Sometimes curiosity kills more than the cat.
I have a girlfriend who works in finance… at least that’s what her business card reads. Truth is, she’s a professional snoop.
Every boyfriend she’s ever dated has been unknowingly subjected to a thorough investigation: email accounts are hacked, text messages are inspected, and occasionally on his boys’ nights she’ll indulge in a drive-by on her “way home from dinner”. We’d be forgiven for thinking this girl had gone insane, lost her mind and her self-respect- if only we could swear we’d never done a little snooping of our own- sometimes we may not even know it. Sure, you may not have cracked your man’s Gmail password or listened to their voicemail, but I’m afraid nonchalantly trolling through their Facebook inbox when they’ve forgotten to sign out because “you accidently thought it was your account”, or sneaking a peek at their recent call history while he’s in the shower, also count. Let’s face it- whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all (yes, myself included) got a little Snoop Doggy Dog in us.
According to a recent study, one in four women check up on their partners using the Net, with around 60% of women under the age of 35 admitting to either looking at a partner’s profile page or web history without their knowledge. Making us almost twice as likely as men to spy on their partners using the internet. So why do we snoop?
For the majority of women, playing sleuth only arises when our ‘feminine intuition’ suspects our partner is cheating. None of us want to make accusations without evidence, so we hunt around for concrete proof.
Take my friend Amanda, who, unlike most of us, freely owns up to her detective work. She claims that it’s a woman’s right to do her own fact checking, arguing that if you wouldn’t hire a new business partner without doing you duedilegence, why should it be any different which your life partner?
However, when the casual check up becomes all consuming snooping, there are bigger trust issues at play. For some girls, like my friend Amelia, it stems from a cheating Ex ten years ago who she discovered was having an affair with her best friend when she innocently borrowed her boyfriends phone and saw her missed calls. Today she snoops so she never has to go through that pain again.
While many of us don’t admit to playing “I Spy”, in truth, we’re a generation obsessed with it. From Facebook to Twitter revolution, it’s now possible to know exactly what (and who) everyone is doing 24 hours a day. From holiday snaps to relationship status updates to endless ‘tweets’ about what we ate for breakfast, we’ve gotten so good at spying on other people, most of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it since it all goes under the banner of “social networking”.
As voyeurism becomes not only an accepted part of society but a global obsession, it’s time to draw the line between healthy curiosity and deep seeded suspicion. Because while no one wants to be cheated on, no one wants to be spied on either. Paranoia and insecurity are a unattractive combination, especially if there is a computer involved. Just like everyone else, men need to feel trusted.
Since no relationship can survive lingering distrust, the problem with digging for dirt is you’re likely going to unearth something. And cheap adrenaline rush aside, deep down we know that playing ‘Natasha the Spy’ is mutually demeaning and ethically questionable.
That said, I believe that a woman’s intuition is a powerful thing and, if she truly feels something is up, it’s her right to do a little investigation (so long as it’s legal). But when you find yourself lying in bed planning your next undercover operation instead of what you’re going to do under the covers, something’s seriously wrong.
If you’re with a man who you can’t trust and doesn’t make you feel secure within the relationship, then it may be time to pack up your shoe-phone and dark shades and wave goodbye. However, if it’s men in general that you don’t trust, it’s time to stop investigating the poor fool lying next to you and start investigating ways to resolve your own trust issues from past relationships. Before they sabotages any chance of lasting love.
In the end, I’m as big a fan as any girl of the trench coat look, but it’s a heck of a lot more fun using it to seduce a man, than to spy on him.