Micro-Cheating, What Is It? What Does It Reflect?

Last updated by Lauren Hart

I’ve been cheated on by an ex-partner before. This infidelity wreaked havoc, leading to us breaking up. I didn’t see it coming, although his micro-cheating could have got me thinking. But what is micro-cheating? Can it be considered as cheating? Let’s explore this concept to try and understand what it really is and to determine the impact it has on a relationship. I’ll explain it all.

Micro-Cheating, What Is It? What Does It Reflect?

What’s the definition of micro-cheating?

Micro-cheating is behavior that may be perceived as a betrayal in a relationship, but which isn’t as explicit or serious as sleeping with or loving someone else.

The difference between micro-cheating and cheating?

The difference between the two lies in the degree of involvement and the partner’s perception of the behavior. Cheating is generally clearer and more defined, whereas micro-cheating can be more subtle and open to interpretation.

In fact, we don’t necessarily perceive micro-cheating as cheating, but our partner may consider it as such. For example, it could be being very close to a colleague, talking to them all the time and even thinking about them often. 💬 For me, I’d noticed that he was close to another woman. I believe in male-female friendships, it’s important to deconstruct yourself, nevertheless there was clearly more between them there as he committed micro-cheating, until he acted on it 😅.

👋 You may be interested in this article: Is flirting cheating? Well, it depends!

Is micro-cheating cheating?

The tricky question is because when micro-cheating happens, you don’t actually act on it, but your partner may still suffer. In fact, it all depends on your respective perceptions and the boundaries you’ve defined as a couple 🤔. Indeed, if you have an open relationship or are in a polyamorous framework, you’ll probably consider that micro-cheating doesn’t even exist. However, for most people, the vision of the couple remains very classic.

👉 So you have to ask yourself: is this something I’d be ashamed to say or something I’d rather hide from my partner?

If you often talk to someone of the opposite sex and have no problem telling your partner, that’s not micro-cheating! On the other hand, if it’s something that implies that you’re behaving as if you were single, then it could indeed be cheating. You need to be able to ask yourself whether the other person’s trust has been violated before you can say whether you’ve cheated!

👋 You may be interested in this article: Should I tell my friend she's being cheated on?

What impacts does micro-cheating have on a relationship?

Even if a bit of flirting with a waiter may seem insignificant at the time and even boost our ego, if our partner finds out, infidelity has major consequences for a couple 💔. Indeed, a partner who witnesses this will have his trust eroded. He will wonder about our commitment to the relationship and whether he’s still loved. Worse still than the doubt, he’ll have a cocktail of negative emotions: feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy. All this is bound to lead to tensions and even arguments, which will ultimately damage the relationship.

👉 It’s normal for the other person to feel betrayed, we can’t question our partner’s emotions 🚫. However, we can ask ourselves questions about our behavior and understand what’s behind it.

Is micro-cheating a reflection of suffering in a relationship?

Indeed, if we commit micro-cheating, it may be a reflection of suffering in the relationship. If our partner neglects us too much, it’s a way of making ourselves feel valued, flattering our ego, and seeking attention or affection elsewhere... Sometimes, it can also be a sign of dissatisfaction with the monogamous model of the relationship. As I said, if the classic vision of the couple doesn’t suit you, you can redefine it, as long as your partner agrees. You also need to accept that your partner has the same rights as you do, and that they may have other life stories too ⚖️.

The solution to micro-cheating

Whatever the case, the best way to avoid micro-cheating is to practice positive, transparent communication as a couple. You need to share your vision of the relationship and make sure that you both have the same definition of the limits that shouldn’t be crossed. The therapist also recommends that you express your needs and emotions clearly so that you don’t become trapped in the suffering. Furthermore, communication helps to strengthen the relationship. Partners who are united, strong, and healthy for each other are less likely to face micro-cheating 🤗.

Nevertheless, if micro-cheating persists despite everything, and you have doubts about your partner, we can only recommend that you consult a psychologist to understand the issues behind this behavior and find a way out.

Editor’s note: Good communication

Micro-cheating is a complex and highly personal subject. But don’t forget, the key is communication and respect for each other’s limits. If you’re feeling lost or need to clarify certain gray areas, don’t hesitate to consult a psychologist. After all, that’s what we’re here for, to help you navigate the twists and turns of your relationships. So, ready for a session with a psychologist? See you very soon!

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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Wengood's playlist


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  4. Beautiful DayU2
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
  6. White FlagDido
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

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