John Hollywood is a pop culture reporter that writes articles with a psychological twist or wellness slant.
I Think My Boyfriend Is Cheating on Me
Lately, you have been getting the feeling that something is not right with your boyfriend. He seems emotionally distant and doesn't pay attention to you as he used to in the past. At night, he wants to go right to bed and doesn't want to cuddle.
Suspicious that he may be up to something, you start to do a little snooping and pick up his cell phone to see who he has been texting. To your surprise, he has the phone locked with a password, something he has never done before.
You think to yourself,
"Is my boyfriend cheating on me? Why has he been acting so strange? Does he not find me attractive anymore?"
Finding out your boyfriend is cheating on you can be devastating for any person, gay, straight or bi. The pain becomes amplified when we have convinced ourselves that "he would never do something like" that or if we have been cheated on in the past.
After consulting with a number of gay men who are actively cheating on their partners, plus the former boyfriends of cheaters and therapists who understand the psychology of infidelity, Mister Hollywood is ready to share ten tell-tale warning signs that your boyfriend may be doing things behind your back. Read these signs carefully because your relationship may depend on them.
10 Warning Signs
What follows are 10 major warning signs for gay men that may suggest that your man may be cheating on you right behind your back. And with the exception of a few points, these warning signs can apply to anyone really.
Some of these warnings are obvious. Others however are ones you may not have thought of before and should not be ignored. The list is not exhaustive. The first 5 contain follow-up details. The remaining ones require you to tune into your intuition and empathy.
Disclaimer: Assess these warning signs in their totality. You need to look at the total picture to better understand if your boyfriend is cheating on you.
Here's a quick rundown of the 10 warning signs before we take a deeper dive:
- He's paying more attention to his appearance
- He smells like a bathhouse, poppers, or sex
- He has rehearsed responses and becomes suspicious of you
- He is emotionally distant
- He is super protective of his phone, email, and Facebook account
- He seems overly happy all the time and isn't his usual self
- He suddenly displays major changes in his musical taste
- He begins jokingly mentioning the end of your relationship
- He has unexpected bills or takes unusual overnight trips
- He no longer introduces you as his boyfriend
1. He’s Paying More Attention to His Appearance
This is a sign that many partners of gay men miss. Historically, gay guys pay attention to themselves in a big way and so it can be hard to know if your man is doing something unusual. There are a few indicators you should be aware of however.
First, look to see if he is making any new purchases for clothing items that are different than the brand he usually buys.
Men who cheat often try to impress a new love interest by looking sharp. Many will start to buy clothes that the other guy is wearing to reflect a common interest.
Third, pay attention to the amount of time he is spending grooming. Does it seem like he has been trying to look especially sharp? You need to ask yourself who he is doing this for. Is he shaving areas he normally does not?
Finally, ask yourself if he has been spending more time at the gym—this is especially true if he never seemed as interested before in fitness. Again, you need to add all of these points up for this warning sign in order to get a clear picture of what’s going on with your man.
2. He Smells Like a Bathhouse, Poppers, or Sex
This too is another point that is often overlooked by many gay men when it comes to a potential cheating boyfriend. There are a few things in this area you want to look out for that you can’t ignore. First, ask yourself if he smells different when he comes home at night than he did that morning. It could be for normal reasons, like taking a quick shower at the gym. It could also be because he grabbed a shower at another guy’s place. Again, you need to really pay attention to this.
If your man is going to bathhouses, be sure to take an extra whiff of him to smell for chlorine or other chemicals that may suggest he has been in whirlpools. If he has been in a sauna, sniff for a woodsy, pine scent. If you smell anything of this, go through his wallet to see if he has a membership card. The card probably won't say "baths" on it so you may have to do some investigating if you find something suspicious.
Note: Several actively cheating men have shared with Mister Hollywood that that if their boyfriend had only checked their wallets, they would have been busted long ago.
Finally, take a good whiff of your boyfriend to see if he smells like sex. This means his body and his breath. The smell of sex has an easily recognizable odor. If you do it right, you may be able to smell the other guy (or guys!). The odor of poppers needs to be included here as well, particularly if your man does not use them or has never smelled like poppers before.
3. He Has Rehearsed Responses and Becomes Suspicious of You
You may be thinking this is a silly point but pay attention. If your man is usually laid back and mellow, you should be concerned if he starts to provide lots of extra detail about his whereabouts in ways that he never did before. If his words seemed rehearsed, they probably are.
Also under this point, if he seems like he is becoming suspicious of you, it may be a sign he is cheating. Yes, you read that right.
In psychology, this behavior is called projecting. In other words, he starts to accuse you of the very behaviors he is engaged in. A number of men who were cheated on shared that had they paid attention to this singular point more closely, they would have figured out their man was sleeping around long ago. Don’t ignore this one!
4. He Is Emotionally Distant
This may be a very obvious sign but you will want to include in your total assessment of his behavior. If he doesn’t seem to be paying attention to what you are saying, seems like he is “somewhere else” mentally or seems emotionally disconnected from you when you are having sex, this may be a strong indication that he is cheating on you. And obviously, if he is not interested in sex with you over a long period of time, you need to be concerned.
There are of course other reasons for this to happen, such as work related problems, family issues or health concerns. He could also just be depressed. Still, here you will want to look at his historical behaviors in totality to figure out what is going on.
As one man told me who was cheating on his boyfriend, “I was thinking about the other guy when I was sleeping with my boyfriend. I did it a lot and my man never realized it was going on. I felt so guilty after awhile I just stopped having sex with him.
5. He Is Super Protective of His Phone, Email, and Facebook Account
You may be thinking this is an obvious point but it is worth mentioning. If your man gets real edgy whenever you are around his phone, tries to hide the fact he is texting someone, hides his emails from you or begins to block your view from seeing parts of his Facebook account (like his Friends list) alarm bells should be going off big-time.
We can also include Twitter and any other forms of social media that he may commonly use. The point here is to be aware of how he behaves around you where tech gadgets and electronic communications are concerned.
If he was once chilled about this area in the past but has now become crazy protective about what he is doing electronically, this is a strong indicator that your man is digging for treasures elsewhere, leaving you in the dust.
More Potential Warning Signs
- He seems super happy all of the time in a very “not like him” way and for no apparent reason.
- Major changes in musical tastes that are a departure of what he normally listens to.
- He starts to jokingly mention the end of your relationship (it's called "floating a trial balloon").
- Unexplained bills or overnight traveling that seem out of character for him.
- He has stopped introducing you as his boyfriend (i.e. "this is my friend").
Pay attention to your inner voice—it is almost always right. Most of the men who have been cheated on knew something was going on but ignored the warning signs and were in denial about what was happening right in front of their noses. Don't let this happen to you. As one therapist explained it, that little voice we hear cannot be ignored. Don't discount it as paranoia.
And remember, you have to pay attention to all of his behaviors. This will help you determine if your man is a big time cheat.
© 2014 John Hollywood