What Your Partner’s Search History Reveals About Your Relationship

Whenever we use a search engine, such as Google, the words we type in are collated by focused programs, producing a picture of the most common searches. By analyzing the monthly data, we’ve found some startling discoveries about the topics men and women search for regarding relationships.

Take the following example:

As we can see, every month on Google, 16,000 searches by women are for ‘is my boyfriend cheating?’, and only 500 men are looking for the equivalent term. 

However, if we look at the same keywords but relating to husband/wife, it shows a very different picture: 


In married relationships, the worry that the other partner is cheating, then, is roughly equal as far as search trends go. 

So why is it that 97% of searches for ‘is my boyfriend/girlfriend cheating?’ are conducted by women, whereas ‘is my husband/wife cheating?’ is split almost evenly between the genders? 

Although this data doesn’t point to any conclusive evidence, it provides insight into how men and women use Google e.g., that women will use Google to search for answers to questions relating to their partner’s infidelity, whereas men are far less likely to. It also suggests that after marriage, both men and women are equally likely to suspect their partner of being unfaithful.

Another question frequently asked is ‘why do women/men cheat?’ alongside ‘why do married women/men cheat?’. ‘Why do men cheat?’ is getting 9,600 searches per month, whereas by including the ‘married’ proviso, rates drop dramatically to 1,400.

The ‘why do married men cheat?’ searches and the ‘is my husband cheating?’ statistics are very similar (1,400 and 1,300, respectively). This could suggest that women gain a sense of security from being married as the figures are low compared to searches for similar terms using ‘boyfriend’ instead of ‘husband’. It may also indicate that any signs of being unfaithful are less noticeable or that worries just don’t manifest as Google searches. 

When it comes to cheating itself, again, Google searches revealed some telling data. 

As with much of the data, there is a marked difference between the genders, with 60 searches for men asking why their girlfriend cheated on them, and 250 women asking the same about their boyfriends. 

Google Search Searches per Month
is my wife cheating 1,600
is my husband cheating 1,300
is my girlfriend cheating 500
is my boyfriend cheating 16,000

It has been well established that women engage in rumination more than men, and this data seems to back that up, with women more likely to search Google for answers. Related to this is the more reflective ‘why did I cheat on my girlfriend/boyfriend?’. This has 150 searches by men, and 350 by women.

Google Search Searches per Month
why do women cheat 3,400
why do men cheat 9,600
why do married women cheat 200
why do married men cheat 1,400
why did my girlfriend cheat on me 60
why did my boyfriend cheat on me 250
why did i cheat on my girlfriend 150
why did i cheat on my boyfriend 350

If we go right back to the start and look at the searches relating to finding a partner, 29,000 searches by men were asking how to find a girlfriend, whereas 12,000 were women wanting to know how to find a boyfriend.

Google Search Searches per Month
how to get a girlfriend 29,000
how to get a boyfriend 12,000

The reverse of our previous data, men were conducting more than twice the number of Google searches as women. This could suggest several things:

  • Going by the subject matter, it could be assumed that the age group is younger than the groups searching for questions on marriage or infidelity
  • This data may indicate that men are unsure what women are looking for in a partner and that they feel more able to ask Google than their friends
  • It could also demonstrate that men who consider themselves ‘macho’ are afraid of rejection following the backfiring of the patriarchy 

The other data displayed relates to talking to your boyfriend/girlfriend, with 21,000 searches by men wanting advice on what to talk to their girlfriends about. The number of women searching for the equivalent is so low that it doesn’t even show on the graph at just 40. With this vast discrepancy, we double-checked the data, and the figures are stable for the last couple of months, suggesting that this is an ongoing question asked by men. 

Google Search Searches per Month
what should i talk about with my girlfriend 21,000
what should i talk about with my boyfriend 40

This could indicate that:

  • The stereotypical male, with interests including sport, cars, and bikes, assumes that women don’t want to hear about the latest footie results
  • Men recognize that whatever they talk about with their friends, women might want a different form of conversation
  • Women are confident in their ability to pick a topic and chat about it
  • Women are more likely to ask their friends than search Google for answers (however, relating to the previous data, women were less likely to ask their friends for advice around infidelity than to search Google)

When Relationships Break Down

Looking at the searches made across topics relating to the breaking down of relationships, we’re back on the familiar ground of women conducting far more Google searches than men. 

Over twice as many women ask Google if they should break up with their boyfriend (4,700), than men asking about finishing with their girlfriend (2,200). The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many of us from enjoying coffee dates with our friends or meeting our mates for a pint on a Friday night. So, instead of getting advice in person, people have turned to Google for answers, and this is one such example. The question ‘should I break up with my girlfriend/boyfriend?’ provides no framework, no reasons why the couple should split. If they were talking to their friends, they could go into great detail about why they are thinking this way, but for Google, there are no such clues. 

The figures are much closer for ‘why does my boyfriend/girlfriend hate me?’ with 1,200 and 800, respectively. Without knowing the reasons behind this line of questioning, it could refer to the ghosting (see below), or indicate an increase in stress and anxiety levels. 

Google Search Searches per Month
why does my girlfriend hate me 800
why does my boyfriend hate me 1,200

With dramatic rises in the cost of living, everyone is experiencing higher levels of stress, often resulting in problems within a relationship. Money worries are one of the main causes cited for divorce in many first-world countries, and arguments could easily lead to one partner suspecting the other hates them with the subsequent Google searches. 

Finally, in this section, we’re looking at the idea of sexual entitlement within a marriage. The phrase ‘can I divorce my husband/wife for not sleeping with me?’ has 10 and 900 searches respectively and shows how vital the physical part of marriage is to men.

Google Search Searches per Month
can i divorce my wife for not sleeping with me 900
can i divorce my husband for not sleeping with me 10

It could also tap into the idea of women withholding intimacy if they aren’t happy with their husbands’ behavior. Although both genders use the denial of sex as a form of punishment, men are more likely to react to this than women, often seeing it as psychological abuse. 

Studies reflect our findings, suggesting that, for men, the principal factor is the sexual side of the relationship, whereas women see the emotional angle as more important. 

Is Narcissism Becoming More Common?

Google Search Searches per Month
is my girlfriend a narcissist 350
is my boyfriend a narcissist 1,500

Search data often corroborates the statistics that authoritative research finds. Although Google doesn’t reveal why someone is searching for a particular topic, it provides a good place to start investigating. 

Research suggests that examples of narcissism are rising, with social media being blamed for its increase. Although narcissism is a personality disorder, many people display the most common narcissistic traits of self-importance, a need for attention, and a lack of empathy for others.  

By its very nature, social media puts the individual in the spotlight, encourages self-importance, feeds the need for attention with ‘followers’, and allows dissociation from the real world. With the primary users being the so-called ‘me, me, me millennials,’ narcissistic traits are creeping out from behind the screens and into our relationships. This is reflected in Google’s search data with 1,500 searches by women for ‘is my boyfriend a narcissist?’. Admittedly, the male equivalent has just 350 searches, reflecting the overall trend with more women seeking answers on Google. 

Is My Boyfriend Gay?

Google Search Searches per Month
is my girlfriend gay / lesbian 150
is my boyfriend gay 1,900

Another interesting point thrown up in search histories is that there are 1,900 searches for ‘is my boyfriend gay?’ by women compared to just 150 ‘is my girlfriend gay?’ searches by men.  Again these figures follow the pattern of more women searching for relationship topics on Google, but why are the numbers so high?

The stereotypical gay man is something the media portrays far too well, and the modern metrosexual man fits that image perfectly. A man who appears well-groomed, stylishly dressed, in touch with his feelings, and interested in what their girlfriend considers important shouldn’t activate anyone’s gaydar. However, when the media says men should be men and anything else suggests gay, women turn to Google for answers. 

Who Ghosts More – Men or Women? 

As we’ve said before, Google searches don’t reveal why people are looking for that particular topic, and the question ‘is my boyfriend/girlfriend ignoring me?’ could reflect the growing trend of ghosting. Rejection without closure, ghosting refers to abruptly cutting all communication with someone without giving them any reason why. With the growth in online dating, ghosting has become an easy way to end a relationship. However, it can have a substantial psychological impact on the ghosted, leading to poor self-confidence, depression, and feelings of loss and grief. 

Google Search Searches per Month
why is my girlfriend ignoring me 300
why is my boyfriend ignoring me 800
where is my girlfriend right now 40
where is my boyfriend right now 300

With 300 men searching for this and 800 women, is ghosting to blame? Another search topic could relate to this – ‘where is my boyfriend/girlfriend right now?’. Women are asking Google this 300 times, but only 40 by men. If we assume this refers to a partner disappearing off the radar, then the ratio of men to women makes sense, as men are more likely to ghost than women

and Finally …

Although searches on Google provide only the bare-bones data, lacking any further insights, knowing a little about psychology and how people think can help us fill in the gaps. This provides answers, which in many cases back up our data, and offers insights into what you and your partner’s search history reveal. 


*For analysis, we have excluded those within the LGBGT+ community.