8 Signs He Might Be a Cheater

You may have watched a friend go through the difficulties of being cheated on, but what if you’re beginning to wonder if you’re that girl? What started as subtle changes in your guy’s behavior that you casually put down to stress or tiredness or even just a lull in the relationship are now making you wonder if he’s cheating on you. Whether you think you’ve been cheated on in a long distance relationship or you live close to your boyfriend, you’re probably freaking yourself out by obsessing over every little thing that he’s done differently recently, even down to changing his cereal brand. You’re now seeing everything as evidence that he’s kissed half of the girls on campus while you’ve been together. But, good news: it probably isn’t. While there’s no precise formula to tell you if he’s cheating aside from just asking him, there are a few things to watch out for if you think that something sketchy might be going on.

Sign #1: He’s Being Secretive With his Cell Phone

This is a big one: becoming secretive is a well-known first sign that something’s wrong in a relationship. After all, it can give the impression that he’s got something to hide. Whereas normally your boyfriend would have been happy to leave his phone lying around your dorm or would ask you to check something on it, he now keeps it on him at all times and acts rashly when you have your hands on his cell. But the signs don’t have to be that obvious; maybe he password protected his messages or he jumps straight to his phone when it rings. It certainly does seem like he’s hiding something!

If he’s communicating with another girl, he’s most likely doing it with his cell, so keep an eye out for this sign. “Either person being secretive with their cell phone is something worth discussing,” says relationship coach Lesli Doares.

However, if you start grabbing his phone or randomly trying to read his messages, your guy really won’t appreciate it, and he’ll think there’s something going on with you. The best way to deal with this sign is to watch from a distance. Don’t dive straight in, and see what you can find from afar. Be warned: as Kim Olver, a life, relationship and executive coach, says, “being secretive with a cell phone might just be a person that values privacy.” If he’s always been close to his phone, then perhaps that’s just how he is; you shouldn’t be worried by his behavior if that’s the case.

Sign #2: He’s Taking a Sudden Unusual Interest in his Appearance

When most college guys go to class, they either grab the clothes that are closest to them because they’re running late or pull something comfy on that they’ll be happy wearing on campus all day. But if your man is starting to pick out his outfits the night before or wearing aftershave to class that he usually only wears when he takes you out, then there might be another woman. Did he used to go to the gym regularly and take care of his physique, or is this a recent development?

Allie Sutherland, a contributing writer for Her Campus and a senior at Syracuse University, says that around the time her boyfriend was cheating, she noticed he started working out a lot more than usual. “I thought he was just going through an insecure phase where he was really concerned about his image,” she says, “but turns out it was to impress other girls!” If he’s suddenly interested in having a better figure, then question whether this is to impress you or to impress someone else.

Sign #3: His Routine has Inexplicably Changed

Class schedules are fairly set throughout the semester, and so are club meetings. So when he starts deviating from this routine regularly, maybe even just not being able to meet you in the library to study when you normally would or missing your regular coffee date, take notice. It could just be that he’s going through a busy phase and has more work than he would like, but it could also mean that something more sinister is afoot.

This one is easy to talk to your guy about without seeming overly suspicious. Just ask him what has changed in his routine and what it is that’s taking up more of his time. If he says that he’s studying, then suggest you change your regular coffee date into a regular study date and see what he says. If he clams up and gives you a bad excuse, you have a right to be worried.

Sign #4: His Friends are Acting Strange Around You

His friends might know something that you don’t. If they start acting aloof around you by avoiding eye contact with you or trying to get out of the room as soon as you walk into it, either you’ve done something or your boyfriend has. Friends can be good indicators of what’s going on in your other half’s life, especially if they live with him. This is a sign you could question your boyfriend on; ask him directly why he thinks his friends are acting off with you. His answer is likely to tell you everything that you need: if he sounds nervous and panicky in his answer, then his friends know something you don’t. If he’s straight with you and can look you in the eye when he gives you his answer, then maybe his friends are going through something themselves.