Is it normal to check what's on your partner's phone or are you insecure?

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Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
  • Cellphones can cause problems where there is insecurity and no trust in a relationship.
  • A partner who constantly wants to check your phone might have been previously cheated on or might be a controlling person.
  • It is not healthy to be in a relationship where you feel on guard and under surveillance.

Cellphones can stir up trouble in a relationship, especially when trust issues are at play. But does this mean your partner is entitled to access your phone as though you are under guard? 

It is somewhat of a norm for some people in relationships to have their partner go through their phone as though it is theirs.

In some instances, they will insist on knowing their partner's phone password or even want to know who you are talking to when you are on the phone or chatting online.

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We ask life coach Thembi Hama if this behavior is acceptable in a relationship and a bit of a concern.

"Under normal circumstances, and ideally, checking each other's phone is unnecessary, and not even a question.

"People who check each other's phones have trust issues and insecurities, possibly resulting from previous incidents that made them believe they need to check up on their partner constantly," she says.

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At times, Thembi adds, it might not be previous incidents, but simply the person is insecure and could have nothing to do with the partner or relationship.

"Maybe they may have been cheated on before or are controlling by nature. All these things are not normal and not ideal for a relationship."

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You may call it cellphone etiquette, but when in a relationship, you need to be clear about the respectful use of cellphones. 

"For example, telling a work-related caller to call back again during business hours or when you are available, and being present more at home or for offline relationships," Thembi says. 

But suppose the partner insists on constantly checking your phone. In that case, it might mean there are deeper underlying issues such as being controlled and, to an extent, mistreated in the relationship; and this then might be an alarm bell.

READ MORE | Unrequited love: What to do when the one you love doesn’t love you back

Here are three ways to deal with trust and insecurity:

  • Have constant relationship check-ups and reviews where you nip problems in the bud. That way, you prevent resentment.
  • Keep things transparent and keep communication lines open. That way, there is no room for mistrust.
  • Be honest with your partner about your values and non-negotiables from the onset of the relationship to manage expectations.

Would you go through your partner's phone and why? Tell us here.

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