Wondering, how to find out if your partner is cheating online? I know first-hand how unpleasant it is to live with suspicions of infidelity in a relationship, even if it is virtual cheating you’re concerned about. I wrestled with the same dilemma when a former partner spending too much time hooked to his phone stirred up fears that there was someone else in his life.
Sure, back then, the novelty of social media and smartphones had us all hooked. Even so, I could sense that his need to always be glued to his phone extended beyond being hooked to cutting-edge technology. My fears turned into suspicion when on a vacation, all my then-partner Aaron cared about was the Wi-Fi connection at the resort we were staying at. He stayed glued to the mobile. The beach, the great food, nothing seemed to matter.
After we returned, I decided to delve deeper and find out what was going on. Lo and behold, he was having an online affair with his ex. I trusted my instincts and found my worst fears coming true. As painful as that discovery was, it saved me the bigger pain of being strung along in a relationship that my romantic partner was no longer invested in. So, if you’re looking for the signs he’s cheating online/she’s resorting to cyber infidelity, allow me to help you uncover the truth.
8 Signs Your Partner Is Cheating Online
In a study conducted among 1828 web users in Sweden, almost a third of the respondents reported having cyber sexual encounters, and half of them were in committed relationships at the time. So, cyber infidelity is hardly unheard of in this day and age. In fact, online affairs are fast reshaping the idea of fidelity in modern relationships.
That’s why if you have been feeling like your partner’s overdependence on their gadgets could be an indicator of something ominous unfolding in your relationship, don’t silence that voice of caution in your head. Instead, start paying close attention to their behavior and actions. If your partner is cheating online, some telltale indicators will begin to emerge. What are those indicators? And how to find out if your partner is cheating online? Well, look out for these 8 signs your partner is cheating online:
Related Reading: What Is Micro-Cheating And What Are The Signs?
1. Everything on their phone is password-protected
While it’s not unusual to password protect one’s devices, given how much personal — as well as financial — information is on them. However, if your partner has started using passwords for individual apps, especially messaging apps like WhatsApp, and treats their phone as a body appendage, clearly there’s something in there they don’t want anyone to see, including you.
Even more so if your partner doesn’t share their passwords with you and acts as though a bomb will go off the minute you touch their phone. These behaviors are definitely a cause for concern and could be a sign your partner is having an internet affair. It’s time to dig deeper and find out if your partner is cheating online.
2. They are secretive about their social media activity
One of the most telling signs he’s cheating on his phone or she’s resorting to cyber infidelity is that they become extremely secretive about their social media activity. For instance,
- If you share a laptop or a tablet, your partner would refrain from accessing their social media account from those devices
- They may also not use options like WhatsApp for the web because they just can’t risk you seeing who they’re talking to and about what
- They may also never let you see what’s on their social media feed. Even if you’re sitting across from them and there’s a hilarious meme they want to share with you, they’d prefer to DM it to you rather than hand you their phone
Sometimes, the answer to how to find out if someone is cheating on their phone lies in paying attention to the little details. You need to know how cheaters cover their tracks in order to expose them. Something seemingly innocuous but odd as closing down a tab when you walk into the room could be a sign your SO is virtually cheating on you
3. They don’t want to engage with you on social media
One of the obvious signs your partner is cheating online is that even though they supposedly spend most of their time browsing social media, they hardly ever engage with you.
- There could be times when you see they’re online but if you send them a DM, they may not respond. Probably because they’re busy talking to someone else
- Alternatively, you get the impression that they’re using social media but they don’t appear online. This could be because they’re using an alternate profile to engage with the person they’re in a virtual relationship with
- They hardly ever react to your posts and stories
- If they’ve recently signed up on a specific platform and didn’t tell you about it, it could be because they’re using that specific app for their transgressions. For instance, they could be resorting to Snapchat cheating, given how convenient it is to get away with it
4. Your partner is cheating online if they are on dating sites
If your partner is active on dating sites, there is little room for conjecture about their disloyalty. They’re, at the very least, resorting to cyber infidelity — it could be just sexting or there may be an emotional angle to it. It’s also possible that their transgressions have a real-life dimension as well. Otherwise, why would a person in a committed relationship still be using dating apps?
Now, this may lead you to wonder, “How do I find out if my partner is on dating sites?” Well, there are several hacks for finding out if someone has an online dating profile and it is actively in use:
- Ask a friend who is on dating sites to run a check for you. This can be especially helpful when trying to figure out how to find out if someone is cheating online for free
- Set up a fake profile on the app you suspect your partner is using to catch them in the act
- Run a username search on the app or enter a URL like this on Google: tinder.com/@name
Related Reading: How A Lying Woman Broke The Heart Of A Small-Town Boy On Tinder
5. They are on the phone at odd hours
How to find out if someone is cheating on their phone, you ask? Well, one of the simplest ways is to pay attention to their phone usage patterns and see if some oddity sticks out like a sore thumb. For instance,
- You wake up in the middle of the night to see them texting someone
- They stay in the living room on the pretext of watching TV but you find them engrossed in their phone, texting someone
- They say they’re busy in a meeting and won’t be available for some time but you see them online on a messaging app like WhatsApp
- As soon as they see you, they keep away the phone and pretend to do something else
If you have been thinking about how to find out if your partner has been cheating online, these peculiar behaviors can be a dead giveaway. This sudden change in their demeanor is going to scream out that they’re up to something they shouldn’t, and could be a clear sign that your partner is cheating on you.
6. Their browser history is wiped clean
One of the uncommon signs of virtual cheating is your partner’s need to clear their browser history repeatedly. Not just on search engines but also on social media platforms, email accounts, and just about anywhere they log in. The fact that your partner doesn’t want you to see what they’re doing online is reason enough for you to suspect, “My partner is cheating online.” After all, if they had nothing to hide, why would they wipe their digital footprint so painstakingly?
7. They smile while texting
You don’t have to be a tech ninja to figure out how to find out if someone is cheating on their phone. Your partner’s demeanor and expressions can give a lot away. If they grin like a smitten teenager when they’re deeply engrossed in texting someone, it could be because the person at the other end has them hooked.
So much so that most of the time, they aren’t attentive to their surroundings and don’t even listen to what you say without you having to repeat yourself. Sounds relatable? Then you can be pretty certain you’re dealing with online cheating signs.
8. “Supposedly” interacting with someone of the same sex
My friend, Tania found her husband, David, always talking to someone called Bryan. Whenever the name “Bryan” flashed on the phone, David would always leave the room to take the call. Tania would notice WhatsApp messages from Bryan only to find them deleted. David claimed Bryan was a colleague who worked in his team and they had to be in touch constantly.
One day Tania managed to note Bryan’s number and called the number from her office phone. Sure enough, a woman answered. Using a nondescript name that won’t trigger suspicion is a common technique used by those who resort to virtual cheating. If you’ve been wondering, “How can I find out if my partner is cheating online?”, pay attention to whether there is a contact name they have started interacting with a lot since the time your suspicions of cyber cheating took hold.
Related Reading: Why Do Single Women Date Married Men?
How To Find Out If Your Partner Is Cheating Online: 7 Tips To Uncover The Truth
If you find the signs your partner is cheating online relatable, the need to figure out how to find out if your partner is cheating online can become more pressing. After all, how long can you go on agonizing about whether or not your partner is betraying your trust, possibly sitting right across from you? Not knowing can make dealing with the situation all the more difficult.
So, if there are questions swirling around your mind — How do I find out if my partner is on dating sites? Is there any app to catch a cheating spouse? How can I find out if my partner is cheating online — we’re here to help you find the answers with these 7 actionable tips:
1. Check your partner’s messages
We agree that checking your partner’s phone isn’t the healthiest approach to dealing with the situation. However, if your partner is, in fact, cheating on you, you’re already looking at ‘healthy relationship’ in the rearview. The need of the hour is to find answers so you can decide how to deal with the situation. And desperate times call for desperate measures.
So, find an opportune moment to get a hold of your partner’s phone and check their text messages. If they have become adept at covering their tracks, you may not find signs he is sexting or she is romantically involved with someone else online right away. But keep at it, at some point, they will likely slip and you will have conclusive proof of their transgression.
The best way to get tangible results is to come up with a good excuse to ask your partner for their phone when you suspect they’re texting their virtual affair partner so you can catch them in the act.
2. Scan their devices and online activity
Be prepared to lose a night’s sleep if you want a conclusive answer to whether or not your partner is cheating online. Once your partner has slept, access their phone and computer and perform a thorough search of their activity. Take the time to go over every little detail with a fine-tooth comb:
- Email inbox
- Trash folder
- Google Drive
- Search bar in social media apps
- Social media DMs, friends list, activity
- Google Maps app
- Folders on computer hard drive
- Photo files
If your partner is cheating online, this search can yield answers. No matter how cautious they are, there are bound to have been slip-ups somewhere. When you cover all possible bases, something tangible will pop up for sure. If they’ve gotten sloppy at covering their tracks, you might just find a treasure trove of information you need to confront them
3. How to find out if your partner is cheating online: Search online
If you can get hold of a name or names of people your partner is cheating on you with, you can run a Google search on them. It will offer you some insight into who they are, what they do, and other basic information about them. If you can’t do it yourself, there are companies who will do the search for you for a fee in the range of $15 to $50.
Alternatively, even running a Google search for your partner’s name may throw up some internet activity that could be suggestive. That’s what happened with Nickie, 34, a resident of Ottawa. “I saw a few signs he’s cheating online but didn’t want to get too paranoid about it. One day I casually Googled his name not expecting much, but what I found was hard to accept.
“I saw his profile on a few message board websites, asking questions about how to get away with infidelity. When I finally got my hands on his phone, his WhatsApp was filled with flirtatious messages to and from the woman he was in a virtual relationship with. There were clear signs he is sexting with another woman and in that instant, I knew I could never be with a man who has been getting intimate with another woman, however virtually it may be, while sitting across from me,” she said.
4. Perform a reverse email search/number lookup
If your search so far has yielded an email address or a phone number that you think belongs to the person your partner is cheating with online and you don’t want to go the direct confrontation route right away, a reverse email search or looking up their number could offer you more clarity.
Reverse email lookup can be done using a software system or a search engine feature, where you enter an email address and get the owner’s data, such as their name, their social media handle, and possibly even their address and phone number. Likewise, if you’ve a phone number to work with, you can use one of the caller ID apps to find out who it belongs to.
Related Reading: Top 15 Best Alternatives To Tinder – It’s 2022!!
5. Try out apps to catch a cheating spouse
The advancement in technology has not only led to a rise in virtual cheating but also given us apps to catch a cheater. These apps give you virtual access to the target device, allowing you to track:
- Text messages
- Call logs
- Social media activity
- Audio and video files
- Contact list
- GPS data
Apart from these common features, different apps have their USPs that can make it easier to find real proof of your partner’s transgressions. There are two kinds of apps: ones that you have to install on the cheater’s phone and others that can be used remotely. In the remote apps category, the Spyine app is used pretty frequently. The other category, where you need access to the target device at least once to install the app are Spyic, Cocospy, Minspy, Spyier, Flexispy, Stealthgenie, Spyhuman, and Mobistealth.
6. Hire a private investigator
Though it may sound a bit extreme, it may be a necessary step that you have to take if you think your partner is cheating on you and you haven’t found any tangible proof to that effect despite your best efforts. Whether their affair is strictly online or if they actually go out and meet this person, a private detective will most probably be able to get you the information you need.
When you can’t stop thinking about how to find out if your partner is cheating online, you must use every recourse available to you to find answers. Remember, the alternative is being trapped in an unhappy relationship with a lying, cheating partner.
7. A confrontation may uncover the truth
If you have found proof and can say with certainty, “My partner is cheating online”, it’s time to have the uncomfortable conversation — the very idea of which leaves your stomach in knots. However, make sure that you approach this conversation in the right way. If you’re hostile, the conversation is very quickly going to turn into a screaming match with a lot of blame-shifting involved. Instead of anger and accusations, let your partner know what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. And urge them to come clean.
It may also be useful to use “I” statements. For example, instead of saying “You’re cheating on me and you’re ruining my life,” you might want to say “I feel like you’re being unfaithful and it makes me feel like…” During the confrontation, another thing to take note of is gaslighting in the relationship. If they say, “You’re crazy, you’re making a big deal out of nothing,” it’s their attempt at discrediting the situation to try and get away scot-free.
Can A Relationship Survive Online Cheating?
Once the cat is out of the bag, your next concern will likely be about where to go from here. Does it mean the end of the road for you and your partner? Or can a relationship survive online cheating? Well, there is no one correct answer to these questions. There are couples who bounce back from the setback of online infidelity. And those who cannot recover from it. Neither is wrong.
While it is possible for a relationship to survive online cheating, the likelihood depends on the following factors:
- The nature and length of the transgression
- The nature and foundation of your relationship
- How your partner responds to being caught cheating on you — are they remorseful and apologetic or are they blaming you and your relationship problems for their misstep?
- Your own emotional state — do you still love your partner enough to put this behind you or has this event changed the way you feel about them and your relationship?
Take the time to sort through these feelings. Have the uncomfortable conversations with your partner. And give it time. Only then can you arrive at a decision you won’t regret. Remember, seeking professional help can be immensely beneficial in making sense of your confounding emotions at this time. If you’re in need of help, skilled and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.
- Online infidelity is becoming more and more common in today’s tech-driven world
- Being secretive, not letting you use their phone, using passwords on specific apps, clearing browser history, and secretly talking to someone are some of the signs your partner is cheating online
- You can confirm your suspicions by checking their messages and devices, using spy apps, and performing a thorough online search
- Even if it’s virtual, infidelity can be deeply hurtful. Take the time and space to figure out what it means for the future of your relationship
Trying to catch signs of online cheating isn’t really the easiest thing to do in the world. But if your intuition tells you your partner is betraying your trust, don’t let it slide. Once you see the tell-tale signs of online cheating you can take all the steps to be sure that your hunch is right.
A good way to find out if your partner is cheating is to snoop on their phone, ask friends, check out the person you suspect they are having an affair with on Google, and suggest a phone detox trip and see how they react.
The first sign of cheating is your partner’s behavior. If they are frequently distracted, always glued to the phone, and never take their calls in front of you, then these might be the signs of an affair.
Yes, people can cheat on people they love because more often than not, cheating is about a person’s own thought patterns, attachment style, insecurities, and sense of self-worth and not how they feel about their partner.
You can gather evidence, become sure that they are cheating, and confront them. If they want to discontinue that relationship and rebuild the trust you can consider that, but if you feel you cannot do that, move on.