In today’s video, I wanted to respond to a question: “How do I resist the urge to snoop through my partner’s phone?”

So: how do you stop snooping through your partner’s phone?

Zachary Stockill: First off, be sure you’re addressing the source of these feelings, the source of this impulse to snoop through your partner’s phone, rather than just addressing the practical mechanics of how to go about avoiding this situation.

Your impulse to go snooping through your partner’s phone represents some kind of fear. Fully identifying your fear, calling it out, and becoming conscious of exactly what it is you’re afraid of, is one of the most impactful steps you can take toward conquering that fear.

Now, it’s not going to solve your problem overnight. But it’s an absolutely essential step to get very clear about what it is you’re afraid of.

Maybe you’re afraid that you simply can’t trust your partner, maybe you’ve been cheated on in the past, maybe your partner has cheated in the past. That’s certainly one possibility.

Maybe you feel like you’re not good enough for your partner. And if you go snooping through their phone, you’ll find confirmation that they’re fooling around behind your back. Maybe they’re confirming to you that you’re not good enough for them. These are a couple of possibilities, there are a million more.

But my most important suggestion is to become very clear on exactly what you’re afraid of in this situation. My second piece of advice would be to get clear about whether this is irrational jealousy or intuition.

Now, if you’ve identified that your jealousy is in fact, mostly or even entirely irrational, that’s an important and powerful first step that you can take toward overcoming it. And when I talk about getting to the source of this problem, all the advice in this channel is equally applicable.

All of the advice in my online courses in my books, irrational jealousies are often complicated beasts to tackle, but I believe it’s absolutely worthwhile. It’s important to tackle it and to start getting a handle on this problem as soon as possible.

In terms of practical tips to avoid snooping through your partner’s phone, number one on my list is to take the option away from yourself. Simply do not give yourself the option.

For example, when I’ve dealt with this in the past, I do remember feeling this impulse to snoop through my partner’s phone, I would see my ex-girlfriend’s phone lying around, and I just wouldn’t even give myself the option. It’s like, “Zach, no, that’s simply off the table. Don’t even go near the phone.” If you have to, leave the room.

When it comes to overcoming jealousy, be incredibly disciplined with yourself. You can watch all the motivational videos on YouTube, you can absorb as much as my content as you want or anyone else’s content. Read books, take online courses. Do whatever you need to do. But at the end of the day, if you’re not being disciplined with yourself, there’s nothing anyone else can do to help you. At the end of the day, you are alone facing this issue in certain moments.

This becomes easier when you give yourself a few practical aids. One of these can be if you have your partner’s key code for their phone, ask them to change it. If they ask you why you’re asking them to change their phone, you can simply say something like, “I noticed you’re entering it one day, and now I know it, I’d just rather not, it’s kind of weird for me. So maybe you can change your passcode on your phone.”

A lot of couples share technology, phones, and social media accounts. Obviously, if that works for you, you do you and that’s great. But I’m a big believer in personal privacy.

If I found my partner going through my phone, how would that make me feel?

Number one, it is probably just kind of unattractive because my partner would be demonstrating that they don’t have a lot of confidence. They don’t trust me, which in itself is unsexy and unattractive. This can be helpful trying to put yourself in your partner’s shoes, asking yourself how would make you feel if you found your partner going through your phone.

And coming back to this idea of self-discipline, if you have a brain that is predisposed to obsessive tendencies when you see your partner going on their phone when you see them swiping or taking their phone and doing things on their phone, just look away. Don’t even give yourself the option to see a random name on their phone and start to obsess and build this crazy fantasy story about who that name is and who they’re texting that likely has no grounding, no basis in fact.

Let’s say this is your strategy for getting to the bottom of your fears and suspicions about your partner: you’re going to keep snooping through their phone, and you think this is the way to know if they can be trusted. It’s a lousy practical solution. And it’s a terrible long-term strategy.

As I often say, unless you are chained, literally chained to your partner 24/7, observing their every move, never leaving their side, there is no way to be 1,000,000% certain that you can trust your partner. And that sounds harsh, but it’s simply true.

In relationships, we have no other choice than to trust people until they give us a reason not to trust them.

This is my belief, and if you don’t like it, that’s absolutely fine. But this is what works for me. I have faith in this principle is that if my partner is being shady, and doing things behind my back that are not okay, the truth will rise to the surface without a whole lot of digging or investigation on my part.

All these kinds of nonsense behaviors are just a waste of time and fundamentally impractical, lousy long-term solutions.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.