The Guardian
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That’s the new word that has made it into relationship lexicon- to describe all the tiny ways by which one can be unfaithful to a partner…according to a dating expert.

In her words: “Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside of the relationship.

“You might be engaging in micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another person on social media, if you share private jokes, if you downplay the seriousness of your relationship to your partner or if you enter their name under a code in your phone. Examples can also include texting someone without your partner’s knowledge, saving someone under a fake name in your phone or lying about the status of your relationship to another.

“These are all signs that you are conducting a “covert flirtation” and keeping it from your partner. If you feel you have something to hide – ask yourself why.”

She also explained that, “the easiest way to tell if you or your partner are micro-cheating is if things are being kept secret.

“The act of micro-cheating is a subtle betrayal and it needs ‘secrecy to fuel its fire’.

“Other things you should look out for are if your partner is having private conversations or online chats that he/she quickly shuts down when you enter the room or if they are reaching out to an ex to mark an anniversary or other significant shared, intimate event.

“Perhaps they are offering compliments to other guys/girls that they don’t say to you, or maybe they meet up with someone of the opposite sex under the guise of a business meeting, when you discover no business was actually done.”

She further explained that “although the lines between micro-cheating and friendship may seem as if they blur, there are ways that you can easily differentiate the two.

“ It’s the secrecy and deception that accompanies the communication that defines it as micro-cheating.
“Your partner may have a perfectly platonic relationship with a friend and they may be up-front and open about talking to them and seeing them. This should not ring alarm bells.

“However, if they start to conceal their relationship from you or lie to you about it, then start considering the appropriateness of their connection. You have intuition for a reason and it tells you when things are not right. If things don’t add up, if you catch your partner in a lie, if they are behaving in an uncharacteristic way, bring it up.

“The key here is to be objective and rational, rather than subjective and emotional. Slinging empty accusations and insults will get you nowhere.”

She further added that, “you need to be specific about the behaviours that you have observed and explain how they made you feel.

“For example, “when you spent an hour on the phone to your ex during our date-night dinner, I felt left-out and pretty useless. I’d prefer it if you focused on me during our special nights together.”

“Or you could say: “When you add all the heart emojis in her/his post comments it makes me feel like she/he is your partner, rather than me.

“Next time, it would be great if you could reserve the online love for me.”

My initial reaction after reading this article was “can’t someone ‘play’ out there, again!’’

I mean, if we all start ‘micro-looking’ into every of a partner’s activity out there…even the relationship itself will begin to feel like a cage of sorts.

I certainly don’t want to be involved with someone who reads meanings or ‘micro-looks’ into everything that I do with ‘friends’ out there.

Like someone opined…”The REAL betrayal begins when a partner, of either gender, takes their partner for granted. Don’t complain about the consequences if you’re responsible for the cause.’’

That’s pretty much my stance, too. What matters is that those involved in a relationship respect what they have and do all it takes to protect the sanctity of that setting.

People should also understand that what suffocates a relationship is excessive ‘policing’.

Some people would even go as far as ‘befriending’ whoever their partner is friends with on the social media…just to snoop better.

I see a lot of this as a manifestation of esteem issues. Otherwise, whoever you deem fit to be involved with deserves a level of TRUST from you.

However, I do agree that one shouldn’t leave certain things to chances. But that is where COMMUNICATION comes in. When you feel a partner is stepping offline…you call his or her attention to that.

Much as I believe that one who cherishes what he/she has with a partner will not knowingly take that relationship for granted…for any reason.

What I just don’t agree with is the seeming ‘policing’!

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