How To Spot A Cheater Early In A Relationship

signs of a cheater

You’ve just started seeing someone new and it’s going great so far. You really like them and can see a future together.

But in the back of your mind, you wonder—could this person be a cheater?

Maybe you’ve been cheated on before so you’re wary of getting hurt again and don’t want to let your guard down just yet.

Or perhaps you’ve noticed some suspicious behaviors that make you question if this person is being honest with you.

Whatever the reason, you want to figure out sooner rather than later if your new partner is going to cheat.

The good news is, there are ways to identify a potential cheater early on if you pay attention.

Red flags like shady behavior with their phone, inconsistent stories, and keeping late nights can reveal clues.

Trusting your gut when something feels off is important too. With some awareness, you can spot the signs of a cheater and protect your heart.

Keep reading to learn the tactics cheaters use and how to tell if your new partner is being dishonest.

signs of a cheater


Do you suspect your new love interest is a cheater?

There are many telltale signs you can watch out for from the very start of a relationship that might reveal if someone is prone to cheating.

Pay attention to these early red flags and you can prevent heartbreak and potentially avoid falling for the wrong person.

1. Frequent cancelations and excuses

Consistently canceling plans last minute or providing vague excuses for not spending time together may indicate your partner is a cheater.

If your new sweetheart is always canceling dates or coming up with elaborate excuses, that’s a major red flag.

Maybe their dog ate their homework—again. Or their car mysteriously broke down for the third time this month.

They never stop making up stories to cover their tracks. Sadly, this behavior often means they’re hiding something (or someone) else.

Don’t make excuses for them or rationalize their behavior. Your time and feelings matter, and you deserve honesty.

Have an open conversation about your concerns. Calmly explain that the frequent cancelations make you feel unimportant and damage the trust in your relationship.

Pay close attention to their reaction—do they get defensive or take responsibility?

Their response will reveal a lot about their character and let you know if the relationship is worth pursuing.

2. Constant lying and hiding things

Another early sign of a cheater is that they’re secretive about their whereabouts, phone calls, or messages and are reluctant to share details about their life.

If your new partner is constantly lying to you or hiding things, that’s a big red flag.

Pay close attention if their stories don’t quite add up or they get defensive when you ask simple questions.

Does your partner frequently have excuses for why they can’t meet up or are hard to reach?

Are they sneaky with their phone or social media, not wanting you to see what they’re doing?

Do they disappear for hours or days at a time without explanation?

Repeatedly bailing on plans or being unavailable could indicate they’re spending time with someone else.

While everyone needs alone time, be wary if their absences become routine or their reasons seem flimsy.

The harsh truth is, if someone is lying and hiding things from you early on, the relationship is being built on a faulty foundation.

Honesty and trust are so important for a partnership to thrive. Confront them about their behavior and see how they respond.

If they get angry or try to turn things around on you instead of coming clean, it may be time to cut ties before you get in too deep.

You deserve so much better than someone who is dishonest. Look for a caring partner who will treat you with respect by being transparent and upfront.

Don’t ignore the signs or you’ll likely just get hurt down the line.

signs of a cheater

3. Lack of transparency

A major sign of a cheater is that you can’t seem to read them no matter how hard you try.

A deceitful partner avoids being open or honest about certain areas of their life.

They’ll dodge questions about where they’ve been or make excuses about why they can’t disclose details.

When you ask who they were with or what they did over the weekend, they give vague answers or change the subject.

Deceptive people tend to be very private about their phones and social media accounts too.

They seem worried when you use their devices and may even change their passwords to lock you out.

Be wary if your partner suddenly becomes extremely private with their phone, it may be a red flag.

Things like never leaving it unattended, frequently texting when you’re together, deleting messages or call history, or taking calls in private could all point to cheating behavior.

Of course, privacy in moderation is normal, but complete secrecy in a relationship is usually a warning sign.

Luckily, the truth eventually comes out. If your partner has been covering their tracks, the lies will start to unravel.

Look for holes or inconsistencies in the stories they tell you. Pay attention if details frequently change or don’t quite add up.

Don’t ignore your intuition if something feels off—your instincts can detect deception even when the signs are subtle.

4. History of cheating

Past behavior is often the best predictor of future behavior.

If your new partner has a history of infidelity in previous relationships, they’ll likely cheat again in the future.

Ask them directly about their dating history and whether infidelity was ever an issue. Watch out for vagueness and defensiveness.

If they claim all their exes were “crazy” or they “never really loved them,” that may be a sign they’re not taking responsibility for their actions.

Pay attention if they keep blaming their former partners for everything that went wrong in the relationship.

A person who refuses to be accountable will most likely lie, hide secrets, and even cheat on you in the future.

5. Flirting with others

Excessive flirting with others, especially in your presence or on social media, suggests a lack of respect for boundaries and potential interest in pursuing other relationships.

If your new partner constantly flirts with other people while you’re dating, that’s a huge red flag.

Pay attention if they flirt aggressively with friends, coworkers, or even strangers when you’re together.

Things like prolonged eye contact, playful teasing, and lots of compliments may be signs they have trouble controlling their impulses.

While some friendly flirting is normal for outgoing people, excessive flirting can indicate deeper issues with commitment and self-control that may lead to cheating down the road.

Have an honest conversation about appropriate boundaries and let them know their behavior makes you uncomfortable.

If they refuse to change, you may want to consider whether the relationship is right for you.


6. Avoiding introductions

Once you start dating someone new, the natural next step is to introduce them to your friends and family.

If your new partner is reluctant for you to meet their friends, family, or social circle, they may be trying to keep different aspects of their life separate to maintain secrecy.

Meeting the important people in your partner’s life is a big step and not one to take lightly.

But your new love interest should talk about you getting to know their closest friends or family members soon.

If they avoid bringing up the conversation or shut you down when you mention it, pay attention.

They could be hiding your relationship because they have someone else or are not planning to keep you around for the long haul.

Don’t jump to conclusions though; it’s possible that they have a strained relationship with their family and don’t want you to get mixed up in the drama. But you should know their friends at least.

signs of a cheater

7. Keeping late nights

Does your new love interest frequently keep late nights out with friends or for work?

This could be an early sign that they’re hiding something, like seeing other people.

Of course, there are many legitimate reasons for working late or staying out, but if it becomes a habit and they’re vague about details, it’s worth investigating further.

Casually ask open-ended questions about their late nights out, such as “How was your evening?” or “Anything fun going on after work lately?” See if their answers feel plausible and consistent.

Look for other changes in behavior or routine that could indicate they’re dating someone else or being dishonest.

However, also keep in mind that people need space for their own lives outside the relationship.

Unless you have clear reasons to be suspicious, avoid accusing them or causing unnecessary drama. If they’re hiding something, the truth will emerge with time.

Now that you know the warning signs of a cheater, let’s look at how they act in romantic relationships:

signs of a cheater


When a cheater enters a new relationship, their behavior tends to follow some predictable patterns. Watch out for:

Love bombing

At first, the cheater will lavish you with affection, gifts, compliments, and quality time. They want to win you over as quickly as possible.

Enjoy it, but don’t be fooled—this intensity isn’t sustainable and is really a manipulation tactic.

While it’s good for a new partner to show you love, if it’s over the top and you feel something is off, trust your instincts.

Lying and keeping secrets

Cheaters often lie to cover their tracks. Watch out for frequent excuses to cancel plans, vagueness about their whereabouts, or catching them in small lies about insignificant things.

These “little white lies” are red flags that they may lie about bigger things too.

If someone isn’t being honest with you at the beginning of a relationship, they’ll likely do worse things down the road.

Blaming others

Cheaters rarely take responsibility for their actions. They’ll blame their ex, their parents, their job—anyone but themselves.

If your partner never admits fault or apologizes for their mistakes, that’s a sign they may cheat and blame that on external factors as well.

Controlling behavior

Cheaters don’t like to be cheated on. They find it extremely hard to accept what they dish out to others.

At first, their attentiveness may seem sweet but soon becomes stifling. If your new partner wants to know your every move and gets jealous of your friends and family, watch out.

This controlling behavior only gets worse over time and is a way for them to manipulate and isolate you.

Sudden lack of intimacy

Once the cheater has won you over, they no longer need to put in effort. They may stop initiating intimacy and make excuses to avoid it.

Don’t ignore this behavior change. It could indicate they’re getting their needs met elsewhere.

Spotting a cheater early in a relationship can save you a lot of pain. Pay close attention to how your new partner treats you, not just what they say.

Actions speak louder than words, so believe them when they show you who they really are.

signs of a cheater


If you have a nagging feeling that your partner may be seeing someone else behind your back, don’t ignore it.

Their behavior may have raised red flags or turned on your internal alarm. Trust your gut—it’s usually right.

Here are some steps to take if you discover your partner is a cheater:

1. Confront them calmly

Have an honest conversation with your partner about your concerns.

Say something like “I’ve noticed you’ve been acting different lately and it’s made me worried you might be cheating. Can we talk about this?”

Try to remain calm and keep your emotions under control. Yelling or accusing them will likely only make them defensive and damage your trust further.

2. Look for other signs

Beyond changes in behavior, watch for other clues that could indicate cheating like unexplained absences, secretiveness with their phone or computer, excessive flirting, or blaming you for relationship issues.

Take note if they start paying more attention to their appearance or personal grooming habits. These could all be signs they’re trying to impress someone new.

3. Check their phone and computer

While snooping through personal belongings should always be a last resort, if you suspect cheating it may provide the hard evidence you need.

Look for messages, photos, or dating apps that could confirm your fears.

Be aware, however, that a lack of evidence on their devices does not necessarily mean they are faithful—they could just be covering their tracks well.

4. Consider relationship counseling

If after confronting your partner and investigating further you still don’t feel satisfied with their answers, relationship counseling or individual therapy could help.

Speaking to a professional counselor can help determine if the relationship is worth saving and give you strategies for rebuilding trust.

They can also help your partner uncover the underlying reasons for their cheating behavior.

5. Prepare to end it

Unfortunately, if all signs point to cheating and your partner is unwilling to come clean or make a change, ending the relationship may be your only option to find happiness again.

This is never an easy decision, but staying in a relationship with someone who disrespects you will only continue to damage your self-esteem and trust in the long run.

The steps you take after suspecting cheating will differ depending on your unique situation.

But following your instincts, gathering evidence, and being willing to have difficult conversations are the best ways to find the truth and determine the right path forward.


Spotting a cheater early in a relationship can be challenging, as everyone is different, and there are no foolproof signs.

However, I’ve given you some of the key signs to watch out for if you suspect your partner might be a cheater.

Remember, no two relationships are the same, so don’t jump to conclusions based on just one or two of these red flags.

The most important thing is to tune into your intuition. If something feels off, pay attention.

Talk to your partner, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to have an open and honest conversation. Communication is always the best policy.

And if it does turn out they’ve been dishonest or unfaithful, know that you have the strength to walk away.

You deserve someone who treats you with respect. Never settle for less.


Recommended reading:

9 Behaviors That Are Considered Cheating In A Relationship

How To Tell If Someone Is Cheating In A Long Distance Relationship

How To Confront A Cheating Spouse With Proof

About The Author

Jennifer Dagi

Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.

As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.

She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.

Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.

error: Content is protected!