Have you heard about the latest millennial term that’s sparking quite an uproar on the Internet? It is yet another form of cheating we should all be informed about, no matter your relationship status. And while the last thing we’d want to be is the bearer of bad news, we encourage you to keep reading so you, too, can be well-versed on the ins and outs of micro-cheating.
So what exactly is micro-cheating?
Expert psychologist Diana Hernandez recently defined micro-cheating as “a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship.”
Hernandez says this form of infidelity essentially stems from secrecy and deception. It ultimately comes down to trivial behaviors that might indicate your partner is no longer totally committed to your relationship.
Online, the Urban Dictionary defined this term back in 2008 as: “when someone cheats on a partner, but just a little bit.”
Now, we know we can’t speak for everyone, but we believe cheating “just a little bit” is still cheating, which is why it’s important to know how to recognize these tiny actions that could catapult into something larger.
Here are the common signs of micro cheating:
Although physical cheating is quite easy to define, micro-cheating on the other hand — just as with emotional affairs — tends to live more in a gray area. However, common examples of this type of infidelity can include:
- Lying about your relationship status
- Obsessively checking another person’s social media feed
- Texting or contacting someone without your partner’s knowledge . . . and trying to mask the evidence
- Listing a so-called “friend” under a code name in your phone
- Engaging with a past lover, whether it be in person or on social media
- Sharing secrets with someone you’re attracted to outside your relationship
Can micro-cheating ruin your relationship?
While there are some people who are rather skeptical about this type of subtle betrayal, it is possible that micro-cheating can be a gateway for other forms of infidelity. Therefore, it is always important to trust your instinct and voice any concerns you might be experiencing to your partner.
But instead of allowing this latest buzzy phrase to plant seeds of worry into your mind, utilize it to strengthen your partnership and set relationship boundaries. What actions — no matter the size — do you and your SO see as forms of betrayal? By taking the time to truly listen to one another and agree upon specific boundaries, the murky waters of cheating will become much more clearer.
Because, let’s face it: a relationship can only sustain itself if there is a strong foundation of trust, honesty, and respect from both parties, regardless if the disloyalty is considered micro or macro.