How To Tell If Your Boyfriend Is Cheating: 34 Signs Many Women Miss

Finding out your partner is cheating on you is one of the most devastating things that can happen in a relationship, but it’s still important to recognize the signs early so you can make informed decisions about your future. While some cheating partners may leave obvious clues, others are masters of deception, making it crucial to pay attention to subtler signals that often go unnoticed.

In this article, we’ll explore some often-overlooked signs that your boyfriend might be cheating because while it might be hard to tell when he’s being unfaithful, it’s not impossible.

How to tell if your boyfriend is cheating: Signs to look out for

  1. His communication is suddenly all over the place. Notice a sudden shift in his communication patterns. If your once chatty partner becomes distant or secretive about his messages, it could be a red flag. He might start guarding his phone more closely, clearing message histories, or using coded language in texts. Be cautious if he’s also avoiding eye contact when discussing his day, as this can indicate guilt.
  2. He seems emotionally detached and you can’t figure out why. Watch for emotional detachment in your boyfriend. If he’s cheating, he may become less interested in your life, feelings, and future plans. He might not ask about your day or show genuine concern for your well-being. Instead, he could seem preoccupied or dismissive of your emotions.
  3. His daily schedule has mysteriously changed. This is one of the most obvious ways to tell if your boyfriend is cheating. Pay attention to unexplained changes in his daily routine. If he starts working late more often or frequently cancels plans with vague excuses, it’s worth investigating. Cheating partners often use work-related excuses to cover up their affair, so be wary of consistent and unaccounted-for schedule changes.
  4. He’s all about self-care these days. We’re not talking meditation and daily meditations here — this is all about appearances. Notice if your boyfriend suddenly becomes more conscious of his appearance, hitting the gym, getting new clothes, or even experimenting with new colognes. While self-improvement is admirable, a dramatic shift may indicate that he’s trying to impress someone new.
  5. He gets super sensitive and defensive over the smallest things. Be cautious if he becomes overly defensive or starts picking fights without apparent reason. Cheaters often feel guilty about their actions, making them sensitive to any questioning. They might deflect suspicion by accusing you of being insecure or paranoid.
  6. He wants a lot more privacy all of a sudden. If your boyfriend suddenly starts guarding his privacy more fiercely, such as using a passcode on his phone or keeping it face down, it may indicate that he’s hiding something. He might also become secretive about his emails or online accounts.
  7. His texting habits have changed. Pay attention to any shifts in his texting behavior. If he used to text you regularly throughout the day but now goes hours without responding, it could be because he’s busy communicating with someone else. He might also become guarded when you ask who he’s texting or hide his phone when he receives messages.
  8. He’s keeping you at a distance. Emotional distance is a significant indicator. If your boyfriend seems emotionally distant, less invested in your relationship, or disinterested in your thoughts and feelings, it may suggest that he’s channeling his emotional energy elsewhere.
  9. He cancels plans last minute and never shares what he’s up to. If he starts canceling plans or frequently changes social commitments, it could be to accommodate his affair. Cheaters often need flexibility in their schedules to meet with their affair partner, leading to last-minute changes in plans. One of the easiest ways to tell if your boyfriend is cheating is when he constantly cancels plans last minute with some very weak excuses.
  10. He’s criticizing you a lot more these days. If your boyfriend begins to criticize you more frequently or nitpick about your behavior, it might be a way to justify his actions or create emotional distance. Some cheaters use criticism as a defense mechanism to justify their infidelity.
  11. Your future plans seem to have disintegrated. If he avoids discussing future plans or long-term commitments, it could be a sign that he’s unsure about your relationship due to an affair. Cheaters may hesitate to make future commitments while maintaining a relationship outside the primary one.
  12. He’s hanging out with different people than he used to. Watch for shifts in his social circles or the sudden emergence of new friends. Cheaters may introduce their affair partner as a new friend to explain their increased interaction with this person.
  13. He never tells you anything anymore and keeps everything super vague. If he becomes less open about his day-to-day life, such as sharing fewer details about work, friends, or activities, it might indicate that he’s keeping secrets. Cheaters tend to limit the information they share to avoid exposing their infidelity.
  14. He seems extra obsessed with his phone lately. If your boyfriend becomes excessively absorbed in his phone, tablet, or computer, it may be a way to divert your attention and create opportunities for secret communication with someone else. He might spend long hours online or seem overly protective of his digital devices.
  15. He works a lot more late nights now. If your boyfriend claims to be working late regularly, taking on additional projects, or going on frequent business trips, it could be a cover for his affair. Cheaters may use work as an excuse to spend time with their affair partner or to avoid suspicion.
  16. He’s changed his passwords to everything. If he changes the passwords to his email, social media accounts, or even his phone without a clear reason, it could indicate a desire to keep you from accessing information that might reveal his infidelity.
  17. His sleep schedule is all screwed up. Pay attention to changes in his sleep routine. If he starts staying up late or waking up unusually early, it might be to communicate with someone secretly. Cheaters often use the quiet hours of the night for conversations they don’t want you to know about.
  18. He seems to be buying gifts, but they’re never for you. If you notice that he’s buying gifts, flowers, or special items but they’re not for you, it could indicate that he’s showering someone else with affection. These gifts may be small, but they may stand out as unusual or unexplained.
  19. He has a lot of new interests and hobbies and you have no idea where he picked them up. A sudden and intense interest in new hobbies or activities that don’t involve you might signal that he’s spending time with someone else. He may use these new interests as an excuse to be away from home more often.
  20. He has secret social media accounts.  Check for the existence of secret social media profiles or hidden friends on his accounts. Cheaters may maintain separate online identities to communicate with their affair partner without your knowledge.
  21. He seems to feel extra guilty after fights. If he reacts to arguments or disagreements with excessive guilt, defensiveness, or a desire to quickly make amends, it might be because he’s carrying the weight of his infidelity. He may want to minimize conflict to keep his secret safe.
  22. He never wants to touch you anymore. Beyond emotional distance, watch for physical distancing. If he avoids physical contact, such as hugs, kisses, or cuddling, it might be a way to prevent you from getting too close and discovering his affair.
  23. He has selective memory. If your boyfriend seems forgetful about details related to your relationship or important events but has an impeccable memory regarding other aspects of his life, it could indicate that he’s selectively filtering information to maintain his secrecy.
  24. He’s going out alone more often. Pay attention to an uptick in solo outings, especially if he starts going to places he hasn’t visited before. Cheaters often use solo activities as a cover to spend time with their affair partner.
  25. He deflects or blames you when you call him out on stuff.  When conflicts arise, watch for his tendency to deflect blame onto you or shift the focus away from his actions. Cheaters may use this tactic to divert attention from their own wrongdoing.
  26. He has a lot of weird apps on his phone and you don’t know what they’re for. Check his smartphone for the presence of secretive apps, such as hidden messaging apps or photo vaults, which cheaters might use to communicate or store incriminating evidence.
  27. His stories never seem to line up. If you notice inconsistencies in his stories or explanations about his whereabouts or activities, it may be a sign that he’s struggling to keep track of his lies.
  28. He suddenly seems to be having a lot of mood swings.  Be vigilant about unusual emotional highs and lows that don’t correspond to your relationship dynamics. Cheaters may experience intense emotions as they juggle multiple relationships.
  29. He’s extra flaky these days. If he frequently cancels plans or changes his schedule with vague excuses, it might be because he’s trying to accommodate his affair without raising suspicion.
  30. He suddenly wants to assert his right to privacy and makes a big deal about it. If your boyfriend suddenly becomes obsessed with his personal space, such as wanting a separate room or locking doors more frequently, it could indicate a need for secrecy in his actions.
  31. His friends have started being weird with you. Pay attention to any shifts in the behavior or attitudes of mutual friends. Sometimes, friends may be aware of an affair and inadvertently reveal subtle signs through their actions or comments.
  32. He’s extremely evasive when it comes to what he’s planning for the future. If he avoids discussing future plans or seems hesitant to make commitments, it might be because he’s uncertain about the future of your relationship due to his affair. He may not want to make promises he can’t keep.
  33. He doesn’t want to do any of the stuff you used to love to do anymore. If your boyfriend no longer seems interested in activities you used to enjoy together, like a favorite hobby or date nights, it may be because he’s diverting his time and attention elsewhere.
  34. Your gut is telling you he’s being unfaithful. Sometimes if you want to tell if your boyfriend is cheating, look no further than your intuition. A woman’s intuition is rarely wrong — if something feels off, it probably is. The next thing to do is confront him about it.

Can you save your relationship if your boyfriend is being unfaithful?

Saving a relationship after infidelity is possible, but it’s a challenging and emotionally demanding process that requires both partners’ commitment, effort, and willingness to work through the issues. If you do think you can get over the betrayal and want to move forward, here are some suggestions to help you along the way.

  1. Prepare to get raw when it comes to communication. The foundation of any attempt to repair a relationship after infidelity is communication. Both you and your boyfriend need to be willing to have difficult, honest, and open conversations about what happened, why it happened, and how it made each of you feel.
  2. Be willing to seek help from a professional. Consider couples therapy or counseling to provide a safe and structured environment for discussing the infidelity and its underlying causes. A trained therapist can help guide the process and provide tools for rebuilding trust and intimacy.
  3. Set some serious boundaries and expectations on how you’ll move forward. Establish clear boundaries and expectations for the future of the relationship. Both partners need to understand what is acceptable behavior, what is not, and what needs to change to rebuild trust.
  4. Embrace empathy and practice forgiveness. Rebuilding trust and healing from infidelity often requires empathy and forgiveness. The partner who cheated must genuinely feel remorse for their actions, while the betrayed partner needs to be open to forgiving, even though it may take time.
  5. Be patient and give it time. Rebuilding trust takes time, and it’s essential to be patient with the process. There may be setbacks and difficult moments along the way, but consistent effort from both partners is crucial.
  6. Focus on self-care. Both partners should prioritize self-care during this challenging period. Emotional healing and self-reflection are essential for personal growth and for the overall health of the relationship.
  7. Evaluate the relationship to see where you’re at. At some point, it’s crucial to assess whether the relationship is worth saving. Consider the overall health of the relationship, your own needs and happiness, and whether both partners are genuinely committed to change and growth.
  8. Learn and grow from the experience. Infidelity can be a catalyst for personal and relational growth. Both partners can learn from the experience, understand their vulnerabilities, and work on becoming better individuals and partners.
  9. Consider making a relationship agreement. Some couples choose to create agreements, such as a monogamish or open relationship, with clear rules and boundaries that work for both people. This approach can be beneficial in rebuilding trust and addressing underlying issues.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill