Relationship expert reveals the tell-tale signs you're 'micro-cheating' on your partner
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We all know the damage infidelity tends to have on relationships.
And surprisingly, the subtle things you might be doing without even realising could be counted as 'micro-cheating'.
Australian relationship expert Samantha Jayne has revealed exactly what this dating concept means and how to tell if you are guilty about it.
'Micro-cheating is a very grey area and it is not easy to define like full blown cheating,' she told FEMAIL.
'However if you're asking yourself whether you're doing it and there is an element of guilt to your actions then the answer is probably "yes".'
What actually defines micro-cheating?
Samantha said that what defines micro-cheating all depends on an individual's values and boundaries.
What one person considers micro-cheating could have zero tolerance for another who might be completely fine with.
'It's important to have an open line of communication with your partner with specific boundaries of what is considered okay and not okay,' she said.
'Often micro-cheating may seem like a bit of innocent flirting with a person outside of your relationship but it can unfortunately ruin your relationship.'
Samantha said it includes things such as reaching out to an ex for emotional support, growing too friendly with someone and going out with a co-worker and not telling your partner.
It doesn't end there as it can also include secretly texting someone, having private jokes, catching up with an old flame behind your partners back and secretly reaching out to someone you're attracted to on social media.
'While you might not be physically intimate with them it could potentially sabotage your relationship, especially if you cross the line of it becoming emotional or physical,' she said.
'This happening isn't surprising as the temptation over time could escalate, especially if there are problems in your own relationship.'
How can you tell if you are guilty of it?
Samantha said micro-cheating all comes down to the intentions behind your behaviour.
'It is important to look at your relationship and why you are reaching out to someone else,' she said.
'If it is from an unmet need in your relationship it is important fix it, have a conversation with your partner, set some clear healthy boundaries and rekindle your connection to avoid the temptation of going outside your relationship.'
If you are finding that there is someone else out there you are chatting to that you often think about, Samantha recommends nipping it in the bud before it morphs into something that risks the relationship.
She also said it is important to put yourself in your partners shoes, after all, how would you feel if you were in their position?
'Go back to what you value. If you value honesty and integrity then live your life in alignment with these values and go with your gut,' she said.
'Chances are if you are doing something on the sly and feeling guilty about it, it's probably micro-cheating.
'If it was completely innocent you could openly chat to your partner about it without any guilt or problem.'
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