Which begs the question: is micro-cheating a uniquely millennial problem?Is the heart eye emoji the gateway drug to cheating?
Examples of micro-cheating include regularly reaching out to an ex online, lying about or neglecting to mention your relationship status to a person of interest, posting heart emojis (or the formidable eggplant emoji) on this person’s photos, or not deleting, and still perusing, dating apps while you’re in a relationship. Per a Thought Catalog piece on the topic, they range from the reasonable (when your boyfriend saves a girl’s contact under a different name “to avoid detection when she calls”), to the questionably controlling (when your boyfriend “goes out of his way to do something nice for someone who’s not his girlfriend, like hook her up with tickets to a concert”), to the I-could-write-a-thesis-about-why-this-is-so-fucked-up (when your girlfriend dresses “super sexy on a totally random morning specifically because she feels like being elevator-eyed and/or catcalled").
It will take a long time, but if it's actually someone you want to see yourself with in (insert space of time here), then working on communication should be an important first step.
11 for bringing it to light via an interview with psychologist Melanie Schilling, who termed micro-cheating “a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside of the relationship.” #FITSPIRATION PHOTOS ARE ACTUALLY DEPRESSING, SAYS STUDY “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,” Schilling said, adding that modern dating’s latest dilemma is defined by secrecy and “subtle betrayal.” She added that having platonic friendships does not make one a micro-cheater.
The important thing is that your partner is choosing you, and continues to choose you, again and again.
People who search for micro-hints of micro-cheating are liable to drive people away, and probably won’t handle the fluctuations of long term relationships well in the future. The appropriate nature of extra-relational behavior will vary pair to pair, and is best established through honest communication.