Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

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You’ve discovered your girlfriend going through your phone, so you probably have a lot of questions right now. You may be sitting there wondering if what your girlfriend did is okay, or you might just be mad. Your privacy is important, and her decision to violate it isn’t okay. Don’t worry because we’re here to help you figure things out. We’ve got all the answers to the most common questions about why your girlfriend is spying on you.

Steps

Question 1 Question 1 of 5:What does it mean when my girlfriend goes through my phone?

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

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She may be worried you’re cheating on her. Most people who snoop on a partner’s phone are trying to reassure themselves that their partner isn’t cheating. She may be especially worried if you’ve cheated in the past, or another partner did. Talk to your girlfriend to find out how she feels about your relationship. Reassure her that she doesn’t need to worry.

  • You could say, “Why did you go through my phone? Did I do something to make you mistrust me?” or “Lately, I’ve been feeling like things are different between us. Has something been bothering you?”
  • If you’ve cheated in the past, she may have reason to worry. Say, “I know I hurt you before, but that’s in the past. We can’t move forward if you don’t trust me at least a little bit. Tell me what I can do to reassure you.”
  • It’s actually pretty common for people to check their partner’s phones. In a 2012 study, 2 out of 3 people reported checking their partner’s phone behind their back.

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

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She may be trying to control you. Being with a controlling partner is frightening and may prevent you from doing the things you want. In some cases, snooping is a way to stop you from having your own life separate from the relationship. Examine your girlfriend’s other behaviors to figure out if she’s controlling. Look out for these warning signs she might be trying to control you:

  • She isolates you from friends and family.
  • She criticizes you a lot.
  • She uses threats and guilt to get her way.
  • She accuses you of things you didn’t do.
  • She won’t let you have time alone.
  • She picks fights but then plays the victim.

Question 2 Question 2 of 5:Is it okay for my girlfriend to go through my phone?

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

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Only if you give her permission. It’s never okay for your girlfriend to go through your phone without your knowledge. If she does, she’s disrespecting you and violating your privacy. Don’t let this behavior slide. Talk to her about how you feel because relationships are based on trust.

  • Say something like, “I know you went through my phone last night. I feel really disrespected and hurt. What you did is wrong.”
  • You could also start a conversation by saying, “The only way you could know what’s in my text messages is if you read them. That’s such a massive invasion of my privacy. How would you feel if I went through your texts?”

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

It’s illegal for her to snoop on your phone in some areas. In the United States, you have a right to privacy, so your girlfriend can’t legally check your phone without permission. Additionally, guessing or stealing your passcode is considered hacking into your phone. Warn your girlfriend that snooping isn’t just morally wrong — it could land her in trouble.

  • You could say, “You might think this is no big deal, but what you did is actually illegal. You basically hacked my phone, and that’s not okay.”

Question 3 Question 3 of 5:Should couples have access to each others’ phones?

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

No, each of you needs privacy. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to share everything with your partner. Focus on creating a healthy relationship, which means maintaining boundaries. Keep your phone passcodes to yourself, and allow your girlfriend to do the same.

  • You could say, “We need to trust each other if our relationship is going to work. I won’t go through your phone, and you shouldn’t go through mine.”
  • Tell your girlfriend this is a boundary for you. Say, “I keep my phone private, and I need you to respect that. If you don’t trust me, I may need some space to think about our relationship.”

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

Sharing access to devices doesn’t actually build trust. It’s a common misconception that sharing passwords and maintaining access to a partner’s phone leads to more transparency and trust. However, experts say this isn’t true. Constant snooping creates an atmosphere of distrust. Work on trusting each other without spying.

  • When you’re snooping, there’s an assumption the other person could be doing something wrong. Over time, this can make you more suspicious.
  • If your partner wants to share passwords, say, “I will always be open and honest with you, and I’m fully committed to our relationship. However, I’m not comfortable with you snooping through my phone. I think it will hurt our relationship.”
  • If you’ve cheated before, say, “I know you’re worried I’m going to cheat again. I totally understand why, but I feel like letting you snoop through my phone is going to be a step backwards.”

Question 4 Question 4 of 5:Should I let my girlfriend read my texts?

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

No, it’s generally not good for your relationship. Unfortunately, giving your girlfriend access to your texts can backfire. Don’t show your text messages to your girlfriend, even if she asks to see them. If she continues to pressure you, she’s not respecting your boundaries.

  • If she asks to read your texts, say, “Our relationship is really important to me, and I want you to feel secure. Having said that, I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to go through each other’s texts. I’m not doing anything inappropriate, and I need you to trust me.”

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

She may misinterpret completely innocent text messages. Studies show that people interpret texts differently, so your girlfriend might make assumptions about your texts that aren’t true. You may end up fighting over a problem that doesn’t exist. Just keep your texts private, and ask her to do the same.

  • For example, your coworker might text you something like, “See you later!” You know this is totally innocent, but it can look suspicious to your girlfriend.
  • Similarly, a female friend who’s planning a group hangout might text something like, “What are you doing Saturday?” to find out if you can go. Your girlfriend might perceive this as your friend hitting on you, even though it’s totally innocent.

Question 5 Question 5 of 5:How do I stop my girlfriend from snooping on my phone?

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

Talk about the underlying issue that’s driving her to snoop. Issues from the past could be weighing on your girlfriend. Ask your girlfriend why she wants to look through your phone. Then, reassure her that you’re committed to your relationship and she can trust you. Hopefully, this will help her overcome her need to snoop.

  • Start by asking something like, “Why do you want to go through my phone?” “What do you think you’ll find on my phone?” or “Are you worried about our relationship?”
  • Reassure her by saying something like, “I care about you so much and want our relationship to work. You don’t need to worry about us.”
  • If your girlfriend has been cheated on in the past, she’ll likely be extra worried it might happen again. Talk to her about her concerns and what triggers her to worry. Then, try to avoid things that might make her think you’re cheating. For example, she may worry if you go a long time without texting. If so, you could tell her if you’ll be away from your phone for a while and why.

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

Change your passcode so it’s harder for her to open your phone. Pick a passcode that’ll be hard for her to guess. When you open your phone, make sure she can’t see what you’re entering. This will may stop her from accessing your phone, but it won’t fix the underlying problem of distrust.

  • Don’t use important dates or numbers that your girlfriend could know.
  • You might turn on face ID or thumb print ID if your phone has these features. However, keep in mind this will be ineffective if your girlfriend lives with you or stays the night, as she could just wait until you’re asleep to access your phone.

Why Does My Girlfriend Go Through My Phone? What It Means and How to Set Boundaries

Turn off lock screen notifications so she won’t see text previews. Notifications can tempt your girlfriend to snoop on your phone. In some cases, she may even be able to read the entire text or message in the notification. Go under your phone’s settings and click on “Notifications.” From there, you can switch notifications so that they only show when your phone is unlocked or you can turn them completely off.

  • If you prefer, you can turn off notifications for some apps but not others. While under “Notifications” in your phone’s settings, click on the app name. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a toggle to turn off notifications. Click the toggle to switch them to “off.”

Warnings

  • Don’t sacrifice your need for privacy to keep your girlfriend happy. Monitoring your partner’s texts and social media posts is considered digital abuse. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
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