You heard it right. Micro-cheating is a thing, and you might be indulging in this damaging behaviour without even realising it.
Micro-cheating is more common than you think, and it has the potential to ruin your relationship. The concept is quite straightforward. You’ve probably guessed what it means just by analysing the word.
It’s when you play fast and loose with the line of fidelity without doing any obvious damage. It’s a series of microscopic romantic actions that you exchange with someone other than your partner. Therapist, Gwen Butler says:
Micro-cheating is often a secret outlet for people to get their conscious and sometimes unconscious needs met.
These actions can be as small as texting someone you are attracted to, dressing up for someone you occasionally flirt with at work, or even paying close attention to a person who isn’t your partner. Micro-cheating may sound new, but people have been doing it for centuries!
How do you know if you’re micro-cheating?
Butler has suggested that a good test to knowing whether you are micro-cheating is to see if there is anything you’ve been hiding from your partner. Have you been deliberately deleting text messages from a certain someone? Can you give your phone to your partner without feeling nervous? She suggests:
A really good test is whether you could imagine giving your phone to your partner for a whole week, without stress. If that is possible, you're probably in a great place in your relationship.
What could this be telling you?
These behaviours might be insignificant when you single them out, almost human even. But, when it starts to accumulate, your relationship could be in trouble. If you catch yourself doing these small acts of infidelity, you might want to dig deeper.
Healthline spoke with LGBTQIA+ relationship expert, Tammy Shaklee who said that this could be a sign that you are dissatisfied with your relationship. In that case, it’s either time totalk to your partner and fix the problem, or end everything and move on!