Picture it. Your boyfriend or girlfriend's phone is sitting there, and they're in the shower, or out running an errand. It's almost taunting you, and there's this urge inside you to snoop through it. You start coming up with reasons why it's ok, or you become overwhelmed by this necessity to know - what, you're not sure. So what do you do? Do you tell yourself you'll look just this one time, or have you even done this before with your present or former relationships? With so much of our lives on the internet and stored in our personal electronics, it can be pretty easy to snoop on people. But what happens when we make that decision to invade someone's privacy that we care deeply about, and what are the repercussions?
Reasons why you shouldn't snoop on your partner
1. Mountains out of molehills. When we've decided to be suspicious of our partner in some way, unfortunately our imaginations often get the best of us. We start creating scenarios in our head, based on nothing more than a "feeling", and this "feeling" might not even be based in reality at all. We could find a text that means one thing to us, for instance, but without the right context it could actually mean something completely different and benign.
2. Snooping is not the solution. When we feel the need to snoop, it means there's been a communication break-down in the relationship in some way. Either we're feeling very insecure about where we stand within the relationship, or we're actually suspicious of our partner doing something behind our back. Finding your way back to open and honest communication, even if it means an uncomfortable confrontation, will be more effective in eliminating the problem, while snooping will only add to it.
3. The golden rule. How would we feel if someone invaded our privacy by spying on us or going through our personal things? It creates a serious lack of respect when we engage in such passive aggressive behaviour, and in a sense we're doing the very thing we're afraid of our partner doing.
4. It's self-abuse. Snooping is stressful. When we start imagining all the terrible things that could be happening, snooping is one way we feed that fear. Fear only needs a little bit of encouragement for it to grow into something overwhelming, and it can literally take over our lives. When we're in this state, we're not rational - in fact we're usually looking for things to prove our fear is real. Be good to yourself and find a way to handle the situation more openly.
5. Think twice before you break trust. It takes a long time to build up trust, but only a moment to destroy it, and it can be nearly impossible to build it up again once it's been broken. If you feel your partner has broken the trust between you, doing the same thing will not fix things. Think about what would happen when your partner finds out you've invaded their privacy - is this something they'll be able to get over?
6. Once you've done it, it's hard to stop. Once we allow ourselves to cross that threshold, it only gets easier. Do you want to be in a relationship where you're constantly checking up on your partner behind their back instead of actually trusting them? When you get to this point, the time to re-evaluate if this is the right person for you is long overdue. It's also time to look at if your insecurity is coming from the situation itself, or from you.
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