The practice of micro-cheating has been seeing a lot of traction lately, but the concept is still unclear for a lot of people. Basically, micro-cheating is one author's term for things that aren't cheating, but could be seen as a betrayal — especially when they pile up. Blogger April Lavalle was skeptical so she decided to try it out for a while and post her findings.
Twitter had a field day when her article dropped:
One dating expert defined micro-cheating as "a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship." And it may sound silly, but under the right circumstances micro-cheating can be devastating. April decided to try some examples of micro-cheating that other articles have pointed out.
Here's an exerpt from the list she worked from:
-Reaching out to a girl who’s “just a friend” for a recommendation or advice on an issue he could easily Google the answer to because he feels like bantering.
-Tagging another girl in an Instagram that reminds him of her or references a seemingly innocuous inside joke between them.
-Downplaying a certain woman’s awesomeness whenever she’s mentioned around his significant other as if proactively doing damage control.
-Following up with a “nice to meet you” message unnecessarily.
-Establishing secret code words and/or inside jokes with women outside his romantic relationship
-Closing his eyes when he needs a minute to escape and daydreaming about the girl he’s crushing on because she’s his opium of the moment.
For her first micro-cheat, she tackled the "going out of your way to text" option.
She had recently performed at an event, and texted one of the other performers to tell them they were doing well. The performer texted her back a cordial response.
Her guilt level? Nada.
Her next micro-cheat was to send a sexual article to someone other than her partner. It didn't exactly spark any fireworks.
The micro cheats continued with pretty much the same results.
Spoiler alert: April's relationship is solid and she didn't try these things for an extended period of time or with the attention aimed at the same person, so her experiment didn't yield any catastrophic results. But in a shaky relationship where the micro-cheats focus on the same person over a longer time frame, this could end badly.
Twitter weighed in on the whole concept of micro-cheating:
Well fuck me, I guess a lot of folks owe apologies....— max yealey (@max1959) January 29, 2018
This is not cheating.
The idea is that people don’t realise they’re “micro-cheating” The writer was doing the things on the list deliberately to see if it felt like cheating, which clearly to her they did not.— Yeah, you? (@JarydCorny) January 30, 2018
Some people have felt how awful and devaluing long-term micro-cheating can be.
They spoke up, too:
It's all juvenile. If you want to get a rise out of your partner, do it in bed. Mind fucks are lame.— Mary (@Lemmeinthesound) January 30, 2018
Micro cheating is the small flirt ... the liking a lot of FB posts... the going for coffee together during your lunch hour ... it’s not the same as macro cheating which is clear cut— Ciara Kelly (@ciarakellydoc) January 27, 2018
Let's make this simple: If you have to hide it, you shouldn't be doing it. If a relationship is platonic, you don't need to leave the room to take a phone call or shoot a text. If you hide that you grabbed lunch with a friend because your partner "wouldn't understand," you're probably not with the right partner.
That's it. 'Nuff said.
You can read April's entire article here.