Cheating has different definitions for different people. And to confuse things even more, there's a new trend around called "micro-cheating" that's here to mess up your relationship, potentially at least. As Melanie Schilling, dating expert, told HuffPost Australia, it may involve tiny actions that you'd hide from your partner.
"Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship," Schilling told HuffPost Australia. "You might be engaging in micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another guy/girl on social media; if you share private jokes; if you downplay the seriousness of your relationship to another guy/girl; or if you enter their name under a code in your phone."
Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") psychotherapist and author of How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free 4th Edition tells Bustle that temptation is always an issue, but micro-cheating is when when you're tempted to hide your guilty feelings. "If you catch yourself micro-cheating, don't assume it's harmless, and turn that energy back into the intimacy of your partnership," she says.
I don't know about you, but whether you've been micro-cheated on or are micro-cheating, what Schilling and Dr. Tessina are saying seems to make sense. Perhaps you'd call it emotional cheating, but whatever term you use, it's probably not appropriate if you're in a relationship. After all, hiding something — or someone — from your partner is never a good sign. As a therapist friend of mine likes to say, "Suggest to your partner that all three of you hang out. If they decline or makes excuses for why that can't happen, there's your answer." All that said, the Twitterverse has mixed feelings about the micro-cheating term.
Team Micro-Cheating Is V. Real:
1. The Terminology May Be Different, But The Concept Seems The Same
2. It May Be More About Someone's Actions, Not The Term Itself
3. This Twitter User Has A Message To Everyone Who's Mad About The Term
4. Secret Hangouts = Micro-Cheating
5. Dishonesty = Not Cool In An Honest Relationship
6. Yes, Good Question: To Define "Little Bit"
7. At The End Of The Day, Cheating Is Cheating
Some People Were NOT Into The Idea Of Micro-Cheating:
8. Not Buying It
9. Being Friends With Others Is Just Fine
10. A *Lot* Of Things (Read: Everything) Fall Under The "Micro-Cheating" Umbrella
11. A "Friend At The Gym" May Mean More...
12. How Would "Micro-Cheating" Go Down In An Argument?
13. Some Are Having Fun With The Term Instead Of Taking It Seriously, And LOL
14. Some Could Care Less
Whether or not you're a fan of the micro-cheating terminology, the most important thing is that you and your partner are open with one another and not keeping secrets. And now would be as good a time as any for you two to discuss what you consider to be cheating — or micro-cheating, as it were — and set boundaries so there is no confusion. Words are words, but actions always speak louder.