A few days ago, I was listening to my favorite radio station when they brought the micro-cheating topic. Before that moment, micro-cheating was something I never thought about. So, gaping and confused, I started doing my research.
As our culture evolves (or retrogress in this case), people tend to downplay the importance of some acts in order to make them feel less harmful. If a thing has little importance, it should have little or no consequences.
While statistics say 90% of Americans consider cheating immoral, a huge 30% to 40% have cheated their partners. This teaches us that, despite considering infidelity immoral, they still cheat. Only 3% believe it is not wrong at all to engage in extramarital relationships.
Micro-cheating is nothing else than acts that violate the boundaries in a relationship. While some people think of it as a harmless act, the other part will feel betrayed and the trust lacerated.
For some, micro-cheating is performing acts that are not "serious" (must not develop into a relationship) but aren't innocent either. Easily differenced from "normal" "common" cheating, micro-creating are all other acts that don't involve sexual penetration.
Things people are considering "Micro-cheating" these days:
Social media "stalking". Something as "inoffensive-looking" as constantly browsing someone's profile on social media might be considered "Micro-cheating".
Flirting lightly with someone. There's nothing light in flirting, I think. Every little flattery can give the wrong impression, it all depends on the way it is delivered. Every excessive compliment - be it based on appearance or aptitude - given insistently has an intention. A compliment given must never give the chance of being misinterpreted for desire or awe.
Receiving pictures of other ladies/men. You may defend yourself by saying this is something inoffensive and you don't care about those people, but why you haven't put a stop to this? Are you still single? Are you that available?
Lying/keeping information from your partner. This handsome co-worker is giving you some deep compliments and you feel so flattered that you "avoid" to mention this to your man. Your wife asks you about your "internet" habits. You tell her you just watch funny videos all day, deliberately choosing not to say most of that time you're actually watching camgirls. Hiding important details your partner deserves to know will damage your relationship sooner or later.
Liking, commenting, or even downloading someone's picture from Facebook, Instagram... And this person isn't a family member or a Hollywood star like George Clooney or Gal Gadot.
Meeting with someone after work just to "catch up". But chose to keep it from your partner because they'll get "jealous" or because your intentions are less than honorable...
Texting. You cross the line if you're maintaining a text conversation with a "friend" where you have to give the "good mornings" every day and say "good night" before going to bed.
Attentions. Imagine this: You're at a party. Maybe your partner is there as well. With or without knowledge of your actions, you're paying more attention to someone else. Laughing at all her/his jokes. Bringing her/him drinks. Taking selfies non-stop.
Commenting on every post. Unless you're a serial killer trying to get caught, you don't reply or comment to every post, picture and story someone else posts. Except if you're trying to be noticed. I bet you don't even give a heart to a picture your SO uploads.
Deleting specific searches or online activities. If you have nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed for, there's no reason to delete some stuff from your devices.
Deleting apps and downloading them back when leaving home. You want to avoid been questioned by your SO about a certain app that appears weird -like Snapchat. Instead of being honest, you try to deceive your partner by just deleting that app from your device and your device's history.
Blocking certain contacts when you arrive home. You are doing everything in your power to keep your "inoffensive non-relationship" with someone so hidden from your partner. Blocking this contact ensures you she/he won't write something your partner considers inappropriate.
Sharing intimate details. Talking with someone else (not your best friend since childhood, but a potential partner) about your sexual likings, your tastes, the fantasies you want to fulfill.
Trash-talking your partner. Mentioning your partner doesn't care about you, is not compromised enough to satisfy you, and so on, is opening a door to a visit of third-parties in your relationship.
Lying/hiding your relationship status. Why will someone hide/lie about been in a relationship? Certainly the "I don't care what people say" or "I want my life to be private" is just a cheap excuse to appear as a single and ready to mingle person.
Keeping your dating profiles open. Unless you both agree to do so, keeping your online dating profiles opened, or "forgetting" to close those services is saying you're still considering the market outside.
Having secret emails. That new (or not so new) email that allows you to do anything you like online without your partner knowing.
Chatting with online "workers". You're having these "inoffensive" conversations with people who strip online waiting to trap you into the false idea of a unique relationship so you start opening your wallet?
Micro-cheating or simple plain cheat?
If you're allowing this to happen -even if you don't respond- you're being disloyal to your partner. Keeping things from your partner, deleting things because you don't want her/him to find, are just other ways of cheating.
A cheat is a cheat. Doesn't matter if it's considered big or little. Doesn't matter if had consequences or went by undiscovered.
What determines what's allowed or isn't in a relationship, is the couple themselves. You and your partner are the only ones who establishes what's acceptable or permissible in a relationship. You're the only one who'll say if you don't care your SO flirting with a lady at the bar as long as there's no physical contact or exchange of phone numbers or Instagram profiles.
As I researched the topic, I made one tiny little question to myself: How would you feel if you're told: "I didn't cheat. I micro-cheated!"? Funny how things change from that perspective.
What are your thoughts? Is micro-cheating a thing for you or it all falls under plain and simple cheating?
Lots of love,