It’s never okay to go through your partner’s phone unless you have concrete evidence of infidelity, like seeing he randomly started streaming “The O.C.” or having a dream he cheated on you.
Here are 15 reasons not to invade your partner’s privacy that have absolutely nothing to do with the fact I’m locked out of his phone for the next seven hours due to incorrect password entries.
1. It can quickly become an obsessive habit
A harmless habit can quickly escalate into a full-blown obsession that runs on nothing but adrenaline and muscle memory. One day you’re casually lurking on his Instagram and the next you’re a low-level cryptanalyst trying to figure out how to replicate his fingerprint so you can check if he re-downloaded Tinder.
2. He started bringing his phone into the bathroom with him
He used to leave his phone on the bed when he went to the bathroom, which gave me just enough time to check his DMs, texts, and deleted voicemails before placing the phone back where I found it and pretending to be asleep, but that was back in our honeymoon phase.
3. It makes you look insecure
Nothing turns a man off more than an insecure woman. Well, that and telling them you’ll jump out of a moving vehicle unless they prove they weren’t using WhatsApp to message that ex from his hometown you know he’s still in love with.
4. It’s an Invasion of property
Just because he’s 38 and his mom still pays his phone bill doesn’t make it any less his property, however, the iPad you bought him for Christmas last year is technically yours, so feel free to bust it out while he’s at work and try different passcodes until you fry the mainframe.
5. It’s a dishonorable way of obtaining information
How you glean information has the potential to undermine the information you find. Imagine everyone congratulating you for saving a stray kitten you found in an alleyway, but later everyone finds out you were only in that alleyway to buy crack. Context is everything.
6. His phone is dead and you can’t find the charger
I bought him an extra charger to keep by the bed to avoid this exact scenario, but he probably left it at his secret girlfriend’s house. A dead phone is a great opportunity to practice self-control, that is unless you live close to an Apple store and can juice up over there.
7. Don’t let the pain from past relationships affect new ones
Don’t take out pain, trauma, or resentments from past relationships on your new partner. It’s not fair. After all, that’s what excessive masturbating, binge drinking, and abusing waitstaff are for.
8. You’ll feel guilty afterward
Guilt is shame’s less sexy cousin and should be avoided at all costs. Fortunately, I have a condition that prevents me from feeling guilty, but I hear it’s like some kind of negative self-evaluation that causes stomachaches and diarrhea.
9. Snooping fosters secrecy and distrust
You run the risk of creating a distrustful environment by going through someone’s possessions, which can lead to your partner becoming more secretive around you, and eventually cause them to change their passcode to something more complex than “6969.”
10. It exacerbates communication issues
Lack of communication is relationship kryptonite. Listening is the backbone of effective communication, and it’s also a great way to appear interested and understanding while quietly gathering information and waiting for them to slip up and accidentally incriminate themselves.
11. You can just go through his computer instead
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and the same goes for spying on your boyfriend. Why go through his phone when the real meat and potatoes of his infidelities are on his computer? That’s like going fishing in a swimming pool when you live next to the ocean.
12. If you go looking for something, you’ll find it
The mind is a powerful tool that can turn even the most benign text message or email into “evidence” that he’s cheating on you. The mind is also a powerful tool that can generate and test over 700 permutations of his previous passcode ‘420420.’
13. Your partner is allowed to be independent
Experts say you don’t have to know everything about someone to love them, but experts also used to say cigarettes were good for you. Providing he lets me know what he’s doing and who he’s talking to at any given moment, I’m happy to give him all the independence he needs.
14. Know your strengths
Obtain so much blackmail on your partner they know betraying you would mean certain death. Maybe cheating on you means his company finds out about his payroll fraud. Maybe it doesn’t. Let him decide if this is a game he wants to play.
15. The phone is now permanently disabled and must be reset to factory settings
You have exceeded the number of incorrect passcode entries and his phone is rendered useless. Your partner has ended the relationship and is giving you one week to find new housing arrangements. Are these really the actions of an innocent man with nothing to hide? It just goes to show you can’t trust anyone.