Have you ever been tempted to snoop through a partner’s messages? Devices hold a wealth of ways of communicating and just a hit of a button gives you access to the likes of emails, social media profiles, text messages and messenger apps. If you wouldn’t even dream of having a peek at your significant other’s private interactions, you may be surprised to learn that a whopping 60% of people surveyed recently admitted to looking at their partner’s private text messages and photos. That’s despite another survey which suggests 70% of those asked believe it is rarely or never acceptable for somebody to look through a partner’s phone without their knowledge.
So why do people sneak a peek at what their partner or new love interest has been discussing in their private messages? Sometimes it is down to a lack of trust, due to the way they are behaving or something they’ve done which has aroused suspicions. For others, there might not be a particular reason they are looking into what their partner has been discussing, but the temptation to snoop is still hard to ignore. It may be because they were cheated on in a previous relationship and they can’t shake the feeling that history might repeat itself. Insecurity can end up leading to a desire to look for something that proves a love interest is up to no good, as deep down you expect it. Messages often ping up on a preview mode on screen which makes it even easier to have a quick peek at what somebody has been sent.
Why it’s problematic
Sneaking a look into somebody’s phone or device is invading their privacy when it’s against their knowledge. Even if they share their password to let you make a call or pay for something you’ve ordered for you both, it’s not an invitation to start opening their recent chats and emails. It crosses boundaries and indicates a lack of trust, while demonstrating insecurity about the relationship that has turned into fears your partner isn’t trustworthy. Snooping can lead to self-sabotaging the relationship if you read too much into something that may be completely innocuous. It can be very embarrassing to be caught in the act of snooping, or revealing what you’ve been up when you eventually confront your partner. Reading messages may not even give you the answers you want, as a cheating partner may have gone to great lengths to delete messages or have a separate phone or email account.
On the flipside though, sharing passwords with a new partner or significant other does show trust, demonstrating you are happy to give them access to your devices knowing they won’t abuse it.
What you should do instead
Wanting to spy on your partner is a big clue that something isn’t quite right in the relationship. This is when communication is key to address what’s really going on. The sensible thing to do is to ask them directly if there is something you want to know rather than risking breaking their trust by reading their messages. Even if it’s something really serious, like infidelity, it’s best to get the facts from them directly. Open and honest communication can help tackle any doubts, worries and issues you’ve been experiencing and nips that urge to snoop in the bud.
If you find it hard to fight the urge, it’s worth asking yourself questions about where your insecurity is coming from. If it’s down to your own worries, fears, and issues from past relationships, it’s worth taking the time to address them, perhaps putting in some work yourself or with a professional. It’s important to realise there is nothing wrong with having independence in a relationship and it’s a sign of a healthy relationship if you don’t mind your partner having their own connection with friends, family, and co-workers. There’s nothing wrong with having some privacy in your own life as well as enjoying a happy and healthy relationship with your significant other.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic – have you ever been tempted to snoop on a partner? Have you ever caught a partner sneaking a look at your messages? Share your thoughts via Facebook and Instagram!
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