Nobody wants to end up in a relationship wrought with infidelity. But beyond actually catching someone in the act, is there any way to really know if someone’s a cheater before you start dating him or her? After all, it would be helpful if you could predict just how easily a potential partner may be tempted by low-hanging fruit. In the interest of self-preservation, consider these tips on how to spot a cheater before it’s too late.
Trust your gut
Your intuition is a powerful tool, and your snap judgments may be more accurate than you think. Based on a small study that examined cheating within relationships, Psychology Today reported that objective observers can spot infidelity with some accuracy. While that may not exactly help in your own quest to find love, it sure can help those around you.
In the article, Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. said, “Research on detecting deception in romantic relationships suggests that even though we should know our partners well enough to catch them in a lie, we often don’t, because we want to believe in them. This desire to believe in our partners may prevent us from detecting their unfaithfulness, even if it’s clear to strangers.” On the flip side, though, if you have a history with your suitor, even on a platonic level, this could put you at an advantage. If you’ve witnessed a potential partner in past relationships, it’s quite possible you have insight into their faithful, or unfaithful, tendencies.
Take note of their social media behavior
Do keep in mind that just because a person is attached to his or her phone 24/7, doesn’t mean he or she is necessarily a cheater. But, you also know that the overbearing presence of social media rules the roost in some households. People have taken social media addictions to new heights, and research suggests it could very well be playing a major role in romantic relationships.
In a study of 581 Twitter users ages 18 to 67, researchers found that Twitter and Facebook use can have damaging effects on romantic relationships — bad news for anyone who’s more interested in tweeting than talking. Active Twitter users experienced greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners, which in turn, the study reported, leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce. Now, even though the study included relationships of varying lengths, there’s something to be said about a love interest who’s addicted to social media. Maybe everything will change if you start dating, or … maybe not. Whatever the case, it’s worth questioning a person’s commitment to cyberspace. Perhaps he or she really is just checking the weather … or Tinder.
Beware of unwarranted reactions
In an article published on Today, experts weighed in to create a laundry list of emotional signs your partner is cheating on you. And while certain behaviors can help determine whether your current partner is being unfaithful, don’t dismiss the red flags that appear even before you’ve gotten too serious with someone new, either.
If a person is noticeably insecure and constantly on the defense, something’s likely awry. Especially in the very beginning stages of a relationship, both partners typically show off their very best side. However, the Today article warns against simply brushing off a person’s negative reactions, as it could mean something more significant. “Your mate easily becomes offended when you make normal and natural inquiries and may demand to know why you are checking up on him or her.”
Well, some may suggest that your partner, especially a brand new one, doesn’t owe you anything when it comes to their whereabouts. And granted, you don’t want to come off as overbearing. But if a person is so reluctant to answer your basic questions, beware. Perhaps he or she is just naturally aggressive in their reactions (would you really want to date a jerk, either way though?), or perhaps it’s a sign of their ever-cheating ways.
Recognize their aversion to mundane routine
If a person cheats because he or she has gotten bored, is that their partner’s fault? No, of course not! But, before getting involved with a new mate, it’s worth it to do some digging, not only on their relationship history, but on how they tend to operate in general. Which inevitably brings us back to the question of once a cheater, always a cheater?
The likelihood of a cheater being a repeat offender is high, Matt Garrett from Relationships Australia told The Huffington Post Australia. And if a history of cheating doesn’t serve as a glimpse into the future of how they operate in a relationship, consider other factors that may also play a role. “Without wanting to stereotype or typecast, some people simply want to experience the first flush of love all over again,” Garrett said. “As soon as the day-to-day realities of a relationship kick in, they might feel they need to go out and recapture that feeling from someone else.” We all know people whose mantra is “the grass is always greener,” so be careful before letting this kind of attitude onto your side of the fence.