Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To Snoop or not to snoop? That is the Question


Right after college, I was sorta kinda semi-dating this guy who was older and far more "worldly" than me. I went by his apartment after work one day, his roommate let me in and then left. For the first time, I was in a man's domicile with no adult supervision. I looked around furtively and then said, "Oh what the heck." I ran into his room and started unabashedly snooping. O. M. G. I am not a prude (okay, I was a litttle prudish back then) but I had never seen such a collection of adult movies and "toys" in my life. And of course as I stood there trying to figure exactly what I was holding in my hand, he walked in. Paused and laughed at the expression on my face, "We like each other but I don't think we're at that level yet." I turned 45 shades of red. Then he told me what it was and I all but squeaked like a mouse and fled. He teased me about that for years. 

Lesson learned, right? NO more looking where I'm not invited. Except that...

The ex, Gene. He of the after midnight texting and random phone calls from random broads that he swore were just "friends" - yeah, him. Ladies, let me just say when you are soooo distrusting of someone that you wait until they hop in the shower to pounce on their cell phones and scroll through the texts and voice messages... just let it go. I was so determined to catch dude cheating (why? I already knew he was.); I turned into Horatio Caine round that joint. I was all but collecting DNA samples. Can you say, cray-zee? I really got to the point where I didn't like myself and then I got mad at him for putting me in the position where I felt I had to snoop and really it went all to hell after that.

Monday on Twitter I was reading someone's tweet about being in her man's apartment. She popped open his laptop and started scrolling through his pictures. She discovered an abundance of naked women pics. She retweeted one of the pictures and asked, "Who dis woman, Harpo?" Ruh-roh! From there she decided to peek through his medicine cabinets. Just watching her live tweet the crazy she found around his house brought it all back.

I've gotten to the point where I no longer want to know. Let me figure it out on my own. Cuz really, I don't want anybody rifling through my drawers. And I can just imagine what someone would think scrolling through my phone and laptop without context behind some of this stuff. Then again, I password protect the hell out of everything. 

Am I the only one who's heard the expression, "Don't ask the question if you don't want to know the answer?" Cuz that's what snooping really is. Asking questions you don't have the answers too. I ask you, BougieLand? Do you snoop? Is this just a chick thing or do guys snoop too? Who is tempted to just glance at the screen of the s.o.'s phone when it beeps at an interesting time? Are you a super sleuth when no one is looking? Do share...

63 comments:

Kimberly Foster said...

My emotional mind completely understands why you would snoop. People out here are shady. I know more than one woman whose man was living a double life while they were at home holding it down. Snooping might have helped them avoid wasting years on men who were only about themselves. On the other hand, these women saw plenty of signs before their men ultimately came clean. They simply chose to ignore them. Their stories might have been different had they been direct.

But ultimately relationships are about trust, and snooping, even when you don't expect to find anything, breaks that. If you feel like you need to play super sleuth, you should probably move on.

Michele said...

I'm a reformed super sleuth. I had to stop ... it takes too much time and emotional energy. I find now that more often than not information literally falls into my lap without me having to lift a finger. And for the record, men definitely snoop. I was the victim of a snooper and he ended up seriously getting his feelings hurt.

Micki said...

I was able to pop open the email account of "the last one". He had over 6,000 emails from the last FOUR YEARS of his life. Over the course of three weeks, I read every single sordid, recycled mack gamed, stanky fetish, half-truthed, soap opera detail of his life.

I am also the "Queen of Google." So, after cross-referencing, I was able to tell you the timelines, point the exes out in a crowd, AND invite everyone to a party with him as the guest of honor.

The relationship was already over. I knew this, but I needed confirmation that what I made the right decision. Everything that I thought was there in black and white. He has been trying to get back with me, but I don't want to confess what I know. Also, there are some things that you shouldn't know in a relationship.

OSHH said...

Not a snooper but if my intuition clues me in to something not being quite right, I have learned to trust that.

Tonda Williams said...

I'm not entirely sure when or where I developed my attitude but it is very simple and works perfectly for me. It is my man's job to ensure that every other person in his world respects me. If they don't my MAN clearly does NOT want to remain in a relationship with me. The same goes for me. It is MY job to make sure that every other person in my world respects my man. If I do not, I clearly don't respect him and should NOT be in a relationship with him.

In other words, IF I have to care, I should NOT be in a relationship with you. If I feel like I need to ask, I should NOT be in a relationship with you. If you are accepting late night calls or texts (unless of course you are a homicide detective or physician), with me is NOT where you should be.

Angel Blanca said...

I don't snoop, but I am VERY observant. I ask pointed questions with context so it requires context for response. Apparently, my disarming smile makes folks forget my formidable intelligence...

If the answers do not line up with observation, I begin implementing the exit strategy: first mental, then emotional, then physical. From what I've been told, it happens so gradually that it's not until afterward that folks realize what's happened. If I ever run into someone who recognizes this and doesn't let me get away with it, I'll know they are worth the effort to maintain the relationship. Otherwise, moving on...

Tonda Williams said...

but let me be clear, I spent several years working for a police department therefore my research and investigations are done BEFORE I agree to enter the relationship AND I hear everything that is said to me.

MichelleG said...

**ultimately relationships are about trust, and snooping, even when you don't expect to find anything, breaks that.**
^^this! I too used to snoop until I came to the realization above. Now I trust my instincts, see what is before me (not what I want to see with rose colored glasses)and act accordingly. I understand when young girls snoop but now that I'm in the 40+ club I feel sorry when older women (men) still haven't gotten it. If every man (woman) you meet is untrustworthy then something is wrong with YOUR interview process.

CaliGirlED said...

Don't do it!!! I learned that the hard way. If you feel the need to snoop, you already have your answer. And it could just be your insecurities and he's done nothing wrong. Either way, the relationship is in deep trouble.

I thought, I felt, I snooped, I found. Now what? I couldn't bring myself to admit to him that I had gone through his stuff! So I held on to that information not knowing how to get out of the relationship. What the hell? I will never torment myself like that again!...Update: He's not happy with her, he's not who she thought he was. *snickers*

One of my red flags is the tilt of the phone when it rings so that I don't see who's calling. Yep that raises my antenna! Especially when he's sworn that he's not seeing ANYBODY else.

Yes men snoop!

CaliGirlED said...

I'm not entirely sure when or where I developed my attitude but it is very simple and works perfectly for me. It is my man's job to ensure that every other person in his world respects me. If they don't my MAN clearly does NOT want to remain in a relationship with me. The same goes for me. It is MY job to make sure that every other person in my world respects my man. If I do not, I clearly don't respect him and should NOT be in a relationship with him.

GOLDEN!!!

Bethany Showell said...

I don't snoop - I've got other stuff to do with my time. If things ain't quite right they will always come to light one way or another. Lying people always trip themselves up - especially if you listen carefully and use your intuition. That's how I found out the last loser wasn't a nurse and didn't own two houses.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Guys snoop too. I've had boyfriends go through my phone, scrutinize my FB page, the whole nine. So not bougie, so not sexy.

There are two types of snooping: the We-just-met-and-I'm-being-nosy snooping (i.e. checking the medicine cabinet when you use the restroom) and habitual, I know-you're-up-o-n-good snooping. Most of us have done both. The latter is, unfortunately, a symptom of lack of trust. If you don't trust them, there really is no need to pull a Poirot impersonation. Especially if you aren't ready to bounce if you find what you are looking for.

J. Jackson said...

Nope, I don't snoop. I feel that if you have to snoop, you already know the status of your relationship... [cues in Boyz To Me "End of The Road"]. Snooping in my opinion takes WAY too much energy, energy I do not have.

I agree with the poster below about being super observant. I have a VERY good memory meaning I don't forget things. I'll admit I would be curious to check his cell phone if it rang early in the morning (say around 2:00am). Oh, and men snoop too!

J. Jackson said...

Haha, I agree with the tilt of the phone. That's a dead giveaway that things are not well...

Sarah said...

The first story is f-u-n-n-y. The second story, I'm glad you are not in that relationship any more and have hopefully gotten Gene entirely out of your system.

I can't think of a time when I have snooped. I thought about it for a minute. I'm a very private person so I respect others privacy. The only thing I have that I don't want people looking through are my financial and medical records. On the computer, they are password protected. The box in the closet, though, isn't hidden away. If somebody decided to start opening boxes in my closet, that person would be gone in a minute. It isn't that there is anything scary in there. It is just that unless I'm getting married to somebody, it is off limits. I learned years ago not to send any emails that I wouldn't be happy to have read in public. Emails can be forwarded. People can read things out of context and get mad.

I have been the object of a snooper, though, and I can tell you it is NO fun. The last boyfriend thought I was seeing another man. I wasn't, but he didn't believe me. He was forever checking my home phone or making 'surprise' visit to see if somebody was with me or calling me up and asking me where I was and what I was doing. Never again. It was suffocating and insulting.

GrownAzzMan said...

Before I begin...
"I was sorta kinda semi-dating this guy..." What part of the game is this????

Ok. I don't snoop. Period. Full Stop. What I need to know will be revealed. Or not. Like Chele said, what is information without context? I have seen it all though. Had my mail read. Had my email hacked. Had folks drive by at odd hours taking down license numbers. I.Have.Seen.It.All. Upshot is all of them are gone and I am perfectly happy with someone who does not feel the need to snoop. #Winning

thinklikeRiley said...

I ain't going through ya stuff but don't leave ya email up, Imma take a peek. Riley nosy.

baileyqc said...

Snooped, got my feelings crushed. I was clueless. Doubt I'll snoop again but I do know that itchy "something ain't right" feeling if it comes again.

Javalicious said...

Guys are notorious snoops. I used to look around but really, I don't have time for all that. Might as well just tell me, I'm going to find out anyway.

Brneyed1 said...

Am I the only one who's heard the expression, "Don't ask the question if you don't want to know the answer?" NOOO, I live by it. It has saved me much potential headache and heartache. Before I pose any question, I think of the worst possible answer I could get and then ask myself "can you live with this answer?" If I answer no, I don't ask the question.

As for snooping, when trust is lacking I don't think anyone is immune to the temptation to snoop. I've done it, I've had it done to me. I stopped cold turkey after I got my feelings hurt one time. And I would hope that if there's anything my guy wants to know about me he'd ask me and not go searching. There's no telling what he might find that may inadvertently hurt his feelings.

I don't hide anything in my relationship. That's not to say that I tell him everything either. But if he asks, I will be honest. I just hope he asked himself if he really wants the answer first.

TonTeezy said...

This hits home. I was a notorious snooper. I would find pointless evidence, we would argue, stay together. Which was really dumb. It was an addiction, an addiction that took too much of my time. From time to time I find myself wanting to be nosy, but have to slap myself back to reality. I wouldn't want him going through my stuff.

Natasha Hunter said...

Stopped snooping in the 11th grade. I've found "divine revelation" to work just fine. Plus, people get all crazy when they're snooping and don't find nothing. Start planting traps and stuff, lol...uh-uh too much work.

SingLikeSassy said...

At one point last winter once I knew Mr. SLS was cheating but he was supposed to be "working on us" I monitored our cell phone bill (which frankly, if I had been looking at it all along, I would have known much earlier that some ish was askew but hindsight and all that...). It got to the point where I had pulled out old phone bills and cross referenced times and dates with a calendar. And since I'm a former reporter and e'rything, I got me some addresses to go with the numbers....O_O

One day he was out supposedly at a gig and I looked at the phone record to see if he had lied and saw he had called one of the numbers I had flagged so I texted him the name and address and asked if that's where he and his ho was [deleted for the bougie eyes], cause I was on the way with plans to set.it.off.up.in.there. Dude was home before I could move my finger off the send button. Good times. Good times.

But, we are getting divorced so you can see how all that served no damn purpose other than to upset me, make me crazed and keep a lot of drama going. He moved out for real that day (there was a previous move that stuck for about a weekend) cause that's when I realized, this is all too much for me, I didn't get married to be doing all this ish and I need some peace. At that point my health was being impacted.

Now, today, I still have the passwords to many of his social media and financial accounts, BUT I don't use them. I figure ain't no good coming from that and all it will do is upset me and really, the jig is up now, so why go looking for ish to be upset about at this point?

SingLikeSassy said...

No you didn't whip out Hercule Poirot! Hahahaaa!

Tonda Williams said...

Believe it or not GAM, I recently had a guy start assuming and snooping, because I didn't interrogate him or snoop. REALLY? He behaved like a straight up FOOL and my response to him was simply, "I don't feel like caring THAT much. I have a life and too much to do". I agree that anything I've ever needed to find out has been revealed without prompting or snooping. Needless to say, HIS insecurities with MY security, earned him a very pretty PINK SLIP.

BUT-Imma need you to step ALL the way back from the Charlie Sheen quotes...*NOOOOOOOO, wall slide*

BlackButterfly said...

Ev'rything that Tonda Williams said!!!

In the relationships that felt like something ain't right I learned that my intuition is golden.

OneChele said...

We need a support group For Colored Girls who have turned CSI because suspicion is not enuf...

rozb said...

When will men learn that we are the best at what we do?

However, because I am a much calmer and Zen version f myself, I no longer snoop just so I can stay that way. Even when I was dealing with the jack of all asses I let my intuition do the talking, asked him questions in a way that made him think I knew something, then let him tell on himself.

Aahh...good times...

Evansaw said...

I think at different times in everyone's life, we may be tempted to snoop. I did not have a lot of privacy growing up, so I don't like going through people's things, but the older I get, the more I feel that a little snooping may be necessary. Not the all-out Gestapo approach, but if the computer screen is up, well.....

Evansaw said...

Me. Too.

JohnKinPDX said...

I don't know - I think once you have the feeling, you have to try and validate it. Sure you can ask the question straight out but if they are going to disrespect you by lying, you can disrespect them by cloning the cell phone. IMHO

kjnetic aka Peter Parker said...

sounds like snooping is merely a justification for one's instincts...but to acknowledge that you engaged in subterfuge to someone you are trying to build *trust* with...sounds kinda awkward. But i get it.
i'm pretty sure men snoop too, for the same reasons, i guess we do with with a 007 kinda style, lol.

*locks phone*

OneChele said...

Ha! Well that's honest.

OneChele said...

This right here: If you feel like you need to play super sleuth, you should probably move on.

OneChele said...

Not cloning the cell phone! Aw Lawd...

Jesse said...

If I'm suspicious, then I go hunting. Otherwise, I'm going to assume we're all good.

blackprofessor said...

This right here is the truth! Sometimes I have walked away from situations because "something" didn't feel right according to my intuition.

blackprofessor said...

I have never snooped before, not even when I was young and dumb in other ways with men. Snooping is way too much drama and I am drama averse.

I am analytical and observant so I pay attention to what men say and what they don't say; and connect all the dots when necessary. As I said below, I have left situations when something just didn't add up or feel "right" without looking back. The funny part is that a lot of people think I am crazy to leave situations without "evidence" of wrongdoing or foul play.

Grace said...

Walked in my house and the s/o had dumped all of my dresser drawers on the floor and was going through my nightstand. WDDDA? He said when I was doing laundry he thought he saw another man's boxers in with my clothes. And that's excuse enough? No. Cut. That very day. That has Stalker 101 written all over it

Pure Choco said...

She kinda put you in a position where you had to snoop. There was too much on the line to just wait for her to fess up.

Rob said...

Yeah when you get to the point where you don't trust what's being said to your face, don't wait on proof just get out. I don't miss those days at all.

Jasmine Girl said...

Here's the real question though - once you've been in a relationship where you felt you HAD to eyeball everything and second guess every word, how do you trust the next one? or two?

OneChele said...

Like anything else - Leap of Faith.

Justaweekday said...

Just last week I got a call from a snooping girlfriend of a co-worker.He loaned me his tax software and she went through his phone regarding the text converstaion. Whooped his tail in the shower and then called me to see if I was his co-worker and had borrowed his tax software smh.

MelaninEnriched said...

Hmm...good post. I've casually rummaged through my ex's papers and peeked at his PC. I just happened to be at his house unattended; I didn't find anything incriminating. However, my logical sense kicked in and decided that I didn't want to find anything and so I stopped looking, I"m definitely one of those "don't ask the question if you don't want to know the answer" type people. So I just stopped before I found something questionable that would make my imagination run wild.

SingLikeSassy said...

What did Anthony Anderson say? The CIA aint got S**T on a black woman with a plan. LOLLLLLLLL! And I was in there plotting and planning alllllll night and day for about two weeks. That ninja couldn't go to the store for a gallon of milk I wasn't on the AT&T website hitting refresh to see what he was doing.

THAT AIN'T NO WAY TO LIVE YO!

But part of the craziness was it just seemed so out of character for my husband, or at least the husband I thought I had. So I was having a hard time accepting the man I saw as the man I had (that's how I knew to give that advice last week).

rochee said...

I believe in snooping, sans negative inclination or not...call me crazy...I think that people take too many liberties with people's minds, bodies, and spirits. If you leave something out, I am going to look and see what is going on. Sign me up for the asylum.

taut_7 said...

i agree with you 100%. i've really only snooped once and i will always regret it. i learned a big lesson that day and lost a relationship that i'm sure would have ended soon anyway. i've been the victim of snooping and i promise no matter where the relationship goes from there (even if i was dead wrong) in the back of my mind you invaded my privacy. that's not cool.

Mony_Mony said...

I've only snooped once. I had been having the itchy "something aint right" feeling for months, and even asked him if something was wrong, which he denied. But then he left his email open on my computer. I didn't know what I expected to find, but it was beyond my wildest expectations.

Turns out ninja had another LONG DISTANCE girlfriend who he had visited (1) while I was out of the country for family stuff, (2) while he was with his family for the holidays (they thought he was meeting me when he borrowed their vacation house), and (3) when he went to her city for a music festival (he claimed he was staying with friends). Neither of us had a clue about the other. I immediately called her and confronted him, because I am the type who wants to know and will act accordingly. I eventually figured out that the ninja was lying to EVERYONE around him, and his family and friends (and her) still thought he was in grad school in one city when he had dropped out of that school after 2 weeks and had moved halfway across the country to where I was in grad school.

I haven't been in any relationships since then (right now I'm enjoying my freedom) but I do think that I'll be able to trust again. Even more importantly, I've learned to trust my instincts. If something just feels off, it probably is.

C Nelson said...

Is it snooping when he gave you the password and login in the first place? If it is, then I'm a repeat snoop; while my now-fiance was in the process of divorcing his ex and working out the arrangements with her, I occasionally eyeballed the emails just to make sure than what he was reporting to me and what he was saying to her were the same thing. Thankfully, that stage of our relationship is years in the past; once the divorce was final, I no longer felt the need to look. (And it goes without saying, but he was playing it straight.)

Before him, though, I truly snooped on only one person, and I cringe every time I remember it, because that was such a rotten time in my life, and I should never have let myself get to that point. I had reason to be suspicious, as it turned out, but I'm still not proud of going through his files; we were both young (he was younger than I was, even) and under extreme stress, and he was doing the best he knew how. Took me years to understand that -- knowing that he meant well didn't make it less hurtful at the time. But I made it harder than it had to be with the snooping; I'd've done so much better, and been so much kinder, to just let him go when I knew it was going wrong.

Carey Jackson said...

easier said than done

BrendaKay said...

I have a very good friend who currently going through all manner of "h*ll breaking loose" because of snooping. Many years ago, another dear friend lost her life after snooping through her husband's things, confronted him about what she found and in a fit of rage, he shot her dead.

I do not snoop. If things aren't adding up, I'm willing to give that person an opportunity to explain himself. If that explanation doesn't make any sense or the doubts continue, then I'm gone. Life is too short to waste it playing unpaid detective over a man or a woman who you know deep in your heart is simply not worth all the stress and heartache.

Only the Tall said...

When you take the time to get to know someone as a person not a boyfriend, lover, husband, you won't have to snoop.

GammasWorld said...

I was in a relationship where my gut was speaking to me big time, but I didn't want to trust myself. I snooped, confirmed what I knew, didn't want to let on that I knew by snooping so did some interrogation that puts Brenda Lee Johnson (The Closer) to shame and got my confession. I did all that for what? To prove that "you can't play me"? To prove that I could "win"? To torment myself? Imma go with tormenting myself cause that's all I got out of it. If you're at the point where you feel the need to go straight CSI, then your instincts have already warned you about something. Listen to your gut. I'll never do it again. Not because I'm not curious but because I'd rather be curious about what my next partner thought about this book/movie/news story than some old mess his shadiness has already proven.

JaymeC said...

I'd have to disagree on this one. People change, people show you what you want to see. Even if you get to the core of them, there may a layer you're missing. I don't advocate snooping but having dealt with some cases of fraud and physical harm, a little bit of covert intel would've aided the situations. You don't know what you don't know.

J. Jackson said...

Wow, that's a lot. I'm glad that you dropped that zero.

This: "If something just feels off, it probably is". TOTALLY AGREE! As people we have to trust our intuition.

CaliGirlED said...

"It was an addiction..." It definitely can become one, people don't realize!

CaliGirlED said...

Did you say "jack of all asses"? D.E.A.D.

CaliGirlED said...

Wowser!!!

CaliGirlED said...

Like I said yesterday, some people show you the heart they want you to see and not the one that's really there. (Or something like that).

.tisha said...

This post brings back times that I do not like to think about. Gah.

I have definitely snooped. Wouldn't do it again for all the money in the world. Having grown past that incident, I've learned a lot about myself and PEOPLE in general; not just men.

The most important thing I've learned is to trust when Spirit is speaking to me. Will never doubt His voice again. For far too long I chose to act as though things that were right in front of my face were different than what they were. Now? I'm the Queen of the Uncomfortable Conversation. I might not like it. I might not like what it says about our relationship. I might not like how it could end. But what I have learned that I like much less is the woman I almost turned into because I was scared to call a spade a spade.

#TeamNoFear

.tisha said...

True. You're absolutely right. But...what's the alternative? To never have a meaningful relationship with a man of integrity and valor (they do exist)? To tire yourself out looking for things that aren't there? I mean....my testimony about what I endured in my marriage, how it ended, why it ended, could (and has) bring people to tears. I have every reason to NEVER trust any man other than my Daddy and my Grandfather as long as I live. I put that on EVERYthing.

And...I suppose I could chose to live that way. But I'd be missing so much! It's just not worth it. To me. I instead elect to employ all of the wisdom and strength I've gained from the combination of all my hurts and take that step Chele mentioned--with a man deserving.

Stank_0 said...

I'm a big privacy advocate, let's get that out of the way. I let my ex have access to my email (big mistake) and she went on a fishing trip. Well, when you go fishing you'll find something. She latched onto a Gchat convo where a friend said something and I didn't immediately shoot down the thought.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't completely innocent (although I was at the time). Honestly, the only thing that incident taught me was to be more careful.

I presume if I have suspicisions, I'll ask flat out questions or just leave, but I haven't been in the situation yet.

My last relationship, my ex could have been cheatin, I really have no idea and I don't even sweat it. If she was then so be it.

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