Signs Of A Cheating Boyfriend

Indications that your partner may have cheated

We have compiled a list of signs that your boyfriend may be cheating on you. To our knowledge, it is the most comprehensive list currently available on the internet. Please bear in mind that none of these signals by itself can be considered solid proof of infidelity; you generally have to observe multiple signals and evaluate the situation as a whole.

Guilt and deception are almost impossible to hide completely. No matter how hard he tries to hide it, a person with a guilty conscience will inevitably behave differently than a person with a clear conscience. These behaviors manifest themselves as signs that you can learn to recognize.

In the same manner, a person who is lying has an entirely different world perspective from someone who has nothing to hide. A liar is extremely self conscious about how he is perceived, has to create details, and generally wishes to change the subject -- All of these are reflected in his body language, intonation, and behavior. (To find out more about identifying a liar, see our page on How To Detect Lying to learn how to question and dig deeper when you suspect he's lying to you.)

Remember, everyone with a secret will eventually make mistakes... Mistakes that you can be aware of and learn to recognize. Let's start looking at the evidence:

Recent Mood Changes

Cheating in a relationship can be an emotional roller coaster for both sides. (This is one of the reasons men cheat: They are addicted to the emotions.) Therefore, mood changes are some of the most powerful signs of cheating.
  • Has he suddenly become extremely nice for no apparent reason? This is a major red flag. Very often a cheating partner feels guilty and wants to compensate by showing you extra affection or buying you gifts.
  • Conversely, has he suddenly started pointing out your flaws? Is he trying to pick fights? Another effect of guilt is justification: He is trying to find fault in you in order to justify his cheating and/or place the blame on you.
  • Accusations: In the same manner, if he starts accusing you of cheating, it can be a result of attempting to justify his behavior, an attempt to put you on the defensive instead of the offensive, or simply paranoia: A guilty conscience sees many things that aren't there..
  • He seems less interested in you, both physically and emotionally. He stops asking you about your opinion.
  • He gets extremely defensive/moody when you ask him about about his changed behavior. This holds true for pretty much any of the signs of cheating: If you question him and he becomes defensive or tells you to give him space, it should definitely raise red flags for you.

General Behavioral Changes

It is impossible for a person to make a change in his life, without having it affect other aspects of his life. If your boyfriend is cheating on you, his behavior will reflect it in one way or another. Here are some indications of this:
  • He starts leaving the house or coming home at different times -- Breaking the normal pattern is the key here.
  • He has started working "overtime" more often. (Try calling him at his work office. Also, consider checking later on to see if he was paid for his "overtime" hours.)
  • He goes out with his "friends" more often.
  • He receives a phone call or a text message, and does not answer it, or hangs up very quickly after answering. Alternatively, if you answer the phone, the caller hangs up. (Watch his body language very carefully after this for signs of nervousness.)
  • He may start going outside or to another room to speak on the phone. Walking in on him causes him to stop talking, hang up, or move elsewhere.
  • Tells you to change something about your personality or your appearance (e.g. the way you dress or your hair). It may be the case that he wants you to look or behave like the other woman he is pursuing.
  • You find out that he's been taking showers in the middle of the day, or at times when he never did before.
  • He starts lying to you about things, even small things.
  • Lack of interest in day to day activities, neglect of household chores, and less time spent together. If he has started seeing someone else or has started to lose interest in your relationship, it can often be the case that he no longer feels the need to invest more into your relationship.

Changes In Interests

As social animals, we are influenced by the people around us and we can't help but to have our interests be affected by the interests of the people we associate with. Therefore, a change in your boyfriend's interests can indicate there has been a change in the people with which he is spending time.

  • Changes in drinking habits -- often cheating is associated with an increase of alcohol consumption.
  • He starts smoking. (Possibly because the person he is cheating with is a smoker.)
  • He has started to show interest in new topics, activities, or sports that he was not previously interested in. These could be new interests that he picked up from another woman.
  • Acquires a taste for new foods.
  • Changes the music he listens to.

Conversational Hints

Imagine if you knew something, but could not ever tell anybody in the world. It's a very difficult position to be in, and therefore the likelihood of some aspect of it slipping out is quite high. Here are some signs you can watch out for:

  • He may try to lead the conversation toward an agreement for an open relationship, e.g. by mentioning examples of people who have had multiple lovers.
  • He casually starts a discussion on what might be considered cheating, and whether certain things should be considered cheating...
  • Asks you if you have ever cheated on any of your boyfriends.
  • Have you had a conversation with him in which he sided with a cheater? Or has he tried to explain to you recently that "it's natural" for men to cheat? Many men will justify cheating in their minds and to others using arguments based on nature or evolution.
  • He tells you new anecdotes and interesting pieces of news/information that he heard from a "new friend", or he starts talking about topics that he's never mentioned before. When a man starts to meet a new woman, the conversations he has with her will leave an impression in his mind. Tidbits of these conversations are highly likely to occasionally slip out when he talks to you -- at which point he will try to hide the true source.
  • He asks you existential questions such as "How do you know you really love me?" or "Is love real, or just the result of a chemical reaction?"
  • Many affairs start as friendships, so it will often be the case that you have heard him talk about the person he is cheating with. Out of guilt or fear of being caught, he may suddenly stop talking about her when he starts having an affair. Is there anyone he used to talk about a lot? Does the conversation become touchy when you mention her?

Physical Evidence

Sometimes a careless cheater will leave evidence of cheating lying around:
  • Receipts for restaurant food, movies, drinks, hotels, or anything out of the ordinary.
  • Used condom wrappers.
  • Strands of hair of the wrong color in his bed, bathroom, or on his clothing.
  • He keeps an extra set of clothes or toothbrush and toothpaste in the car. Does he come back from work wearing the same outfit he was wearing in the morning?
  • Does he smell different? Does he have lipstick marks on any of his clothing?
  • Evidence of a new SIM card or a prepaid phone.
  • Gift wrapping or empty gift boxes.

Secretive Behavior

When your boyfriend has a secret, he will try to hide it from you. Often these attempts are easy to identify:
  • He has set a pass code on his phone, or has recently changed the password.
  • He doesn't allow you to use his phone or see his text messages.
  • He deletes the call history on his phone.
  • He hides his computer screen from you, or there are times when he has deleted his internet browsing history.
  • You find his profile on an online dating site. (Read more about that here)
  • You find out that he has another Facebook account that you don't know about -- especially if that one is listed as "single".
  • He has been talking to or meeting an ex-girlfriend.
  • If your boyfriend is cheating, it will sometimes become difficult to make plans with him -- because his availability is affected by his plans for cheating. Therefore, he will often be unavailable for unspecific or vague reasons.
  • You find out that he has been snooping in your purse or personal belongings. It can be the case that he's looking for evidence of you cheating on him -- A cheater will actively seek to blame you or find a way to relieve himself of guilt. If he can accuse you of cheating, it releases a burden from his shoulders.
  • He hides items from you (possibly gifts to/from the person he's cheating with)... When asked about them he may hint at a "surprise" that never comes.

Changes In Sexual Behavior

If your boyfriend is sleeping with someone else, there can be changes to his love-making habits. Additionally, there will be effects on his sexual appetite:

  • He may start losing interest in having sex with you, or he may have difficulty performing, as he may have expended his energy on the person he is cheating with.
  • Suddenly he wants to start experimenting with new things.
  • Have his habits changed? Has he starting doing things in bed that he never did before? He may have learned something new from someone else.
  • He asks you to do things he hasn't asked you before. (His other girlfriend may have changed his expectations.)
  • Does he close his eyes or look away during love making?

Unexplained High Spirits

A man who is looking for, or is in the initial stages of an affair will often have a new unexplained "zest" or energy that was not there before. Often this can be a good thing, if you know what it is and what's going on; for example he may have overcome a period of depression. However if he has no explanation it might be the case that his new excitement is inflamed by a new woman. This can especially be true if he feels like he is "freeing" himself by cheating on you. Here are some signs of this:

  • He comes home late but seems happy for some reason.
  • New purchases such as new clothing, new shoes.
  • New purchase of cologne, or he simply starts wearing cologne when he didn't use to.
  • A sudden increased interest in his personal appearance or grooming.
  • He has started cleaning his house/apartment more frequently.
  • He has suddenly started a new fitness regime at the gym. (He may be trying to impress his new mistress.)
  • He has suddenly quit smoking.
  • He has become more outgoing and confident.

Insecure Behavior

Cheating is often a side effect of a man struggling to find his identity. Therefore, it is often accompanied by sudden unexpected changes to his lifestyle and personality, as well as insecurities.

  • Distances himself -- For example, he may start to ask for "alone time" when he hadn't before.
  • He starts talking about his problems to his other friends instead of you.
  • Has he recently mentioned anything about losing his masculine confidence or feeling insecure about his identity?
  • Does he need constant reassurance? Does he repeatedly need to be reminded that he is loved and wanted? Cheating is often the result of a man wanting to feel powerful, wanted, and loved. Unfortunately, for some men, it is not enough to have just one woman attracted to them.

Changes In Finances

There are many costs associated with having an affair. For example, a partner who is seeing another woman will have expenses for dinners, wine, hotel rooms, entertainment, transportation, and possibly a higher phone bill. In order to hide his cheating, your boyfriend will have to hide his finances as well. Here are some signs of this:
  • Unexplained increases in expenses, often explained by poor excuses.
  • A noticeably higher phone bill.
  • He "lends money to a friend".
  • In order to hide his tracks, he may start to ask to take over finances or "take care of all the bills". A request for financial independence is sometimes a request for financial secrecy.

His Friends

Finally, his friends, as well as your mutual friends, may know something which they may inadvertently reveal at some point. Many men will brag to their guy friends about having "multiple girls", so it is likely that his male friends know about the affair.
  • Do his male friends hesitate to keep eye contact with you?
  • Look out for awkward behavior or signals/nervous glances when your boyfriend's male friends are around.
  • Does the conversation quiet down when you walk into the room?

Closing thoughts

We hope you've found this article useful. If your boyfriend exhibits one of these signs of cheating, does it necessarily mean that he is cheating? In many cases you cannot be 100% sure. However, once he has shown a few signs of deception and you suspect that he may be hiding something, you are already well on the road to finding the truth. From there, you can dig deeper, ask more questions, and determine whether or not he is lying to you.

See our page on How To Detect Lying for more about detecting deception and how to find the truth once you suspect something.

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