Micro-cheating: when harmless behaviour crosses the line
WHILE MICRO-CHEATING DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN PHYSICAL CONTACT, IT MAY CROSS THE BOUNDARIES YOU AND YOUR PARTNER DEFINE AS UNFAITHFUL BEHAVIOUR
You see nothing wrong with innocently flirting with your gym instructor, or regularly ‘liking’ and commenting on your colleague’s photos on Instagram. After all, a little harmless flirting won’t do any harm, right? But is it really all that innocent?
Micro-cheating is an act or behaviour that might suggest to someone else you’re emotionally or physically available. It might not seem like such a big deal when acted upon, but considering it may give someone the wrong impression about your relationship status, especially when carried out with the wrong intention, it could pave the way to an extramarital affair.
Dr Martin Graff, professor of psychology at the University of South Wales, describes this modern relationship dilemma as something between flirting and unfaithful behaviour. Although it’s not a new concept, it has been made easier, and perhaps even more ambiguous, with smartphones and social media. It’s become easy for people to exchange numbers and have flirtatious conversations on Whatsapp, and Facebook has made it easier to get in touch with an ex. While it may not count as physical cheating, Dr Martin emphasises that this kind of behaviour may incite betrayal.