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What Is Micro-cheating? 8 Prominent Signs

what is micro-cheating

We believe, “Trust, understanding, and love contribute to a stronger bond. Without these, a relationship could lose its spark.” Among these, people have started to comprehend the value of understanding and love but trust is still very understated. Although it is understated, it is one of the most important factors to lay a solid ground for a long-lasting and constructive relationship.

Just imagine that you are madly in love with someone and the person reciprocates your feelings. At this moment you will experience euphoria! Now you both are in a relationship and everything seems to be going great but you don’t trust your partner. They are not cheating on you but their actions are such which has caused your trust to peel off bit by bit. All of this hints at your partner micro-cheating you and it would certainly cause your relationship to lose its spark. But you might be wondering what is micro-cheating in relationships and what are its signs, to know it all stay tuned till the end of this post.

What is Micro-cheating in Relationships?

‘Micro’ as the word suggests is based on small things. Thus, micro-cheating is such a small act that cultivates inappropriate intimate connections outside one’s relationship. It finely treads the line between faithfulness and unfaithfulness. Infidelity can be emotional or physical. Micro-cheating falls under the umbrella of emotional infidelity.

We believe that flirting can do wonders for a relationship and you can click here to know all the reasons to flirt with your partner! But flirting excessively outside your relationship can take you down the path of micro-cheating. Are you logging in to dating apps to just see what is out there, do you have the urge to maintain an emotional connection outside your relationship, or are you being extra secretive with your partner? All of this falls under micro-cheating and will cause the erosion of trust in your relationship which might pose your relationship in precarious waters.

To understand this phenomenon better, it is pivotal to comprehend the difference between cheating and micro-cheating.

Cheating v/s Micro-cheating in Relationships


Sometimes, we wish life was as simple as it is portrayed in movies. And it would be relatively easy to define right and wrong and act accordingly. But life is not as simple as the movies especially when it comes to relationships. It takes a lot of time and effort from both ends to nurture a relationship and keep it blossoming. Trust is also one of the most important factors to maintain the spark of the relationship. A relationship is never black and white, it is a grey zone and it depends on two partners on what is acceptable to them and what is not.

Cheating in relationships is a very broad term but primarily it can be defined as being emotionally or sexually unfaithful to your partner who you are in a close relationship with. The definition involves both emotional and sexual aspects. But the majority of people tend to ignore the emotional aspect. They think that if they are not engaging in any sexual activities outside their relationship then they are still faithful to their partner. But that is not true and emotional infidelity also means that one is cheating their partner. Emotional infidelity too is a very broad category and micro-cheating is a mere section of the same.

Micro-cheating is more common than people think it is. You can be committing it even without your knowledge. It is the small actions that facilitate micro-cheating. Activities like chatting with someone till late at night, prioritizing the person more than your partner, small social gestures, etc. all account for micro-cheating. These gestures might seem normal but the intention is betraying the person you are already in a romantic relationship with! Are you frequently lying to your partner or keeping secrets from them? If you affirm with these questions or any of the above gestures then you are heading towards the path of micro-cheating.

The one engaging in this kind of cheating will not commit physical infidelity but it is the emotions that cause them to betray their partner. They might even share a very platonic bond with someone outside their relationship as the other person might make them feel more appreciated than their partner. Thus, we believe, “If you have to hide things from your partner, you are doing more damage than you can imagine- to them, to you, to your relationship!” This damage is in terms of trust which is one of the foundation factors of the relationship.

To have a better insight into micro-cheating, let us take a deeper look at the prominent signs of micro-cheating in a relationship.

8 Prominent Signs of Micro-cheating in a Relationship

what is micro-cheating

1. The Fantasy World

Well, it is totally normal to fantasize about your favorite celebrity or influencer. But it is normal only to the point that you do not conceptualize it as reality or else it can turn into a parasocial relationship which we discussed in our recent post, click here to read it.

But if you are creating a fantasy world with someone apart from your partner, it is most likely that you are caught in the whirlwind of emotional infidelity. Or if you find yourself hoping at certain moments that it could be someone else instead of your partner, you have already progressed on the path of micro-cheating.

2. The Flirting Game

We have emphasized time and again the wonders that flirting can do to your relationship. It can make your partner feel appreciated and it can increase the erotic energy which in turn will enhance your sex life.

But what if one puts such similar erotic, flirting energy outside the relationship? The answer is simple and one commits micro-cheating. If you are flirting outside your relationship, on social media, or commenting on erotic posts then you already know the clutches that have captured you and are about to sever your connection with your partner.

3. The ‘Ex’ Connection

We think anyone’s ‘ex’ is their ex because things just did not work out for them. There might be multiple reasons ranging from mutual separation, and long distance, to misunderstanding, cheating, etc. Thus, with the prefix ‘ex’, it is implied that any kind of romantic connection is over. It might take a while for both parties to move on but there is only an ex-connection that should not affect your present relationship.

But if you find yourself thinking about your ‘ex’ time and again, comparing them to your current partner, and missing them, this indicates two things. First, you might not be totally over your ex and you have not moved on completely as a part of you still craves for them. Second, you are carving your path down the lane of micro-cheating.

4. Old is Gold

signs of micro-cheating

The above saying is true in most cases. We tend to cherish old memories with our close ones and be happy when we recall an old memory. But like everything else, this too has an exception in terms of dating life and relationships.

If you have been committed for a while yet have retained your old dating profile, checking out what’s new, and initiating conversations with someone on the apps under the pretext of being single then this is a red flag of micro-cheating.

5. The Fake Contact

If you have been in a situation where you were being very secretive and saving fake names for the contacts on your phone in order to surprise your partner, then it is completely normal. Many couples like to get creative with their surprises and tend to involve friends and family in the same.

But if you are creating fake contacts to hide the identity of the person you are talking to as it might cause issues in your relationship and you do not want your partner to know about the person then it is indicative of the fact that you are committing micro-cheating.

6. The Emotional Support

A relationship should be a safe haven where both partners can share their feelings and thoughts on various things. It should be such that a partner should reach out to the other partner when they are in need of any kind of emotional support.

But if you tend to think of someone else when you are in emotional distress or you reach out to someone other than your partner when you need emotional support then this is one of the signs of micro-cheating. Maintaining a close emotional connection outside your relationship is a huge giveaway of the same.

7. The Communication

cheating v/s micro-cheating in a relationship

Communication is like the motor of a relationship. If there is constant communication, a relationship is capable of overcoming all the ups and downs. On the contrary, if the communication is faulty, the boat of the relationship will not be able to sail for a long time.

But if you are establishing constant communication with someone other than your partner then you have fallen prey to emotional infidelity. If you are talking to someone else when you are having trouble in your relationship or when your relationship is in the down phase, you are micro-cheating your partner. This is because instead of resolving the issue with your partner, you are seeking escape outside your relationship.

8. The Extra Efforts

Each individual is different and so is their way of expressing love to their partner. Some people believe in small gestures while others prefer going all out there, but that’s the fun, right? A person dresses for themselves or their partners when there is a special occasion or a day that is memorable for both of them.

What if a person makes these small gestures and puts in a little more effort to dress up but not for their partner and a different person altogether? This too is one of the prominent signs of micro-cheating and it can even escalate further if the person committing it does not put an end to this.

With this, we come to the end of our post “What Is Micro-cheating? 8 Prominent Signs.” We hope that this post proves to be useful for you. Let us know were you aware of what is micro-cheating in the comments below. We would also love to know what would you like next to read via the comments.

If you have fallen into the death hole of micro-cheating, click here to seek relationship help from an ICF-certified relationship coach today. Subscribe to read more such updates and follow us on Instagram where we post some amazing affirmations, polls, quizzes, and much more!


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