What Is Micro-Cheating in a Relationship?

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21.07.2019

Things that seemed weird several years ago have already become our reality. Modern technology has become a part of our life, and we can hardly imagine our everyday routine without it. The very fact that we are constantly in touch with people despite our location doesn’t surprise anyone, we are used to communicating with people via instant messengers so much that we have stopped noticing such things. However, unfortunately, new possibilities have brought new problems. If earlier you had to leave your house and make some efforts to start a love affair, nowadays, everything happens in cyberspace. People cheat on their partners right at breakfast. Messengers have improved the ways of communication to such an extent that a new concept of “micro-cheating” has appeared in psychology. Let’s try to figure out what micro-cheating definition is, how it differs from traditional betrayal and how to deal with it.

micro cheating examples

What Is Micro-Cheating?

A few decades ago, people could hardly imagine the variety of technologies that we have today. The information has ceased to be something invaluable, becoming a public benefit. Now you can get acquainted with a pretty foreigner not only while traveling but also while sitting in your cozy apartment. However, like every coin, globalization and the development of communications have a downside. In addition to the opportunities to make new acquaintances, mankind has discovered a new type of betrayal, which psychologists call “micro-cheating.” Of course, the first part of the word is intended to mitigate the negative effect, which inevitably entails its continuation. However, is this micro-cheating really so innocent? What is micro-cheating in a relationship? How can you define micro-cheating?

Micro-cheating is a secret communication with a person to whom you have physical or mental attraction and who makes you have strong emotions. However, the main thing is that you contact only through social networks, completely excluding physical contact and meetings in person.

So, what is micro-cheating in fact? It is about correspondence, flirting or virtual sex. In other words, a person, becoming close to you, still remains completely outsider.

Micro-cheating can take place when you create all the conditions for a gentle relationship with a stranger instead of your partner. This may occur both in the absence of your partner and even right in front of them, but they don’t understand that you are cheating. If micro-cheating becomes a habit, then it can grow into something bigger and lead to serious problems. How to recognize this fine line between polite communication and crossing the line? For some people, this is a direct path to ordinary betrayal, when light correspondence turns into full-fledged adultery. In addition, the serial "micro-cheater” can behave even more attentively towards the partner, feeling some inconvenience in front of them.

Nonetheless, the main problem is that many people do not even understand that they are cheating. For example, they may see nothing special about a comment or a message to someone else. But the fact is that all these tiny injections make a dent in the relationship, it becomes clear to the second partner that something is wrong. And if communication is not established, this strange situation can last for years. To make sure you are not involved in micro-cheating, you can look for a micro-cheating quiz on the Internet to sort things out.

It is difficult to give a definite answer to the question, “Can micro-cheating signs become a reason for a breakup?” since everything depends on people and their desire to save the relationship. In general, micro-cheating can be cause for concern as well as turn into an ordinary betrayal. Besides, keeping a secret from a partner does not help the relationship. In addition, romantic aspirations for someone else, even expressed in small steps, are an obvious component of cheating.

 What Are the Dangers of Micro-Cheating?micro cheating quiz

According to Carmelia Ray, an American expert in online dating, a mental connection with someone can be no less destructive to your relationship than a physical one.

Technology creates incredible space for micro-cheating even if you do not plan to enter into any physical relationship, your online connection may well be called intimate. Ray believes that there is one step from messages to a physical meeting. If you are used to hiding something from a partner, and at the same time, you don’t feel any remorse, then you will want something more from communicating with the object of desire very soon. What is considered a red flag? The very fact that it is easy for you to hide the micro-cheating from your partner.

In addition, turning a blind eye to the signs of micro-cheating, you encourage secrecy and distrust. As a result, you may be a victim of micro-cheating, and then your mutual silence about the problems will lead to the collapse of the relationship.

The lack of knowledge of micro-cheating leads to the fact that it is almost impossible to delineate the circle of forbidden actions. For someone, correspondence with people of the opposite sex is not a problem, but for others, it becomes a reason for a breakup.

Micro-Cheating Signs

Some psychologists determine micro-cheating as a series of certain actions in relation to a person with whom you are not in a committed relationship, but nevertheless, you feel a strong emotional attraction to them.

1. You communicate in instant messengers all the time

Your constant correspondence with a stranger, which you intuitively hide from your partner is already a red flag. Usually, such communication is full of pleasant emotions and experiences, but it is an emotional trap which brings much more joy than communication with your permanent partner. Such forbidden pleasure can make you even put their number in the phone under the name of a fictional character because you try to do your best to keep secret the real name of a virtual friend.

2. You tell your new acquaintance about problems in the permanent relationship

You have an unreasonable and uncontrolled need to complain about problems in your current relationship. And it doesn’t really matter whether there are real problems, or you just come up with some things to show how awful everything is with the partner.  Or, on the contrary, you may try to hide the existence of a permanent partner/ spouse.

3. You openly flirt with a new acquaintance

You may openly flirt with another person on social networks for fun and pleasure or discuss intimate topics with them. In fact, you are ready to go further than you could expect from yourself. You can share private jokes of your couple with a stranger, seeing nothing bad about that. Of course, officially micro-cheating can be perceived as innocent communication, which does not oblige any of the participants to anything. However, cheating is always cheating. There is no guarantee that you will be satisfied only with online communication with a person to whom you feel a strong physical attraction. One way or another, but psychologists are confident that even such a flirtation is a serious threat to real relationships. It might be even more destructive than physical betrayal.

4. You think too much about another person

It’s not that difficult to understand that you are cheated. It’s much harder to admit that it is you who has started spending too much time on virtual communication. Experts suggest not to deceive each other and try to speak frankly with a partner on any topic that concerns you because if you were able to open your soul to an outsider, then what does prevent you from doing the same with a beloved partner? If you understand that you cannot do without your pen pal, then think, maybe it is worth changing something in your relationship with a partner. Do not forget that a person is very dependent on emotions. And if you are ready to sacrifice your relationship because of a fleeting flirtation, then perhaps everything is not so great with your permanent partner.

How Can You Confront It?

If you face micro-cheating in your relationship, first of all, you should speak frankly to the partner, discuss the limits of what is permitted and understand what they feel towards their interlocutors. It is important to understand why your beloved one needs contacts of this kind and what they lack in communication with you. Any relationship must be built on trust, and you must determine why this trust has been lost.

If you have noticed that you regularly communicate with someone on the network and try to hide this fact from your partner, then ask yourself if you are going to end this virtual relationship in the name of maintaining the trust of your permanent partner and whether you are ready to sacrifice your long-term relationship.what is micro-cheating

Since the phenomenon of micro-cheating is relatively young, it is almost impossible to clearly formulate and designate the whole range of forbidden actions. While someone will just shrug their shoulders in the case of a partner's correspondence with another person of the opposite sex, another person can perceive this action as a real drama.

Micro-Cheating Examples

One of my lady friends was absolutely sure that communication in the network is just an innocent correspondence. And if her husband, living in one part of the country, is communicating with a girl from another part of the country, then what kind of betrayal can we talk about. Well, they are discussing movies, music and some things both of them are interested in.  It seems there is nothing to be afraid of.

However, in fact, everything turned out to be a disaster because quite soon the husband gathered his things and went to his new beloved one for permanent residence even though his spouse was pregnant. And a single mother with two children couldn’t understand at which point the usual flirtation turned into something more. So, it doesn’t matter how much you trust your partner, but if you have noticed any of the above-mentioned signs it is better to not remain silent. Otherwise, being overwhelmed with pleasant emotions on the side, a person may cross the line, violate your personal boundaries and leave you high and dry. And if you prefer to turn a blind eye to such a situation, then reflect on your relationship and tell yourself honestly how much you want this person to be next to you.

Basing on such terrible micro-cheating examples, draw your own conclusions whether there is something to worry about or not.

Most importantly, remember that any kind of betrayal, whether it is "micro,” or "macro" is primarily a betrayal. If you suspect your partner of infidelity, then it is time to talk frankly with them and ask to abandon the correspondence that you consider offensive. If they, of course, can still do it.




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