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What Is Micro-Cheating?

When it comes to social media and digital dating, there are a number of questionable dating behaviours that make your partner go hmmmm. Everyone has a different opinion as to what constitutes micro-cheating, so it’s best to make sure you, and your partner are on the same page. Our Chief Dating Advisor, Carmelia Ray shares her thoughts with My Domaine.

WRITTEN BY Carmelia Ray | Guest Writer | Oct 01 2018

When it comes to social media and digital dating, there are a number of questionable dating behaviours that make your partner go hmmmm. Everyone has a different opinion as to what constitutes micro-cheating, so it’s best to make sure you, and your partner are on the same page. Our Chief Dating Advisor, Carmelia Ray shares her thoughts with My Domaine.

I had an opportunity to be interviewed by a journalist at My Domaine about micro-cheating. There seems to be a grey area when it comes to quesitonable dating behaviour. Check out my interview and share your thoughts on what you think micro-cheating is.

What exactly is micro-cheating?

Micro-cheating is any sort of hidden and questionable behaviour you engage with a person of sexual or romantic interest who is NOT your romantic partner.

What are some examples of microcheating, in your opinion?

Following and liking someone you find yourself sexually interested in, or romantically curious about, and commenting on their social feeds Sending DM’s to a person of interest behind your partner's back. Sharing personal intimate conversation with someone you are sexually attracted to.

Downplaying your relationship status or implying your relationships is on the rocks to someone who is interested in you and vice versa. This is followed up with discussing your personal relationship issues with someone who has a personal interest in you, or you in them. Openly flirting with someone and engaging in flirty behaviour knowing your partner would be upset if you did it in front of them. Acting in a way to imply you’re “available” in public. Removing your wedding ring or any evidence you are in a relationship such as a bracelet or any jewellry given to you by your current partner.

Apparently micro-cheating is the new “ghosting” in terms of how popular the phrase has become. Why do you think that it’s such a big topic of interest now?

I feel like any new dating terms become viral because people like to talk about the latest dating dilemmas. Millennials attention spans are short and ghosting is so last week. Micro-cheating is so controversial and there are so many grey areas, making this topic much more interesting than a black and white situation. There are multiple shades of grey here.

Do you think technology plays a role in it because cheating on tech is considered “less” important?

Technology definitely plays a big role when it comes to cheating largely because of the access to singles and potential people of interest with social media sites and countless dating apps emerging. Cheating on tech may be considered less harmful because it’s a digital interaction and not a physical, in person breach. A lot of women would argue that an emotional cheat is equally damaging to physical contact.

Do you think microcheating is cheating? Why or why not?

Given my definition of microcheating, I believe it is definitely cheating. It’s not so important what I think, than it is for couples to openly discuss their boundaries and understanding for communication with someone of possible interest to them. The person has to ask themselves, would my partner be upset if I was doing this thing in front of their face? Don’t base it on what you think, it’s always best to ask and clarify before you potentially breach trust.

Do you think that the phrase “micro” allows people to think that these acts are less offensive than say traditional cheating?

The culprits will always want to minimize their bad behaviour. End of story.

Does it make a difference if your partner knows you are doing it (for example, flirting with the neighborhood barista)? It makes all the difference when you are transparent with your partner and they know and don’t care about your flirtation. I know many couples who flirt with lots of other people who don’t care, as long as it never goes beyond verbal flirtation. Other couples would be extremely upset and offended. It’s best to be clear and to respect your partner’s communication preferences.

How do you think micro-cheating further blurs the lines of cheating?

For example, a survey by Men’s Health found that almost all women considered sexting to be cheating, while a quarter of men didn’t think it was.

The lines of cheating are already blurred so adding the term “micro” is simply a cop out for the person who might use this term as his/her reason for engaging in the behaviour. I recently spoke with a young man who actually said his girlfriend was mad at him for downloading Tinder. He seemed to be totally clueless as to why she was so angry. I definitely shared my perspective which he emphatically stated “It wasn’t like that.” It seems a lot of guys don’t really know what would upset a women when it comes to questionable behaviour.

Do you think that microcheating leads to full-on cheating? When should you be concerned? Or should you always with microcheating?

If a person is already microcheating, I do believe it sets a pattern and habit of engaging in behaviors that can lead to full blown cheating. As they say, if you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned. If someone gets used to hiding things from their partner and their conscious is not kicking in with microcheating, it could simply be a matter of time before the relationships that started off as “nothing serious” turns into a full blown affair. I would be concerned once I notice how much easier it becomes to hide things from your partner and to begin pushing your line of restraint, further and further away from you.

Carmelia Ray

TV Host, Matchmaker & Online Dating Coach

Carmelia Ray is an internationally acclaimed matchmaker for high achieving men and the quality women they’re searching for. She’s also a renowned TV personality from Mom Vs. Matchmaker, The Real Housewives Of Toronto, and A User’s Guide to Cheating Death (Fall 2018).