Woman Lives to Regret Snooping on Boyfriend's Phone: 'You've Ruined It'

A woman has been left rueing her decision to snoop around on her boyfriend's smartphone after uncovering a conversation in which he compared her unfavorably to his ex.

In the digital age of dating, few things represent a bigger breach of trust than looking through the contents of a partner's phone.

According to a 2020 Pew Research Study, around 70 percent of Americans believe it is rarely or never acceptable for someone to look through a partner's phone without their knowledge.

Despite this, the same study found 34 percent of partnered adults admitted to looking through their other half's phone without their consent.

For one 33-year-old woman posting to Mumsnet as 'thirtysomethingdating,' the decision to snoop on her boyfriend was apparently born out of the fact she has "struggled to trust him" after enduring several "past bad experiences."

thirtysomethingdating had suspicions he was "not over his ex," which prompted her to "do something stupid" that she is "not proud of"—look at his phone. It was a decision that she has been "reeling" from ever since.

According to the post, thirtysomethingdating uncovered a conversation between her boyfriend and a close friend that, on first look, appeared positive with the boyfriend explaining to the pal that he wanted to be with thirtysomethingdating in the "long term."

However, thirtysomethingdating also discovered that the boyfriend had compared her to his ex-girlfriend in the message thread noting that while thirtysomethingdating "wasn't as attractive" as his ex, they "still had an amazing time" and he wanted to stay with her.

thirtysomethingdating acknowledged that while the discovery served as a "lesson learned" about looking through someone's phone, she was now having difficulty accepting the fact he did not find her as attractive as his ex.

"I've seen plenty of photos of her and we are quite different but I wouldn't say either of us was better or worse than the other," she wrote. "I don't get it."

Unsure about whether her boyfriend may still have "residual feelings" for his former partner, thirtysomethingdating is now contemplating ending the relationship altogether.

For many commenting on social media, the damage had been done.

"I don't think you're ever going to get past this comment," Kitten2 advised. "You'll always be feeling less than ideal in his eyes. It is clear you can't brush it off and are overthinking it."

Sunnytwobridges was inclined to agree, commenting: "I'm not sure I could get over that. I would probably try and see how I felt a few months down the road but it does sound like he's not over his ex completely."

Others offered little sympathy given thirtysomethingdating's own breach of her partner's trust.

"Unfortunately you have no one to blame but yourself for this situation you find yourself in," HYT said. "Maybe you are not ready for a relationship."

Paq concurred, writing: "You've been together for a very short time and you have pried into a private conversation. I'm sorry for your troubles but it doesn't give you the right to invade his privacy like that."

CamsPaisleyCuffs adopted a more sympathetic stance, acknowledging that it must have been an "awful feeling" for the woman to read that message.

"Snoopers never find out anything good and you've learned your lesson, but at least you know," they said. "I'd be gutted about the "not as attractive" comment. It doesn't really matter how you feel you measure up against her, it's his perception of how he rates you against her."

Gilesgoesformiles, meanwhile, felt there was no way back. "You've ruined it," they wrote. "You'll never be able to unsee what you saw."

Newsweek has contacted thirtysomethingdating for comment.
A woman looking unhappy at her phone.
Stock image of a woman looking unhappy at her phone. In an online post, a woman fears her relationship may have reached an impasse after she read something she should not have in a text message on her husband's phone. golubovy/Getty