The Truth About Micro-Cheating

You met your significant other on Tinder. You're absolutely ecstatic with one another. You really feel like you've won the Dating Lotto... yet you're updating your dating apps when your partner's not looking. 

If you don't know what micro-cheating is, it may be time to change that. "Micro-cheating is when you do [things] that might not be considered outright infidelity, but are nonetheless breaches of trust that could lead to genuine cheating in the future," relationship counselor and personal growth coach Jonathan Bennet says (via Bustle).

Micro-cheating is difficult to define, simply because an act that might be viewed as acceptable by one couple is seen as a straight-up no-no by another. Melanie Schilling, a dating expert sets the record straight on micro-cheating, by calling it "a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship." She includes examples like texting someone without telling your partner, saving someone's contact details under a fake name in your phone, or lying about the status of your relationship to others (via Huffington Post Australia).

Why micro-cheating is more than flirting

Wait a minute. What is the difference between micro-cheating and flirting? "Secrecy is the tell-tale sign," Schilling says. "Micro-cheating is a subtle betrayal and it needs secrecy to fuel its fire. If your partner is having private conversations or online chats that he/she quickly shuts down when you enter the room; if they are reaching out to an ex to mark an anniversary or other significant shared, intimate event... these are all signs to look out for."

Psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina admits temptation will always be an issue for both parties in an exclusive relationship, and she agrees that you are definitely crossing the line when you're sharing something with someone and you're tempted to hide your guilty feelings. "If you catch yourself micro-cheating, don't assume it's harmless, and turn that energy back into the intimacy of your relationship," she says (via Bustle).