It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your girlfriend is?
She may be out with another man. According to research, women are almost just as guilty as men when it comes to committing infidelity—in fact, they’re cheating more than ever.
Although the rising statistics for women are worrisome, they’re not really all that surprising.
Experts list loneliness, disconnection, boredom, and a lack of communication among the top reasons people choose to cheat, so if your own relationship’s on shaky ground, your partner may be trying to fill those emotional voids with someone else.
Suspect she’s sleeping around? Follow this four-step plan to find out for sure—without wrecking your relationship if you’re wrong.
1. Keep Your Eyes Open First, analyze her behavior and be on the lookout for some of the common signs that point to infidelity. Does she seem less eager to be around you? Is she more secretive than she used to be (i.e. a locked cell phone and a new password to her laptop)? Has she put more effort into her looks lately? The biggest red flag is her lack of interest in spending time with you.
2. Collect the Evidence—If You Can Prior to confronting her, you need to have proof and/or a legitimate reason for asking her if she’s cheating. The easiest “in” is obviously some form of suspect communication, like mysterious texts or emails. But if she keeps most of her communication outlets locked, getting that content may be difficult. Plan B: Scope her Facebook feed. Twenty-four percent of Facebook-flirters used the social network to flirt with someone other than his or her partner.
3. Prepare Your Plan When you’re getting ready to drop the bomb, make sure you do it in a private place, and on a day that’s wide open. (It could take a while—and get a little messy.) Often when people are confronted with this topic, they automatically get scared, deny the accusations, and somehow turn the scenario around on you.. That’s why it’s crucial to enter the conversation knowing what you’re going to say, and how to handle every rebuttal she’ll throw at you.
4. Choose Your Words Wisely It’s time to approach her. Stick to the following mantra: conversation, not confrontation. If you don’t have any physical proof that she’s cheated on you, there’s a fair chance that your relationship just needs work. So if you flat out accuse her of being a bad person, you might never recover from that blow.
Instead, start off by telling her you don’t want to lose her, but explain that something seems up and it needs to be addressed. Rather than saying, “I think you’ve been hooking up with someone else,” tell her it appears as if she’s lost interest in the relationship, and ask her if there’s someone else she’d prefer spending her time with. Give her some space to talk, and allow her to respond.. But once she’s done, follow up with the examples that have lead you to suspect her straying in the first place. If she confirms your suspicions, it’s time to let her go—with tact.