Of all the annoying new dating and relationship trends to pop up recently, micro-cheating is one of the most frustrating. It's so difficult to figure out out what micro-cheating actually is and how it differs from regular ol' cheating. So what is micro-cheating? "Micro-cheating is when you do [things] that might not be considered outright infidelity, but are nonetheless breaches of trust that could lead to genuine cheating in the future," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. But here's the thing, some people's micro-cheating is other people's straight-up cheating.
It all depends on the behavior and how you define cheating in your relationship. For example, keeping your online dating profile even when you're in a relationship can be filed under "micro-cheating". "Being on there means that you are looking and still interested in other people," Isabel James, founder of Elite Dating Managers, tells Bustle. "Scanning profiles online is micro-cheating because it shows intent and is also a lack of respect for the other person, since the profiles are public." For some people, that would mean an instant breakup. For others, it might be just kind of sh*tty — but not really cheating.
So where's the line between micro-cheating and just cheating for most people? Well, that's exactly what Victoria Milan, a leading extramarital site, and NextLove, one of Scandinavia's largest social networks, decided to team up to find out. They surveyed almost 7,000 people about common "micro-cheating" behaviors, to see if they thought the behaviors crossed the line into infidelity. And, frustratingly for anybody who likes clear boundaries, the results were pretty much all over the place.
"I was surprised to see that even a well-meant 'like' on social media could be considered cheating, but micro-cheating borders emotional-cheating, which we know is a phenomenon in infidelity, and also a serious matter for many," Anne Walther, Head of PR at Victoria Milan, tells Bustle. "Infidelity in the emotional form differs from the physical one — I think people will always be divided in opinion, and more divided when it comes to that side of infidelity. The intent behind an act counts. For some, it counts for everything."
But some things were definitely more likely to be considered cheating than others. Here are 10 types of micro-cheating and how many people found them to also cross into cheating territory.