Is it ok to snoop?
Checking their mobile, reading their emails, logging into their Facebook, flicking through their diary… What effect does snooping have on a relationship? Is it curiosity or control?
Many of us find it tempting to check up on what a BF or GF is up to.
But we all have a right to privacy and independence in a relationship – to have our own thoughts, secret fantasies, private jokes, personal space, and our own communication with friends and family.
No one likes the feeling that someone’s always looking over our shoulder.
It feels invasive and it damages trust.
The desire to snoop and spy can come from:
- being worried about a BF or GF cheating on you
- the desire to control a BF or GF and to know every move they make
- wanting to make a BF or GF feel nervous and powerless, like they’re being watched
The final two are examples of stalking.
Are you tempted to snoop?
Think about why
You might be tempted to snoop out of curiosity, or if you’re feeling a bit insecure about how your BF/ GF feels about you. If you’re snooping because you’re worried about your relationship and wondering if your BF/GF is cheating on you, then consider whether sneaking around is going to get you what you want.
You’ll probably find stuff…and you’ll wish you hadn’t
You might find out things you really don’t want to know – like maybe they have a harmless crush on someone else. Or just private, personal stuff that you didn’t need to know. But now you do.
If they’re still in love with you and have no intention of leaving you, do you really want to snoop? And then if you feel upset about what you find and want to talk to them about it, you’ll have to tell them how you found out – and this won’t help you to have a trusting relationship. They might then feel justified in snooping on you!
Whatever you find or don’t find, it’s a no-win situation for your relationship. Snooping isn’t the way to go.
If you are feeling insecure about the relationship, a better way to go is to talk to them about how you feel, what you’re worried about and the importance of honesty.
If someone is snooping on you…
Tell them to stop
If it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend, tell them clearly not to do it. For example, you could say ‘I don’t want you to do that – it’s private and I don’t like feeling that you’re checking up on me’. You have a right to privacy and doing that kinda stuff is not respect!
Talk to them about why they did it
If they say they’re doing it because they’re worried you’re cheating on them, sounds like it’s time to have a talk to them about how you feel about your relationship, and the importance of trust. Reassure them that if you’re seriously interested in someone else, you will talk to them about it. Tell them that they’re invading your privacy by reading your emails or messages, and that it’s not ok. Remind them that you have a right to email, chat or message other people without them checking up on you.
Are they jealous?
Are they using jealousy as a way of controlling you? See Is jealousy a sign of love?
Did they stop?
If they don’t respect your right to privacy, or if they always want to know what you’re doing and who you’re talking to, this could be a sign of abuse.