Tag Archives: relationship advice

21 Subtle Signs You’re Dating an Emotionally Unavailable Man

Emotionally Unavailable

Dating an emotionally unavailable man doesn’t mean that he’s abusive, manipulative, or a jerk. In fact, these men can be nice guys, can make you laugh until your abs hurt, and can be your best friend. What makes it difficult to identify a guy who avoids closeness is that you have enough good times together, which keeps your hope alive. And with that hope, you convince yourself that he may be able to give you that emotional intimacy you desire if you give him a little more time. But he may never be able to meet your need for closeness.

Here are 21 subtle signs your guy is emotionally unavailable:

  1. He won’t contact you every day. Do you go days without hearing from your man? If you’re in a serious relationship, it’s normal to touch base every day. Not connecting with a text or phone call gives him his space.
  2. You feel excluded from his life. He may attend a wedding without you, despite your request to go with him. He requests time to hang out with friends without you—and not just a “guys’ night” but instances when he is also with female friends, too.
  3. You haven’t met the family. You’ve been dating for months and you haven’t met the family yet. You may rationalize it as he’s just not ready.
  4. He won’t leave any of his things at your place. Leaving things at your place would just mean too much commitment. He probably won’t give you a drawer at his place either unless you ask.
  5. He won’t go on vacation with you. Vacations can be not just fun, but can build closeness. And because he won’t want too much of that, he’ll just avoid going on a vacation where it would just be the two of you.
  6. He’s a penny pincherbut only with you. He’ll spend money on himself and be generous with others, but will make comments when you’re with him about not wanting to spend too much money.
  7. He talks about how much he values his independence. He says he’s always been independent and values being self-sufficient. Really it’s just another way of saying, “I don’t need you.” He may also call you “too needy” and “dependent.”
  8. He avoids physical closeness. He won’t hold your hand in public. As far as others around you are concerned, the two of you are just friends, because there are no signs of affection between the two of you. He may also walk ahead of you. Sure, you may be a slow walker, but walking ahead of you creates distance, and that makes him feel comfortable.
  9. He won’t put up photos of the two of you. You’ve been dating for months and he crops you out of his profile picture. He’ll check in on Facebook but to take a pic of his food to show off his dish, not the babe sitting across the table from him.
  10. He takes more than he gives. Good relationships are about give and take. Not in a tit-for-tat way, but both of you want to meet each other’s needs. If you’re with an emotionally unavailable guy, you feel like you’re doing way more for the relationship than he is.
  11. He doesn’t consider you. He gets dinner for himself but doesn’t pick up anything for you. He decides to apply for a job out of state without asking you how you would feel about it.
  12. He changed. When you first met, he was charming, swept you off of your feet, and let you know that you were the only woman he wanted to be with. And now, he does the minimum to keep the relationship going. Gone are the declarations about his feelings and your future. Sometimes you may wonder why he’s even still with you since he doesn’t seem to care.
  13. He avoids talking about the relationship and your future. He gives you just enough to think you do have a future, but you’re not 100% sure where you stand in his life and what his intentions really are.
  14. He avoids difficult talks in general. Emotionally unavailable men try to avoid difficult talks. Working through conflict can bring a couple closer together, and closeness is exactly what he wants to avoid.
  15. You have sex but you don’t make love. When you’re together physically, you feel like he’s still not fully present or connected. You may still have fun having sex, but there’s still a part of him that he’s holding back. You may even be the one who wants sex more often than him.
  16. He has unrealistic views of a relationship. He believes in the Hollywood I-always-want-to-take-your-clothes-off kind of relationship, thinks relationships should be effortless, or that the feelings should just always be there. He wants the “X factor” without doing the work.
  17. His exes’ descriptions say it all. You find out that his exes called him an “emotional zombie,” told him he was “cold” or talked about him having a “wall.”
  18. He nitpicks. He focuses on small things like the way you talk or dress. You feel criticized over things that don’t matter and don’t feel accepted by him. Nitpicking is a way for him to diminish his romantic feelings toward you.
  19. He’s hot and cold. After particularly intimate time spent together, he distances for a few days. It’s as though the man he was when he was with you is gone.
  20. He won’t spontaneously say those three little words. He rarely, if ever, says “I love you” unless you say it first. If you’ve been dating your guy for years and you rarely hear the words, spending more time with him won’t make him say those words any more frequently than he is now.
  21. You’ve become anxious. You’re normally confident, happy and have a positive attitude. But with him, you’re over-analyzing, spending time wondering about your relationship, and your friends are sick of getting screenshots to help you decipher his texts. You’re experiencing more anxiety than you do when you’re single.

One Reason Why You Might Still Be Single

One Reason Why You Might Still Be Single

Here’s one reason why you might still be single. Do you go on a lot of dates but none of them seem to pan out past a few dates or weeks? You may tell yourself that you have high standards and don’t want to settle, or that you just haven’t found the “right one” yet. But maybe there’s something deeper going on that you may or may not be aware of:

You’re afraid of getting hurt.

If you have this fear, you can end up sabotaging your chance at love. An early sign that you may be allowing fear to run your love life is that you find something wrong with everyone you date.

So if your date does something that you don’t like, wears a funny article of clothing, or slurps their coffee too loudly, you may blow him/her off as a potential partner, looking for a reason to end things. The payoff for you is that you can keep your self-esteem intact – you made the decision that your date wasn’t good enough for you or not what you’re looking for. It lessens the pain and makes you still feel good about yourself.

Or what if you really like this person and that terrifies you? After all, the more you like them, the more likely the hurt will be greater if things don’t work out, and especially if they break up with you. You want to avoid pain and it can be too scary to allow yourself to be so vulnerable, knowing that things could come to an end. And if this does happen, it’s a bigger blow to the ego. You may think, Why wasn’t I good enough? What could I have done differently? What’s wrong with me?

There’s always risk involved when we open ourselves up to another person, and the reality is: You will get hurt.

It’s impossible not to. No one is perfect and we all goof up. My work with couples shows that people unintentionally hurt each other – it’s more out of mindlessness, not malice. Especially in the beginning, your date doesn’t know you well enough to know what you’re sensitive about, what kind of desires and expectations you have, etc. If they do stop seeing you and you don’t get closure, you won’t know why they stopped (and who’s to say they’d tell you the truth anyway?). Don’t assume it’s because of something you did or that you weren’t good enough. After all, maybe they were scared and bolted.

If you’re afraid of being hurt again, remind yourself of your resilience. How many times have you endured a breakup, disappointment, and rejection? You’ve survived. You put yourself out there in the dating world and met new people. You can do it again—have more than a fling.

Also look at emotions as information. Feeling hurt is not always a bad thing as it can point to something that’s important to you and can serve as a guide to what you value and need in a relationship.


Why I Wrote First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love

First Comes Us

My book, First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love, has been out for only a week and these are the typical responses I’ve been getting:

  • My husband and I have a 2-year-old. We have no time together without our daughter. And I mean zero, and I can tell our relationship is suffering for it.
  • Having a baby has been a big change for our relationship. At least we realize and talk about it, like we were discussing how we need to show each other as much affection as we give the baby, since we haven’t been.
  • Me: Would you read a relationship book?
  • Male client: No.
  • Me: Would you use my book? It’s a book for couples where you do daily quick tips to increase your feelings of connection.
  • Male client: Sure. I prefer action over reading.

Why I Wrote the Book:

It’s statements like the above that I’ve been hearing in the 10+ years that I’ve been working with couples. Simply put, my clients are busy. Many of them come in feeling disconnected, and they continually tell me that they feel like the romance, passion, and fun is gone from their relationship. These ideals have to be actively built and maintained, but with how busy we are these days, it’s more difficult than ever to put a relationship first. In fact, disconnection is a top culprit in divorce, and one of the most common problems presented to me by my clients. It’s why my book offers a year’s worth of quick and practical tips.

Time and time again my clients report feeling more satisfied in their relationship when they increase their connection with their partner. You don’t have to wait for a weekly date night–you can do it in little ways each day so that you can become the first priority to your partner.

Furthermore, you don’t have to be married to use my book. Couples who live together, with or without a child, can still experience disconnection. They can overextend themselves with obligations to career, family, and friends, with little quality time left over for each other.

And after spending some time using First Comes Us, I would love to hear from you. Let me know how your relationship is doing, tell me your favorite tip, what you learned about your partner, anything! I’m excited for this next year—Cheers to great love!


Rock out the New Year with Must-Have Relationship Resolutions

Rock out the New Year with Must-Have Relationship Resolutions

It’s that time of year again – to start thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. Your list may include losing weight, drinking less or saving more, but what about for your romantic relationship? Good ones don’t just happen naturally. They take time, effort and nurturing.

To kick off your 2017 right, here are 5 must-have resolutions for relationship success:

  1. Commit to connect – daily! The top reasons for divorce is not that couples argue too much, have money problems, or cheat: it’s that couples emotionally and physically drift apart from each other.

Between balancing work, raising children, technology distractions and daily life craziness, it’s tough to feel connected to your partner. A client once told me, “I feel like I’m fifth on the list, after the kids and dog.” This is a big warning sign! Many of my couples admit their conversations revolve around the weekly chore list or who will pick up the kids from practice. Focusing on logistics will not rock your relationship the right way!

It takes conscious effort on both sides to maintain the connection that drew you together in the first place and made you commit to each other. It doesn’t have to be large-scale events. In fact, it’s the daily little moments that add up. For example, when you text your partner during the day send him/her a compliment or reminisce about your favorite times together. Spend 10-15 minutes each morning or evening talking about topics that interest you, your goals and dreams. Whatever it is, make it count – do the things that make you feel closest to each other.

  1. Practice damage control. Have you ever said or done something in the heat of the moment, and after calming down, you regretted your words or actions? Do this enough times and it’ll erode the trust and love between you and your partner.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Every relationship has conflict, but happy couples approach it differently – they don’t allow their heated discussions to spiral out of control. You have a right to your emotions, but you have to be careful how those emotions get expressed. If you feel that you’re about to lose your cool or tune out of the conversation, call a time-out. Create a go-to list of activities that help you calm down, like going for a walk, listening to music, working out, etc., and resume the discussion when you’re both calm.

  1. Be positive – on purpose. The reality of being with someone is that at times they will disappoint you, annoy you and do something that drives you crazy.

This doesn’t mean you’re with the wrong person, it just means that you need some tools to buffer your relationship against the inevitable negativity that comes along with any relationship.

When your partner does something that annoys you, give them the benefit of the doubt – they probably didn’t do it on purpose. Think about it – would your partner continue to do things to deliberately hurt you knowing they’d have hell to pay for it? I coach my couples to check their assumptions with their partner and guess what? They overwhelmingly report back that their partner didn’t intend anything negative. And if something still bothers you, then go ahead and speak up – but be calm when you do.

A critical aspect of long-term happy couples is that they continue to see each other in a positive way and notice the good things. You have to actively and purposely build a culture of appreciation in your relationship. When your partner falls short of a task, be thankful for what they did do. Look for the good intention and spend some time thinking of your partner’s best traits instead of dwelling on their shortcomings.

  1. Touch more. When you touch your partner, oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” flows through your body.

Twenty seconds from a hug is enough for the cuddle chemical to get released. Oxytocin has many benefits: mood booster, feeling more relaxed and less stressed, and increases feelings of connection to your partner. Challenge yourself to make touch part of your daily environment, not just when you want some nookie. Alternate massages, have sporadic daily 20-second hugs or go dancing (even if it’s in your living room!). It’s a great buffer and connector in your daily hectic schedules.

  1. Hold yourself accountable. One way to deal with relationship dissatisfaction is to blame your partner: “If only he or she were…” or “If only they stopped doing….” This rarely, if ever, leads to a happy relationship.

Instead, focus on yourself first and what your role is. When your partner shuts down, you’re accountable to look at how you bring things up. Are you accusatory and critical? When your partner flies off the handle, are you dismissing their feelings or minimizing their experiences as “no big deal”? I’m sure you can find something you can do to make a positive difference in your relationship.

Besides looking at your own part in problems, you are also responsible for speaking up about what you need. Be as specific as possible. Common things I hear from my clients are, “I thought he would ‘get it’ and assumed he would do something” and “I figured she could tell when I was in the mood.” My couples frequently have different definitions of important relationship needs like romance, thoughtfulness, connection, partnership and passion. Without open communication, these differences can lead to disconnection, conflict and negativity. Don’t assume. People are not mind readers – identify what you want, and then ask nicely for it, and help make it a reality for your relationship.

Put these resolutions into practice, and you can create relationship happiness and success in 2017!

Stay Merry During the Holidays

Relationship Reality 312 Stay Merry During the Holidays

If only it was as simple as putting “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” on your list to Santa. How cool would it be if he or she actually came wrapped in a red bow? From commercials to songs to couples walking hand in hand seemingly everywhere you look, ‘tis the season for romance. But what if you don’t have a significant other? You can still make it the most wonderful time of the year.

How singles stay merry during the holidays:

  1. Embrace it. If you’re sad about being single during the holidays or dealing with a breakup, it’s ok. You can’t always push away feelings so don’t fight them. Sometimes giving more energy to the fight makes things worse. Set aside time to be sad, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes a day, and don’t criticize yourself for feeling down.
  2. Say yes! Novelty and variety can cheer you up, so even just meeting someone new or doing something different can put you in a better mood. You might prefer to stay in and lounge on your couch, but say yes to invitations that come your way – or take the initiative and see what’s going on around town! There’s no excuse with so many opportunities this season: office and ugly sweater parties, citywide events, zoo lights, holiday concerts, etc. And you already have built-in conversation starters: What are you doing for the holidays? Do you have any traditions? What is your favorite holiday memory?
  3. Spread holiday cheer. Sometimes the best gift you can give is yourself. Volunteer for a cause that you believe in, or go caroling around your neighborhood or nursing home. Visit a family member or friend who is going through a tough time. Selfless activities can boost your self-esteem, so giving of yourself is a win-win.
  4. Take advantage. When you’re out and about, take advantage of meeting new people! Maybe there’s someone who catches your eye while you’re shopping for presents or at a holiday concert. Make eye contact and smile! Again, the opportunities for conversation starters are endless: ask their opinion about the gift you’re thinking of buying, or ask them their favorite holiday song. Nervous? That can be a good thing – even just doing something that gets your heart pumping can elevate your mood.
  5. Do your own thing. Have you ever said, “I’ll do X once I meet someone?” Don’t wait! Do what you love now. Start a tradition that you can do solo or when you’re in a relationship. Throw a dinner party with your fabulous friends or take a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go. Whether big or small, carpe diem!
  6. Be your own Santa. If you’re like my clients, you probably take care of others before yourself. Take the holidays for some self-care or treat yourself to a meaningful gift or experience. It’s a great reminder to be aware of your own needs, what’s been missing in your life, and that it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes.
  7. Celebrate you. What’s amazing about you? What have you overcome? Think of all of your accomplishments this past year. Write out all that you have done and completed in the past 12 months and then celebrate. Appreciate what you have achieved. It’s important to recognize your worth whether you’re single or in a relationship.

And if all else fails, just carry around some mistletoe.

Dating The Short Guy

Several of my male clients are on dating apps and mention that of the first questions that women ask them is their height. When they say they’re 5’9” or 5’8”, they don’t hear from them again. The average height for men is 5’9”!

When I heard these kinds of stories from men, my heart sinks. Here are fabulous guys who would make women loving husbands some day, and they’re getting overlooked simply because of their height. It didn’t surprise me though. I work with many women too, and when I ask them what they’re looking for in a guy, one of the first traits they describe is height.

Here are the Top Reasons to Ditch the Height Requirement:

You Decrease Your Chances of Finding The One:

The problem is that a height requirement decreases your overall chances of finding love. Dating is tough. When you factor in attraction, chemistry, your deal-breakers, values, and needs, it’ll take some time to find someone. Don’t dismiss the guy just based on height – at least give the guy a chance!

He Can Meet Your Needs:

A short guy can meet your needs just as well as a tall guy. The most common reason women tell me that they want a tall guy is because it makes them feel secure. But think of all those not-so-tall guys that have a lot of muscle on them and can be strong as well. In fact, they may be even stronger than this tall prince charming that you’re hoping to meet. And don’t forget about emotional security. A tall guy can be emotionally unavailable, but a shorter guy can support you, be there when you need him, and let you know his feelings every step of the way.

Sexiness is more than Height:

Women tell me that there’s something sexy about standing next to a tall guy. It makes them feel more feminine. Ok…but what if this tall guy rarely compliments you? Or puts you down? You won’t be feeling feminine then. Maybe the short guy will treat you like a queen and let you know you’re sexy and desirable. A guy’s height doesn’t guarantee you’ll feel feminine but a guy’s respect for you does.

So why do you really want a tall guy after all? Identify the needs behind it, like feeling secure and feminine, and give a shorter guy a chance to meet you. You may be pleasantly surprised.


Relationship Rut

This is typically how the relationship rut begins. You meet someone new. You think about them all the time and can’t wait until the moment when you see them next. In the meantime, you can’t eat, sleep or concentrate. You check your phone a hundred times a day to see if you missed their call or text. You feel energized like never before, since you’re in the romantic love stage of a relationship, it feels so wonderful and magical and you want it to last forever.

But it doesn’t. Time passed and the spark faded. Now what?

The couples I work with commonly talk about dampened desire, getting too comfortable and being bored. It’s easy for a relationship to feel stuck in a rut. It may sound unromantic to have to create the conditions to reignite passion with your partner, but it can be achieved through these three steps:

  1. Give each other space. When you initially met, you probably didn’t know what your partner was doing every day. You fantasized about what they were up to during your time apart, eagerly awaiting the time you could be together again. Now that you’re in a relationship, you spend more time in each other’s company. Although that’s important for you to maintain a connection, you also need time apart. As the Poet Kahlil Gibran recommended, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” You need some degree of separateness from your partner in order to maintain passion and desire from them. When a reward (the reward being your sexy self) is delayed, it increases brain chemicals that help stimulate romantic passion. Take different classes, engage in different hobbies or take a night off to do your own thing. Missing each other is a good thing.

  2. Get out of routine. Some of my couples call each other at the same time every day, or have date night the same night of the week. With routine comes boredom or a sense of obligation – “It’s that time, I have to call her….” It can be tough to feel hot and heavy for your partner when you also feel bored. Mix it up! Go to a comedy show on a weeknight or take a Ferris Bueller Day and play hooky with your partner. Variety is key to keeping things fresh. Do a boredom check – studies show that boredom predicted declines in relationship satisfaction over time. If one of you is bored, brainstorm what you can change up.

  3. Do novel things together. Do you ever wonder if the Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants really mean it when they profess love to each other so quickly? Believe it! Studies show that exciting experiences not only enhance attraction, but couples who do thrilling things together feel more satisfied in their relationship. Develop a variety of interests, especially those that both of you would find exhilarating. For some of you it may be skydiving or a day riding roller coasters, but even going to an event last-minute or playing tourist in your own city can work, too. Add some fun challenges to your relationship. Do you and your partner root for opposing sports teams? Place bets and loser gives winner a massage or makes dinner. Just remember to keep it light and playful!

The bottom line is that effort is required to maintain passion. Giving your relationship space to miss each other, adding variety and sharing in new experiences can all boost your relationship out of any rut.




Relationship Reality 312: Why Men Won't Commit Couple

Five Reasons Men Won’t Commit:

While dating, you will meet men who don’t want a relationship or marriage…just yet. However, while you may be ready for commitment, he may not in the right stage in his life to want a serious relationship or even marriage. If you’re wondering why he’s procrastinating the big “move-in” or won’t move out of the booty-call stage, here are the Five Reasons Men Won’t Commit:

1. He’s not ready.

Not being ready for a serious relationship doesn’t mean he’s scared of commitment. It’s literally because he’s not ready. Hey may still want to play the field, concentrate on his career or needs to focus on family obligations. Men take their role as provider very seriously, and I’ve worked with many men who only casually date and put of serious relationships because they’re not where they want to be financially. He may also want to have experiences or work on himself first before he gets into a serious relationship. Timing matters, and a guy who’s not ready is not going to be able to give you what you need in a relationship.

2. He’s terrified of making the wrong choice.

Men are scared that the stories they hear about wedded hell are true: the ball and chain, not getting laid anymore, being with a controlling woman, etc. He may have doubts about your behaviors, like you being overly jealous or how you handle your anger. He may have thought his ex was “The One” but made the wrong choice once already. The pain and doubts may keep him from committing. A lot of men come to me and ask me how they’re supposed to know that the woman they’re with is “The One.” We can’t predict how someone will change, so to some degree you have to take the risk.

3. He can’t see a future with you.

A guy may not know if you’re going to be his future wife, but at least he knows if it’s even a possibility. He may be keeping you around because he likes you for the short-term, but he doesn’t see himself with you for decades. Plain and simple, he’s just not that into you.

4. He’s scared of rejection.

Ever feel like your man keeps you at arm’s length? Has a wall up or don’t feel as connected as you did when you first started dating? Again, most men want to feel connected to their woman, but are afraid of rejection and to deepen intimacy requires one to be vulnerable. That can be downright scary. He may be thinking, Will she really accept me? When she knows me, will she still love me and want to be with me? If he’s not sure of the answer, he may keep from committing. You can reinforce the things you admire and accept about him to decrease this fear.

5. He’s scared of divorce.

We’ve heard horror stories about divorce. And if a guy has gone through his parents’ painful divorce and he hasn’t worked through it, he’s probably still scarred. Committing involves risk, and some guys may not do so until they’re 100% certain the relationship will work. The thing is, relationships are never a guarantee. But both of you have incredible influence over the outcome of your future, and that may mean getting some relationship education from a workshop or a professional.

For those of you waiting for your man to commit, it’s up to you to decide how patient you can be. At least have the conversation with your man about your future to see if your visions and goals align. If not, move on to someone who will want you in his future.

Couple After Breaking Up and Being Dumped


Facing the aftermath of being dumped by surprise can be one of the worst feelings. You can’t seem to focus at work or school, you become obsessed with memories of your ex, you lose your appetite.

And when my clients come to me in these kinds of situations, I find that specific actions are extremely helpful.

Here are a few tips to get you started after you’ve been dumped:

  • Date. I know it’s sometimes the last thing people want to do after a breakup, but there are so many men out there for you to go out and have fun with without the expectation of a serious relationship. Just be upfront about your intentions. You can tell your potential dates that you’re casually dating or wanting to explore the city, but aren’t looking for anything serious. Those who have similar intentions will stay in the game.

  • Fill your time. If you used to make dinner with your ex every Sunday night, plan an activity that you’ll look forward to until the pain of Sunday nights subsides. Get together with your friends, volunteer, take a class, or catch up on your favorite shows. Fill that time that you used to spend with him doing something fun or productive and stop the anxiety. Some of my clients know when they’ll have idle time so they ask their friends to hang out – and promise not to bring up the ex!

  • Plan for weak moments. You’ll have your weak moments when you may want to contact your ex. Have a go-to plan in place – exercise, call a friend, distract yourself with work, pick up a book, etc. And whatever you do, don’t cyber-stalk! You’ll be upset if you see something you don’t like or can’t explain – “Who is that girl in that photo with him?” Even better, unfriend him on Facebook if you haven’t already done so and if necessary, block him so you won’t sneak a peek. Also, allow your friends to take your phone away at times of weakness.

  • Keep count. If you’re an “out of sight, out of mind” person this won’t work. But if you’re not, use a calendar to keep track of the days you’ve gone without contact. Having a visual reminder can also keep you from reaching out.

  • Remember why you broke up. Visual reminders can be extremely helpful. Keep a list or use sticky notes with the reasons why you broke up in the first place. Leave them in your purse, put them on your nightstand or hang them on your fridge. Were there any red flags that you missed? Write those down and look at them often. If you had friends who disliked your ex, this would be a good time for them to remind you how much they disliked him.

  • Avoid your relationship haunts.It’s ok to avoid your usual hangouts until you feel better. It doesn’t mean your ex has power over you, it means you’re paying attention to your emotions and doing what’s best for you in the moment.

  • Get out of routine. Getting out of routine can elevate mood. Whether it’s taking up a new hobby, trying different restaurants, or taking a trip to a place you’ve never been, these little and big ways can make you feel happier, which can also give you hope that you can happily move on.

Although time can heal all wounds, it’s what you do with that time that can be a key difference to you healing more quickly.

Cheating Partner Takes Off Wedding Ring

In my last blog I wrote about common myths about cheating. Research indicates that infidelity is on the rise, with more relationships being affected by it. If good people are cheating, how can you tell if your partner (who I’m pretty sure you think is a good person) is cheating on you? It’s not easy to detect given that most affairs are not discovered.

Although people can be very effective at compartmentalizing their lives that their affairs are never discovered, there are a few things to consider if you have any suspicions. You can’t tell if your partner is cheating based on just one piece of evidence, but you can look for a pattern of behavior that’s different from the norm in your relationship

1. You’re having more sex.

People assume if one partner is cheating, the frequency of sex decreases because they’re already “getting it on the side.” Sometimes this may be the case, but also the opposite is true. The excitement of an affair can increase the passion in your own relationship. Your partner may have an increased desire for sex and it could be hotter than it’s been in a long time. They may even ask to try new techniques.

2. Hostile answers to questions.

Your partner gets off the phone and you ask them, “Who were you talking to?” They may snap back with hostile remarks such as, “Why do you always have to be in my business?” or “I can’t believe you don’t trust me.” You may even start doubting your own sanity, telling yourself that you should trust your partner. But harsh responses to questions, especially if you’ve never received this kind of an attitude from your partner before, are highly suspicious.

If you’re in a healthy relationship, you should want to alleviate any concerns your partner has about a potential threat to your relationship. Monogamy cannot be assumed; it has to be confirmed with actions. If you truly have nothing to hide, prove it. Telling your partner who called you or showing them your texts shouldn’t be a problem. I’m not saying you need to show them everything every time, but if your partner asks, would you have an issue with showing them your communication?

3. Consistent change in routine.

Spending time with an affair partner takes time and effort. Pay attention to differences in scheduling like spending longer hours at the office, working on “weekend projects” or getting up earlier to go to the gym. Sometimes people are re-energized by an affair and become more dedicated to family life. Your partner may help out at home with chores and errands or be more engaged with the kids. The key is a consistent change in what had previously been present in your relationship or family life

4. You no longer hear the “friend’s” name – or hear it too much.

Has your partner frequently talked about this “friend” or coworker and then, mysteriously, you no longer hear about him or her? When you mention why you haven’t heard about that person, do they get anxious or snap at you? Or the flip side is also true – you never heard about this person and then your partner brings their name up frequently. Both behaviors can indicate that things are evolving beyond “just a friendship.

5. You’re jealous.

Maybe you’ve never been the jealous or suspicious type, but now you’ve developed uneasy feelings about someone in your partner’s life. You suspect this person has intentions beyond just a friendship or a work relationship. If you have a “gut feeling” I encourage you to trust it. Many of my betrayed clients had a gut feeling but dismissed it because they wanted to believe their partner would never cheat on them. If you have suspicions, be curious and get more information, but don’t attack your partner. Express your concerns but be prepared that your partner will dismiss you or even belittle you.

Because people often believe they are immune to cheating, they’ve crossed the line before they’ve realized it. If you have suspicions and your partner refuses to discuss things with you, seek the help of a professional to help you.