According to dating expert Melanie Schilling, micro-cheating is "a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship."
That might include things like texting someone without your partner’s knowledge.
Sure, nothing physical is going on and your texts might be 100 percent innocent, but the action itself is at least slightly shady.
Another example of micro-cheating is saving someone under a fake name in your phone.
Again, it’s just kind of questionable, even if there isn’t any direct evidence that you’re being unfaithful.
The next instance of micro-cheating typically comes into play when you’re out on the town.
Neglecting to mention you have a significant other is another of those things that certainly isn’t full-out cheating, but is toeing the line of emotional cheating.
Obviously, you don’t have to start every interaction with some by shouting “I AM NOT SINGLE!” but you should be honest about your relationship status rather than referring to your partner as your “friend.”
Having a bunch of inside jokes can also be a sign of micro-cheating.
Bonding over inside jokes is sometimes a sign of having a connection with someone that’s deeper than your partner may be comfortable with.
Does it mean you’re an awful person who doesn’t deserve love? Of course not. But it is behavior that you might want to examine closely before allowing it to continue.
If you feel like you might be guilty of micro-cheating (or if you suspect your partner of doing it), don't panic! It doesn't mean the end of your relationship.
Micro-cheating is most dangerous when it’s part of a pattern. So if you find yourself (or your partner) repeatedly exhibiting signs of micro-cheating, it may be time to have a real conversation about it.
Above all, it’s important to remember that relationships are built on communication. Don’t jump to conclusions; have conversations.