Cheating is, arguably, the most selfish, most heartbreaking thing that someone can do while in a relationship. Sure, there are awful situations like verbal or, worse, physical abuse, but when it comes to nonviolent activities, almost nothing beats cheating.

That’s because the damage can really impact someone, which can cause pain for years, keeping the person who got cheated on from trusting anyone else when it comes to romantic relationships. And that’s something that can be debilitating and tough to overcome.

As someone who’s talked about how I’ve felt like I was once cheated on — whether physically or emotionally — I can tell you that the pain is still real, and it runs in my mind anytime I first meet a new girl who might show similar traits to my ex. It’s caused me to remain guarded, and I wish I would have just known what was going on. Thing is, it’s in the past, and I’ve just got to move on and try to learn from those previous mistakes I made.

Although there’s no absolute way to know if someone is or isn’t a cheater, there are certain things that people can pick up on to help them determine what a person is really like. From any infidelity in previous relationships to sketchy behavior in a current one, it’s important not to stay naive about some of the things your girlfriend might be doing.

And, since we always want to help you with relationships, we’re giving you a few cheating signs that you might want to listen for to help you determine if your girl can be trusted, or if she may be fooling around on you.

How can I tell if my girlfriend is cheating?

As I mentioned above, there’s no magic wand that you can wave that’ll help you determine if a girl you’re dating is or isn’t going to cheat; that’s something you just need to figure out on your own as the relationship moves along. Generally speaking, though, it’s best to assume the best and not just think she’s cheating because the relationship is bad.

That said, there are some telltale signs that you need to look for to help catch a lying partner. Some of these are physical, some are emotional and some are straight up obvious. How you handle a situation that seems like cheating is up to you, though, as you need to make sure you’ve got proof something sketchy is going on before just accusing her of infidelity.

Are there physical signs to look for when it comes to cheating?

Yep, a few physical signs of cheating are obvious ones like cell phone numbers that aren’t saved but she’s still texting, and weird marks on clothing she’s wearing, condoms in her purse and her wanting to shower immediately after getting home from an activity. If you see any of these going on, it’s time to talk to your girlfriend about what might be happening, because these are all unacceptable.

Other physical signs of cheating could be her behavior around you, so make sure to see how she might be acting. Is she more or less engaged than normal? Is she uninterested in sex? Is she not as open as she was before to publicly flirt, kiss or take pictures? If these things all suddenly change, it could mean something’s up.

You partner might be cheating if she’s talking about or spending more time with people without you

In the situation with my ex, she had a different group of friends from a kickball team who I never met or hung out with. Sure, there were a few invites here and there, but, generally speaking, she had nights out with them while I did my own thing with friends. Looking back now, it was a clear sign that something was up, whether that just meant we were growing apart or she was cheating.

I tend to go the way of cheating because of her behavior in hiding the relationship with some of her kickball friends, as she often didn’t save their numbers in her phone, yet was constantly texting them throughout the week. She also tended to keep the friendship hush hush, and, when confronted, often said I had nothing to worry about. Overall, there were some shady things going on.

If she feels guilty, or seems to make up for something, she may be cheating on you

Ever feel like your girl is surprising you for no reason at all? When it happens once or twice, it might just be something she’s trying to do sweet for you. But when she does it out of routine, it may mean she has a guilty conscience that she’s trying to make up for with you.

This could be things like making you dinner out of nowhere without much planning, or planning a weekend getaway for the two of you. Just because she’s surprising you doesn’t mean she’s cheating, but if it’s out of nowhere — and a break from her normal behavior — it may be something to be weary of. Go with your gut and see what your instincts are telling you.

Is she emotionally disengaged? It could be a sign of cheating

One of the most obvious signs of cheating is when your girl’s emotionally disengaged. This means she’s tuning you out and isn’t putting put forth much of an effort when it comes to you and/or the relationship. That excitement she used to have when you two were together is all but gone, and, if you ask her a question, she may become defensive or lash out.

Again, this doesn’t always mean she’s cheating — it may just be a bad day or week — but, in the best relationships, partners talk about their problems without judgement, and want to help one another get through difficulties they may be having. When your girl shuts down and becomes tense or defensive at the simplest conversations, something might be up.