Micro-cheating may be a term you’re just learning about, but it is certainly a set of behaviors you have seen or experienced many times before.
Micro-cheating is when you’re behaving from a place of romantic interest toward a person outside of your relationship in such a subtle way that no one could know about it. For example, keeping your online dating profile even when you’re in a relationship can be filed under “micro-cheating” because being on there means that you are looking and still interested in other people.
Micro-cheating does not automatically assume that you’re a bad person—you’re not getting physical with this “harmless” crush, but it does point to the fact that you don’t adhere to the same level of commitment that your partner does. This is an important distinction to make when it comes to micro-cheating. What is micro-cheating for one couple may not be for another.
Micro-cheating is when you’re behaving from a place of romantic interest toward a person outside of your relationship in such a subtle way that no one could know about it
Signs that your or your partner might be micro-cheating:
- On the days you know you’ll see your ‘’crush’’, you put more effort into your appearance by wearing a sexy top or amping up your hair and makeup, hoping they’ll notice.
- Lying about your relationship status. Constantly saying things like ‘’We’re not that serious’’, ‘’It’s still early to say anything’’. When in fact, it is obvious that you and your partner are more than just a casual date.
- Checking out their social media enough times and you’re very much aware that if your partner finds out, they’d be uncomfortable.
- Posting pictures on your social media, hoping they’ll see.
- Having a deep emotional connection or conversation with someone else.
However, what to do if one (or both of you) are engaged in micro-cheating?
There are several options here, and an instant breakup doesn’t necessarily have to be one of them. For starters, it’s great that you can be honest with each other, and a candid talk about the issue of micro-cheating can actually help resurrect a floundering relationship. But if you have a gut feeling that things might repeat itself, then it’s time for an honest conversation about how it makes you feel, says clinical psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD, author of After the Affair.