15 Signs You Should Be Suspicious Of Your Partner’s Behaviour

15 Signs You Should Be Suspicious Of Your Partner’s Behaviour Shutterstock

When it comes to relationships, trust is everything. But sometimes, our gut tells us that something isn’t quite right with our partner’s behavior. It’s easy to brush off these feelings and make excuses, but ignoring the red flags can lead to heartbreak down the line. Here are 15 signs that should make you suspicious of your partner’s behavior. If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself and your partner.

1. They’re always on their phone.

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If your partner is constantly glued to their phone, even when you’re trying to have a conversation or spend quality time together, it’s a sign that something else (or someone else) has their attention. They may be quick to hide their screen or become defensive when you ask who they’re talking to. A partner who values your relationship will make an effort to be present and engaged when you’re together, not lost in their digital world. While it’s never okay to check your partner’s phone, HuffPost notes, you may want to open the lines of communication here.

2. They’re shady about their whereabouts.

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If your partner is always vague or evasive about where they’ve been or who they’ve been with, it’s a red flag. They may give you incomplete answers, change the subject, or become irritated when you ask for details. A partner who has nothing to hide will be open and honest about their whereabouts and activities. If they’re consistently dodging your questions, it’s time to have a serious talk about transparency in your relationship.

3. They’re suddenly very protective of their privacy.

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If your partner has always been an open book but suddenly becomes very guarded about their privacy, it’s a sign that something has changed. They may start password-protecting their devices, deleting their browser history, or becoming agitated when you come near their computer or phone. While everyone is entitled to some degree of privacy, a sudden shift in behavior is often a red flag that they’re hiding something.

4. They’re picking fights over little things.

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If your partner starts picking fights over things that never used to bother them, it could be a sign that they’re looking for an excuse to create distance or justify their behavior. They may criticize you for things that are out of your control, or blow minor disagreements way out of proportion. This is often a tactic used by people who are feeling guilty or trying to deflect attention from their own actions.

5. They’re suddenly very critical of you.

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If your partner has always been supportive and loving but suddenly becomes very critical of you, it’s a sign that something is off. They may nitpick your appearance, your work, or your personality traits that they once found endearing. This is often a reflection of their own insecurities or a way to justify their own behavior. A partner who truly loves you will build you up, not tear you down.

6. They’re always “working late.”

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If your partner is consistently working late, canceling plans, or otherwise unavailable, it’s worth paying attention to. While every job has its busy periods, a sudden change in work schedule or a pattern of last-minute cancellations can be a red flag. They may be using work as an excuse to avoid spending time with you or to cover up their whereabouts. A partner who values your relationship will make an effort to balance work and personal life.

7. They’re defensive about their friendships.

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If your partner becomes very defensive or secretive about their friendships, particularly with members of the opposite sex, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. They may downplay the importance of these friendships, or become irritated when you ask questions about them. While it’s healthy for both partners to have friendships outside the relationship, a partner who is open and honest about these connections is less likely to be hiding something.

8. They’re less affectionate than usual.

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If your partner is suddenly less affectionate or intimate with you, it’s a sign that something has shifted in your relationship. They may pull away from physical touch, avoid eye contact, or seem distracted when you’re together. While every relationship goes through ups and downs, a sudden change in affection level can be a red flag that they’re emotionally disconnecting from you.

9. They’re gaslighting you.

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If your partner is constantly making you question your own perceptions, memories, or feelings, it’s a form of emotional manipulation known as gaslighting. They may deny things that you know happened, or twist your words to make you feel like you’re the one being unreasonable. This is a tactic often used by people who are trying to cover up their own bad behavior or maintain control in the relationship.

10. They’re hiding financial information.

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If your partner is suddenly very secretive about money or hiding financial information from you, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. They may become defensive when you ask about expenses, or make big purchases without consulting you. While every couple has their own approach to finances, a partner who is open and transparent about money is less likely to be hiding something.

11. They’re always accusing you of cheating.

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If your partner is constantly accusing you of cheating or being unfaithful, even when you’ve given them no reason to doubt you, it could be a sign that they’re projecting their own guilt onto you. They may become obsessive about checking your phone, email, or social media accounts, or interrogate you about your whereabouts. This is a toxic behavior that often stems from their own insecurities or transgressions.

12. They’re inconsistent in their communication.

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If your partner’s communication style is hot and cold, it’s a sign that something is off. They may be very responsive and attentive one day, then completely ghost you the next. This inconsistency can be a red flag that they’re not fully invested in the relationship, or that they’re juggling multiple priorities (or people). A partner who is consistent and reliable in their communication is more likely to be trustworthy.

13. They’re always comparing you to other people.

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If your partner is constantly comparing you to other people, whether it’s their exes, friends, or celebrities, it’s a sign that they’re not fully appreciating you for who you are. They may make comments about how you don’t measure up in certain areas, or how they wish you were more like someone else. This is a toxic behavior that can erode your self-esteem and make you feel like you’re never enough.

14. They’re secretive about their past.

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If your partner is very secretive or evasive about their past relationships or experiences, it’s a sign that they may be hiding something. They may become defensive or change the subject when you ask about their history, or give you vague or inconsistent answers. While everyone has a right to privacy, a partner who is open and honest about their past is more likely to be trustworthy in the present.

15. Your gut is telling you something’s off.

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Finally, if your gut is telling you that something is off in your relationship, it’s important to listen to that instinct, Verywell Mind advises. You may not have concrete evidence or specific examples, but if you have a persistent feeling that something isn’t right, it’s worth exploring. Trust your intuition and don’t be afraid to have honest conversations with your partner about your concerns. A healthy relationship is built on trust, communication, and mutual respect.

Originally from Australia, Emma Mills graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics before moving to Los Angeles to become a professional matchmaker (a bit of a shift, obviously). Since 2015, she has helped more than 150 people find lasting love and remains passionate about bringing amazing singletons together.

Emma is also the author of the upcoming Hachette publication, "Off the Beaten Track: Finding Lasting Love in the Least Likely of Places," due out in January 2025.
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