Dating Dilemma: Is It Okay to Check Your Partner’s Phone?

Jessica Hoppe

One night, after a lovely evening, my date and I retired home. As we snuggled on the couch chatting his phone rang. He looked at the screen, sent the call to voicemail and placed the phone face down on the table.

I thought about asking who was calling at 2:00 a.m. but I resisted. Then the phone rang again, and again. I began to laugh and asked if it was his friend who we had seen earlier in the evening. “No,” he answered meekly, “that was Alexa.”

I soon learned this was the girl he had been sleeping with prior to meeting me. And although he did not have interest in sleeping with her again he had since the time we met –once. Awesome.

Here I was naively thinking after forging such a connection, we were exclusive. Not because we had had “the conversation” but because we liked each other. Apparently men can multi-task — just in this one area though.

After a LONG conversation we mended this small rift but from that moment on that phone became my worst enemy. I considered checking it several times. And soon we stopped seeing each other.

To be perfectly honest I have done some things I’m not proud of, by way of checking a partner’s device(s). I became frighteningly good at it.I ended my 7+ year relationship after checking my boyfriend’s phone. That was the very first time I had ever invaded his privacy and the trauma of what I found made trust my biggest challenge to this day.

So this is my advice when it comes to snooping (take it from someone who has made all the mistakes): trust is THE make-it-or-break-it key to a lasting relationship. Sleuthing about in your partner’s email, voicemail, Skype, IM and so on is a clear sign of distrust. Take a look at why you are feeling this way. If necessary, speak to your partner about it. It helps.But checking for yourself is a slippery, masochistic slope.

When you check a partner’s device, one of two things is going to happen:

1) You will be wrong and have made yourself look like a total fool who sabotaged the relationship because the person will have every right to call you crazy and dump you. This is not fun — I speak from experience.

2) You will be right. This hurts beyond words. And9 times out of 10 if you’re looking it’s because you already know what you will find. So before you become culpable for having violated trust ask your partner if they have violated yours. Honesty begets honesty. And the truth always comes to light. Trust your instincts but keep your hands clean.

Think about this one last thing a friend of mine recently told me: “Unconditional love is about freedom. If your partner feels free to love you or love another and they choose you? Well then…you know.”

So TRUST. Trust your worth, trust your partner and trust your relationship. Let them be free and they will always fly home to you.

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