Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Ask Hilary."
I’ve been dating this Japanese guy for a month, and last night we stayed at a hotel together. He went to take a shower and left his phone, unlocked, on the bed. I don’t know why I did it, but I picked it up and clicked the home button. I went through his phone. He’s not cheating on me or anything, I checked his messages, but he had nothing personal at all on his phone. There weren’t even any photos of me, or of us together. It really hurt my feelings. He didn’t have anything about us on his phone — like, I don’t even matter to him. I put it down and tried to ignore it, but it’s still bothering me and I think he knows something’s up now. What do I do? – Feeling Hurt
Dear Feeling Hurt,
If anyone should be feeling hurt, it’s your boyfriend. You snooped on his phone when he obviously trusted you enough to a) not lock it, and b) leave it out in the open with you. You broke his trust by doing that and then gave yourself a complex in the process. That’s not something that a person in an honest, healthy relationship does.
This trend of snooping on your partner’s phone or checking their emails without their consent is toxic. While I can understand wanting to know if someone is cheating (especially if there are red flags about it), just looking through someone else’s property because you can isn’t healthy behavior. If you don’t want someone to judge you by what’s on your phone, then maybe you should leave their phone alone.
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