I caught my new date looking through my phone. Should I be concerned?

Dating a new person can be a very exciting time. It’s an opportunity for the both of you to get a sense of your boundaries, likes and dislikes and relationship expectations. There’s always plenty of mystery involved.

It’s a process that can be hit or miss. You learn as you go along, and adjust if you want to stay together. However, there may be times when your new date does something that really steps over the line?

For instance, what if you catch your new date snooping through your phone? Is it time to cut and run, or is this pretty normal behaviour?

Phones are a very real part of dating nowadays. Social media is a major way of staying connected with other singles and a lot of early dating communication goes back and forth on the phone. So it’s not unusual that you might look at each other’s phones as part of the dating process. As long as the both of you are around doing this together at the same time.

However, there is a line that you shouldn’t cross.

Your new date shouldn’t be picking up your phone without you around, and then snooping though it to see what you’ve been up to and who you’ve been connecting with. Regardless of whether it’s innocent or very calculated, it shouldn’t be happening without your permission. That’s overstepping the mark, and it shows a lack respect for your personal privacy.

The great problem with this behaviour is that your new date hasn’t earnt the right to use your phone anytime they want. You don’t know them well enough. It takes time to get to know them, and you need to develop a trust and sense of security in them before they get access to your phone 24/7.

Rather than bringing you closer together, this snooping behavior will put you on the back foot and reduce your trust in them. It will get you defensive and make you feel very uneasy and worried about how clingy and suspicious they are moving forward.

So, if you ever find your partner snooping on your phone without you around, jump on it straight way. Tell them that’s not something that can ever happen again, unless you’ve given them the green light.

If they push back and don’t like your boundary, then it’s not going to work. They’re telling you that they don’t like being told ‘no’, and they’re not going to meet your needs. However, if they’re sorry and happy to step back and leave it over to you – then you move forward with them knowing that this new date has the ability to listen and adjust to your relationship expectations.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)

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