By Richard Craig
Sneaking a peek at your date’s smart phone? We have all done it, and I am guilty too.
It first happened when Stephanie sunk into my spa, cuddled up to me and asked, “Who’s Jeannie?” Fortunately, Jeannie was a professional colleague who had just sent an email. An email that could only have been read by opening my PC, opening my email, and reading it. I’m not too quick, so I did not figure this out until an hour after my spa partner left.
Then I did the same thing. Patricia and I lived together and it was rocky from the start – lots of fun family dysfunction and we struggled to get our sea legs together. Then she took off to the store one day and her computer was open. I logged into her personal blog (more like a diary) to find a private journal saying to herself that she never should have moved in with me, that it was wrong and a mistake, and that our plans to marry were only for her financial security. So, of course I never said anything to her and I headed to my therapist.
What I learned was that we should never, never, never read each others phone messages, emails, or private writings. If you are tempted, I learned, this is more about your dysfunction that theirs. Snooping into another’s private communications is perhaps the most intrusive and corrupt way to violate your partner without physically touching them.
Electronic snooping is often referred to as virtual stalking. I have seen, and been in relationships, that could have been great if the temptation to sneak a look at the private communications was not done. You either trust or you don’t. If you need to sneak-a-peak, then you simply don’t trust them. If you stumble onto something, almost like going into the restaurant and seeing your lover at dinner with your neighbors wife, that is one thing. But to set out to find evidence of something sucks. And, keep in mind, electronic communication represents only the narrowest perspective of a much wider story.
What do I suggest?
Put a password on all your electronics and don’t share it. Turn your phone off or leave it in your car. Don’t give temptation a chance.
And then call your therapist like I did.