You’ve been with your boyfriend for a while now and things are going great. The only problem is that lately, he’s started to be super secretive with his phone. You’re confused about his behavior and it’s starting to take its toll on your relationship. Basically, you want to know what the hell is going on and you want to know now. Unfortunately, if he’s doing these shady things with his phone, then there might be a cause for concern.
He’s always on his phone when you’re there. Gone are the days at the beginning of your relationship when he used to focus on you and only you whenever you both spent time together. Nowadays, he’s constantly engrossed in his phone. I’m talking all the time. It’s frustrating because you’re in a relationship with him, not his phone, damn it!
He puts his phone face-down when you’re around. When he’s not on his phone when you’re together, this shady dude puts the device face-down on the table or on the couch. This is so that just in case a notification pops up that he doesn’t want you to see, you’ll be none the wiser.
He keeps his screen out of your line of vision. Your guy always seems to be messaging people, or perhaps one person in particular. You’ve spotted that the iMessage, WhatsApp, or even Snapchat app is open on his phone and he’s furiously typing away in front of you. In fact, he often turns away from you when you’re both sitting on the sofa and he’s messaging to stop you from being able to see what’s going on. Major red flag.
When you ask who he’s messaging, he’s nonchalant and nondescriptive. The default answer tends to be, “Oh, no one.” Dude, I can see that you’re messaging someone. Quit playing, player!
He looks at his phone as soon as he gets a notification. You both hear that ding—you know, the one which signals that he’s got a message—and he has to check it right this second. In fact, he practically jumps on his phone to look at it. You’re pretty sure he doesn’t even want to answer you that quickly when you text him, let alone anybody else.
As soon as he reads his messages, he puts his phone away pronto. Well, he either puts his phone away or turns it over when you’re eating next to each other at the dining table so that you can’t see it. It might have started occasionally, giving you the initial impression that he just wasn’t interested in checking his messages while he was with you because he was enjoying your company so much, but now he does this all the time. Is there any wonder you’re suspicious?
He’s stepped up his social media game. This is a huge indicator that something else is going on. I mean, guys don’t just suddenly start posting more on social media for no reason, right? Call me skeptical, but he never used to be so active on social media. Now, all of a sudden, he’s on there continuously, posting photos every day or liking new girls’ photos on Insta. Warning bells should be sounding – he’s being shady with his phone.
He gets all kinds of flirty comments on his Instagram photos. While he could argue that it’s not his fault that other women are leaving suggestive and flirty comments on his social media posts, you have to wonder what he’s doing to provoke them. After all, most women won’t just rock up on a random stranger’s pics and start leaving thirsty messages, right?
He’s taking way more selfies. Perhaps Snapchat is to blame for this, but you happen to have walked in on him taking selfies several times recently when he never used to take them— and yet you don’t receive any of them. Where exactly are they going? Or, more importantly, who’s receiving them?
He refuses to post photos of the two of you on social media. This is one of the shadiest things a guy can do with his phone, especially when you’re supposedly an established couple. It’s not like you want him to plaster his feed with couple selfies, but his outright refusal to feature you on his account does beg the question of why the hell not. Who doesn’t he want to see that he’s with you and why?
You walk in on him talking on the phone and he abruptly stops. Your guy knows that you wouldn’t care if you walked in on him on the phone to a friend or his mom, so why would he stop talking when you enter the room? It makes no sense… unless he’s Snapchatting or voice noting someone. In this case, the fact that he stops doing what he’s doing when he notices you is a massive sign of his guilt.
He takes his phone with him everywhere. When he nips out for some milk at the grocery store, when he goes for a run, hell, even when he’s going to the bathroom—he takes his phone with him everywhere he goes. You’re never left alone with his phone anymore because he simply won’t let it out of his sight. Sorry, girl, but he’s deffo hiding something if he’s being this shady with his phone.
He won’t let you borrow his phone. Say you made an excuse about “accidentally” leaving your phone at work and needing to call your dad to check that his doctor’s appointment went okay. Would your boyfriend let you use his phone? If he does, would he let you be alone with it? If the answer to all of these questions is a big, fat no, then I’d be worrying for sure. If he does one or two of these things occasionally, you might be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, if he’s doing more than one or two of them—or even all of them—most of the time, then you certainly need to call him out on it.
He gets defensive when you ask him who he’s texting. You’re not being nosy, you’re literally just making conversation. (Okay, maybe you are being a little bit nosy, but so what?) If he immediately clams up, stammers out an answer, or acts annoyed that you asked him, there has to be a reason for it. Why is that a weird question? What’s this dude’s problem?
His password is top secret. Everyone is entitled to their privacy, and his desire to maintain that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s up to no good. However, if you have a perfectly valid reason for needing his password — like, say, to look for directions while you’re on a road trip or something — and he refuses to give it to you, there’s obviously something deeper going on there.
He admits to past snooping on his partner’s phone. Obviously this is more to do with your phone than his, but it indicates his willingness to violate your trust and privacy by looking through your phone even if you’ve given him no reason to be distrustful. Chances are, you have nothing to hide, but that doesn’t make it right.
He ignores your messages even though you can see he’s online. While you get that the guy doesn’t have to talk to you 24/7, it is pretty weird when you can see that green light next to his name or the “active now” notification but your texts to him have gone unanswered. What’s he doing online that’s so important that he can’t reply to you?
Given how integral our phones are to our lives these days, our behavior with these devices can tell us and other people a lot about what’s going on. If you notice your boyfriend being shady with his phone, you’re right to be suspicious.
If you think he’s being shady with his phone…
If you think he’s possibly up to something sinister with his phone, you don’t have to sit idly back and just let it happen. Instead, it’s important to be proactive so that you can nip any potential issues (or the entire relationship, depending on what he’s been doing) in the bud.
Figure out if you’re just being paranoid. A woman’s intuition rarely lies, as the old saying goes, but if you’ve had negative experiences in the past involving an ex-boyfriend and shady phone behavior, it’s possible that you’re reading too much into what’s a completely innocent situation. While you definitely shouldn’t kid yourself into believing that you’re overthinking if you do truly believe something is up, be honest with yourself before proceeding further.
Talk to him about it. If you do legitimately worry that he might be talking to other women or doing something else inappropriate with his phone, you should confront him about it directly. While you definitely shouldn’t come right out of the gate and accuse him of cheating or lying, you should say that you’ve noticed some weird behavior and see what he has to say. He may be completely unaware of the fact that he’s acting so shifty.
If you just can’t get past things, you’ll have to walk away. If you do confront him directly and he insists there’s nothing up and that it’s all in your head but you just can’t shake the feeling that it’s not, there’s only one way to get around it: you have to end the relationship. You can’t have a successful relationship without trust. If you’re constantly going to be stressing or second-guessing what he’s up to, you’re better off cutting the cord now and saving both of you the trouble moving forward.