Imagine scrolling through your Instagram feed, only to see that your partner double-tapped their ex’s photo. Perhaps you saw their texts, too, intrigued by a somewhat flirtatious conversation with their co-worker. Of course, you don’t know for a fact that they’ve been unfaithful, but for some reason, their actions still make you uneasy.
Well, there’s a term for all of this — it’s called “micro-cheating.”
As social media, dating apps, texting, and other forms of technology make it easier than ever to connect with other people, the scope of cheating is far more complex than just sex with someone else. In fact, micro-cheating encompasses countless other forms of betrayal that you may not be aware of — and while it may sound harmless, experts agree that it can actually be quite detrimental.
What exactly counts as micro-cheating, you ask? And more importantly, what should you do if you catch your partner in the act? Read on for some real talk on this super common issue in relationships.
What is Micro-Cheating?
One of the reasons why micro-cheating remains a gray area in relationships is that it can be difficult to define. Yes, micro-cheating is a subtler form of cheating, but don’t let the name fool you. These forms of infidelity can still be incredibly destructive.
“Micro-cheating is the act of blowing past the known boundaries of appropriate behavior for one in a committed relationship,” says NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter.
While these acts may seem innocent to some, when someone feels the need to hide them from their partner, that’s a major red flag.