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?

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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?

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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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