Your partner gets up and off the couch and tells you “I’m going to take a shower. I’ll be out in a bit.”
You say “Okay.”
Then a minute later you hear the bathroom door lock, the shower turn on, and finally, the pleasant sound of water crashing on the tub. And then it hits you! Your partner left their phone right next to you, and you have a sudden and profound urge to look through it!
You know the password and you know you can easily search through it while they’re in the shower. You know you have at least 10, if not 15 minutes to go to town on their text messages and even email, and you have a burning desire to do just that! You justify your actions in your head and ready yourself to scour through it.
But here are 4 reasons why that is a terrible idea!
1. You’re Violating Their Trust In You
Your partner has put trust in you by leaving their phone out in the open. They have shown respect and faith in you, so at the very least, you should offer them the same in return. By secretly searching through their phone, you’re breaking this trust and respect.
2. You’re Setting Your Relationship Back
By violating the trust you seemingly had with your partner, you set your relationship back. Whether you find anything suspicious doesn’t matter. The fact that you don’t trust your companion shows that you’re not heading in the right direction with them. The insecurity of believing that they are not committed to you speaks volumes about where you really are with them. By hiding something, you only traverse further in the wrong direction!
3. Many Different Negative Scenarios Can Play Out
If you do decide to look through their phone, all sorts of unintended consequences can play out. For one, your partner can catch you—which would not only be incredibly awkward, but potentially relationship-ending! Nobody wants someone who secretively and connivingly goes through their stuff when they’re not around. If your partner catches you doing this, there is a decent chance they will end things with you.
You could also see something you weren’t meant to see. There are certain personal things that your partner does not need to be sharing, and you might happen to stumble upon one of these things. From awkward pictures of themselves that were intended only for them to see, to really personal messages between them and their family or friends, to weird searches they’ve made on Google. “Some stones are better left unturned,” as the saying goes, and this cannot be better emphasized than in looking through someone’s phone. You may not like what you see.
4. You Wouldn’t Want Them To Do It
If it were you going into that shower, you know for sure that you would not want your partner going through your stuff! Who would? Some people obviously wouldn’t care as much as others about this, especially those who have nothing to hide, but even still, nobody would enjoy somebody else secretly invading their privacy.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
This is typically the most effective expression for interacting with other people. If you wouldn’t want someone doing something to you, you should probably not do it to them either.
Instead of trying to look through their phone when they are not around, try being more upfront and honest with them about things. If you suspect they may be hiding something, ask them. Talk to them before secretly breaking their trust. This upfront honesty is far better than secretively going through their personal information when they are not around. If you truly have trust with your partner, however, you won’t even have to consider this option.
If you still feel an urge to do this, then you should seriously question your relationship. Perhaps you are with someone who doesn’t really want to be with you. Or perhaps you are with someone whom you really don’t want to be with! Either way, there is definitely a deeper, underlying issue at hand.
For more relationship advice for men check out this amazing, epic, and round-table post with 62 dating and relationship experts from around the world!
This article originally appeared on Lifehack.org