front of you, nodding away at what you’re saying, and still be thinking of Kate Winslet in Titanic. (No, this is not a personal anecdote. Shush!)
If your boyfriend is hiding something on his phone, you can probably see him ignoring you by constantly having his head buried in the screen. This absenteeism is one of the early signs of a cheating boyfriend in a long-distance relationship as well. He’s lost in thoughts of her and slowly drifting away from your relationship.
Even if his absenteeism has to do with him not being physically around as often as he used to, it’s something you should probably be thinking about. If he’s knee-deep in work all of a sudden, to the point where he can’t even make time for you on weekends, it could also be one of the signs he’s cheating on you at work.
We all know that a relationship requires constant effort, and he’s not putting in the work. His preoccupation with another woman is deeply hurtful to you but the obviousness of it can be used as proof that he’s cheating.
9. Mea culpa
Are you suddenly being showered with presents and compliments? Is he randomly texting sweet things to you? Does he talk about going away for the weekend or planning vacations? Yeah, he’s overcompensating. Pricey gifts, sudden grand gestures, or overt displays of affection are all signs he cheated and feels guilty.
If only someone told him that you can’t make up for being unfaithful by buying presents! He can’t have his cake and eat it too. Something similar happened to Meredith. When her boyfriend got her a Cartier bracelet once (for no good reason), she couldn’t help but wonder why he was uncharacteristically buying her gifts.
“Why do I have a feeling he’s cheating?” Meredith asked one of her friends. Though she had no real proof, his unusual attempts at showering her with gifts and compliments made her think something was up. No more than a month later, the friend she confided in told Meredith of how she saw her boyfriend grabbing dinner with his secretary. A nasty confrontation later, Meredith found all the proof she needed on his phone.
Related Reading: Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship – 18 Subtle Signs
10. UNO Reverse – Signs he’s cheated and feels guilty
One of the most idiotic things cheaters do is accuse their partners of cheating instead. There are no grounds for this allegation, but they’re just trying to cover up their own infidelity. If your boyfriend is accusing you of being unfaithful, he’s displaying the usual signs of a cheating man’s personality.
When you think about what are the signs of a boyfriend cheating on you, you probably won’t consider baseless accusations to be one of them. However, blame-shifting in a relationship is a go-to defense mechanism. He’ll probably say things like, “Why don’t YOU tell me where you go each Thursday?” or “I think you’re trying to hide something, not me”. If this happens, you should consider thinking about your relationship and where it stands.
11. Incorrect password
If he’s cheating on you, his screen time is bound to skyrocket. In this day and age of social media, communication has become a cakewalk – his mistress and he could be texting back and forth, right under your nose. And he’s likely changed the passwords of all his accounts.
His phone has a lock (of course), but so do all his apps. His phone is more fortified than an impregnable fortress. Long gone are the days when you knew his passkey and could access his phone when you wanted. This is one of the definite signs he’s cheating on his phone. Even sexting is cheating in a relationship.
12. One-arm distance
Let’s keep the physical intimacy aside, and talk about the emotional connection between you two. Maybe you’ve been thinking that he’s emotionally distant. You can’t remember the last meaningful conversation you had with him. He avoids any and all emotional subjects in their entirety. All of this is giving you a gut feeling he’s cheating on you without any proof.
I’ve always found that an emotional disconnect is the first indicator of a relationship going downhill. My previous relationship came to an end because of the very same reason – what’s the point of dating someone if they don’t complement you emotionally and never have your back?
If you constantly ask yourself, “Why do I have a feeling he’s cheating?”, it may well be because he hasn’t sat down and had a real conversation with you in ages. Conversations around the latest episode of your favorite sitcom and your weekend plans are fine, but when he’s actively trying to avoid staying emotionally invested in you, it’s definitely one of the subtle signs of a cheating boyfriend.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Your Partner Is Cheating Online?
13. “What are we?”
Infidelity may be causing your boyfriend to rethink the future of your relationship. This is one of the most common signs of a cheating man’s personality. He does not refer to you as “we” anymore and thinks about his future in individual terms. In a nutshell, he’s unsure of the relationship’s longevity.
For instance, if you try and bring up anything associated with moving further (like exchanging house keys, or living together), he dismisses the topic. He’s contemplating what to do – break up with you or end the other relationship. Or even worse, keeping both on standby.
If you have a gut feeling he is cheating, ask him about the future and where he sees you two going. If he tenses up and says something like, “We’ll see. Where’s the remote?”, it’s entirely possible that something could be up.
14. Exchanging vows (of silence)
A complaint you may have made recently is that your partner doesn’t communicate with you. This is one of the most obvious signs of a cheating boyfriend. He can’t tell you all about his day because he was spending time with another woman. He’s also worried that he might give something away in conversation. Hence, he refrains from talking altogether.
What are the signs of a boyfriend cheating on you? Take note of how often he allows himself to be vulnerable with you now. If fake politeness has taken hold over how you two talk to each other, it’s a clear sign that there’s no bond there anymore. The lack of emotional intimacy and engaging conversations almost always indicate a dwindling passion.
You both only talk the bare minimum. In the absence of all communication, you’re feeling left out of his life. It’s almost like you’ve become a spectator of his routine. His keeping mum around you is certainly a cause for concern.
15. Comparative analysis
Does he compare you to an invisible person? For example, “I wish you were more outgoing.” Excuse me, like who? He suddenly wants to change the kind of person you are and finds flaws in everything you do. Maybe he’s criticizing you more than ever, and you’re getting fed up with the fact that you can do nothing right. He’s unhappy in the relationship and taking it out on you.
The behavior of a cheating boyfriend can often get critical since he may be trying to justify his infidelity to himself. By making himself believe that he doesn’t like certain aspects of you, he’s also trying to desperately believe that it’s okay for him to cheat. It’s not okay of him to make you feel like you aren’t enough. This is detrimental to your self-esteem and mental health. Him putting you under a microscope is one of the clearest warning signs of a cheating boyfriend.
16. He loves me not
Plucking petals, are you? No one should have to go through this dilemma where they wonder whether their partner has fallen out of love with them or not. A partner who is unfaithful might refrain from saying “I love you” back. He is hesitant because saying so means making a promise. And his track record with promises is not so great as of now
If you’re looking for the subtle signs of a cheating boyfriend, you’ll have to look a little deeper than the words he says to you. It may feel like you’re in a fake relationship, and his distant attitude is going to blow up in his face sooner or later. Take note of his body language around you. Has he grown cold, distant and doesn’t seem as inviting anymore?
Perhaps you notice your boyfriend is hiding something on his phone, and he never lets you get around it as well. In other cases, he may no longer pay you compliments or be as affectionate with you over calls anymore. This is one of the signs of a cheating boyfriend in a long-distance relationship as well. Failing to express affection or love are tell-tales of the trouble brewing in your relationship.
Related Reading: 13 Traits Of A Toxic Boyfriend – And 3 Steps You Can Take
17. Fighting dirty – Signs of a cheating man’s personality
Cheating partners tend to resort to personal attacks in a fight. When confronted, they know you have the upper hand and a more valid argument. To protect themselves, they spew the meanest and vilest things imaginable. Anything may be used against you; things shared in confidence, personal incidents, mistakes from the past, etcetera.
For example, if you think he’s displaying the behavior of a cheating boyfriend and you confront him on why he’s not spending any time with you, he may lash back at you by shifting the blame, accusing you of never caring about him because you spend so much time away.
If his words seem out of proportion and unnecessarily hurtful, you can construe these as the signs of a cheating boyfriend. The things he says are stemming from a place of guilt and fear. Which is why you ought to be asking, why so personal?
18. Gut won’t lie
Agatha Christie wrote, “Intuition is like reading a word without having to spell it out.” You have a gut feeling he’s cheating but no proof to back it up. Don’t take this lightly. Maybe your brain is processing the warning signs of a cheating boyfriend subconsciously. You may not be aware of them completely, but you should trust yourself. As they say, there’s no smoke without fire.
The easiest way to resolve this is by confronting him. You may not be able to put proof on the table, but you can ask him straight up if there’s something he needs to share. If he’s even halfway decent, he’ll own up to his mistake and not gaslight you in the relationship. Ideally, you should couple your gut feeling he is cheating with another sign to make sure you have it 100% right.
Oh dear, that was a long list. I hope you found none of these signs to be visible in your boyfriend’s behavior. But in the unfortunate event that you did, you should consider the way ahead. Do you want to confront him? Or would you like to gather some more confirmation before doing so? Are you considering breaking up because your self-respect is on the line? So many questions only you can answer. If you’re going through a difficult period in your relationship and need some help maintaining your mental health, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists can help.