Calling Bullshit On Micro Cheating: Another Way To Control The Normal Behavior Of Your Partner

Are we really making this a thing?

Calling Bullshit On Micro Cheating: Another Way To Control The Normal Behavior Of Your Partner

by Annie Simon |

So, wtf is micro-cheating? You may have thought that when it comes to cheating in a relationship things are pretty black and white- you’re either cheating or you’re not right? Wrong.

Australian psychologist and consultant Melanie Schilling explained the concept of micro-cheating to the Daily Mail. And apparently, you could be micro-cheating without even realising it.

The term describes the tiny ways someone can be unfaithful to their partner.

‘Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship,’ Schilling explains.

‘You might be engaging in micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another guy/girl on social media; if you share private jokes; if you downplay the seriousness of your relationship to another guy/girl; or if you enter their name under a code in your phone.’

All of these are examples of a ‘covert flirtation’, according to Schilling….

Ok, let’s just stop right there.

So basically, any meaningful, funny, or private interactions or (god forbid) friendships with anyone but your partner….is cheating? Bullshit.

To insist that your partner can’t have inside jokes with their friends, or connect with anyone but you are absolutely absurd demands to make. In fact, it actually reads like a recipe for a very unhealthy relationship. We all get that relationships are special, and you ought to have a stronger connection with your partner than your average friend, but should your partner be the beginning and end of your life? No, because that’s not healthy.

It’s important to preserve your friendships and other platonic relationships even when you’re seeing someone romantically. It’s normal to have inside jokes with your friends, it’s normal to connect with them, it’s normal to show each other insta-support, be they male, female, or non-binary.

To think you have the right to exercise control over someone else’s life and friendships, is just ridiculous. News flash- you don’t have that right, because you don’t own them. A relationship is not about controlling one another for fear of ‘micro-cheating’, it’s about trusting each other enough to know that you are the priority amongst all their other friendships and platonic relationships.

This micro-cheating trend that has people believing that their partners can’t like posts on social media without being emotionally unfaithful, is not only a study in jumping to conclusions, it is also damaging to relationships. It encourages you to feed your insecurities and let paranoia run rampant- *Why has he liked that picture? What does that Facebook tag mean? What is that inside joke all about? *Cue the overthinking, unnecessary arguments, and subsequent destruction of your relationship.

Even Schilling admits that it can be difficult to draw the line between friendship and micro-cheating. She recommends that you trust your gut: 'You have intuition for a reason and it tells you when things are not right. If things don't add up, if you catch your partner in a lie, if they are behaving in an uncharacteristic way, bring it up.’

While open communication is always a good thing in a relationship, all I’m going to say is be careful about jumping the gun with any accusations.

As my mother always says, when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.

Follow Annie Simon on Twitter: @annieasimon

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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