What Is Micro-Cheating and How Should One Deal with It?

Cheating comes in different forms. It’s like an outworldly creature whose shape changes so often that people fail to define what it really is. Sometimes, what the victim thinks as an act of unfaithfulness is dismissed as just a night out with a close friend. Maybe it’s true, we’ve come to a point where we find little to no difference between cheating and just having fun.

The problem is, trivial behaviors like catching up with an ex over coffee or exchanging messages with someone outside the relationship every day can be the start of something that is detrimental to your future together. Micro-cheating is what it is called, and it involves activities that may not be considered an act of infidelity but could create turmoil in the relationship.

What Is Micro-Cheating?

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As how Urban Dictionary puts it, micro-cheating is “when someone cheats on a partner, but just a little bit.” These actions often go unnoticed or ignored, depending on how the “victim” chooses to see it. But sometimes, it’s not about how the one cheated on defines it, it all boils down to one thing: intention.

Talking to a friend from middle school or going to see a movie with a colleague who shares the same interest sometimes doesn’t mean anything. But it all changes if the intention behind it is actually deeper than what it seems.

If your partner is only meeting up with their ex for old times’ sake or to congratulate them on a milestone, then that’s fine. But if they do it in an attempt to get back together, then that’s a whole different story. If they are talking to someone on Facebook just to know how they’re doing after decades apart, you might not have to worry about anything; but if the whole purpose of striking a conversation is more serious than that, a confrontation might be needed.

Another thing to consider is whether or not your partner has been hiding the newly built relationship with that person. It’s worth noting that no matter how often they hang out together or how long the chatting or texting has been going, if they are not in any way trying to keep you in the dark and even bring it up during your own small talks, then it could be nothing serious. Again, it’s all about the intention.

Micro-cheating is the start of a more complicated emotional affair. If your casual relationship with a friend from the past or someone you’ve met just recently starts to bother you and affects your relationship with your partner, you might never be able to turn things back the way they used to.

How to Deal with Micro-Cheating

This whole thing can be tricky. It’s not enough that you just have that gut feeling that you’re getting cheated on. The best way to deal with it is to talk it out and set boundaries. Micro-cheating raises more questions than any other behavior does, so it is important that couples know what the other thinks is out of bounds.

Sit down and talk. Communicate your thoughts with each other. When you do, be honest. Don’t hesitate to speak out. Let them know how their actions make you feel. In return, listen to every word your partner says. Respect their feelings.

Micro-cheating, while often goes disregarded and overlooked, can be a threat to your relationship. But because it is not (yet) as serious as the acts of unfaithfulness we know, it can be dealt with easily. Communication is important. Take the time to invite your partner to a discussion. Keeping your feeling to yourself won’t do you both any good. Brave the heavens and face the problem, if there is any. That’s the only way you can settle it before it’s too late.

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Amanda Thomas

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