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New Partners and Their Phones

SuchMickleCare posted 2/3/2020 02:44 AM

I have a question for those who have started dating again or have been into new committed relationships:
Did the topic of your new partnerís cellphone ever become a conversation?

Let me explain. When I do re-enter the dating world, my history means that I will likely be hyper-vigilant in noticing how often a new partner uses their phone (and Iíll probably feel triggered if they keep their phone face down or refuse to leave a room without it).

Is this to be part of a larger conversation concerning what is needed to feel secure, in general? How did you deal with this, especially with a new partner?

hardtimesinlife posted 2/3/2020 06:35 AM

I'm dealing with this now. My SO does a lot of searching for boat parts (refurbishing an old boat) and is on several boat building forums and gets numerous messages. It's triggering the hell out of me but I'm trying to keep calm. Until I have a reason not to trust I think I'm going to have to white nuckle it.
I'll be watching this thread closely

HeartFullOfHoles posted 2/3/2020 06:43 AM

I think a new partner needs to be understanding of your past and potential triggers, but they should also not be judged based on your past. If you are not ready to trust a new partner maybe you need more time for healing.

For me trust is foundational to a relationship and if a new partner is continually distrustful of me. I'm not going to be around long. When I am out my phone is in my pocket or face down. Not in an attempt to hide anything, but out of respect for those I am with IRL.

Catwoman posted 2/3/2020 07:44 AM

For me, I own my past and how I merge that with my future. Therefore, my triggers are mine, and I don't expect my SO of 10 years to deal with them. I expect total honesty, though, and transparency.

As far as phones go, he doesn't own a smartphone and is not very techy (doesn't have internet or TV at home, for example). His phone isn't something terribly important to him, so that's not an issue, and he is wholly transparent with me. I'm a lucky gal.

Cat

Slowlygoingcrazy posted 2/3/2020 09:32 AM

I can understand where youíre coming from.

Dating is a kind of audition process. You need to take a person at face value and not assume that their behaviour will change. So if theyíre constantly checking their phone, maybe theyíre not the right partner for you.

By all means explain your past history. I just donít think itís realistic to expect a new partner to change their behaviour to make you feel safe. The new person hasnít cheated.

nothisfriend posted 2/3/2020 09:35 AM

My BF knows about the WXH and how I found all that sh*t on his phone. BF has no password on his phone and hands it to me all the time to show me something he sees on FB or a text he gets. Actually, once we are together (he lives 2.5 hours from me) he sets his phone down or doesn't carry it because he says "you're here now, what do I need that for?"

I do have a password on my phone and I do lay it face down because I have a clip thing on the back and it's just easier. I asked BF to put his fingerprint in it so he can access it in an emergency. He said it was unnecessary but he did it anyway.

It's such a relief to know that his communications are open to me.

Slowlygoingcrazy posted 2/3/2020 10:20 AM

I was speaking more from the perspective of the new partner.

Years ago I dated a man who was cheated on. He was very up-front about it and I tried to be as accommodating as possible. The problem was he wasnít ready for a relationship.

My phone was a major issue for him. I left it out and never bothered with a password. Texts showed up on the home screen. Nothing was hidden. He was still triggered. He would get upset if my boss texted me asking me to come in early, or if a classmate asked if I could meet to work on our homework assignment. I have a good friend with a gender neutral name, so he would freak out every time a text came through from her. Eventually I just left my phone in my purse with the ringer off so he wouldnít be triggered. Big mistake. It looked like I had something to hide.

I can understand him a bit better after dealing with infidelity myself. At the time I felt controlled and manipulated. I was walking on eggshells trying to avoid triggering him.

devotedman posted 2/3/2020 12:51 PM

My phone has a password. I hit a few financial sites from it and I don't Want any Joe Rando to have that if my phone is stolen or lost. I just consider that good sense.

My gf has a phone with a password and that's good sense as well.

If she's going to cheat she's going to cheat. She keeps her phone handy for google and the like.

If she's going to cheat I can't stop her. If I can't trust someone new then that's my problem. I Wouldn't appreciate being suspected just because I'm male and I try to extend my feelings to others.

crazyblindsided posted 2/3/2020 13:39 PM

I know when I am ready to date this is going to be a point of contention for me ugh. My STBX is STILL glued to his phone. When I hear notifications sounding off it causes me anxiety. I'm pretty sure I would scare any new partner off.

TrustedHer posted 2/3/2020 13:48 PM

My Lady and I both have smart phones, and both of us are divorced from our waywards. We've been together a long time now.

Based on that shared past, and the trust we share, we use the same password on our phones. She gave me her password, and I chose to use the same one.

If someone is going to cheat, they will find a way. I know phones can be a trigger, but part of your healing will be learning to deal with that.

As Catwoman said, don't burden your SO with your triggers. Oh, sure, let them know what you're dealing with, but it's up to you to deal, not them.

As far as feeling secure goes, the best security is knowing that you have survived, and will survive, anything that comes your way.

Hopefully, all of us will find that peace.

wildbananas posted 2/3/2020 16:37 PM

SO (of 6.5 years) and I both have smart phones and use them for different things. Neither of us has a password on our phone. We don't go through each other's phones, but we don't have a problem with the other grabbing our phone if it's closer when needing to look up something or whatever.

As others have said, if someone is going to cheat, they'll figure out a way to do it. And our issues are ours to sort out.

GGFinisHLast posted 2/3/2020 22:55 PM

I dropped out of dating to sort myself out and havenít returned yet, but this is an interesting thought. As a person who is constantly connected to work by mobile, I canít imagine not having my mobile at hand. Itís always securely locked, and policy forbids sharing access.

Given history, Iíd have no issue showing whatever is active to a future SO whenever asked, and Iíd bothered by secrecy, if not triggered.

Of course, as my XWW demonstrated more than once, a careful renaming of contacts and use of alternative wording can make anything look appropriate. So, at a certain point one simply has to accept risk. I suspect Iíll be like hardtimes and white knuckling it, until forced to speak up.

HalfTime2017 posted 2/4/2020 17:39 PM

I could understand the triggers, as we all have them from this lovely gift of infidelity, but to be fair, you shouldn't project this onto your new SO. If that is the case, you will need more time to heal and IC work before jumping into the dating world.

Not that its wrong to have the conversation and let them know how you feel, but it does show that you are still hung up and triggering and thats not a good thing to bring to a new relationship.

I mean, whats next? I'm sure a lot of BSs have also found emails that were not appropriate, but are you going to ask the new SO to comb thru all his email, and for that person to give you the password to all of their accounts. What about social media? You need those too? They have not cheated, so don't treat them that way.

As a BS, I still would not think to demand access to all of this stuff from my GF. She hasn't shown me that she is not worthy of my trust. It'll be difficult to have a relationship start off that way. If some women demanded these things from me, passwords and full access, I'd wish her well and say peace. I have nothing to hide, I'm also a BS, but that's just not how you start off a relationship. Its just too controlling and its not a good quality to have.

Snapdragon posted 2/4/2020 18:07 PM

I'm going to answer as if I am your new dating partner.

I would not tolerate your triggers. I would be offended by your assumptions that my actions with my phone indicate that I'm doing something shady. I would stop dating you.

Why? Two reasons.

1. I would consider that you are not ready to start dating, much less enter into a relationship. You are still too raw and need more time to heal.

2. I've experienced the stages of a controlling and/or insecure person. They ease into it using "understandable" reasoning to get you to behave in ways they want. Then they up the ante to more and more controlling behavior. You keep making excuses and eventually it's a whole shit show of a life.

I do a LOT of things with my phone that would make a triggery person go mad. Yet, I'm not hiding anything. I'm not doing anything shady. I'm not having an affair. Heck, I'm not even in a relationship! I live alone. I always put my phone face down (it has a ring on the back). I carry it with me everywhere, even in the bathroom (I play a couple of games). I have a security code on it (it's a work phone and required).

Be careful that you aren't foisting your issues on some innocent person.

PS: I do recognize that #2 shows the hypocrisy of my #1 answer!

[This message edited by Snapdragon at 6:14 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

Carissima posted 2/5/2020 03:57 AM

To be frank if someone I was just starting to see asked to see my phone or wanted access it would be a hard no.

We'd be just starting out, no relationship, no real trust, hell we couldn't even say we know each other. My whole life is on my phone, I've nothing to hide but I'm a pretty private person and the thought of handing my handing my phone to anybody else makes me uneasy. I get the feeling that the people talking about shared passwords are in established relationships which is different.

Now if we're talking phone etiquette that's a different story. If I were being ignored because my prospective new partner wae constantly on their phone that's just rude and inexcusable. It would definitely warrant a discussion on expected behaviour and possible consequences if it continued.

JanaGreen posted 2/5/2020 07:12 AM

I really thought that this would be a problem for me when I started dating, but it wasn't. My boyfriend is on the phone all the time looking at memes and posting on his car forums and chatting with his friends, including his female best friend. I have no desire to look at his phone, I have never had a desire to look at his phone. He's just so completely different than my ex that I don't have any trouble trusting him. I do not think it's fair to ask a new partner to be sensitive to your triggers around the phone because of past experiences. I wouldn't like to be treated that way. I don't think that it's your fault that you feel that way, if you do feel that way, but I do think it's unfair for your partner to accommodate you by giving you access to his phone. If he hasn't done anything wrong.

SuchMickleCare posted 2/6/2020 14:46 PM

Some great points made by all, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

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