Curiosity killed the cat, but in this case, it ended the relationship. A new survey reveals that almost a quarter of Brits have checked their partner’s phone without their knowledge, but secret snooping is likely to result in a breakup.
A new survey found that 22% of Brits checked their partner’s phone without their knowledge, and a tenth of people are doing it least once a week.
Secret snooping is to blame for five per cent of break-ups of relationships, according to the data.
Which sex is more likely to snoop?
According to the statistics, the biggest spies are women, with a quarter regularly checking texts, emails, calls, social media and internet history to see what their partners have been up to.
However, while fewer men search phones, those who do tend to rifle more frequently with one in ten snooping weekly, compared to only 8% of women doing the same.
The need to snoop
Everyday social convention would argue that looking at someone else’s personal devices without their permission is a major breach of trust.
When questioned on why they felt the need to sneak around, respondents said they felt like their partner was acting suspiciously, potentially playing away or that they simply checked out of boredom.
When asked about their own phones, 13% of the snoopers said they don’t let their partner view their devices, while almost a third of people admitted they had something on their phone that they would rather their partner didn’t discover.
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Finding something incriminating
The survey by of 2,000 respondents, commissioned by Row.co.uk, found that over half of snoopers (53%) said they have found something incriminating when they searched their partners phone.
Following this discovery, almost a third said they confronted their partner admitting they had seen something on their phone. A further fifth of UK respondents said that they would confront their partner, but cite a different reason for how they stumbled upon the information.
One in twenty snoopers ended up breaking up with their partner following their discoveries.
Richard Waters from Row.co.uk commented, “It seems as though Brits have trouble trusting their partner, especially when it comes to technology. Our data shows that advances in technology are putting a strain on our relationships, as although they give us another way to communicate with our partners, they’re also providing ways to communicate with others in a way that can be kept secret.
It’s shocking to see just how many UK people are regularly checking up on our other halves, especially when you consider that the very act of snooping accounts for five per cent of break-ups!”
Reasons not to snoop your partner’s phone
You break the trust
One of the simplest, most fundamental reasons why you shouldn’t snoop is because you’re breaking the trust in your relationship with one bad decision. It’s hard to come back from something like that.
Even if you don’t find anything suspicious when you check, the act of checking has now become associated with the feeling of relief. So every time you seek relief, you may feel the urge to do so through snooping.
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You could get it wrong
You might very well find something, but you could get it wrong or misinterpret a text or something that’s being said to friends, so when you confront them you could be left with a red face and a broken relationship.
It’s a lose/lose situation
If you check your partner’s phone or email you are faced with the dilemma of having to deal with the outcome of your actions. If you found nothing, the relief you feel will quickly be replaced with guilt and now you are stuck with the uncomfortable feeling of knowing that you violated the privacy and trust of the person you love and they’ve done nothing wrong. If you actually do find something that indicates wrongdoing you have to decide whether to confront the person (and admit the fact that you did something unethical/illegal) or sit in silence while the knowledge eats away at you. Both of these sounds like pretty awful situations to be in.
It says more about you than them
Snooping on your partner’s phone reveals your insecurities about the relationship and yourself. Being insecure is neither a fault nor a sin, but giving in to the urge to spy doesn’t speak well of you. Always speak to your partner first about your feelings, they may be able to help with your insecurity while perhaps working on the behaviour that’s exacerbating your feelings in the first place.
Is it ever ok to snoop?
“If your gut is telling you that something is wrong and you’ve had that moment where you talk about it, and then you still are not satisfied with the answer,” it might be OK to investigate some more, explains Leslie Yazel, executive editor of Cosmopolitan, to CNN.
She pointed to cases, reported in her magazine, in which young women found out that a boyfriend was a drug abuser or a sex addict by looking at their phone or finding a second phone in the house.
“And these girls were able to get out of really bad situations,” Yazel said, conceding that these examples were on the extreme side.