"A Good Boyfriend Let's You Look Through His Phone Since He Has Nothing To Hide...."
I've heard people say this sort of thing before and I totally understand the reasoning behind it. The things guys hide when they're cheating are disgusting, I can totally admit that. I know there are plenty of guys who keep their phones locked out of paranoia that someone is going to see that they've not been faithful to their partner or have been just plain doing stuff that makes them... shall we say less than worthy of respect. However... I think there are very valid reasons for wanting to keep what's on your phone to yourself. Your privacy is your own, and it isn't owed to anyone else.
Reasons I don't like people (even my gf) invading my privacy.
1. It's not just MY privacy
For a long time I had a lot of friends who would come to me for advice or when they were struggling with serious issues. I've ended up in calls with people at 3:00am because they were having an anxiety attack and desperately needed to talk and I've seen the effect it's had on my friends. They've trusted me with their secrets and I've watched them fight their demons. They've trusted me and have been vulnerable with me to a greater extent than I deserve. On the other hand, many of them don't know my family, if/when I get a girlfriend, there's no reason to assume that they'll be mutual friends. I'm the one who has been entrusted with my friend's secrets... not my family or any of my other friends. A conversation must always be between two or more parties. I know I've got nothing to hide on my phone... the same isn't true of the people I text. If my sister or girlfriend looked through my phone messages that's not just disrespecting my privacy, that's disrespecting the privacy of my friends as well.
2. To Avoid Miscommunication
There have been times when I've been labeled a flirt. I compliment people a fair amount and I make an effort to be just a generally nice person. I grew up with 5 sisters and we didn't hate each other so somewhere along the line it got to where I just had mostly friends who were girls and got along better with girls than with guys. Most of the people I actively talk to on my phone are girls. Just as general habits of conversation, I compliment people a lot. I've had enough friends deal with anxiety and depression that I try to give encouragement wherever I can. This is also the reason I will casually say "I love you <3" to a lot of my close friends whether guys or girls. Letting someone know you care sometimes makes a world of difference for people. The thing is, without the context of knowing the kind of friends I have it would probably look to some people like I flirt with a lot of girls and am kind of a player. If the person experiencing those conversations out of context happened to be my girlfriend that could result in a lot of bad stuff, primarily her thinking that I've been cheating on her and from there a lot of bad things could happen. On the one hand my girlfriend might simply keep silent resulting in a lot of tension in my relationship with her and/or severely damaging it. Alternatively she could delete a text from a friend who then thinks I'm an asshole for not responding to them which would suck because I have a lot of friends dealing with sensitive issues and ignoring them wouldn't even be the last thing I'd want to do (it's nowhere on the list of things I'd ever want to do). Perhaps worse my girlfriend could respond to a text from a friend of mine and do or say something to severely upset one of my friends... if I haven't made it clear already, I have friends who actively deal with anxiety and depression so having my girlfriend rant at one of them... to say the least... isn't healthy for them.
So... basically... I can imagine a lot of things going wrong with people looking at my phone. I struggle with anxiety in some regards myself, though it's not at all clinical; I worry about a lot of things. It makes me very uncomfortable to ave people looking at my phone especially if I'm not monitoring the things they look at or am not in a position to explain to them anything weird they might see. For another thing, any friends of mine without series mental health issues tend to be those awesome mildly insane but terrifyingly loyal types who have reaaaally weird interests and send me really weird/occasionally creepy memes so... yeah I can foresee a lot going wrong with people just casually looking through my phone. I'm a loyal person. I don't have anything to hide... though I have plenty that I might feel needs an explanation.
For anyone worried about looking like a bad partner for not letting your SO see your phone.. THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS TO YOUR PHONE. Your privacy remains your privacy whether or not you are in a relationship. You have every right to reveal your secrets to your significant other, but you are never under an obligation to do so unless the secret directly involves something that could be harmful to them. Point being, no one should feel guilty for wanting privacy. Sometimes the things we want to keep private are things for which we should feel guilty, but that is besides the point.
For those pissed off that their partner won't let them look at their phone... AGAIN... they are under no obligation to tell you any secrets they may have, they are not obligated to give up their privacy for your sake. They are still their own person and they still have private interactions with friends who only trust them and who do not trust you... thus you have no right to their privacy or the privacy of others with whom they share interactions. If they want to share private things with you that's awesome, congrats for earning their complete trust. The point remains... both parties have every right to reveal their own secrets, but neither is under any obligation as the result of a relationship to do so!
P.P.S. Thanks for reading. If you think I'm wrong for my thoughts, feel free to tell me why. If you found any part of this helpful please let me know and feel free to share whatever thoughts you may have on the subject.