This New 'Micro-Cheating' Trend Has Everyone Feeling Guilty

There's a distinct line between friendship and 'micro-cheating'

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We thought cheating was a pretty straightforward situation.

Your partner gets with someone else, you find saucy messages on their phone, or your best friend breaks the news to you that she saw them kissing someone else on Saturday night.

It all seemed pretty basic until we heard the term micro-cheating. 

Psychologist and consultant Melanie Schilling told The Daily Mail that micro-cheating involves your partner being emotionally or physically focused on someone else.

She said: "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."

"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."

Melanie described the act as a subtle betrayal and needs "secrecy to fuel its fire". 

She said if you think your partner is micro-cheating, find out if they are is having secret discussions online, or if they are reaching out to an ex to mark an anniversary or another shared, intimate event. 

The line between friendship and this whole micro-cheating lark seems pretty vague to us, but Melanie said there are stand out ways to tell the difference.

She said: "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."

She added: "However, if they start to conceal their relationship from you or lie to you about it, then start considering the appropriateness of their connection."

She said: "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."

She added: "However, if they start to conceal their relationship from you or lie to you about it, then start considering the appropriateness of their connection."

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