Is Your Girlfriend Or Partner Cheating? Signs To Look Out For

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated March 22, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

It's understandable to have moments of doubt in any relationship. If you're wondering if your partner may be cheating on you, it may be a good idea to pay attention and be aware of any changes in their behavior that may cause concern. 

While infidelity may happen in a relationship, there is often an explanation for this type of behavior, so it may be best to approach the conversation with an open mind. Confronting your partner may be challenging, but before accusing them of something that may not be true, it's best to look for the signs if your partner is cheating or not. It can be helpful to read about how to find out if your girlfriend is cheating on you before taking action.

While there might not be a sure way to tell if a partner is cheating, some signs may indicate that your partner is unfaithful.

Are you ready to address infidelity issues in your relationship?

Infidelity in the United States: Committed relationship statistics

Infidelity is a relatively common occurrence in the United States.

According to one source, 21% of men and 19% of women polled in the US admitted to cheating on their spouse at least once.

In another study, research determined that the most common reason for cheating was a lack of satisfaction in their current relationship and the derivation of enjoyment from the threat presented by an affair. Sometimes, those who have lost interest in their romantic relationships may choose to begin a sexual relationship or start emotionally cheating, rather than break off the committed relationship.

In some cases, a person’s attachment style, which is typically established at a very young age, can play into their likelihood of cheating. Still, even though you may develop your attachment style at a young age, it can be possible to adjust it to be more secure through therapy.

Signs that may indicate your girlfriend might be cheating

If you start to feel like something isn't right with your relationship, it may be a good idea to pay closer attention to how your partner is acting. While it's understandable to doubt yourself and feel that everything could just be in your head, further signs may start emerging that make you question whether or not you need to investigate any changes in your partner's behavior. A cheating boyfriend or girlfriend will often display suspicious behavior, such as wearing new clothes, choosing to spend time away from you more than is typical, showing different body language, and more.

When looking into how your partner is acting, it may be best to pay attention to how they behave with others and interact with you. So, what are the signs she’s cheating?

You notice a withdrawal from intimacy

Your partner might become less interested in being intimate with you if they are having an affair; if there is a sudden or unexplainable change in your intimate life, this might signify something is wrong. It could also mean they may be putting their energy into someone else. This can refer to both physical and emotional intimacy and could mean she’s hiding (or he’s hiding) something.

Your girlfriend is acting jittery

When someone is cheating, they tend to act differently around you. If there is an unusual amount of nervousness, or if your partner avoids eye contact or keeps changing the subject when you ask them questions, this might indicate that they have something to hide. You may also find that he or she’s easily annoyed when talking to you. While this on its own may not be a sure sign of a cheating partner, it may have significance if it occurs alongside other signs.


She is using social media and technology in an abnormal way

If your partner is cheating, they may use technology to cover their tracks. This could include hiding phone calls or text messages or having multiple social media accounts. If your partner always goes into a different room when she’s talking on the phone when she never used to do so, that might be a red flag. Always having their phone on them when they normally would not or constantly texting or talking to someone they refuse to tell you about might also be a warning sign. Cheating women and men often go to great lengths to hide their affairs. They may even change the contact information for their affair partner, perhaps listing them under the name of a particular person who wouldn’t be of concern to you.

Unusually high interest in appearance or grooming habits

A partner who suddenly has a higher interest in how they look – paying more attention to their grooming or clothing – may be doing so to impress the person with whom they are cheating. This sign she’s cheating may also come in the form of exercising more frequently. This may coincide with an uptick in comments about your own appearance. 

Unexplained changes in habits, such as suddenly spending time with “just a few friends”

Cheating often causes people to act differently than usual, so if your partner suddenly changes their behavior or has new habits, it could mean they are doing something like cheating. This might include taking more time to work late nights at their job, picking up unusual hobbies that constantly take them out of the house or spending large amounts of money without your knowing where it went. Another example could be going out for the night and only saying that they’ll be out “with just a few friends” but failing to offer further details (if this is out of the norm for them). Significant habit changes may lead you to suspect she’s cheating.

How to approach the conversation when you suspect your girlfriend of cheating

It is ideal to remember that although infidelity might be a difficult thing to deal with, there are often other explanations for the behavior that you may not want to overlook. Your partner may be planning a surprise, attempting to resolve a sensitive mental health or physical health issue without worrying you, or they may simply be changing their routine, to name a few alternatives. The answer is not always that your boyfriend or girlfriend is cheating.

If you noticed any of the signs mentioned above and are worried that your partner may be cheating, it is usually a good idea to talk to them about how you feel. Try starting by calmly expressing how you feel, and it's a good idea to stay open-minded while they explain their side of things. It may be that the conversation doesn't turn out how you would like, but handling it respectfully and keeping communication open is a good way to resolve any conflicts that arise as peacefully as possible.

What should you do when she is actually cheating?

What to do if I found out that she cheated on me? If you have confronted your partner about their infidelity and it has been confirmed, it's understandable that you might feel hurt or confused. Know that you are not alone in how you feel; some resources may help. Seeking support from your own friends, a support group, or an online therapist may offer a safe space to talk through how the experience has affected your relationship, how you might to able to move forward, or how to work on communication between the two of you. 

Knowing how to deal with betrayal and heal after discovering infidelity might help start recovery. Whatever happens in any relationship, remember that each person should take care of themselves first. This may mean knowing when to step away from a situation when necessary and how to practice self-care and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Taking time for yourself may help you process the changes in dealing with infidelity. A boyfriend or girlfriend cheating on you can be challenging to cope with, but it can be possible to move forward. 

Therefore, how you may manage the situation will depend on how much effort both partners are willing to put into the relationship. If you think there may be room for improvement, even if he or she’s cheating, communication is ideal and might save your relationship. While cheating might happen in some relationships, understanding how to recognize signs of infidelity and confront them safely should help create healthy relationships. With patience and understanding, navigating such an experience as a cheating girlfriend or boyfriend has the potential to lead to stronger relationships.

Benefits of seeking online therapy for infidelity

Online therapy has the potential to be a beneficial option for individuals who may need help dealing with the challenges of suspecting their partner of cheating. Online therapists from services like BetterHelp are trained professionals with experience helping people in similar situations and may be able to provide invaluable guidance when navigating complex relationships such as this one. They can provide a valuable source of support for confronting your partner about possible infidelity and the steps following, whether that’s rebuilding appropriate communication in the relationship or ending it and moving forward.

Are you ready to address infidelity issues in your relationship?

Getting the assistance you need from online therapy might be an effective treatment if you deal with relationship issues involving infidelity suspicions. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology evaluated how online therapy might help couples through infidelity-related stressors and how it should aid healing relationships. The study concluded that online counseling was successful in assisting participants in building better communication skills, allowing them to talk openly and honestly about their concerns while also restoring trust and safety in their relationship. These results indicate how beneficial online therapy might be as a source of support when confronting your partner about possible infidelity.

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There are a multitude of reasons why your relationship may be more challenging or you may feel suspicious that your partner is being unfaithful. While the actions listed above are not the sole indicators of infidelity, nor are they always indicators at all, observing these behaviors can be a good way to start a conversation with your partner to address your concerns or bring them to a therapist who can help you understand your situation on an emotional level.
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