Your partner is acting like he/she has a crush and you want to get to the bottom of it.

There’s no easy way to ask your partner who they are texting or to have a look at their phone. You are either wrought with fear, irritation or nervous energy. You may not want to act like an insecure person but it is killing you.

Nothing good can come from this situation unless it is their celebrity crush texting them back. In which case, you need to start shipping him/her with said celebrity (No?)

Here are the dos and donts of talking to a giggling or smiling partner whose attention is taken by someone in their phone.

1. Immediate confrontation

Yes, you are the victim of an incriminating text from an unknown number. But hold off confronting them when you are still angry, scared and heartbroken.

You will not listen or process what they say. Or they will try to calm you down without being honest.

As hard as it might be, wait until you are calm to confront the matter.

2. Forcing them to see their behaviour

It seems unfair but thank God they are doing it in front of you. If they don’t realise that they are crossing a boundary, don’t try to make them see that.

If you try to control it, you risk pushing the behaviour into hiding where it will continue.

Instead, tell your partner how you feel and encourage him/her to examine how they are conducting himself/herself.

3. Asking closed questions

Closed questions are short-sighted and have only two options as answers, “yes” or “no”. This will leave you with more questions than answers and your partner will not be able to see their behaviour.

Use and stick to open questions that he/she can answer freely and widely. They basically get him/her talking and thinking.

For example: “Why have you texted this person so many times in the past days?” , “How many of your other friends have you texted that many times?”, “What impact is this behaviour having on our relationship?”.

4. Debating

Talking over him/her as you get a reply for their behaviour will create a debate where you want to understand. Whether they draw the wrong impression from their behaviour, swallow the urge to interrupt.

Let them talk themselves out, and encourage them with an ocassional nod.

This way you can find out the extent of the damage and avoid missing out on anything that will inform a correct decision to move forward.

5. Not looking beyond the texting

The texting might signal underlying issues that your partner and/or you don’t acknowledge. The texting might be a cry for help where they feel like talking directly about the problem will not go well.

Look below the surface, at the rest of their life and your relationship to find out what is going on. Talk about what is working and what isn’t. After each party presents their opinion, then proper and negotiation can take place.

This way, you will not only avert a potential break up, you will also improve your communication and find new ground for the whole relationship.

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