There are at least two sides to every story…

By Sharlene Emmanuel

Q: Is it ok to go through your partner’s phone?

He Says (Jones, 47): I guess it’s ok if you go through your partner’s phone, as long as you don’t mind your partner going through your phone. This is not a one-way street type of situation.  If this isn’t something that is mutually agreed on, then you can potentially have a lot of problems.

If your partner goes through your phone or vice-versa and there are numbers or contacts that they don’t recognize, then you need to be ready to answer some questions. On the flip side, you need to check your motive for wanting to go through your partner’s phone in the first place.

Are you just curious, being possessive or feeling insecure? If you’re going through your partner’s phone looking for something bad or to catch them doing wrong, then maybe you need to rethink your relationship with this person.

He Say She Say Afros

She Says (Holmes, 58): It depends on the type of relationship you have.  Some couples are very open with their phones; they answer each other’s calls and respond to each other’s text messages. With this type of situation, both partners feel comfortable, and they’ve established this norm for their relationship from the beginning.

It really boils down to respect for personal space. If your partner respects your space and doesn’t go through your phone, you should respect their space and not go through theirs. It doesn’t mean that they have something to hide or that you can’t trust them.

I think it’s similar to a woman’s purse.  Just because a woman doesn’t allow you to go through her purse, doesn’t mean she has something to hide. If you’re trying to go through your partner’s phone as a way to establish trust, then you need to start from the drawing board.

Sharlene Says: The widespread availability of cell phones has been both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s great to talk and text on-the-go, but these devices have created a whole host of issues for couples.  Cell phones have not only created trust issues but also dulled real-life romantic interactions on many levels.

If you and your partner are open and comfortable with sharing your world to include your contact list, then go for it. However, going through your partner’s phone as a way of snooping on them is never a good idea.  According to psychotherapist and relationship specialist Lisa Brateman, “oftentimes, people snoop because they feel like they need to fill in the blanks about what’s going on in their relationship.”

A trusting relationship starts with honesty and good communication. If you and your partner don’t have an open phone policy, then you need to respect their space and they should do the same.  If something doesn’t feel right, then ask questions.  Be upfront and honest about your concerns.  Remember, at the end of the day, actions always speak louder than words — or in this case, cellphones.

OTBSP Logo On the Beat St. PeteSharlene Emmanuel is the founder of On the Beat St. Pete, an online media and entertainment company that works to uplift the positive image of the black community in St. Pete. You can catch “He Say She Say LIVE” with On The Beat St. Pete at Rush Hour Restaurant and Lounge every second and fourth Friday starting at 7 p.m.  Have a “He Say She Say” question? Send us an email to get your question answered to

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