Cushioning, submarining, hyping – we’ve almost lost count of all the awful dating trends that have emerged over the last year or so.
It’s hard enough trying to navigate through the world of romance, let alone having to worry about all the little ways our potential partners can destroy our faith in love.
And the latest trend might just be the worst yet.
If you’ve ever been involved with someone, whether that be a casual fling or a full blown relationship, there’s a very high chance you or your partner have engaged in a little thing the experts like to call ‘micro-cheating’.
Micro-cheating is described as the act of flirting with someone behind your partners back, and while no physical content is made, its effects can devastate even the most stable of relationships.
Of course, flirting is a natural human behaviour, and something we can do without even realising, but how far does it have to go before it can be considered unfaithful?
Well, speaking about the phenomenon, dating expert, Melanie Schilling told
“Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship”.
She explains that examples of micro-cheating include texting someone in secret, lying about your relationship status or having someone saved under a fake name on your phone.
Of course, there’s a chance that all these things could be completely innocent and not intended to cause hurt to a significant other, but ongoing secrecy could indicate illicit behaviour.
“If you feel you have something to hide, ask yourself why,” she says.
So, what should you do if you become a victim of micro-cheating?
Confront your partner? Say nothing and wait it out?
Melanie has some advice:
“The first thing you need to establish is the intention behind the behaviour.
“If this is an unconscious habit your partner has developed over time, due to previous partners allowing it, then you have the opportunity to put your foot down and set some new rules.
“However, if this is something they are actively choosing to do, and they do not change when you ask them to, perhaps it’s time to consider if this relationship is good for your well-being.”
In short, no one should ever be made to feel paranoid or unwanted, so if you find yourself suffering at the hands of your partner’s behaviour, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship.