Most of us tend to give our partners the benefit of the doubt as far as fidelity goes. But the truth is, signs of cheating do exist. In fact, according to a 2016 survey, one in four married and cohabiting young adults admitted to cheating, while only half confess.
The following indicators aren’t meant to be alarmist—almost all of them can have alternate explanations—but if your gut is really trying to tell you something, they could prove useful.
Your relationship started as an affair
For some people, there is some truth to the saying “once a cheater, always a cheater.” John, 44, says he should’ve seen it coming when he got into a relationship with a married woman. “We were good in bed together, but she enjoyed being good in bed with others, too, apparently.”
They regularly accuse youof cheating
Beyond being classic projection, this tactic serves two purposes, says Healing Infidelity Coach Caroline Madden, LMFT. It puts you on the defensive so you don’t have the chance to consider the opposite possibility, and it makes them look so anti-cheating that they couldn’t possibly do it to you. It could also be a genuine reaction to them realizing that since they got away with cheating, you probably could too.
They’re taking out a lot of cash
Cheaters often use cash when they take their secret partners out so that their S.O.’s can’t track where they’ve been, says Rhonda Milrad, founder and chief relationship advisor of Relationup. But if you share a financial account, what you can track is a spike in ATM withdrawals.
They’ve suddenly got new sex moves
Of course, it’s possible they’ve just been doing their research—in which case, great if you’re into it—but other signs of cheating combined with a very noticeable change in sex routine could mean they’re picking up those new techniques from someone else and discovering new things they like, says Milrad.
They’re suddenly hyper-critical of you
Cheaters will sometimes try to justify their actions by making their relationship out to be so bad that they had no choice, explains Madden. She typically sees this happen in situations where the cheater feels they’re in love with their cheating partner, since they have a sense that their affair is happier than their relationship.
Your typical relationship issues seem to disappear
Madden’s clients are often surprised to find their partners are cheating because they thought everything was going well around the time the infidelity started. But sometimes, the reason things are looking up is that the needs that weren’t met in the relationship are being met elsewhere.
They’re paying more attention to their looks
If your S.O. is once again hitting the gym, buying new underwear, or taking a newfound interest in shopping, they could be in an early stage with someone else, says Madden.
They forget what stories they’ve told you
If your partner frequently starts stories with, “Did I tell you this already?” it could mean they’re having trouble keeping track of multiple confidants, says psychologist Colleen Long, PsyD.
They’re confiding in you less
Becoming less inclined to discuss problems with you could be a sign that your partner’s been venting to someone else, says Long. Even if they’re not sleeping with anyone else, this could point toward emotional cheating.
They keep strict tabs on your schedule
Lauren, 33, says her ex started to ask when she was coming home from work more often when he was cheating. Now, she sees he was trying to figure out when he and his cheating partner would have the place to themselves.
They have random new interests
“My ex had been content to listen to about eight songs, total, during our entire time together,” Julie remembers. “A bunch of new CDs without any writing to identify their contents—and a sudden interest in a whole host of new music—was due to the influence of this new partner.” Attachment to a particular place can especially be a giveaway: Julie’s ex insisted on joining a gym because of a climbing wall when he didn’t even climb. It turned out his secret girlfriend was a member.
Cheating was accepted in their family
Looking back, John thinks his ex’s parents should’ve been a clue. “She came from a family where her mother and father both cheated on each other and she told me that,” he says. “But her parents were still married. So they set an example for their daughter to follow.”
They get irate when you try to confront them
Someone who hasn’t cheated will likely have a good explanation for their suspicious behavior and do what it takes for you to feel confident. A cheater, however, may get defensive because you’ve blown their cover, says Milrad. “It is very common for cheaters to deflect responsibility and get irritated by your questions. They often try and shut you down and even criticize you for being too controlling or suspicious.”
The end of the year is here, and you want to do something fun to celebrate, but none of your friends is available. What are you going to do?
Don’t start stressing just yet. Bringing in the new year on your own doesn’t have to be a depressing alternative. There are tons of things that you can do solo that will still leave a smile on your face.
The list below highlights just some of the options available to you if your friends can’t make it out with you. Figure out which one matches your personality and give it a try. You can even roll a few of the suggestions together to bring some variety to your night. Before you know it, the clock will be hitting midnight, and you won’t want to stop what you’re doing.
11 Ideas for Celebrating New Year’s Eve on Your Own
Go Out on the Town Anyway
Have a Movie/Television Series Marathon
Redecorate Your Living Space
Write Letters to Your Friends and Family
Set Goals for the Upcoming Year
Travel to a Special Destination
Play Your Favorite Video Games
Start Reading a Good Book
Work on an Arts and Crafts Project
Host a Hangout With Other Friends
Give Thanks and Go to Bed Early
1. Go Out on the Town Anyway
So you’re home alone on New Year’s Eve. Who says you can’t get dressed up and go out anyway? Bars, clubs, and other venues will still be packed with people ready to party the night away.
Sure, it’s always fun to have your closest friends around for nights like these, but the likelihood of running into someone you know is still pretty high. Even if you don’t, you may just start off the new year by meeting a new group of friends.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you head out:
Make sure you’ve arranged for a safe trip to and from the party. Free cabs and shuttle buses are usually readily available.
Have fun, but be cautious. Your friends are usually the people who watch out for you on nights like these. Make sure you are extra careful with strangers if you don’t have someone to watch your back.
Try sticking with familiar venues. This may increase the chance that you run into someone that you know during the night.
2. Have a Movie/Television Series Marathon
If you do decide to stay home, not much beats relaxing on the couch and watching television. New Year’s Eve can be the perfect time to catch up on television episodes you missed during the year or movies that you don’t mind watching over and over again.
As a matter of fact, between your personal DVD collection, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, it shouldn’t be difficult to create your own television marathon. You may get so involved watching a movie that you completely forget the ball dropped at midnight!
Before creating your own movie marathon, consider the following tips:
Come up with an entertaining theme.This can range from Star Wars night to a Lord of the Rings showcase. If you like horror movies, come up with a list of the scariest ones you haven’t seen yet. If TV shows are your thing, watch your favorite episodes from your favorite show (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire,” etc.).
Come up with creative snack foods to eat during the marathon and in between shows. If you don’t feel like cooking, call ahead to your favorite restaurant and see if they offer any sort of party platter.
3. Redecorate Your Living Space
Have you been meaning to reorganize your house for the whole year? Maybe it just looks like a war zone inside. No matter the reason, New Year’s Eve presents the perfect time to get your home looking beautiful again.
Your renovation project can be as large or small as you want it to be. It can be as simple as sorting/recycling a stash of old magazines or hanging new photos throughout the house. You can even use the time to trim down on some of the old clothes hanging inside your closet. The list of DIY activities available to you is endless!
Should you choose to put your home first, here are a few ideas that may help you:
Focus on a specific room or area within your house. Trying to take on your whole living area at one time can be intimidating, and it may end up leaving you feeling defeated at the end of the night.
If your projects involve moving furniture, make sure you use furniture sliders. You can even make your own by cutting small squares made out of cardboard. Just slide them under the corners of your furniture, and you can move them around without needing another person’s help.
4. Write Letters to Your Friends and Family
The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on what you have done and share your accomplishments with your friends. Rather than meeting up with them for drinks or sitting in front of Facebook all night, try breaking out a pen and paper and writing them an actual letter.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas:
Use the time to come up with an annual update. Let your friends know about everything that happened every month throughout the year and what you plan to do in the upcoming year as well. If you have a chance, include some photos of yourself that your friends can put up in their homes.
If a handwritten update seems daunting, send a short email instead.Everyone loves getting real snail mail that isn’t related to bills, but if you can’t handle writing your update, then at least take a few moments to email your closest friends and family. It can keep open the lines of communication and possibly help you start planning for next year’s New Year’s Eve activities!
5. Set Goals for the Upcoming Year
New Year’s is the time of making resolutions. While some people hate the thought of making them, others see the beginning of the year as the perfect time to start working on a new goal.
One of the things that people remember the most about resolutions is how often they fail. Many times, this is due to a lack of good planning. Why not use New Year’s Eve as a time to set up your goals and make plans to accomplish them?
A few things to remember about making goals for the new year:
Be realistic. It’s OK to think big, but think of all the little goals that lead up to the big one. Not only will you be more likely to accomplish the small goals, but you’ll also be motivated by your success.
Consider your support system. Don’t just focus on your goals. Think about the people that are going to help you get there. Everyone has days that they don’t feel motivated. Often, these lead to people giving up on their resolutions completely. Figure out who your personal cheerleaders are so they can give you that extra boost of energy on those days.
6. Travel to a Special Destination
Have you been waiting all year to take a vacation? Has Vegas been on your mind for a while? Disney World, maybe? Possibly even the Caribbean? Instead of waiting for friends or family, just go for it!
Pros: It may actually be easier on you financially to just pack up and go by yourself. Rather than having to book multiple airline tickets and larger hotel rooms, you can just set out on your own personal adventure.
Cons: The most difficult part about this option is waiting too late to schedule your trip. Most people don’t plan on being alone in advance. Luckily, there are a ton of travel sites out there, and even the major airlines offer package deals that may still be available at the last minute.
7. Play Your Favorite Video Games
Let’s face it: Playing video games is an acceptable way of life. Kids play them. Adults play them. Even some grandparents are out there playing them. Whether it’s on the Xbox, PlayStation, personal computer, or even the smartphone, people are out playing games somewhere.
At first glance, it may seem antisocial to stay in and play video games, but it doesn’t have to be. Many games offer multiplayer options in which you can connect with other players from around the world. Just be sure to take frequent game breaks, especially at midnight.
Even if you decide not to play with/against other players, there are quite a few games on the market that offer single-player campaigns that can keep you busy for the whole night.
8. Start Reading a Good Book
Not long ago, there was a statistic circulating that the percentage of college students that never read another book after graduating was 42%. While the number seems high, it isn’t totally shocking. It seems that lack of free time and the availability of information over the Internet have finally caused people to put down their books and forget to pick them up again.
With that being said, a quiet New Year’s Eve at home is the perfect time to dive into that book you’ve been meaning to read all year:
Get comfortable. Find yourself a cozy corner of the house, break out a warm blanket, and maybe even throw on some subtle background music.
By the time New Year’s Day comes around, you may be ready to make reading a permanent part of your life again!
9. Work on an Arts and Crafts Project
For those people with a creative side who don’t like being idle, an arts and crafts project might be the best way to spend the evening.
Start out by looking around your home and finding a spot that could use some extra character. Then set out to find a project that will turn heads the next time you have company. It could be a new charcoal drawing, a refinished piece of old furniture, or newly painted pieces of pottery. No matter what you decide, take the time to put your own flair into it.
If you need ideas, here are a few ways to get inspired:
Try checking out a few craft books from your local library.
Browse through Pinterest to see what other people have made.
Take a walk through a craft store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
It won’t take long for you to find something to do, and you can show it off for years to come.
10. Host a Hangout With Other Friends
So you decided to stay in for the night, but it’s a definite possibility that some of your friends made the same choice. If so, break out your laptop, tablets, or other devices and have a New Year’s Eve Google Plus Hangout party.
Google Hangouts allows you to connect with your friends and family through video calls over the Internet (similar to Skype). You could get your whole crew together and celebrate without even being in the same house.
While it may not be the same as going out to your local bar or club, you could make it as crazy as you want it to be—the sky is the limit! Fun ideas include the following:
Share stories about the past year.
Play drinking games.
Listen to music.
Watch the same movie.
11. Give Thanks and Go to Bed Early
The easiest option on the list may actually be the most appealing one. After a year full of running around, maybe you just want to wind down and get a full night’s rest.
Make the most of your restful evening with these tips:
Relax. Prior to calling it a night, you could enjoy a glass of wine, a nice relaxing bath, and some soothing music. Find your favorite ways to pamper yourself before climbing into bed.
Reflect. Before you fall asleep, take a moment to reflect on the past year, and then get ready to tackle a new one the next morning.
However you choose to spend your New Year’s Eve, don’t let being alone prevent you from enjoying it.