Envision this scenario. Your man gets up and says that he is going to take a shower. He goes into the bathroom, the door locks, the shower gets turned on and finally, the sound of water crashing in the tub. Suddenly, it hits that his phone is left sitting right next to you. Knowing his shower routine and length of time it takes, you know that you have at least a good 1o to 15 minutes’ to rummage through his text messages and DMs. It is easy in this instance for one to develop a burning desire to go snooping around on his phone. Is it a good idea to run through his phone behind his back? Should you have a sneaky feeling that he may be cheating, is it still acceptable to indulge in snooping around? My simple answer is NO and n-e-v-e-r!
It is worth asking one’s self when the last time was that anyone heard of something good coming out of scouting through a man’s phone. I can easily come up with good enough reasons to justify this behavior but on the other hand, there is really no excuse for going through a phone that is not yours.
Before I delve into the reasons why I think it’s a bad idea to snoop around on a man’s phone, I’d like to let the ladies in on a little secret about men and their phones. Most men do not accidentally leave their phone in plain sight and walk away.
A man who leaves his phone around you most of the time is likely conveying a simple message to you; he trusts you.
A man who wants to guard his phone will boldly do so no matter what you say or do. Most men who leave their phones around do not have a problem with you discovering activities on the phone. He, however, will have a problem with the manner in which the information you unearth is handled.
I mentioned earlier that a man who does not guard his phone like a secret service agent has made a decision to trust his woman. Trust in this case means two things. First of all, he walks away believing that she will respect his right to privacy. Secondly, should she decide to snoop around or glance at an incoming message unintentionally, he expects that she handles any unsettling discoveries with maturity and tact. Permit me to illustrate my point with an example.
When I started graduate school, I was placed in a group with five other student team members. We held meetings outside of class and on the weekends sometimes to work on assignments and projects. And so, we exchanged phone numbers to facilitate communication and coordination. Angela, one of my project team members sent me a text message which read,
“Hey, what’s up? We are meeting at Starbucks tomorrow afternoon. I will be coming from the gym so I will be starving. Can we grab a quick bite to eat before we meet?”
I had left my phone on the couch next to my girlfriend at the time while using the restroom. No sooner had I stepped out of the restroom was I confronted by a clearly agitated girlfriend; “Who the freak is Angela?” She yelled in the loudest voice. “You are messing with her, ain’t you?!
Three thoughts crossed my mind in that moment. One, I have a very insecure girlfriend. Two, she does not trust me and three, this relationship is heading nowhere fast. A man wants to trust that his woman will afford him an opportunity to discuss a discovery before she jumps to conclusions. In the case of a clear indisputable proof of cheating, however, an opportunity to explain yourself may not be necessary. In that case, expect the kitchen missiles to come flying in your direction.
A quick tip for the fellas from a battle tested veteran brother. Most angry ladies tend to aim low when they launch an attack. Dipping down to dodge flying objects is not a move I’d recommend. You stand a better chance by swinging to your left or right. Some prefer to attack without projectiles but beware! A slap may be imminent. Whatever you do, do not extend your hands to defend yourself from the slap. Women have very fragile wrists and may end up getting hurt. Brace for the slap and take it like a man should it come or simply step back. Do not, I repeat, do not attack back or physically harm your woman.
Going through anyone’s phone without permission is a betrayal of trust simply beyond measure. Trust, when violated is difficult to regain on any level. Violating the trust one has with one’s partner is also a major setback for a relationship. Whether one finds anything suspicious or not is not the issue. The insecurity generated speaks volumes about an underlying problem with the relationship.
We have become a society that yearns to know everything immediately. The fear of the unknown creates anxiety and a false perception of what is actually going on. We feed into the urge that something may be going on behind our backs that we should know about. Our obsessive need to know everything is why some can’t resist the temptation of going through an unchaperoned phone. A misguided belief is somehow developed that questions and doubts, realistic or unrealistic, will be answered only if one gets to see what is on the other side of the touchscreen.
The top reason not to snoop around on your man’s phone is privacy, in my opinion. He is entitled to some privacy as do you. Especially in the case of a boyfriend, you do not own him and he does not owe you an explanation for every decision he makes in the course of his day. He has a life to live and will interact daily with people both known and strangers. The new number you discovered saved on his phone may be from his boss. The text message from a stranger making arrangements to meet maybe a co-worker who needs a ride to work the following day or a potential business contact. One simply cannot jump to conclusions.
Do men cheat? Of course, they do! However, not every man cheats. Most women I feel have bought into the age-old lie that ALL men are obsessed with sex and are incapable of sticking to just one woman. Some women have this lie hardwired into their brains and therefore it’s hard for them to believe that their man really wants to be with just them exclusively. If the only way you to ensure that your man does not cheat on you is by going through his phone then, I have a simple advice; you need to let him go. That said, I do understand why some women take a preemptive approach to snoop. No one wants to be played for a fool and that is perfectly understandable.
It is normal for a woman to develop deep trust issues if she has already caught her man cheating. One cannot blame her for the need to know following an episode of infidelity. In cases where the man is a proven cheat, you have two choices; stay and worry about the possibility of repeated infidelity or exit the relationship. One choice will give you the peace of mind and the other certainly will not. The choice is yours.
Relationships are a risk and they will always be. Not a single day goes by without someone, male or female, getting their heart broken or getting hurt. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in; a world where the only solution to prevent a heartbreak is to have the uncanny ability to read minds. The last time I checked, the human race is yet to develop that ability and a full proof one at that.
The probability of getting hurt in a relationship still does not make it okay to go snooping around your man’s phone. The trust he has in you can be irreparably damaged. Worse still, he will start to view you as insecure or possessive. It is not worth hurting your relationship in an attempt to prevent yourself from getting hurt.
Relationships only thrive on trust. If a lady doesn’t believe that her man respects her and the relationship, the problem needs to be addressed from the root. Finding out what is happening in his DMs and WhatsApp won’t fix the issue. If he is a cheat, he has no respect for you in the first place. What you have to do if you become suspicious is voice your concerns and state the reasons behind them. A good man will be more inclined to listen, clear any airs and remediate the issue to eliminate the pebble in your shoe.
I have come to terms, and maybe you should too, with the idea that not knowing what is on the other side of that touchscreen is actually for the better. It is called a clear mind. The alternative is a disturbed mind that is constantly worrying and obsessing about every sound made by a partner’s phone. The loser in the case of someone who is deceptive in a relationship will most likely never be you in the long run.
If one is committed and hell-bent on snooping, then it is worth noting that it is a case of basically praying for the best, but surely expect the worst.
By Kwadjo Panyin
Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.