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Dating expert warns over 'micro-cheating' and the signs that you're doing it

Dating expert warns over 'micro-cheating' and the signs that you're doing it

Could anything you do be classed as 'micro-cheating'?

Most people think cheating is pretty black and white, and there’s a clear line for what's right and wrong, but this new social media buzzword could make you rethink your actions.

You might think because you haven’t kissed or slept with someone else other than your partner, then you’re clean. Well, think again.

Are you guilty of stalking a previous fling on social media or getting glammed up for that one person you see on your commute? If so, you could be a micro-cheater.

Oscar Wong / Getty

Micro-cheating is “a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship”, dating expert Melanie Schilling told HuffPost Australia.

So, any “subtle betrayals”, like being a bit too flirty with your charming barista, could bring you down to micro-cheater status.

With that being said, you of course have your right to privacy, and you shouldn’t have to avoid people, it’s just a reminder to be wary of how your actions could appear.

If you’re spending some extra time to make yourself look good for that one attractive friend, that could be a bit of an issue.



Mama Jeng, a TikToker and self-proclaimed self-love and mental health advocate, recently explained their take on micro-cheating, and the video has already got over 1.5 million views.

They even think having emotional intimacy with someone other than your partner can be classed as micro-cheating.

It could be over the line to open up to someone who isn’t your partner and develop a deep emotional connection with them.

So, next time you think of batting your eyelashes at someone at a bar in hopes of getting a free drink, maybe think to yourself, ‘Would I act like this if my partner was here?’

Relationship expert Susan Winter illustrated the boundaries of what micro-cheating really means.

She told The Independent: "Although micro-cheating may not be physical cheating, it’s certainly testing the borders of emotional cheating.

"Flirting is flirting. And flirting is the act of fanning a spark that can easily spread to a flame."

Winter also shared advice on how to tell if your partner is micro-cheating - oftentimes, if you have any concerns, you should just be honest and tell them how it’s making you feel.

Even though it can be hard, it’s usually best to approach the situation in a rational way.

Your partner might not even be aware of how their actions look from an outside perspective, so highlighting how it is upsetting you could help them rethink things.

Asking them how they would react if it was the other way around can be a helpful way for them to consider it from your point of view.

It’s important to remember though, your partner might genuinely just be being friendly, and for most relationships to work, there needs to be trust.

So, reflecting on whether you or your partner is guilty of micro-cheating could help put some boundaries in place.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: EmirMemedovski / Peter Cade / Getty