Is It Ever Okay to Read Your Significant Other's Texts and Emails?
A new survey conducted by the online dating site OurTime.com has found that a lot of you believe checking your significant other's texts and emails is perfectly acceptable. In fact, 37% of women and 29% of men polled said spying is reasonable if you suspect "bad behavior."
When broken down into age groups, 36% of the 18-34 demographic agreed, while only 26% of those over 55 did.
Let's rewind to a time when texting wasn't a thing and there were no iPhones to put passcode locks on, anyway.
About 10 years ago, we fell in love for the first time as a grown-up. His skin smelled toasted, like chocolate chip cookies, and his hair was the color of deep gold from working outside. He looked like a Greek god, brought us coffee spiked with cinnamon and bought us bourbon. Trying desperately to protect ourselves from this thing that was clawing at our stomach and headed for our heart with alarming speed, we talked to some other boys. We wrote about them all in our journal.
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Within eight months, there were no other boys and it was full-blown love with the Greek god.
A year passed and things were so good, we were mulling over the idea of marriage for the very first time in our lives. Then we came home from work one day to find him stunned. "I read your journal," he said. Even though we hadn't been officially "together" at the time and even though we'd never slept with (or even come close to that) any of the other guys, he was devastated and broke things off.
Ask most people if he were in the right or wrong, and they'd say wrong. Keeping a diary is a little bit of an antiquated practice these days, maybe, but very few people would deny that reading someone's personal journal is a violation of privacy.
The same goes for texts and emails, no matter how suspicious you are of your partner's "behavior." Forget the moral dubiousness of the act. Opening a physical mailbox and removing a letter not intended for you is illegal. Since most communication is no longer sent via post these days, shouldn't the same now apply to electronic means?
Forget that, even. If you're so suspicious of someone you're sharing a bed with that you would spy on them, just break it off -- why be with someone you doubt so strongly, anyway?
Our first instinct to our boyfriend's reading our journal had been rage, and righteously so. To have had our privacy so thoroughly disrespected still smarts all these years later, and never again have we been so free in keeping a journal -- a serious impediment in our line of work.
A few years ago, we borrowed our boyfriend's laptop to check our email. His mail was still open to a note from friend of his (who happens to be a supermodel, NO BIG DEAL). We closed the computer without reading it.
No, of course we read it. And yes, she was flirtatious and suggestive. We closed the computer and never mentioned it.
If you want to dig around for dirt, fine. But if you find something you don't like, it's your fault. Don't expect your partner to wash your hands for you.
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