Before there are red flags, there are yellow ones. Before your best friend tells you that they saw your partner in another city with a “friend” you didn’t know they had, there are all the signs there is someone else in your partner’s life that you have been noticing but ignoring.
You do this out of the basic human instinct of self-preservation. It is not easy dealing with the hunch that your partner may be cheating on you. This kind of intuition, much less discovery, is enough to affect your sense of identity and self-worth. A breach of trust, simply put, is hurtful and a direct attack on your self-esteem, and this discovery could be disorienting and shattering.
According to a survey conducted by Health Testing Centres, 46% of the people in monogamous relationships confessed to having cheated on their partners. However, before you take a death dive into confronting your partner, you might want to confirm your suspicions and get answers to questions like “Is she really cheating on me?” or “If he is seeing someone else, do I still have a chance?” This is where we come in with these 17 tell-tale signs she is seeing someone else or signs there is someone else in his life.
17 Signs There Is Someone Else In Your Partner’s Life
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Some of these signs that there is someone else in your partner’s life are clear relationship red flags indicating something is wrong in your relationship. The remaining are more yellow, or subtle, and will need to be seen in connection with other signs. Whether you ultimately seek to give your relationship another chance or choose to part ways, we hope these signs will help you gain clarity on how you’d like to deal with this situation:
1. They constantly mention someone else
Are your partner’s conversations littered with the mention of a new name? Recommendation of a place, conversation about a holiday, quoting a joke, sharing an anecdote. Can your partner not help but bring the other woman or man up all the time? This is the classic one of the signs that she is seeing someone else or that there is someone else in his life.
It’s in fact perfectly normal. When this person is constantly on their mind or they’re spending a lot of time with them, it’s only natural for their name to spill in conversations. Why would one mention someone they don’t want you to know about, you might wonder.
It happens when your partner is overconfident about their ability to cover their tracks. Or when they think they have you convinced, “He/she is just a friend!” It is also possible that your partner has stopped caring about your relationship and is subconsciously waiting for you to find out so that he or she doesn’t have to admit he is seeing someone else.
2. Their new routine doesn’t make sense
Your partner always mentioned that they liked to come back home from the gym to shower, get dressed, and head for work. That it’s just easier that way instead of carrying everything to the gym. The office schedule remains the same but all of a sudden they have changed gyms to the one closer to the office and they now carry their change of clothes and head directly to work.
When a new routine just doesn’t make sense, you may begin to get suspicious. Is he cheating or am I being paranoid, you ask? We say, don’t doubt your intelligence. When their routine doesn’t make any sense, it’s one of the clear signs there is someone else who is filling in those gaping gaps in their day that you have been finding odd.
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3. They have changed their appearance – Inner and outer
Or they are trying really hard to. Your partner suddenly has an obsessive interest in things like:
- Going to the gym
- A new hairstyle
- A new grooming routine
- A recent splurge on clothing
- Sudden involvement in a new hobby or pastime
All indicate a possible new passion or new interest in someone. And more so if they are trying to keep you out of it. It could be a part of a recent resolve to do something new. Or it might be something they are doing for you. Either way, your gut will tell you when something is off. The signs there is someone else in your partner’s life often trigger a feeling of something being “off”, don’t ignore it.
4. They forget to keep in touch with you
You are not wrong to expect a call or at least a text from your partner during a busy day. We are not talking about giving all their time to you every day or always being ready to respond to your calls no matter where they are. That is not only impractical but also unreasonable. But so are long, unexplained periods of absence.
Do they tell you they just couldn’t find the time to respond to your call? Or they couldn’t even drop you a short note to tell you that they have been busy? These are clear signs something is amiss. It indicates that you are not on their list of priorities and that you have not been on their mind. You feel rightfully hurt that it didn’t even matter to them that you must have been worried or waiting to hear from them.
This is one of the easiest signs to ignore because it is always justified with the excuse of being busy with family events or being tired, or generally, life or work taking over. But in a healthy relationship, partners prioritize communication. They communicate busyness, the need for space, and the inability to connect as well. You are not wrong that regular gaps or a lack of communication feel like signs there is someone else or that something is wrong.
Related Reading: The Anatomy Of An Affair
5. You often catch them in white lies
Or not being able to keep track of their own stories. Has your partner been either regularly repeating their stories a lot to you or thinking they shared something with you when they did not? This could clearly be one of the signs there is someone else in your partner’s life they are sharing intimate details with. Now they can’t seem to remember who they share what with and when.
Do the details of their stories, like the name of a restaurant they went to without you, or the date and time, or the friend they went with, keep changing? The lies they have been telling you have clearly overwhelmed them and they can’t keep track of them anymore. This is also among the classic tell-tale signs of manipulation that indicate that your partner is exploiting your trust and love. He, most probably, has another woman in his life or she has a parallel relationship going.
6. They try to keep their phone on them all the time
Are they carrying their phone everywhere with them – even to the bathroom? Is your partner suddenly taking utmost care to not leave their phone unattended? Have they changed their passwords and pins recently? Are they suddenly obsessing over privacy issues and making sure you are nowhere near their devices? There is a possibility that they are talking to someone else on WhatsApp or other messaging or dating apps.
Do you see it? It is pretty clear they are trying to hide something from you. And it’s more than just a regular case of technoference in a relationship. These could be clear signs he is talking to someone else online or she is cheating online. If this secrecy is because they’re planning a surprise for you, you will get a sense that there is nothing to be worried about. Your intuition and observation of their behavior will put your mind at ease. However, if this is happening because there is someone else, you will experience the exact opposite.
Related Reading: 7 Cheating Spouse Text Message Codes
7. They distance themselves from you on social media
If your partner already has someone or is pursuing someone, they would want to portray themselves as single on social media. This means removing couple pictures, avoiding labels that indicate your relationship with them, and not acknowledging any posts or pictures that show that you two are in a relationship.
It is abundantly evident your partner is trying to not look like they are in a committed relationship in their attempt to woo other romantic prospects or placate their affair partner. You, in this case, end up feeling like their dirty little secret. Do not ignore this for it is one of the signs she is seeing someone else or signs he is talking to someone else online. Or perhaps, your partner is active on dating apps that are linked to their social media.
8. They have begun avoiding PDA with you
The same holds in real life. As in their virtual world, they might not appear to be in a committed relationship in real life as well. Why? Because it could spell trouble for them if their other partner saw you two hand-in-hand. Or if someone else saw you two out on an intimate date or sharing a kiss and told their other partner.
If they have always been the shy kind, then it is a different matter. But if there is a distinct change in the PDA pattern, then your gut feeling “my boyfriend is talking to another girl” or “my girlfriend has another man in her life” is spot on. These changes may include:
- You are not going out on dates. All of your time together is spent indoors, at your place or theirs
- When you do go out together, they are fidgety and aloof
- Any physical contact in public is fleeting
- They are constantly looking over their shoulder
Likewise, not taking you to parties and mixers or avoiding public appearances altogether are classic signs he is interested in someone else or she may be pursuing other romantic interests. They wouldn’t definitely want to risk harming the facade of the singlehood they are trying to create.
9. They seem unfazed by problems in your relationship
This is one of the subtle signs there is someone else in your partner’s life and is hard to catch. It is not about what they have been doing but more about what they have not. Your partner might seem emotionally withdrawn, unaffected by the issues in your relationship that they reacted to passionately before. Even your complaints or concerns may fall on deaf ears, with them shrugging most of them off.
Their energy and attention are directed elsewhere, and they are either not even observing the problems in your relationship or have stopped caring about them. It seems like they would remain perfectly normal even if the house was going up in flames in front of their eyes. People come up with all sorts of excuses to cheat, ignoring a relationship and then using the issues to justify cheating is perhaps the saddest.
10. They are oversharing or avoiding answering you
Did you ask them where they were in expectation of knowing just that, but they ended up telling you the entire story of why they had to go to the pub with their work colleagues, who all came, what did they eat, and who left last? Liars talk too much. Have you heard that one? People sometimes overshare when trying to convince you of their lies.
The other end of this lying spectrum is that your partner may stop sharing things with you completely. You asked them an open-ended question, like, how was the party last night? Their response: “It was okay.” When you have to probe someone too much to get them to talk, it is another indication that they are trying to hide something from you. Trying to dodge your questions and withhold information are typical signs he is interested in someone else or that she already has someone else in her life.
Related Reading: 23 Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship
11. They are hiding finances
If they are out and about with someone else, they cannot do that without spending money, which also makes it very easy to trace their activities. Has your significant other been hiding their finances from you? Are they hiding receipts, transaction messages, and account statements? If you and your partner have always been sharing expenses in your relationship, then it would be easy for you to spot changes in their spending habits.
If your SO has always preferred digital payments, spending in cash all of a sudden could be one of the most obvious signs there is someone else in their life they are spending time and money with. Likewise, trying to separate accounts or demanding financial privacy are red flags you shouldn’t ignore.
12. They are less affectionate or more affectionate than usual
Does your partner become uneasy when you ask about their whereabouts? Have they been snapping at you more often, seeming more irritable than usual? They are behaving in this way because they are tip-toeing around you, scared you might catch their lies. Constant tip-toeing can be tiring, which is why they are not being their older affectionate self.
On the other hand, it is also possible that your partner is remorseful about cheating and they try to assuage these emotions by overcompensating with love and affection. This could also be a frantic attempt at distracting you, keeping you happy and satisfied, so that you have no reason to doubt them.
13. They smell different
This one is as classic as the lipstick stain. You could even call it cliched but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. We often do not pay attention to the little things like picking up an unusual scent on our partners. However, it does signal our instinct to be watchful. So perhaps pay attention to whether your partner has been smelling different.
We don’t mean the new perfumes your partner has been indulging themselves in but the scents they are picking up from their new partner and carrying home with them. And if you do pick up an unfamiliar scent on them, listen to what your instinct tells you.
14. The sex is different
In a healthy relationship, sex is an act of honest connection and a result of embracing vulnerability. Only when partners are ready to be vulnerable, do they lay bare their true selves. In this intimate zone, it is very easy to pick up on the feeling that something is off. When your partner has someone else in their life, the act of sex could begin to feel different.
Your partner may begin to feel emotionally withdrawn. You may not feel a connection with them anymore. It is also possible that they may seem less inclined to have sex, which could be one of the signs there is someone else in your partner’s life. (Sexless relationship effects can be serious. Get to the root of it even if it isn’t due to infidelity.)
Related Reading: 11 Confessions By Married People On Why They Stopped Having Sex
15. Your gut says something is wrong
Always trust your gut feeling. Your body is trained to pick up on cues that you may not even be consciously aware of. It tries to make sense of all the information it collects and signals us to protect ourselves. Even before our conscious self begins to deduce what has been going on, our gut, our intuition already knows. If something feels off, it usually is off.
However, this may not be the best approach for people who are naturally more suspicious. If you have often been called the “jealous type”, it is possible that you are prone to being more suspicious or cautious in love. You might have suffered past trauma that makes you behave this way. “It’s pertinent to mention here that it is possible that someone has manipulated you into believing that you are the “jealous type” when you are not).
Jealousy in a relationship is most often an indication of underlying issues. Either way, it is advisable to share your anxieties and concerns with your partner. Do it in a calm, non-threatening, non-threatened fashion and see how they respond.
16. They don’t make efforts to ease your insecurity
If and when you do share your insecurities with your partner, pay attention to how they respond. There is a good chance that their first response would be to dismiss your doubts as unfounded and say that there is no other woman or man in their life. But how do they do it? Do they try to ease your anxiety and reassure you of their love for you? Or do they just dismiss your concerns and invalidate your feelings? Do they make efforts to undo the damage? Does it matter to them what you think and how you feel?
If they are dismissive, they are possibly hiding something from you. After being put on a spot or being confronted, they are either too anxious to talk to you in detail or scared of being caught. The questions they would have to answer intimidate them because all they have to offer to you are lies.
17. They gaslight you when confronted
Alternatively, they do the most manipulative thing a person can do to their loved one. Instead of empathizing with you and being gentle and kind to you, they gaslight you. They tell you that you are an insecure person who has always been jealous and doubtful of everyone around you. Or they may turn the whole thing around and accuse you of infidelity and get confrontational.
They might make the moment about something else altogether and put the spotlight on you, listing your faults, and blaming you. Responding to gaslighting is tricky. If you have been subjected to it, there is a good chance your sense of reality has become warped, which can make it easier for your partner to get away with cheating on you. If your inner voice is trying to tell you something but you no longer believe in it, it can help to seek help from a mental health expert to sort through your conflicting emotions and get a grip on reality.
How To React When He Is Seeing Someone Else
Unfortunately, cheating is a lot more common than we would want it to be and it can leave the person at the receiving end emotionally wounded and scarred for life. When the discovery of your partner’s affair hits you like a bolt out of the blue, you may be left asking questions like “If he likes me, why is he dating someone else?” or “What did I lack that he had to go looking for someone else?” Self-blame and self-pity are natural reactions to being cheated on.
However, always remember that no matter what the circumstances, cheating is always a choice – a choice your partner made and the quality of your relationship may have nothing to do with it. People cheat for a lot of reasons, such as:
- They are unhappy with their current partner but don’t want to leave the relationship
- Boredom in their current relationship
- Just for the thrill of the chase
- The fear of missing out
No matter the reason, cheating is not acceptable. And if you find out your partner has been doing that to you, then don’t ask “He is seeing someone else, do I still have a chance?” Don’t do that to yourself. You don’t deserve that. If your SO was unhappy in their relationship, then they should have sat down and talked to you to try and fix it. Despite that, if you still find the strength in yourself to forgive this person and try to make things work, by all means, give it your best shot.
But only if your partner is remorseful of their actions and shows an earnest desire to revive the relationship and undo the damage they’ve done. Otherwise, you are better off without his person. There is no point in asking, “If he likes me, why is he dating someone else?” It is not you, it’s them. And here’s some relationship advice: Walk away and never look back.
- Sudden changes in behavior, routine, sense of dressing up or style can be indicators of infidelity
- Your gut feeling tells the truth, listen to it
- Talk to a counselor when you find yourself unable to handle the pain
The only way to know what is really going on is to ask your partner directly. Their response will help you decide your course of action. That being said, dealing with a cheating partner is a traumatic, debilitating, heart-wrenching experience as you see the ground beneath your feet shift, your self-respect shatters, and your hopes and dreams dissolve into nothingness.
Hold the hand of a friend or a trusted family member for support in this phase. And needless to say, nothing can replace the role of an experienced, skilled counselor or therapist and who can help you in this journey toward a happier life. If you’re seeking professional help to navigate this trying situation, Bonobology’s panel of skilled and licensed counselors is here for you.
This article has been updated in November 2022.
If your man has slept with someone else or has been cheating on you, the lies will catch up on him soon enough. Leading a double life is tiring. Many signs might give your partner away. Signs he is talking to someone else, on the slippery slope toward sleeping with them, if not already doing so. The best way to confirm it is by directly addressing this question to your partner.
The same way as what we discussed above. Your instincts will pick up on all the signs that she is seeing someone else and you will have a gut feeling. But the only way to confirm it is to address the question directly to your partner. Depending on her response you can decide where to go from there.