Micro-cheating vs Cheating: All you need to know



In the realm of relationships and fidelity, a relatively new term has emerged: micro-cheating.

The concept of micro-cheating is subjective and can vary depending on individual perspectives and relationship boundaries.

Some people may consider micro-cheating to be a form of emotional or behavioural infidelity, while others may see it as harmless flirtation or innocent interactions.

Ultimately, whether micro-cheating is considered cheating or not is determined by the understanding and agreement within a specific relationship.

But what is micro-cheating?

The term has a different meaning according to different articles of various online magazines. While one explains it as “a set of behaviours that flirts with the line between faithfulness and unfaithfulness”, another defines it as “small things you do that could have whispers of infidelity—without actually being physically unfaithful.”

Examples of micro-cheating behaviours can include: Excessive or secretive social media interactions with someone outside the relationship, such as liking or commenting on their posts frequently or privately messaging them, engaging in flirtatious conversations or exchanges, either online or in person, that go beyond what is considered casual or friendly etc.

Micro-cheating is becoming increasingly prevalent as one of many ethical dilemmas and relationship challenges.
Examples of micro-cheating

Here are some behaviours that many people would consider micro-cheating-

1. Flirting
2. Dressing differently if/when you know you will see a particular person
3. Texting with an attractive person who is not your partner
4. Liking and positively commenting on a person’s Instagram or other social media pics

5. Having a dating or hookup app profile

Micro-Cheating vs Cheating: Understanding the Differences

Micro-cheating refers to behaviours that fall just outside the traditional boundaries of a committed partnership. But how does micro-cheating differ from outright cheating, and what implications does it have on relationships?

Micro-cheating involves engaging in small actions or behaviours that may be considered a breach of trust or loyalty. These behaviours typically do not involve physical intimacy but can still raise concerns about emotional infidelity.

While micro-cheating can be seen as a form of betrayal, it is generally considered less severe than full-blown cheating. One key distinction between micro-cheating and cheating lies in the level of secrecy and deception involved. Micro-cheating behaviours are often more subtle, hidden, or kept secret from one’s partner. They may involve keeping communication or interactions with others private. Cheating, on the other hand, usually requires a greater degree of deception and active efforts to maintain a parallel relationship.

Therapists say, ‘Micro-cheating is more common than you think’

However, both micro-cheating and cheating can erode trust and lead to feelings of betrayal and insecurity. However, the magnitude of the impact may differ.

It’s important to note that the boundaries and definitions of what constitutes micro-cheating may differ from one relationship to another. Establishing open and honest communication with your partner is essential to define and align on relationship expectations, including what constitutes cheating and what behaviours are considered inappropriate.

Recommended for you