Checking Partner’s Phone

It’s not an exaggeration to say that our phones are pretty much like our digital diaries. But in today’s society, they are so much more than that. You can easily use them to find out where your partner has been, who they’ve been talking to, and even track their location in real-time. However, just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should pry into your partner’s phone without their consent or should you

Below, I spoke to six Singaporeans who shared their take on whether they are for or against the idea of checking their partners’ phones. 


1. “He started acting suspicious, and not in a positive way”

Checking Partner’s PhoneImage courtesy of Nicole

“When I was dating my ex, there was a period nearing my birthday when he started acting suspicious, and not in a positive way. It didn’t feel like he was planning a surprise for me, and it was strange to the point where it made me have a bad feeling as my birthday approached. I ended up checking his phone and searching for my name on his WhatsApp chats. 

Lo and behold, I found out that he was actively talking badly about me – trying to “act cool” in front of his friends and that he “wasn’t a simp” to my demands. Basically, he was complaining that I was spoiled because I grew up with big celebrations and parties for my birthday. Since my birthday was nearing, he felt the pressure to do something big for me even though I didn’t ask for it. 

Later, my ex found out that I went through his phone because after I did it for the first time, I couldn’t help but do it again to check if he was constantly talking badly about me to his friends. One time, I checked on his computer instead (WhatsApp web), and he found out about it through his search history. He confronted me, and I confessed, but he was okay with it.

I did feel guilty afterwards, but sometimes our insecurities get the better of us, and we can’t help but stress about it until we finally get an answer. Even if the answer confirms our fears, it’s better than being kept in the dark forever.”

– Nicole, 25 

2. “He kept talking about this girl although we were attached” 

Checking Partner’s PhoneFor illustrative purposes only

“I looked through my ex’s phone because he kept talking about this girl even though we were attached. The incident made me insecure, and eventually caused me to develop trust issues. 

As expected, I found out that he was chatting with the girl daily, which made me lose trust in him. I didn’t confront him, but instead, I beat around the bush and asked why he didn’t date the girl since they were so close and chatted every day. In the end, we broke up and went our separate ways. 

While I’ve never considered installing location-tracking apps, I’m prompted to think that those who do are insecure and can’t trust the partner to operate as an individual or make choices on their own. 

Based on my experience, I would advise those who are facing trust issues with their partners to take time to really communicate and be honest with each other. While you may be tempted to hide your concerns because you want to avoid sounding paranoid, you have to understand that such feelings and worries have to be aired if both of you are serious about each other.”

– Queenie, 27 

 3. “I found him following “suspicious” girls on social media”

For illustrative purposes only

“There wasn’t any reason why I decided to look through my partner’s phone, but the moment I did, I discovered that he was following “suspicious” girls on social media. 

Initially, I tried to act cool, but my face gave it away as he realised that something was wrong. When he asked me about it, I shrugged it off, but he continued to press on until I caved and told him about what I found on his phone. 

It turned out that those “suspicious” girls were his secondary school friends, and they were planning to meet during another friend’s upcoming wedding ‒ nowhere close to my suspicions of him cheating on me. 

Through this incident, I realised the importance of communicating and understanding each other’s worries and concerns. While it is common to have trust issues in a relationship, there’s nothing better than addressing them at the initial stages to prevent things from escalating.”

– Ying Ying, 24

Also read: 

27% Of Singaporeans Feel That Office Romances Are Fine, 15% Would Also Forgive Cheating


4. “I feel like it’s an invasion of his own personal space”

Image courtesy of Ashnora

“In my past relationship, my ex was reassuring enough for me to not feel the need to check his phone ‒ though I did have my own face ID on his phone to access it. I feel like it’s an invasion of his own personal space, and if I ever felt the need to use it, I would let him know first.

Since he never once gave me any reason to be suspicious of him, I never considered installing location-tracking apps. Plus, I find them to be an overkill. However, we did share our locations through “Find My iPhone”, and it was a good practice to know that my ex was safe when I was not with him.

I think some people are obsessed with knowing the whereabouts of their partners due to the lack of reassurance from them. It might be because they feel like they can’t trust them due to previous traumatic experiences, and are afraid of their partners lying to or cheating on them.”

– Ashnora, 24

5. “I wouldn’t appreciate my partner snooping around without my permission”

Image courtesy of Jou

“As someone who relies on my phone for almost everything, including shopping, banking, and work, I believe there should be clear boundaries regarding how much access a partner has to your phone.

While I have nothing to hide, I wouldn’t appreciate my partner snooping around without my permission. It signals a lack of trust and a disregard for my privacy – a sentiment I would reciprocate if roles were reversed. I much prefer open communication, and if my partner wants to see something on my phone, I’d prefer they ask me directly.

Thankfully, I haven’t experienced digital stalking, but I know that it can be very traumatising. I strongly believe that location-tracking apps should be used with caution, and people should not become “addicted” to using them. I’ve heard stories where people used them to spy on their partners’ movements, leading to an unhealthy obsession and unpleasant ending.”

– Jou, 30

6. “I’d probably end up overthinking if I found anything, which wouldn’t benefit me”

Checking Partner’s PhoneFor illustrative purposes only

“I don’t mind if my partner wants to check my phone, but I’m the kind of person who won’t bother to look through theirs. It is not because I am uninterested, but rather because I’d probably end up overthinking if I found anything, which wouldn’t benefit me. If I give my partner my full trust, I expect the same in return. 

Instead of looking through their phone without permission, I believe in respecting their privacy and addressing any suspicious face to face. This approach allows for faster resolution of misunderstandings.

If you find yourself tempted to install location-tracking software on your partner’s phone, I suggest you reevaluate the relationship. Ask yourself if it’s worth doing something unethical, and if it’s worth the trouble.”

– Long, 30 

These Singaporeans Show That Checking Their Partners’ Phones Has Pros And Cons

While some might argue that it is unethical to check your partner’s phone, it is difficult to determine what is right or wrong in various situations. Sometimes, all it takes is a few clicks to clear or confirm our suspicions, and whether it is for the better or the worse, it is up to us to decide. 

Cover: Images courtesy of Nicole, TheSmartLocal, Ashnora

Also read: 

“I Thought What We Had Was Meant To Be Forever” ‒ 5 Women Share If They Forgave Their Cheating Partner