The Evolution of Cheating Online: Red Flags For Your Relationship

Written by Angela Atkinson

Cheating has moved beyond the physical realm to the virtual world. Even when cheating is only online, it can destroy the emotional bonds of your relationship.

There are always signs that you can pick up on if your partner is cheating. However, before you panic and confront your partner, ensure that the evidence you found is real!

Be wary of these signs that your partner may be cheating online:

1. Spending time on hookup apps. There are multiple hookup apps that are designed to help people connect. These apps range from matchmaking to intimate sites.

  • If your spouse or partner is spending time on hookup apps, it’s a major red flag for cheating. Even if they don’t have a complete profile, your partner may still be connecting with others through messaging.
  • Your partner may be sending explicit texts and other messages through these apps. They may or may not meet them in person.
  • These types of apps are often a gateway to affairs in real life. There’s also the possibility of emotional cheating that involves your partner sharing intimate details with a stranger without physical contact.

2. Chatting with former partners online. If your partner is talking to an ex online, it’s another sign to notice.

  •  Often, online interactions with a former partner can lead to meetings in the real world. Your partner may restart a relationship with an ex by first connecting with them online.
  •  It’s important to recognize that not all interactions will lead to cheating, especially if they must discuss pertinent information about their children, but they can be a dangerous pathway.

3. Flirting on social media. Is your partner flirting with strangers online and using social media to connect with them?

  •  Social media can be a great way to meet new people, yet it can also pose risks for your relationship. If your partner is using it to flirt with strangers and interact with them inappropriately, this is a big red flag. Be aware of this behavior and monitor the interactions.
  • Innocent flirtations can still hurt and may show a deeper set of issues in the relationship.

4. Spending too much time with new friends online. Your partner may have innocent and good relationships with friends online. However, these connections may also be risky and hurt your relationship.

  • If your partner is spending more time with friends online than with you in the real world, then pay attention. Many affairs start as friendships and turn into something more serious.

What Can You Do To Help Prevent Online Cheating,

Rather than trying to ban your partner from using social media, strike a balance:

1. Draw a line. Set up boundaries before either of you goes online. Talk about things that you consider to be cheating online that could hurt your relationship. Discuss your concerns calmly and avoid heated arguments and fights.

  • People can safely use the internet without getting involved with cheating or affairs. Agree on your boundaries and then trust your partner to use it safely.

2. Recognize that online relationships can be strong and are real. They shouldn’t be ignored. Even if your partner isn’t physically touching the other person, emotional cheating can still happen.

Online cheating can have a huge impact on your relationship. These signs can help you determine what is really happening in your partner’s virtual world.

Author

  • Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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