New-age relationships are anything but simple–and to add to their existing troubles, a new term has emerged; micro-cheating also known as cheating without even realizing that you are cheating.

It all started when an Australian psychologist Melanie Schilling told a leading online publication about this term and explained why it is on the rise.


What is micro-cheating?

Imagine yourself in a steady relationship with your partner, and one fine day, you get a DM from a guy you thought was cute. You respond to their DM and the two of you begin to talk regularly. In your head, this is extremely normal or casual and yet, you keep it from your partner thinking that it is rather inconsequential.

You are probably enjoying the harmless flirting and do not intend to break up with your partner because you have normalized the flirting. It is not a big deal for you. That is exactly what micro-cheating is!

Micro-cheating is quite confusing a term as people all over the internet have their own versions and definitions of what they think it is and should be.

Melanie described micro-cheating as the process of “secretly connecting” with another person on social media or “sharing private jokes” with someone who is not your significant other while hiding all of these from them. If you feel the need to hide something from your partner, you are micro-cheating.


So, are you micro-cheating on your significant other?

If you find yourself making plans to hang out with someone you might have a thing for or your ex, while keeping your partner uninformed, you are probably micro-cheating.

If you are hesitant to show your online chats to your partner because you were probably catching up with an ex and are now regularly talking to them, you are micro-cheating.

Having said that, according to some examples on the internet, if you complimented someone on how they look but didn’t inform your partner about it also counts as micro-cheating. Is not that a little bizarre?

Especially because you did not compliment them with an intention to hurt your partner! Those two could be completely different situations.


What is the legitimacy of this term?

Whatever falls under the micro-cheating criteria is something that’s being done since many years, and now, it just has a new terminology.

We believe that in a relationship, only the people involved are the ones to mutually agree upon what is right and what is not.

Extremely oddly specific examples of what micro-cheating could be are all over the internet and people are not happy about them. Most of them sound like gestures of niceness or friendliness without any wrong intentions, so why exactly put these wide varieties of behaviour into a vague term called micro-cheating?