Few people enter into a relationship with the express intention of committing infidelity. However, the harrowing reality is that cheating is just a part of modern dating. In fact, anywhere from 13 to 16 percent of individuals in their early to mid-20s have slept with someone else while in a relationship, according to research from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Of course, you can’t just avoid relationships altogether in fear of your partner cheating on you. But what you can do is learn the signs of cheating. For instance, you’ll want to be careful if your partner starts getting overly curious about when you’ll be home, as this could be a sign that they’re doing things they don’t want you to know about. And if they ever ask you about your thoughts on cheating—well, it’s safe to assume that if they ask about cheating, then it’s on their mind. Herein, we’ve gathered tips from relationship experts nationwide to round up some common things people will say if they want to cheat (or if they already are).
“What would you do if I cheated on you…hypothetically?”
If your partner ever says something like this, then you should consider that it’s something they’re genuinely thinking about doing, or at least that they’re not happy in the relationship on its current trajectory.
“When cheating is on the horizon, I often hear partners… list a certain kind of person, a location, time of day, or they may even name someone in their life,” says Racine Henry, Ph.D., owner of Sankofa Therapy, a New York City-based relationship therapy group. These hypothetical conversations, Henry warns, often lead to “unintentional cheating,” which both partners should be hyperaware of.
“Do you like my new haircut?”
If your partner has had the same haircut for a decade but comes home one day with a bold new ‘do, this could “indicate an effort to impress another person,” says Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and co-owner of Double Trust Dating, an online and in-person dating service. And it’s not just a new haircut you should be on the lookout for. Any big changes in appearance, like “losing weight, buying new clothes, or starting to wear makeup more often,” could be subtle signs of cheating to look out for, according to Bennett.
“Oh, John? I have no idea where he is.”
A person in a committed relationship should be able to tell you where their partner is when they aren’t with them. However, someone who’s on the verge of cheating (intentionally or otherwise) will stop checking in with their spouse or significant other, if only to try to forget that they have a spouse in the first place.