Snooping: Who Really Wins?

Snooping is not for the faint of heart. When we were younger, poking around was fun. I did it all the time to my sisters; I read their diaries and listened quietly on the other end of the phone to learn juicy middle school gossip. All was innocent and youthful meddling. But should we cut ourselves off from snooping at a certain age, or a particular point in a relationship? That answer depends on if you are emotionally ready to handle whatever you may find.

Trust is a top-ranking quality we look for in friends and potential significant others. If we feel we do have trust in our partners, what still gives us the urge to look through phones, attempt password hacks, or delve into a full-fledged Facebook investigation? I still do a little snoop action from time to time. Situations oftentimes trigger me to inquire further information; a habit I’d like to let go.

The strangest thing about snooping is that when we are in the act, there is almost this sick part of us that wants to find something wrong. We want some kind of twisted validation for spying on the man or woman we love. Which leads me to this story my girl friend, Jane*, was telling me over dinner on Saturday night.

She has been intimate with her good friend for over a year, but they are not exclusive to one another. I know him well and from what she tells me and from what I see, the two of them really care about each other. Jane feels completely fulfilled by this guy, physically, so she does not date around or engage in sexual activity with others. What he does, neither I nor Jane know.  checkingbfcell

So when she told me that she was able to get into his phone one night after he fell asleep, I knew the rest of the conversation was going to suck. I nervously chugged my glass of wine because I am somewhat awful at relationship advice.

Jane read a group text message between her guy and his two friends (whom she had never met). The guy who Jane had been in love with for over a year was telling his friends about an intimate encounter the two of them had engaged in. The random sexual romp was unique, so she knew it was about her, and upon reading more, that thought was solidified when he quoted something in particular she had said before the action went down. The kicker was when he referred to her as “this chick.” He followed the story with “hahaha,” comparing it to some high school memories, in which his friends responded with an over-abundance of LOL’s. One friend concluded the pathetic conversation saying he “remembered those days.”

Jane cannot say anything to her guy because then he will know she snooped through his phone, violating his privacy. On the other hand, she feels violated and disrespected. Not only do his friends not know about her, but a private moment they had mutually enjoyed was being championed around like a victory some frat boys would high-five over. When is it time to stop kissing and telling? Is it still okay to share tidbits of sexy gossip if it is done respectfully; by referring to your lover by who and what they truly are?


My 2 qualms with this tacky text:

He's 28 years-old. 

There is no reason for a man his age to be engaging in teenage-like group texts. He should have more respect for her as a woman, and as a friend. There is an age when we need to leave behaviors behind, and gossiping, especially for a guy, is an insane turn-off.

He says one thing and does another

Jane told me they are in love and profess this to each other regularly. Does comparing high school sex to the sex you have with a partner you look in the eyes and claim love for qualify as such?


Was it wrong for Jane to look through her man’s phone? If they are not in an exclusive relationship, does that give him the right to discuss whatever he would like with his friends? And more importantly, how does Jane move on from thinking that she is just a chick who wanted to please someone she loved by being spontaneously sexual?

Snooping can be emotionally dangerous; it is a type of self-inflicting pain that draws us in time and time again. However, most people who do it feel it is necessary for whatever reason. Whether we continue to give in to these acts depends on how confident and comfortable we are in our relationships. Maybe when we find ourselves needing to know more, we should just know to move on.

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15 thoughts on “Snooping: Who Really Wins?

  1. I caught my ex snooping thru my phone once as she was in the living room and I was making my way down the stairs from coming out of the shower. I asked her what she thought she was doing…and her thinking she found something, accused me of cheating on her because she saw a text to a girl who I said I was going to visit a few weeks from then. This girl was my cousin.

    In the instance you described, yes, guys or girls for that matter should not be bragging about sexual escapades in a high school like manner. That being said…I also don’t think that one should go thru their partners phones or FB snooping. My ex, I learned after we broke up, had put me on some sort of high notification group so she would get notified whenever I liked something, commented, or ANYTHING on FB. It truly felt like I was being spied on for absolutely no reason.

    It comes down to this: if one feels the need to snoop, it’s because they have some trust issues from a previous relationship they need to get over…if they don’t, no matter what they find or don’t find while snooping, the current relationship is doomed…or the person they’re with gave them a reason to snoop in the first place, so they need to make a conscious choice on whether they stay with them or not.

  2. Technology puts on record so many things that shouldn’t be on record. I think DTR – defining the relationship – is important here though. Even if they are confessing their love for each other, if they aren’t exclusive how can she expect to be treated with the same discretion as a significant other would be. Yes, his actions were not flattering, but something has to change before they can move forward or move on. Talk. Talk. Talk. It’s better than texting.

  3. Absolutely right! Time to move on. The problem here I see is this: 1 year, professed love for one another, but no commitment. What’s up with that? If a person is truly serious about someone else, they talk about them with their friends, they become part of each other’s lives, it’s the natural course of a relationship.

    That said, I regretfully inform you that men at way older than 28 are still bragging like boys about conquests, exaggerating, and even lying about them. They also profess love when they don’t feel it. I think your friend was going on a hunch. She felt he wasn’t truly committed and she was right. NEXT!

  4. It’s hard for me to understand why a grown would act like that. What makes intimacy special is that it’s part of something shared between the two of you. When you start including random people without the permission of your partner, it’s no longer intimate and puts your partner in an unfair position. A big part of intimacy is about respect. His juvenile behavior betrayed that trust and, in my opinion, was a serious enough character flaw to warrant taking a hard look at this relationship.

  5. I think, if a person feels the need to snoop into their mate’s private business, it is already too late, and the relationship is doomed, whether you are just paranoid, or the person has done something to make you suspicious. Now, the person in your story divulging personal, and what should be private, information, shows that he is nowhere near as into this relationship as she is, also an indication that it is time to end the relationship. Beside the fact that he was acting immature. I suppose it was a good thing to find this out now, before she became more committed to the guy, but he must have done something to make her want to investigate him. Unless she was just one of those over attached girlfriends I am always reading about.

    Also, if I may, a small criticism about the fancy scroll along the left side of the page. Perhaps it is due to my old eyes, but it tend to cover up the text in your posts, and makes them somewhat difficult to read. Not a big deal, I can easily get around this, by highlighting the text, but just thought I would let you know. I must be the only one affected by this, though, I guess. I haven’t seen anyone else comment on it.
    Thanks for listening.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback! I agree with you, she may be the over-attached girlfriend type but I still believe she is more right than he is in this situation. Now as for the scroll on the left side… you mean the swirly colors? I used to get that the photos on the right-hand side were distracting from my readers, so I removed it. I will look into how I can make this easier on the eyes. Thanks a bunch! :)

  6. She was probably wrong with the snooping, but now she knows where she stands. Looks like it might be difficult to put theis Humpty Dumpty back together again.

  7. This is a really amazing post! You made a lot of great points! Snooping certainly isn’t for the faint of heart and is definitely emotionally dangerous. A lot of people that snoop can’t handle the information they discover and you’re right that they have no way of addressing the newly found info without letting their man know they’ve been snooping and, essentially, don’t trust him.

    I completely agree that it may be a good idea to just move on when we find ourselves needing to know more and wanting to snoop. However, before you decide to move on you need to be able to decipher and know the difference between general insecurity or jealousy and significant red flags that a woman should be genuinely concerned about. Great post and I look forward to reading more!!

  8. Reblogged this on Dee's Dating Diary and commented:
    This is a must read post from “Sarah on the Go.” One point in this post that really stuck out to me was, “Maybe when we find ourselves needing to know more, we should just know to move on.” While I do agree with this, it’s imperative that you make a serious evaluation before deciding to leave your partner without solid or tangible proof of cheating.

    What evaluation you ask? Well, before you decide to move on you need to be able to decipher and know the difference between general insecurity or jealousy and significant red flags that a woman should be genuinely concerned about.

    If it’s just general insecurity making you want to snoop, then it’s time to do some much needed introspection and attack the real root of your insecurity.

    However, if your insecurity stems from your partner’s actions that raise serious red flags, then this may not be a relationship that you should continue.

  9. I think the issue is, who do you want to be as a person? Some lovers can push you in the direction of becoming someone different – jealous, untrusting, abusive, snooping. But you don’t want to be that person so if you feel the pressure, you’ve got to confront it or go.

  10. Just saw this, and I thought you might appreciate it, in the context of this post. Funny and sad, at the same time.

  11. Hello, me, again. Hope I’m not becoming a pest, but I keep running across content that relates to this post. So, it seems that the wandering eye syndrome is opening up an entire line of apps, serving people who are suspicious of their mates, and don’t mind how creepy they get, to find out for sure.
    This just makes me more convinced that, if someone has reason to suspect their mates of cheating, the relationship is likely doomed, anyway. If you are suspicious of someone, can you honestly say you still love them? And isn’t using one of these apps basically stalking?

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