Why Is He Acting So Shady With His Phone? 12 Possible Explanations

Everyone has a right to privacy, but there’s something extra strange about your boyfriend’s phone habits these days. If you’ve noticed he’s been more and more secretive, here are a few things that could be going on.

  1. He’s planning a party for you. First, the good news. If your birthday is coming up, it’s possible that he may be planning a surprise get-together. Have you mentioned liking surprises? Then the facts line up that he’s doing something good. If your friends also seem a little secretive around you, this is a big possibility.
  2. He’s watching porn. Watching porn on a phone isn’t ideal, but if you’re personally against porn (and some people are), it could be his way to check it out behind your back. It’s way easier to click away on a phone than a computer screen—and it’s way easier to tell your partner you’re “doing nothing” than “checking out some porn.”
  3. He redownloaded his dating apps. He may have done it because he’s bored, but he knows it’s super shady. The first step in cheating is to sign into the apps “just for fun.” If he’s active in any way, that’s a reason to be suspicious of his loyalty.
  4. He’s looking for a hookup on Craigslist. Yes, some people still use Craigslist and it’s often for shady reasons. If he’s looking for a quick hookup or wants to experiment with another type of partner, there’s a good chance he’s made a post or two.
  5. He’s trolling people online. Online bullying sucks, but even if your boyfriend actively believes this, he may be trolling people on a site or two and doesn’t want you to know. What turned into a funny gag might actually be a totally new online persona for him that he wants to keep you away from. At the heart of it, he knows what he’s doing is immature.
  6. He’s active on forums he’d be embarrassed for you to know about. Whether it’s forums about overcoming issues with alcoholism or maybe regarding issues in the bedroom, he’s looking to improve himself but doesn’t want to let you in right now. If you happen to stumble upon these, at least you know he’s trying to be a better person.
  7. He’s looking up rings. Feel like a proposal is in the cards? In that case, he’ll want you to stay far away from his phone. Not only will he have a few good contenders saved, but there may be telling texts to his mom and siblings about good proposal ideas. You don’t want to ruin the surprise.
  8. He already has issues with your trust in him. If you’ve accused him of issues in the past that turned out to be false, he may be extra cautious with his phone. If he let you in once, you may assume you have unlimited access to his phone any time you have a “suspicion,” which could be daily. This is actually a big issue. If you’re insecure about him cheating on you when he’s given you no reason to be, maybe you’re not the best fit for him.
  9. He banks online. If you haven’t been with him for a while, it makes sense if he wants to be extra cautious about his bank information, especially if he has a lot of money. Money is a very personal topic. It should only really be discussed if you’re taking the relationship to the next level, or have another reason to combine finances.
  10. He’s far into an affair. It’s not just the fact that he’s looking to have one, he’s knee deep in one. If he’s been secretive with his phone for months, this is always a top suspicion. He’s probably already hidden her number behind the name of a “coworker,” hoping you won’t get suspicious if he gets a notification you happen to see. But again, if this was going on, there’d be way more signs you probably would have noticed by now.
  11. He’s got embarrassing apps. Guys love to game. But it’s possible he’s picked up a game that he’s a little embarrassed by, like, say, Candy Crush or a text-based roleplaying game suited for women. That, or maybe he has apps for literally every fast food place around. Apps tell a lot about a person, so it’s possible he just doesn’t want any ridicule.
  12. Something big happened at work that he’s not ready to tell you about yet. He could have gotten fired recently but is too ashamed to say anything, especially if it was over something preventable. He’s been looking up jobs and 2019 resume etiquette on his phone, in this case. He’s probably hoping to land something before the unemployment gap is too big so you don’t get worried.. If he’s been taking more “vacation days” recently, this is a huge possibility.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.