A list of rules that all couples should follow when it comes to their cell phones.
#1 Talk about your past. People who have never had trust issues may not see the need for cell phone rules. Your partner may not understand why you need access to their phone. But talking about your past can help open their eyes to your perspective. Let your partner know it isn’t them you don’t trust. You have lingering issues from the past, and cell phone rules will help you move forward. If they truly care about you, they will agree and understand your side.
#2 Leave your phone out. If you are with your partner and head to the bathroom with your cell phone, it can seem sketchy. Instead, learn to leave your phones out around each other. If you both have nothing to hide, you should be completely comfortable with anything that might pop up in notifications. And having that openness will give you both peace of mind.
#3 Check in. When you’re not together, check in with each other. It can be a simple, “I’m thinking about you,” message midday. Just sending something over keeps you connected when you’re apart.
#4 Tell your partner the truth. Some people think the truth is overrated. You may wonder what the benefits of telling your partner that your ex texted you are. But telling them yourself now is much better than them finding out you kept it from them later. You may have done nothing wrong, but keeping a secret no matter how innocent can place a seed of doubt in their mind. So even if you think it isn’t a big deal, look at the situation from their perspective.
#5 Think before you delete. Deleting photos of your ex when you start dating someone new is perfectly fine, even good. But if you are deleting your search history, messages from a “close friend,” or anything else, think about why this needs deleting. You are deleting proof of something you feel guilty about. But why did you do something you would have to delete in the first place?
#6 Can you answer each other’s phones? This is something you and your partner have to discuss yourselves. Personally, I think full access removes any questions, but if you use your phone for business, this may not be an option. Discuss how allowing each other this access would benefit your relationship.
#7 Should you share passcodes? The same goes for sharing passcodes. This is something you should agree upon. But, it can be a sign of complete trust. It shows that you are not at all worried that your partner will find something on your phone and neither are they.
#8 Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want them doing. If you wouldn’t want your partner liking their ex’s Instagram photo, don’t do it yourself. If you wouldn’t want them texting an ex, don’t do it. If something your partner did would upset you, don’t do it yourself.
#9 Warn each other before going silent. Something that can worry you or your partner is radio silence, even for just a day. So, if you are heading to a remote area to fish and won’t have service, just let your partner know beforehand so they won’t worry.
#10 Shut down unwanted texts. If someone DMs you with questionable motives, shut them down ASAP. Don’t even flirt with the idea. Let them know you are in a committed relationship and end it there. Even just a few messages can be a gateway to cheating.
#11 Delete risqué photos of anyone that isn’t your partner. Okay, if you have a sexy picture of Kim Kardashian or Idris Elba as your background, that should be fine. But if you still have racy photos of your ex or even a friend, delete them. Your relationship will be much better off without windows into the past or future temptations.
#12 Give each other space. Openness and honesty does not mean suffocating and obsessing. Don’t pry. You don’t have to know what the other is doing every minute of the day. You don’t have to read through each other’s texts and analyze everything.
#13 Don’t argue via text. This is a big one. Having a fight via text only makes things worse. The likelihood for miscommunications, misunderstanding, and even typos is so high. These things can escalate a fight so quickly. There is no clarity in texting. So, if you are on the verge of a fight, see each other in person, FaceTime, or at the very least talk on the phone. Hearing each other’s voices and seeing each other’s faces takes away a lot of misinterpretations.
#14 Put your phones down. When you are together, put your phones away. Not all the time, but be sure to have some phone-free time when you are together. Really focus on each other and be in the moment. However always having your phone away when you’re together can lead to suspicion. So try to create a balance.
#15 Hand them over. This may not be necessary for all couples. In fact, if the trust is there, you may not even consider it. But if you or your partner, or both of you are struggling, swap phones. Let your partner snoop right in front of you. It can seem counterintuitive to prove your loyalty and vice versa, but it can help to give each other peace of mind, especially if secrets have been kept in the past.