If you suspect that your significant other is cheating, they probably are. So heed these warnings. And if you’re the cheater? Go choke on some other girl’s plastic extensions.
1. If you think something is sketchy, it probably is.
When it smells like rain and you hear rain outside and your car is wet, it’s probably raining. Being with a liar and a cheater dulls your intuition. What was once a sharp gut feeling erodes into a faint suspicion. If the cheater is skilled, they’ll have groomed you to think you’re the crazy one. In my humble opinion, call a sketchball a sketchball.
2. Sometimes it’s OK to snoop.
I know what you’re thinking—whoa! Breach of privacy, crazy bitch alert! Au contraire. Being in a real relationship with nothing to hide means using each other’s phones and personal belongings sometimes. If you go looking for dirt and find it, congrats! You were right and that person is a sleaze. But if all you find is text messages from Mom and South Park memes, it’s probably time to trust him and stop snooping.
3. Check their “Other” messages folder on Facebook.
Having a yearlong relationship means some of your passwords might be saved, especially on Facebook. I found out that my cheating ex-boyfriend had blocked upwards of 20 people on my account. I couldn’t receive messages from people trying to tell me about his unfaithfulness because he had hacked my privacy settings to hide things from me. One day I discovered the “Other” folder, where messages from Good Samaritans awaited me. Check this folder—it might just be spam, but it could be just the slap in the face you need to ditch the tool.
4. Anyone you’re dating for a year should have pictures of you on their phone.
Real relationships are formed when two people are mildly obsessed with one another. That means having some of the best and worst pictures of them on your phone. I had an entire gallery of the cheater, and he had no photos of me. Everyone takes pictures, and if it’s serious, they’ll want to have ones of you at their fingertips.
5. Listen closely to how your partner’s friends and family describe them.
Talking to someone’s mom can reveal more than you wanted to know, but heed her warnings. If his mom says, “Even when he was little, he would lie himself into a corner and then lie again,” take that as a neon sign. He’s a pathological liar. Understand that friends and family probably know about the philandering and might like you enough to drop subtle hints about it. Pick up on the clues and get out before someone gets pregnant.
6. Canceling at the last minute on a regular basis is reason for concern.
Flaking is another form of betrayal. Vowing to take someone out for Hawaiian barbecue and not following through can feel like a spork to the heart. A one-time flake gets a pass, but consistent excuses that hold no merit should not be tolerated
7. Never trust someone who conveniently forgets everything.
They might forget your favorite ice cream flavor because they’re busy sweet-talking someone else. By telling you the same stories and repeatedly asking the same questions, they are choosing not to remember things because they don’t want to get caught in a lie. As Abraham Lincoln said, “No one has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” Foil their evil plans by coming up with a new answer each time and confusing them until they implode.
8. It’s easier to look for the best in someone than to recognize their flaws—it’s also foolish.
Wanting your life to be like The Notebook is not healthy (all the construction is dangerous), and thinking someone is perfect for you in every way is delusional. I wanted so badly to believe that true love had found me that I easily looked past the dishonesty and douchiness. Relationships need work every day, and someone who doesn’t work at it isn’t worth your time.
9. Don’t underestimate the power of writing a letter.
After a breakup, you feel SO MANY FEELS. So take all the emotions and horrible things you want to say and write them down in a seething letter. Whether you send it is up to you, but knowing they will read all your articulated insults can make those feels the happy kind.
10. Blocking your ex will improve your psyche.
When you keep tabs on a cheating ex, it only puts up another padded wall in the cell of your own personal asylum. Block their number, block them on Facebook, and don’t ever look back. The past is behind you, and letting go of reminders of what a deceptive jerk they were will help you move on and reclaim your happiness.
11. Getting over someone often requires getting under someone else.
After a bad breakup, a former flame’s persistent scent can continue to stank up your life. Putting yourself in a position to go on carefree dates with no expectations is the best way to wash away the leftover cheater. Find a sexy single on WhatsYourPrice.com or Tinder and let the ex become a distant memory of mediocrity.
12. Not everyone is a cheater.
After wasting a year with a two-timing loser, I started to think anyone I dated was eventually going to reveal his or her true sociopathic colors. Granted, some people are soulless bastards. But most are just trying to have dinner with you. The sooner I knocked down my wall, the sooner I was comfortable enough to order two appetizers.