January 10, 2018 | 2:21pm | Updated
Unsettling news for anyone in a committed relationship: You’re most likely cheating on your partner, or being cheated on, without even realizing it.
Introducing micro-cheating, the newest buzzword in committed relationships.
Micro-cheating is a relatively new term for all the tiny ways you can be unfaithful without actually exchanging any bodily fluids or sweet nothings.
“Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship,” dating expert Melanie Schilling told HuffPost Australia.
So what is micro-cheating?
Do you always make an effort to look nice if you know you’re going to run into a certain person? Micro-cheating.
Ever sent your ex a message reminding them of a good memory you share? Micro-cheating.
Have inside jokes or nicknames with someone other than your partner? Micro-cheating.
The list goes on and on. It all seems harmless, but plants the seed of wanting attention from someone who isn’t your partner. This can quickly progress to an all-out emotional affair, which usually then crosses over into something physical.
Does it count?
Just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you turn into stone. You’re always going to be attracted to other people and a little bit of flirting is natural, and that flirting doesn’t have to compromise your relationship.
A good way to figure out whether something crosses the line is to think about how you’d feel if your partner was doing the same thing. Any time you’re about to send a flirty text or email, picture your partner reading it. After-work drinks? Imagine your partner standing next to you.
If your person wouldn’t be cool with what you’re typing/saying, don’t do it.
When it crosses the line
If you find yourself hiding anything from your partner, that’s a major red flag. Shut that thing down.
Also, micro-cheating of any kind, no matter how “harmless,” with an ex or old flame is never OK. When you’ve got romantic history with someone, it’s not micro-cheating anymore. It’s just cheating and that’s not cool.