“The best thing about being cheated on is I get to go on more first dates.”
Relationships are built on trust & understanding. In a relationship, you need to understand each other & trust that the other person will stand by you. We need to be really thoughtful towards the feeling of our partner. Would you say you have always been attentive towards them? Would you say that you’ve never cheated on your partner? Did you know that cheating is not just physical, but emotional too! You may be cheating on your spouse emotionally without even realizing. It has a term: Micro-Cheating.
What is Micro-Cheating?
The concept of Micro-Cheating was introduced recently by an Australian psychologist Melanie Schilling. She says micro-cheating is when one looks for affection outside their relationship. It involves any kind of covert flirtation & things you feel necessary to hide from your partner. Every relationship has its own threshold of what constitutes as cheating, but you’re definitely cheating on your partner when you are putting in some extra effort to be noticed by someone or maybe you are deleting texts, fearing that your partner might find out.
Let’s take a look at a few things which constitute as Micro-Cheating:
- Saving a friend’s number with a different name so your partner does not find out that you’re talking to them.
- Confiding in someone else when you’re upset or angry, even when you can share it with your partner. You might end up sharing your problems with someone else because you surely will get the desired response.
- Harmless texting with that girl/guy you find really hot, indicating that you might be slightly interested.
- Having an account on a dating app when you’re already in a relationship.
- Hiding your relationship status, so you can flirt freely.
- Flirting with a hot stranger in the club, because what’s the harm in flirting?
- Telling your spouse that you can’t tell your friends about them because of some complications, whereas the only complication is that you want to keep your options open.
- Telling everyone that your relationship isn’t really serious whereas you have already dropped the Love Bomb on your partner.
- Dressing in a certain way to grab someone else attention, someone who isn’t your partner.
- Obsessively stalking your ex’s social media profiles! Yep, that is the most common one.
- When something awesome happens, you choose to share the news with someone else first because you really aren’t thinking about your partner but the other person.
- Reaching to an ex and telling them you miss them, on special occasions like birthdays & anniversaries.
- Telling someone else that you’ve been thinking about them all day!
- Indicating that you’re interested in someone & hiding your relationship status from them.
- Sending your ex a picture reminding them of old times & good memories.
- Flirting with a co-worker regularly, and going out of your way to compliment them.
- Sending “Good Morning” texts to someone else who isn’t your partner, with the mere intention of wishing them good morning.
- Telling your partner that you’re meeting this person only for work for drinks, whereas it isn’t true. You aren’t meeting them for work.
- Recommending your partner to dress in a certain way, or wear a certain perfume because it reminds you of your crush. It basically means that you’re trying to make your spouse look/smell like your crush! Do you really think that is fair to your partner?
- Hanging out with someone you find attractive and hiding it from your partner.
- Exchanging contacts from someone in the club or a party for no particular reason.
- When a stranger offers you drinks in the club, you never turn them down!
- Entertaining strangers on social media and flirting back with them.
- Hiding your texts & friends from your significant other.
- Sending sexual texts to someone or joke about having an intimate relationship with them.
- Imagine having an intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse.
- Constantly talking about someone else in front of your friends, telling them how awesome that person is because you have a low-key crush on them!
How Does Micro Cheating Affect Your Relationship?
Some say micro-cheating can be good for your relationship, while others may believe that micro-cheating wrecks your relationship. It is like a coin has two sides!
Good Side of the Coin
People believe that compliments, flirting & knowing that someone is fond of you, may give a boost to your ego or maybe give you a dopamine hit which is like happy high. People often argue that it might be good when you fantasize about someone other than your partner in a sexual way, it might be refreshing and you could bring the same spark to your relationship with your spouse.
Bad Side of the Coin
Whereas, others argue that any form of cheating if wrong! If you’re cheating emotionally, that could be worse. Your emotional energy might start draining which would result in divided attention. What starts as an innocent conversation or flirts may give the other person false hopes or hurt your partner which is worse than cheating physically.
So, it is safe to say that micro-cheating is a slippery slope! You invade a grey area of cheating. Since you are lying to your partner, you are not 100% loyal. And since you are not actually cheating on them, some say it absolutely okay to do it!
How To Deal With Micro-Cheating?
As I mentioned above, micro-cheating is a grey area so dealing with it can be a little complicated. You obviously do not wish to hurt your partner which is it is very important to communicate with them. The best way to deal with it is by talking to your partner about it! Telling them everything you do, asking them what hurts them & what is okay with them.
You can establish a cheating threshold for your relationship which will help you to determine the line where you need to stop. Moreover, if you feel like your partner is doing something wrong, instead of confronting them aggressively, you could confront them peacefully! Many times one isn’t aware of the things they are doing but, if you tell your partner that it hurts you, they may just understand.
You can turn this concept of micro cheating into a healthy thing for your relationship than a reason to fight about!