Getting cheated on is a terrible experience, so it's not a bad thing to want to protect yourself. While knowing things like their zodiac sign may give you some hints on the likelihood of infidelity, all you need to really do is ask a few questions. According to experts, there are some questions you can ask your partner right now to get an idea of how likely they are to cheat.
"If you want to see how likely it is that your partner would cheat, you first need to be on the same page as to what cheating is exactly," Samantha Daniels, Dating Expert and Founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking tells Bustle. That's why one of the most important questions you can ask your partner is, "What do you consider cheating?"
For instance, some people count innocent flirting outside the relationship as cheating, while others may not care as much. Some may think physical cheating is bad, while others think emotional cheating is way worse.
"Many people have different ideas of what constitutes cheating so it’s important to ask this question because it can reveal your partner’s idea of cheating," Daniels says. "Asking this question will inform you of your partner's relationship boundaries and then you can analyze what those boundaries mean to you."
Cheating can take you by surprise. But if you ask the following questions to your partner, you can have a better idea of where they stand on cheating and how likely it is they'd cheat.
"Would You Be Mad If Someone Else Flirted With Me?"
"Some people have no problem with a little harmless flirting here and there, but not everyone is cool with that behavior," Daniels says. Asking your partner about flirting outside of the relationship can give you an idea of what's OK and not OK in your relationship. For instance if they're OK with someone flirting with you, they may think it's OK for them to flirt with someone else. Their response can reveal whether or not you are on the same page about boundaries, she says.
"How Comfortable Are You With Sharing Your Feelings?"
As therapist Julie Williamson, LPC, tells Bustle, there is no "magic question" that will assure you that your partner will never cheat. It may, however, be helpful for you to ask about their views on the three C's: commitment, communication, and conflict resolution. If you're going to overcome relationship challenges together, it's important to figure out how open your partner is with sharing difficult emotions with you and how they deal with conflicts. When they experience difficult feelings, are they more likely to avoid those feelings, take them out on others, or talk openly and honestly about them? If not, they may turn to other ways of coping in order to help them forget the difficulties they may be facing.
"Do You Think It's Normal To Cheat?"
Some people are in environments where cheating is considered "normal." They may think that if everyone does it, that means it must be OK. "When people make generalizing comments about other people, it’s typically because they do the same thing," Bizzoco says. So if you're talking about cheating and your partner brings up the fact that they think it’s normal, it might be because they've done it before, and on some level think it's totally OK.
"Have You Ever Been Cheated On?"
If you want to know about your partner's take on cheating, Daniels says it's important to discuss their history with them. "Asking this question of your partner can reveal any experience or situation your partner has endured involving cheating," she says. "Once you know their past and they know yours, you can establish an understanding as to what you consider cheating."
"What Were Your Previous Relationships Like?"
If you want to discuss cheating indirectly, Williamson says, you can ask your partner about commitment. For instance, how do they define it? What does it mean to them? Furthermore, how many committed relationships have they had in the past and how did they end? Asking about your partner's past relationships can help you see if there are any patterns that may be red flags.
"What Do You Feel Like Doing This Weekend?"
"This seems like a fairly simple question, but when answered a certain way, could signify troubled waters ahead," Bizzoco says. If your partner responds to this question with something along the lines of, “I don’t know” or "I don’t care,” she says it’s possible that they may be bored with the relationship. "When this happens, the likelihood of infidelity increases," Bizzoco says. Of course this isn't always the case, but if you do have any concerns it's best to speak with your partner about it further.
Just remember that anybody is capable of cheating, even the most loyal of partners. Asking your partner these questions can't tell you for sure whether they're likely to cheat or not, and speculating over the matter when your partner has given you no reason to doubt them isn't good either. However, it does open up very important conversations around commitment. If a commitment and fidelity is what you want in your partner, you need to know where your partner stands. When it comes to relationship success, it always comes down to communication.