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Is looking through photos snooping?


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This might sound a bit silly, but I think my boyfriend has lied to me...and I don't know whether to confront him over it or not.


In the early days of our relationship, whilst talking about past relationships, I asked him if he has ever been engaged. He said no. (I haven't been either.)


He is now in the process of moving in with me, and I knew that one of his boxes contained photos. Maybe I shouldn't have looked, but curiosity got the better of me...I admit that yes, I was hoping to see photos of old girlfriends - I know that he was with one ex for several years and I wanted to see what she looked like.


Anyway, I found some photos of what was obviously an ex - wearing a ring on THAT finger.


What gets me here is that he lied to me when I asked if he had ever been engaged. I can't expect him not to have had a past, but I do expect him to answer truthfully if I ask an innocuous question about it.


I would like to ask him why he lied - but then I obviously have to admit that I looked through his photos without asking first. Is looking through his photos that much of an invasion of privacy though? They are sitting in my house!


What should I do?

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Yes it's certainly an invasion of privacy. You don't get some sort of snooping discount for pictures rather than words I'm afraid.


I don't like snooping, but then I don't like lying either. Generally, I'd say the snooper takes the risk and if you come up with something conclusive then you're vindicated to some degree, and if you don't then you're in big trouble. Either way, the relationship suffers, which is why it's rarely a good idea.


A ring on THAT finger does not always mean engaged, you don't say whether or not the photo can be definitively dated from when they were together, and you don't know the reason why he said he hadn't been engaged. As such, this isn't much of a smoking gun I'm afraid, so I think if you bring it up, you're going to take more of a hit than he is. As such, you may just have to suck it up, and learn the hard way the perils of having a look through his private stuff. You could try to setup a "let's look at old photos" session if you're really desperate, but I'd strongly advise against it; it'll look staged in the first place, and you don't know what else you might come accross in the second. Let it go.

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I wouldn't do it. It's possible that they were engaged, but who cares? He's with you now. Some people don't like the idea of being with someone who was previously engaged. Maybe he lied because he thought it would bother you. I am not saying that lying is right, but in this case, maybe he was just trying to protect your feelings. I was engaged before, and I've told girls I've dated about it and it bothered them.

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I know many females who wear a ring on that finger, and its not an engagement ring.


But yes, you went through his things. It doesn't matter if its a journal, bag or a box...you went through it with intentions of finding something without him knowing. Its snooping.

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and you don't know the reason why he said he hadn't been engaged.


Exactly - what reason could he have had for not telling the truth when asked? We both have pasts, so I don't understand why he would have lied about it.


It just worries me that he can lie to me - what else may he have lied about?!

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It's not fair of you to assume that he's lied, and approaching your inquiry from that stance will create a problem, even if there might not be a problem yet.

Just come clean, and let him know you were peeking at his photos, and want to know who the girl in the pictures is, and what his relationship to her is/was.

Hear his answer out, and then see if you still have questions regarding the ring.

Sometimes a ring is just a ring, but if you feel suspicious, it can't hurt to ask.

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Were they cuddling in the picture, kissing.. I mean.. how do you KNOW it an ex?


Yep, they were cuddling in some of the photos...and there were some of her sat up in a bed. I'm 99.9% sure it's an ex!


I accept that he may have said he has never been engaged to try and spare my feelings. But he knows that I know that he has a past - as do I - so I still don't really get why he would have lied. :sad:


The main reason I looked is that he received a text out of the blue recently from an ex (and no, I wasn't snooping through his phone lol! I'd never do that. He told me) and I just wanted to see what she looked like.

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I had a 5 diamond ring on white gold on THAT finger throughout high-school as a promise ring. Even if it's not customary, you never know it could be. It also could be pictures of his friend's ex that he happened to have - either which way, what's the harm in asking him lightly "Oh who's this?" and going from there?


Relax, take a second for your passions on this to subside and then talk to him about it.

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Plenty of women wear rings on 'that' finger, including rings that could be construed as engagement rings, without being engaged. Sometimes it might be wishful thinking. It doesn't mean AT ALL that he lied to you.


I have to confess to wincing every time on here when I see someone who's snooped through their partner's private possessions, half hoping to find something that they can 'pin' on their partner, then jumping to all sorts of conclusions when there are plenty of other possible explanations. And getting upset about it.


I'd guess that even if he HAS been engaged before, which is by no means definite, any failure to tell you about it is because it's a mistake which he's put behind him and isn't relevant to his life with you. Just because his possessions are sitting in your house doesn't mean that you have the right to go through them, and it's a pity that you have because you've clearly been really shocked by this.


If you want to bring this up with him, leave it a while for your feelings to subside, and then ask if you can share his old photos with him - in his presence. If he doesn't want to, then you need to respect that. Otherwise, it might be a way of sharing which will bring you closer together rather than driving you apart - which seems to be a risk at the moment.

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Ya, i think you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.


In my relationship, before I was engaged, I wore a ring on that finger. It was not a promise ring nor an engagement ring. It was a ring given to me by my partner to represent her commitment to me. She wore one as well.


Im single now and still wear a ring on that finger. Im not taken or committed, I actually just enjoy wearing a ring on that finger.


Here is another perspective. My partner chose to wear a ring on that finger before we got rings. Perhaps its a personal preference? It doesnt mean it came from him and if it did, it doesnt mean he proposed to her.

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Gotta be honest here, I think there is acceptable snooping and unacceptable.


My ex boyfriend was living with his then girlfriend when he met me. We dated for a while before she and I found out. Longer than I care to admit. A lot longer. A year. All the while, he was spending her money on gifts, dates, trips to see me (I lived far away, which is prob why he was able to hide it from us). She went through some of this things, saying she waited so long because she didn't believe in snooping, and found pictures, letters, gifts from me.


I took him back (don't ask... please don't ask... I was like 19) and oddly enough didn't snoop for a long time (you'd think I'd have been paranoid/suspicious). But when I did, I found pictures of his exes (no big deal) and later texts from various other girls. Was it an invasion of privacy? Probably. But my current boyfriend and I go through each others stuff right in front of each other. We look at each others texts all the time. We don't hide things from each other, we tell each other everything.


The only "snooping" that I consider completely off limits are journals (deepest darkest thoughts are embarrasing and private) and former correspondences from exes (just because that's a recipe for hurt feelings and general disaster).


Just my two cents. My ex was pissed when I went through his pictures, even though there was nothing in them. Probably depends on the guy.

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It's snooping if you're going through stuff without his permission. I go through my boyfriend's photos/photo albums all the time but I already told him that I would look because I was curious about his life before me. He doesn't mind. You don't have to ask EVERY TIME you go through it, just the first would be enough, but if it's HIS stuff and you don't have permission, it's snooping.

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It's snooping if you're going through stuff without his permission.

I agree with this. I guess it also depends on the motivation behind it. Ask yourself "Would I be doing this with him watching me, without having asked him first?" If the answer is no, you wouldn't want him knowing you're doing it, and you wouldn't be prepared to ask - then it's snooping.


If you're in a relationship with somebody who's trustworthy then hopefully you wouldn't be tempted in the first place. I'm happy to share stuff with a partner, but I'd be very annoyed if they did it in my absence and without asking me first.


Unfortunately, things seen out of context can lead to all sorts of wrong conclusions and cause completely unnecessary hurt and rifts. To the OP - leave it a while, put it behind you if you can, and in time ask if you can go through the pics with him.

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