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Is my boyfriend cheating? 5 cheating apps and 11 signs to look for

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If you think your boyfriend may be cheating on you, private investigator Ken Childs says the first step is to trust your instincts.

“90% of the time, people's suspicions are substantiated,” says Childs, whose Los Angeles PI practice frequently deals with requests to catch cheaters. Childs  says the rest of the time, it’s the client who is cheating but projecting on their partner.

One quick way to check on a suspicious partner is to run a background check through Instant Checkmate, a public records search service that combs through a large amount of public data, including known aliases, employment history, social media accounts, and criminal and traffic records. The best part? Your boyfriend will never know you looked him up. BBB A+ rating.

Run a background check on your boyfriend with Instant Checkmate now >>

Keep reading to learn:                   

Is my boyfriend cheating? 11 signs to look for

If your boyfriend is doing one or more of these things, he might be cheating:

1. Secretive texting

Does your partner text with his shoulder turned or suddenly put down his phone when you walk in the room? Does he minimize or close out of tabs on his computer when you walk by, or quickly end phone conversations when you get home?

Beth Ribarsky, a communications professor at the University of Illinois Springfield who studies dating and sexual communication, says that while a partner may legitimately be planning a surprise for you — one of her friends thought her boyfriend was cheating, but he was really planning her a surprise party — more often than not, this is a warning sign.

“If your partner becomes defensive when you ask to borrow their phone, it should make you question what they might be hiding,” Ribarsky says.

These Redditors share how they caught their boyfriends cheating on them: 

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about going to the gym.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about calling the girl on the phone.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about always having his phone.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about having a bad feeling.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about being protective of his phone.

2. Finding a second, secret phone

It’s normal for people to have a second phone strictly for work. However, if you discover your boyfriend has a second phone or phone number and he can’t explain why he has it, you have reason to be suspicious. 

There is even a whole Reddit thread where people who have used second phones to cheat offer advice to other cheaters:

3. Changing passwords/passcodes  

Sometimes passwords have to be changed for security reasons or because they expire after a certain amount of time. However, if you previously shared or knew your boyfriend’s passwords and he won’t share the new ones, you might have reason to be concerned.

On the other hand, research published in the journal of Motivation and Emotion shows that having autonomy in a relationship is associated with more supportive partnerships. In other words, you shouldn’t demand without good reason to know all of your partner’s passwords. 

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about changing passwords.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about asking for passwords.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about asking for internet passwords.

4. Missed periods of time

For example, you expected him to be at the gym for an hour, not three hours, or he’s vague when he’s telling you where he was or whom he was with.

According to Doc Brady, an award-winning author and psychologist at The Village Mind and Body Institute in Lady Lake, Fla., if your boyfriend is constantly coming home late or taking a shower as soon as he gets home, those are viable signs of cheating.

Repeated late arrivals after work are also a possible warning sign.

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about alone time.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about working overtime.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about working late.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about coming home late.


How to get over your cheating husband and divorce him

5. Change of clothes – or other suspicious items – in the car

If you discover a change of clothes in your boyfriend’s car, especially if they’re nicer than the clothes he usually wears around you, it might be worth questioning him. 

If he gets defensive or gives a suspicious response, he might be cheating (or doing something else he doesn’t want you to know about). 

Also look out for items like cigarettes, condoms, suspicious receipts, and things your boyfriend doesn’t normally use. 

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about pulling away.

6. Suspicious charges or missing money

Credit card charges often provide evidence of a cheating boyfriend. For example, jewelry charges for items not purchased for you or a relative are damning line items. 

Another example of suspicious behavior is unexplained or unusually large amounts of money being withdrawn from the bank.

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about Venmo.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend.

7. Decreased or increased affection

If he frequently kissed you goodbye or spoke affectionately but no longer does, or your sexual chemistry has fizzled out, that may be a sign your boyfriend or spouse is cheating.

On the other hand, if he’s suddenly smothering you with affection, that may also be a red flag.

“A cheater acts either very cold or overly loving,” Brady says. 

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about being distant.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about decreased affection.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about lack of affection.

8. Making lifestyle/physical changes

Is he suddenly putting significantly more effort into his appearance? Maybe he is just taking on a healthier lifestyle, but when combined with other signs, it can be a signal something is wrong.

Is he now gargling mouthwash, applying hair gel, sporting a new hairstyle, and splashing on cologne? Consider these changes highly suspicious.

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about spending money on clothes.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about becoming vegetarian.

9. Change in attitude

If your boyfriend starts to pick fights with you, criticizes you, exhibits a total lack of involvement during a conversation, or generally just seems to be distracted, it may be because he’s cheating.      

If he becomes verbally or physically abusive, you should end the relationship as soon as you can safely do so. You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 by calling 800-799-7233 or by texting START to 88788.         

Reddit cheating signs:

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about having a temper.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about starting a fight.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about washing sheets.

10.  Accuses YOU of cheating

Brady says cheaters often become defensive if accused of cheating. 

He says one of their favorite retorts is: “Are you crazy?” 

A cheater may also turn the tables and accuse his partner of cheating.  

Reddit cheating signs: 

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about projecting.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about blaming partner.

11.  Gaslighting you

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser deliberately tries to make the victim question their own reality and sanity, says Carly Claney, PhD, a licensed psychologist based in Seattle. 

Check out these common signs of gaslighting

Brady says gaslighting is another sign of cheating.

“Here again, the boyfriend will use the ‘Are you crazy?’ line, then proceed to try and turn the tables on you — shifting blame, calling you names.”

He says cheaters often attempt to plant self-doubt while moving the narrative away from their own deceit.

Reddit cheating signs:                                   

How to leave your husband or wife

Cheating apps to look for on your boyfriend’s phone

According to a poll by market research and data analytics firm YouGov, one in six dating app users said they were using the app for cheating. 

If your boyfriend has one of these apps on his phone, it could be a sign he’s cheating on you: 

Adult Friend Finder

Adult Friend Finder is primarily a dating site for hookups and casual sex. Swingers and singles frequent the site, as well as people looking to have an affair.

This Reddit user became suspicious of her boyfriend after he received an email from Adult Friend Finder: 

Bumble   

Bumble is a swipe left/right dating app built around the concept of allowing women to make the first move. If your boyfriend has the Bumble app on his phone, it’s probably a sign he’s trying to at least talk to other women online, though Bumble also has a mode called Bumble BFF that’s strictly for finding friends.

This Reddit user was surprised to find Bumble installed on her boyfriend’s phone after three years of dating: 

Instagram                  

Instagram is a social network with over a billion registered users that allows people to share photos and videos. While simply having an Instagram doesn’t mean your boyfriend is cheating, these are some suspicious behaviors on Instagram that may indicate he’s fooling around: 

  • Follows a lot of female accounts and likes/comments on their posts
  • Likes/comments on your boyfriend’s posts from female users you don’t know, especially if the same person is consistently liking or commenting on your boyfriend’s posts
  • Has a private account you didn’t know about


These are some examples of cheating on Instagram posted on Reddit: 

Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about Instagram.
Reddit signs of a cheating boyfriend about locking phone.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a communication app that allows users to send pictures, videos, and messages that disappear after a certain amount of time — which makes it a perfect app for cheaters who don’t want to leave behind a digital paper trail. 

If your boyfriend has Snapchat, it’s not immediately a red flag. However, if you notice he’s being secretive with his phone or doesn’t use the app to interact with you, it might be a sign he’s cheating. 

This Reddit user noticed his boyfriend was being suspicious about a specific friend sending him Snapchats: 

Tinder

Tinder bills itself as the “top free dating app,” with more than 70 billion matches since it launched in 2012. Tinder has a reputation of being an app for hookups, so if your boyfriend has Tinder downloaded on his phone, it’s a big red flag. 

These Redditors said their partners cheated on them through Tinder: 

8 causes of and reasons for divorce

How can I test if my boyfriend is cheating?

Michael J. Dell’Olio, a licensed private investigator with John Cutter Investigations, says that in his 30 years of investigating, he’s learned that women possess the most amazing radar device — intuition. 

“If you think he’s cheating, he probably is,” Dell’Olio says.

If you think your boyfriend might be cheating, Dell’Olio says these are some ways to check:

  • Ask to use his phone or computer. If he acts hesitant or seems nervous while you’re using it, that’s a red flag. If he refuses to let go of his phone and never lets it out of his sight, you may have a problem. If you discover a second phone, it begs the question — why does he have it?
  • Check his car mileage to see if he is actually going where he tells you.
  • If he says he’s going to the gym after work, drive by to see if his car is there.
  • Check the pockets of jeans in his laundry pile. Are there suspicious ATM or store receipts?
  • Pay attention to bank/credit card statements if you have a shared account. 
  • Check his car for items like earrings, condoms, receipts, and other suspicious items. 
  • Be wary of continual excuses like flat tires, working late, extra time at the gym, stopping at the ATM, going out with friends after work, etc. 

Some Reddit users also tried “catfishing” their boyfriends (creating a fake dating profile to flirt with them) to see if they would cheat — and they often weren’t pleased with the outcome: 

The ‘Big 4’ signs of a toxic marriage: When should you leave one?

Bottom line: Is he cheating or am I paranoid?

If you are suspicious your boyfriend is cheating, your intuition may be correct. However, if you’ve been cheated on in past relationships, you may just be projecting those fears into your current relationship. 

Before you confront your boyfriend about cheating, look for common signs of cheating like: 

  • Secretive phone/computer use
  • Staying late at work/going out more frequently
  • Change in affection or sexual interest    

If you accuse your boyfriend of cheating without legitimate proof, he may not want to continue a relationship with you based on a lack of trust. 
Run a background check through a site like Instant Checkmate or Truthfinder. Look for phone numbers you didn’t know about, recent traffic violations he didn’t tell you about, and any secret social media accounts. Check out our Instant Checkmate review.

Liz is a multimedia writer and blogger behind lawnlove.com. She loves to travel as her soul "suffers" from wanderlust and has visited Canada, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Tanzania, Botswana, and South Africa. Liz studied advertising and communications at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT/NY) and is a proud stepmom and ‘Steppie’ to eight grandchildren. She’s also a certified Wilson dyslexic tutor, yoga/fitness instructor, and a Reiki Master.

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