Dating expert warns over 'micro-cheating' and the signs that you're doing it

Yet another day brings a new dating obstacle to be cautious of, and this time it's something you might unknowingly be guilty of. Over the past few years, various dating trends have emerged, including ghosting, beige flags, getting zombied, being phubbed, and even the intriguingly named 'frog-ization'. And now, 'micro-cheating' can also be included in your repertoire of relationship terms.
But what does it entail?

According to dating expert Melanie Schilling, who defined it to HuffPost in 2017, micro-cheating refers to "a series of seemingly minor actions that indicate a person's emotional or physical focus on someone outside their current relationship."

Examples of actions that could be categorized as micro-cheating include discreetly browsing dating apps to explore other options, sending flirtatious messages to someone you know without your partner's awareness, or being less than fully truthful about your relationship status when interacting with others.

So, is it possible that you are engaging in micro-cheating?

Schilling explained that you might be guilty of micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another individual on social media, share inside jokes with them, downplay the seriousness of your relationship when discussing it with them, or save their contact information under a disguised name in your phone.
These indications suggest that you are engaging in a "covert flirtation" while intentionally concealing it from your partner. If you sense that you have something to keep hidden, it's important to reflect on the reasons behind it.

Secrecy serves as the unmistakable clue. Micro-cheating is a discreet form of betrayal that thrives on secrecy to sustain its momentum.
If you're reading this and perceive it as innocuous, be cautious because another specialist believes it might serve as a means for individuals to "test the boundaries."

According to relationship expert Susan Winter, as she conveyed to the Independent, "While micro-cheating may not involve physical infidelity, it undoubtedly challenges the limits of emotional betrayal. Flirting is flirting, and flirting is the action of kindling a spark that can quickly ignite into a flame."
While many of us may enjoy occasional flirtation, Schilling emphasizes that it's the underlying intention that holds significance.

She also cautions that tolerating micro-cheating from your partner can weaken your position in the relationship and provide them with the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.

Schilling adds, "By accepting this behavior, you are essentially conveying the message, 'It's acceptable for you to flirt with others, I'm content with being secondary and my feelings don't really count.'

"Over time, this can erode your self-esteem and position you as the 'victim' in your relationship."

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