Micro-cheating: what it is and how to spot it
Micro-cheating is a term that’s causing many people to question their relationships. It describes certain actions that make someone feel like they’ve been cheated on, even if their partner hasn’t actually been unfaithful. It can indicate that one partner is physically or emotionally focused on someone else, outside the relationship.
Micro-cheating is based on the premise that a series of seemingly small actions can lead to larger consequences. While many of these are harmless, some actions are more likely to be considered cheating than others. Here are some types of micro-cheating that could lead to relationship issues.
- Reaching out to an ex and concealing it
- Obsessively visiting someone’s online profile
- Lying about your relationship status online or offline
- Staying active on dating websites
- Having a deep emotional connection with someone other than your partner
- Using a fake name to list someone in your contacts
- Sending nude photos or sexting
Warning Signs of Micro-cheating
Some signs that you could be playing with fire include withholding information from your partner about who you’re spending time with, dressing differently when you’re meeting a certain someone, or even lying by omission. Making your relationship seem less serious than it is when you meet someone new and continually liking and commenting on someone’s social media posts are also forms of micro-cheating.
Are you Micro-Cheating?
It may seem like just harmless fun at first, and this is true to an extent. Every relationship is different, and couples have their own definitions of what constitutes cheating. But if you’re thinking about the attention of someone who isn’t your partner and spending more time with them, these could be relationship red flags.
It’s necessary to have healthy interactions with people outside of your relationship and not make your partner the center of your existence. However, you need to know where to draw the line between harmless flirting and veering into cheating territory. If you think your actions may make your partner uncomfortable, you’re probably crossing the line. Also, if you have a past with the other person in question, then micro-cheating is definitely a no-no.
Consider the motivations behind your actions and think about how your partner would feel if they knew the real reason behind your behavior. If you believe that your relationship is worth protecting, it’s best to be cautious about who you’re spending time with and the messages you’re putting out there.