Q. My best friend’s been dating his girlfriend for about 8 months, and in the last couple of days he’s confided to me that he’s begun to suspect she may not be faithful. He’s a pretty private guy like me, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one he’s confided to. He’s always been there for me, and I hate to think there’s even a possibility his girlfriend isn’t showing him the loyalty he deserves.  Any suggestions?

A. Trust is one of the most important aspects of a relationship, and being confident of his girlfriend’s faithfulness is crucial to the success of your friend’s growing relationship. While context is important, and the below signs are certainly not black-and-white, here are four signs to share with him (a continuation of last month’s column):

(i) She has become more interested in her appearance: Caring about her health and desiring an attractive appearance is normal. However, if all of a sudden your friend’s girlfriend becomes obsessed with her appearance, wants to make drastic changes, begins buying an excessive amount of new clothes, obsessively tries to lose weight or suddenly changes her hair color, this could be a sign of infidelity.

(ii) She refuses to make solid long-term plans: If your friend’s girlfriend is cheating or thinking of cheating, she will likely be hesitant to make any long-term plans. For example, if she isn’t interested in where your friend should go on vacation this year, or she doesn’t want to talk about plans for holidays, or she just doesn’t seem interested in discussing anything to do with the relationship’s future, this could be a sign that she is cheating.

(iii) She flirts with other men in front of him: If she has no problem batting her eyes and throwing herself on other men in front of your friend, he has to ask himself what she does when he isn’t around. If she doesn’t respect him and their relationship enough to refrain from flirting, that doesn’t speak well of their relationship.

(iv) She starts hinting that she is unhappy in her relationship: If his girlfriend begins speaking to him about how unhappy she is with various aspects of their relationship, she may be getting ready to tell him that she has found someone else with whom she is happier.

As mentioned last month, the signs listed above can potentially all be clues that his girlfriend is cheating. Importantly, however, all of them can be attributed to other factors as well.
Your friend is lucky to have such a caring friend.

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