Ask Isaac: Can I Check His Phone If I Think He’s Cheating?

If you’re like “Uh…wait.  Who the hell is Isaac?”  Well!  Let us introduce you!  

Meet the man of no mystery himself.  

What a guy, huh? … What guy?  This guy.

Hey mate,

Don’t look at your boyfriend’s phone. In my experience (and this is firsthand experience), if you’re looking for something, you will find it — and then what? “Hey, I creepily went through your phone, found THIS, now let’s talk about it,” does not a good relationship consultation make. Best to keep your hands clean.

But let’s forget about his phone for a second: This does not sound like the basis for a secure and healthy relationship. Your friends (PLURAL!) have no reason to lie to you. They’re telling you he’s behaving badly. That right there is a strong enough reason to seriously question what’s going on here.

His behavior is making you feel insecure. Insecurity leads to jealousy, low self-esteem and general life dissatisfaction. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Relationships are there to add value to our lives, not take it away. There’s no value-add in this scenario.

You need to sit down and have a serious talk with this guy. A no-nonsense, no-bullshit conversation. If he tries to tell you your friends are crazy or jealous or trouble-makers, keep in mind that they’re your friends, and that they’re probably none of those things. In fact, I kinda feel like the only conversation you need to have with him is, “We’re done.”

And for the record, checking your significant other’s phone is extremely addictive. It’s like smoking crack. I don’t think that anybody ever does it just the once.

Follow Isaac on Instagram here, Twitter here, and check out his website here. If you have a relationship question for our Ask a Guy series, email with ASK ISAAC in the subject line. 


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  • emily

    I checked my significant other’s phone, found some unsavory things (no physical, just emotional). We came to the conclusion that if I hadn’t caught him, the dalliance may have escalated to physical. I packed my bags and gave homeboy a reality check. Fortunately, he realized how effed it was and couldn’t bear the thought of me leaving. Six months later we’re together and better than ever, and the-almost-side-piece is out of our lives (yeah bitch). It’s a dangerous game checking that stuff, but sometimes they need a reality check before things get sticky (pun intended). Cheating partners often realize after the fact what a grave mistake they’ve made and wish they could take it back, but if you can bring them to that emotional space before the damage is done the relationship may still be viable. He was have a quarter life crisis and was confused about what he wanted, but me highlighting what was happening and the effects cleared things up for him. I’m not saying everyone should check their partner’s phone, but if you’re having those intuitive feelings,he’s mostly likely stepping (or about to) into a danger zone. Whether by concrete electronic evidence or a strongly worded conversation, he needs to know that you’re feeling like something is up and if it is you’re gone.

    • isaaclikes

      I hear what you’re saying, but what if you stay with this guy and then history repeats itself (only a whole lot worse) when he hits his midlife crisis? When there are kids and a dog and a mortgage and the rest involved? Aren’t you worried that you’re going to doubt him again and then you’re going to have to always be checking his phone just in case? Can you really deal with the anxiety that his behavior will cause you when you’ve come down from this momentary pink cloud?

    • Lua Jane

      Can you ever really trust that person again? He didn’t come up front with that himself. You had to snoop around to find out. And as you said if you hadn’t packed to leave, and if there wan’t fear of losing you completely, it would have evolved into physical (even though evolve might not be the best word, since at least to me emotional betrayal is worse than physical). I’d have major trust issues. Plus if I wasn’t enough to sustain him and prevent an emotional betrayal, I wouldn’t stay. There is a man out there who will appreciate you so much never to think of doing something he KNOWS would hurt you.

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  • ValiantlyVarnished

    I say if you feel the need to snoop then you already know if he’s cheating on your or not and are merely looking for proof to validate your feeling. Instead of sneaking around why not just confront him directly? Let him know what you’ve been told and what friends have seen and give him the chance to either lie or tell the truth. Either way though if you don’t trust him then you probably shouldn’t be with him anymore.

    • Deb

      I confronted him but got nothing but vagueness and lies. He refused to tell me the truth even when I asked him point blank if he was with another woman. My gut told me he couldn’t be trusted. So I checked his phone and matched up the times he didn’t answer my texts and calls with times when he was conversing with another women he said he wasn’t seeing anymore. I’m so glad I checked. I found proof and a reason to leave before I fell in love with a liar and a cheater.

  • Aydan

    Amen to this! Hard to execute in reality–the whole leaving them behind part (I speak from experience), but DO IT! Once you’ve become distanced from the relationship you’ll realize that there as a majority percent of things that you loved, but that there was def a substantial percentage of things that are red flags. Hindsight is 20/20, but in the moment just know that vision is clouded!

  • ThisPersonSleeps

    Totally agree. If you feel the need to check your boyfriend’s phone, there’s already something wrong and that’s enough reason to question the relationship.

  • Hannah Warner

    if he’s been disrespectful to the point of you thinking he may have cheated who cares if you check his phone! get yourself some closure and then leave him. it’s only a problem if you do it with the intent of staying together.

  • BK

    LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS. One of my dearest friends chose to ignore me and some other girls when We had *definitive* proof that her scumbag bf had cheated and stayed with him for about 4 years (!) after the fact. Basically as a result he never respected her, she never trusted him properly, and surprise surprise – he cheated on her again, like, 7 times. It was awful; you could practically see the anxiety silently eating away at her. For 4 years.

    If you’re not convinced, consider your friends’ perspective – what reason would we have had to dissent to our friends’ relationship other than out of love for her? If we just plain didn’t like him, we wouldn’t have gone the convoluted Gossip-Girl-Schemefest-3000 route and fabricated various stories about him cheating – we would have told her straight up we just plain didn’t like him. That’s not what your friends are saying to you.

    I don’t know who you are, but I’m very certain you don’t deserve to be torn apart emotionally like my friend was for so long. I agree with Isaac. I don’t think you need to check his phone because I don’t think you trust him already and that speaks volumes. Only you can acknowledge it head on and decide what to do with it from there, but you’ve made a huge step in expressing it. Good luck and Godspeed!

  • wow this post is incredible..


  • Just think this is such a strange unreal scenario. I am just trying to picture this happen in my life – it would not be such a complicated plan. If my friends said something like that we (partner and I) would have the conversation that night – why did they say that? What were you doing? This whole idea of planning and hiding is just really unreal.

  • Abi

    Also, a good way to know if the relationship is healthy or not is the ability to just straight up ask your significant other things like this. You should be able to communicate about anything, and feel comfortable doing so. Obviously there will be nerves involved, but you should always feel comfortable with the right person.

  • I’m guilty of checking a phone, and you’re right I found exactly what I was looking for. I was definitely a few years younger when I made the decision to do it instead of just talking through my feelings with the guy, and now looking back I’d much rather talk it out rather than having that looming knowledge in the back of my head. Because you can’t say you went through someone’s phone in conversation without looking more than a little crazy.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

    • isaaclikes


  • Gia

    Friends aren’t always right. Some years ago, two of my boyfriend’s friends told him i was cheating with a guy I’ve known since childhood because we were very intimate and sometimes went shopping together. Obviously i wasn’t cheating at all and my boyfriend trusted me when, during our confrontation about the matter, i told him i’ve never cheated on him. I know that his friends were trying to protect him but they could have damaged our relationship just because they didn’t know facts straight.

  • BohoHoney

    If you’re a normal secure person and you think he’s cheating ( and you’re not) chances are he probably is, or at the very least the relationship is not as strong as you think. I know alot of people say ask him, but honestly, if they’re already lying to you by cheating, how many are going to be honest with their answers? But I still don’t think you have the right to invade their privacy by checking their phone.

  • Mackenzie

    It’s never a good idea to check your significant other’s phone….. buttttttttttt, if you ever do find yourself creeping, just be sure to search your name in the search bar. This goes for FB too. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

    *should have kept my mouth shut*

  • Amelia

    When a friend told me my first love of two and a half years had been cheating, I didn’t dismiss her, but didn’t believe her either. I did talk to my boyfriend about it though and he assured me nothing was going on. We continued to date for another couple of months before he stopped calling me and the relationship had fizzled out enough that I never really cared enough to call him back and ask what was up either. A year on I learned that he had been cheating on me after all, that it was common knowledge and that everyone in my school knew (which was strange considering he didn’t go to my school and barely knew anyone who did) Oh well. I feel relieved it didn’t hurt because things had come to a natural end, I was so over it and he had no future anyway as he dropped out of school and was massively into drugs. Good riddance.

  • Noor

    As a girl who considers herself a damn good friend, I know it takes so much energy and anxiety to tell your mate that the dude on their lock screen is a bit of a shit. So from someone who is genuine when she says “your boyfriend is an absolute tosser” (perhaps not in those words), I recommend listening to your mates because they wouldn’t bring it up otherwise. Or get new ones… that you can trust… that you will listen to. You don’t need concrete evidence, it’s not a murder trial. That reputation of him being an ~other ladies man~ is enough.

  • john anderson

    You can $^it in one hand and fill the other with trust and see which one weighs the most! Truth is ALL men are cheating pigs. Every women should carry a dough roller in one hand, and install this app on their pigs phone with the other. There is no longer any reason to “trust”, you don’t even need to sneak into their phone now. Get in a relationship, find the truth, leave the pig and start living for yourself!

  • Swan

    Ok here’s my scenerio….
    I am dating my co-worker, we’ve been together for 6 months. Recently another co-worker had been texting him late at night, etc and i asked him about it and he denies anything is happening.
    I recently went for lunch with this other co-worker and we chatted about how i am in a relationship with this guy. She didn’t respond oddly.
    That night he was getting more texts so i broke down and looked.
    Sure enough they’ve been seeing each other and the other girl told him she’d keep it a secret from me if he wanted her to.
    Now I am working with these two, knowing!! What would you do??

  • V

    Haha this is so funny. Every advice is to sit down and talk. Not once in my 2 decades of dating experience a cheater had a no bulshit talk. Not once! That is what they are all about – bullshit! I was trying to approach it as ‘confident’ and ‘secure’ – haha what a load of crap we’re lead to believe. When I was younger I thought I’ll take the high road and be the woman of integrity and high character and give them the benefit of doubt. That just gave them more room to play and get away with it. So stop with a bulshit advice. If a guy/girl is acting shady ask for his/her damn phone and be done with it. Stop waisting time on people who don’t matter. Because they surely will waist it for you if allowed. Just be prepared to show him/her your phone as well. It goes both ways. The trust is earned and not given for free. It takes months and years to truly trust someone, and sometimes it takes to be understanding enough to show your damn phone. Don’t overanalize every stupid thing you see on it. Focus on the main things – is he/she cheating?! And leave the rest as his/her right to a bit of freedom. And don’t be afraid to let them go if need be. There are plenty of great guys/girls who wouldn’t make you feel you need to ask to see their phone and if the occasion would ever be in contrary they would never make a big deal about it! Believe me!

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