Are You Guilty Of “Glancing”?

“Glancing” is when you take a peek at your partner’s texts or emails without actually picking up their phone and sifting through all the info that’s on it. It’s still a violation of their privacy and could lead to the end of your relationship. Are you guilty of this?

  1. Here’s how it unfolds. Your partner leaves the room and their phone, which is on the chair or table, beeps. You glance at their phone to see a preview of the message they’ve just been sent without touching their phone. You might be able to read everything in the preview if you’re quick. Now you’re officially “glancing.”
  2. It makes you feel secure in your relationship. You might see that the message is spam and exhale in relief that it’s not a text from some hottie they met in their spinning class, and you might not even feel guilty for “glancing.” It’s a superficial way of quelling your insecurities but that doesn’t make it OK.
  3. It feels more innocent. You’re not touching their phone or laptop. You’re not going through their personal files to try to find something incriminating. You’re merely darting your eyes to his screen. Even the word “glancing” seems so much more benign than “snooping.” Heck, your little glancing incident could’ve happened by accident (even though it totally didn’t).
  4. You can’t get busted that easily. If your partner happens to return to the coffee table in the restaurant and catch you staring at their phone, they might accuse you of looking at messages that were coming through, but it might seem a bit paranoid for them to do so. Besides, you’re not staring, you’re just glancing. It’s harder for anyone to bust you for doing that. I mean, you just darted your eyes to where the salt shaker was resting on the table (which was next to his phone) and they received a text!
  5. It makes it harder to confront your partner. Just because glancing might seem like a great way to get away with checking up on your partner or snooping through his things on the spur of the moment, it’s dangerous. For starters, it makes it harder to confront your partner about risqué messages that do beep on their phone which you happen to “glance” at. You’d have to admit that you saw and read them. Not so innocent now, is it?
  6. They’d probably think you were snooping. Would they really believe that you just happened to see a weird email or message from their co-worker? Nah. They’d probably think you went through their phone, which makes it even more difficult to come clean about your glancing ways.
  7. Its innocence is misleading. Sure, glancing seems like NBD, but it can make you feel really guilty, which makes sense. I mean, you’re looking at someone else’s messages. It doesn’t matter how or why—you’re still snooping, even if it seems like micro-snooping. In the same way that micro-cheating is still cheating because of the lies involved in it, glancing (or micro-snooping) is the same thing as snooping, for the same reason: it’s dishonest.
  8. It can become addictive. You might glance once and then feel the need to start doing it regularly. That’s when it gets even messier because now you’re watching your partner’s phone like a hawk, just dying to get your eyes on the latest text message that hits their phone.
  9. Message previews can be taken out of context. You’re probably only seeing message previews on their phone, not entire messages. Even if you’re seeing complete messages, you could be taking things out of context, which can cause unnecessary relationship drama. Besides, you don’t know what your partner is sending to that person as a reply. Without the full picture, it’s hard to know what’s going on.
  10. It’s a sign of bigger problems. No matter how silly glancing seems, you’re doing it because you’re feeling insecure or you don’t trust your partner. It might start out as a bout of curiosity but soon it will develop into something much more complicated and stressful. It might even lead to full-blown snooping. Why even go there?
  11. You’re lying to your partner. Even if you never see anything on their phone screen to confront them about, you’re still lying to your partner. Is that any way to be in a relationship? It might feel like a little white lie, but ask yourself how you’d feel if your partner kept glancing at your phone or laptop screen when they entered the room. Exactly—it’s creepy!
  12. It’s a false sense of security. Honestly, someone who’s cheating on you probably isn’t going to let messages from their secret lover get to his phone, especially if they’re leaving their phone unattended. They might have muted notifications from the other person or given them another mobile number. So if you’re not seeing anything dodgy, it might be a false sense of security that you’re getting from glancing. It’s just not worth doing. If you’re worrying your partner’s up to something, here’s a new idea: talk to them about it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.