Micro cheating is another of those horrible new words in the dating blogsphere. But what is micro-cheating and could you be guilty of it? Well, by its broad terms, probably yes. Micro-cheating is defined as any act by someone in a relationship that might suggest they are available. That can include being in communication with an ex, liking someone’s social media posts, platonic online friendships, not deleting your profile on dating apps and fantasing about someone else whilst having sex with your partner. Personally this sounds to me like the reasoning of a crazy person.
I think you would have to be pretty insecure in your relationship to feel unseated by some of these things. Dating app profiles are murky ground since the number of non replies suggests most people don’t delete their profiles when they’ve stopped looking and don’t think that you need to physically close the account to remove it. It still exists for someone else to find. And as already discussed before, lots of people use dating apps like a candy crush game. It really doesn’t have to mean anything.
I was confused by some of the dialogue on this BBC article. Being in touch with an ex is considered cheating, fantasising about someone else during sex isn’t. One ‘expert’ suggested fantasies guarded against cheating – I would have thought it only fanned the flames. Another commenter said that ‘I see all commuication that you wouldn’t disclose to your parter as infidelity. No exceptions’. This is frighteningly controlling but it is remarkable how many people expect full disclosure by a partner on any aspect of their lives. As if being in a relationship means you no longer have a private life or your own identity or your own thought patterns. To me that suggests a serious problem on the part of the controller not the controllee. If you feel that insecure in your relationship it’s time to reevaluate or quit.
The origins of the above article which were published here, suggested women were more likely to consider seemingly innocent interactions as cheating, or to put it another way, that men are cheaters that need reining in at every turn. No surprise given what I hear about the way some girlfriends control and stalk their partners social media (unacceptably so in my opinion).
Context is extremely important of course, and everything is open to personal interpretation. It’ll depend on your current relationship and the ones you’ve experienced before. If you’ve been cheated on previously you’re more likely to be suspicious of current partner behaviour even if it is innocent. In my mind micro-cheating is a non-starter. Some of the criteria are unacceptable. Being in contact with your ex is not cheating and shouldn’t be considered so, unless there are specific reasons. Neither is liking someone’s Instagram.
The deep level of control that some people seem to require in a relationship, has given rise to terms like micro-cheating. More than anything the partner making accusations should be looking at their role in the relationship rather than the other way round, because this is not a healthy way to manage a partnership, not by a long shot.