By Katie Parsons for GalTime.com
Intuition is the first intangible warning sign of infidelity, but should people rely on their gut feelings alone? How can you know if you're sensing infidelity in a relationship or simply overreacting?
Daniel Gomez is a private investigator and TV personality who has worked on the reality show Cheaters. He's also written the book Play to Win that gives couples advice on how to deal with a cheating partner and end up winning the hand. There are a few telltale signs of cheating, he says, and they differ between men and women.
Red Flags that HE is Cheating
Gomez says that men are masters of disguise when it comes to cheating and go out of their way to hide affairs. Some signs that point to a cheating man include:
1. A dip in sex drive. When a man is interested sexually in another person, his desire for his spouse or significant other may wane.
2. Changes in appearance. A man who's trying to impress a new love interest may spend more time at the gym, buy new clothes or spend more time worrying about his overall appearance.
3. Missing money. If there's money in the household budget that is unaccounted for, it could point to cheating -- particularly if it's untraceable through credit or debit card records.
4. Tight grip on cell phone. A man who's engaging in infidelity may suddenly add a lock passcode to his phone and keep it firmly in his possession. "I had one client whose husband slept with his cell phone locked, under his pillow," recalls Gomez. This paranoia is a sure sign that he's hiding something on his phone.
5. Car changes. If there's unaccounted mileage, receipts or belongings in a man's car, he could be cheating and keeping the evidence out of the house. Another red flag: a passenger seat moved to a different position.
Red Flags that SHE is Cheating
Because the ways that men and women cheat differ, guys often miss some of the signs of infidelity in their wives, fiances and girlfriends. Gomez says that when it comes to women, the ways they cover up cheating include:
1. Extra time with "girlfriends." While men try to cover their tracks, women worry more about the back story of their cheating ways. A common sign that Gomez sees of cheating in women is when they suddenly spend a lot of extra time with girlfriends -- or at least say that they are. "I've even seen people stopping at a girlfriend's house at the end of a date and then posting pics of them together on Facebook," says Gomez. "Maybe they see the friend for 10 minutes only, but they work hard to make it look like they've been with that person the whole time."
2. Increase in exercise. While men tend to focus on overall appearance, women are pretty gym-centric when it comes to cheating. It could be a meet-up place for a new love interest or could simply reflect the woman's desire to look her best for her new suitor.
3. New email accounts. Women work harder than men to cover their cheating tracks. Instead of simply hiding or deleting emails, women are more likely to create an entirely new account for email communications with a significant other and then not share that address with anyone else. "Women tend to spend more time planning out cheating, and aren't as likely to encounter one-night stands," says Gomez.
4. Girls nights out. Of course not every woman that goes out on the town with her girlfriends is prowling for men, but if these outings happen often -- and suddenly increase -- cheating could be the reason.
If you suspect your partner of cheating, Gomez says it's best to collect the proof before any confrontation. "Without evidence, you can't prove it. And you may cause him or her to be even more cautious about their cheating," he warns. "Once the person knows you're onto him or her, that makes it harder for you, and investigators like me, to find the proof."
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