I’ve always thought sharing things with a partner is good, but I draw the line at letting him go through my phone. After all, no matter how close you are in your relationship, everyone deserves a bit of privacy, right? When my now-ex-boyfriend asked if we could read each other’s texts, it was a total deal breaker for me for so many reasons.
I have nothing to hide.
Seriously, my phone’s filled with cat memes and blurry sunset pictures I take with its camera during long walks. He wasn’t going to find anything weird on my phone about men or possible infidelity, but it still felt wrong to let him go through it.
Phones are super personal.
I track everything on my phone from my menstrual cycle to my work schedule and jot down silly ideas that strike me in the shower. Yeah, those wacky ideas for a dystopian novel might be embarrassing for someone else to read, but that’s not the major reason why I don’t want a guy I’m dating to see my phone. It’s just that it’s mine and it’s personal. It would be like letting him sift through my handbag. Nah-uh.
He clearly didn’t trust me.
That was the real problem here. I mean, why would he even feel the need to want to go through my stuff? What was he hoping to find? Ultimately, I said no and I told him I didn’t think it was necessary. He said it could be good for us to do this because it demonstrated trust. Is that what it took for people to trust each other in a committed relationship? Really?
It turned into an argument.
He thought I wasn’t being honest and open enough with him, which felt ridiculous. But then he told me why he thought that, and it started to make some sense.
I was often glued to my phone.
He reminded me of the fact that sometimes during our dates, my phone would constantly be going off. I’d be receiving messages from friends but I always told my partner who was texting me. Yes, he heard some guys’ names in the mix, but they were just my friends. Was that the real problem here? He was afraid I was going to cheat on him with one of my male friends?
He admitted he was jealous.
Honestly, that was great to hear because it meant that we could work on the real issues that were at play here. He said he’d been cheated on in the past and had serious trust issues. Even though it was good to hear about these things and I tried to reassure him that I was committed to him, I still didn’t want him going through my phone.
I didn’t want to be in an insecure relationship.
Would we check each other’s phones on a regular basis to make sure we could still trust each other? Was our entire relationship trust based on what was on our phones? And who’s to say it would end there? Would exchanging email and Facebook passwords be next on the list?
He dropped the subject, but it wasn’t gone forever.
It came up again and again over the next few weeks, usually during arguments about other things. It was always there, this big question in his mind: what is my girlfriend hiding? Sadly, he just didn’t trust me enough to believe that I was being genuine with him, and since I didn’t want him to go through my phone, I felt like I couldn’t prove my commitment to him, nor did I want to.
It sucks being on the receiving end of a lack of trust.
Seriously, it totally messed with my confidence and inner peace to keep feeling like I was somehow the bad guy in my relationship. Then I had a lightbulb moment. I didn’t only feel that letting my partner check my phone would violate my privacy. I also felt that I was being made to feel guilty for something no one should ever feel guilty about: having healthy relationship boundaries in place.
I kept the boundaries but I lost the guy.
A friend helped me realize that I didn’t want to continue feeling like a bad person who couldn’t be trusted in a relationship. It was unfair and self-damaging and I simply didn’t deserve it. My phone and I were out of there.
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