5 Signs Of Micro-Cheating, According To Experts, & Wow, They're Tricky To Spot
When you're single and looking for love, it can seem like being in a relationship is all sunshine and rainbows. But the fact of the matter is that relationships are hard work. And then, once you're in a relationship, you have to establish trust so you're not constantly doubting your partner. Being cheated on is no fun, but micro-cheating is a whole different ball game. I spoke to several experts about the signs of micro-cheating you should keep an eye out for, because if you notice them, then it might be time to have a serious talk with your SO.
Maybe you haven't heard of micro-cheating. That's OK. Basically, it's exactly what it sounds like. According to Pricilla Martinez, an online life coach at Blush, "Micro-cheating is behavior that can have undertones of infidelity but isn't physical. It can be flirtatious and usually emotionally driven." So whether or not you're in a relationship and worried about your partner micro-cheating, it can still be helpful to know what signs to look out for.
But, it's also important to establish with your partner what you each consider to be acceptable behavior. You have to talk about what you're OK with, and establish a set of boundaries that you each know not to cross.
But, if you've done all that, and are still concerned that your partner might be betraying your trust, then these signs of micro-cheating can definitely be helpful in figuring out what's actually going on with your partner.
1. They're being secretive
According to Dr. Gary Brown, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, one fairly certain sign that your partner is micro-cheating (or maybe even full-blown cheating) is that they're consistenly hiding things from you, like their phone. "Using apps that automatically delete messages so your partner won’t find out," Brown tells Elite Daily, is certainly a sign, or maybe even "quickly closing your laptop when your partner is entering the room."
Obviously, there could be another reason that they're hiding their phones or laptops, but if it's happening on a regular basis, and they're getting defensive about it, then you might have a micro-cheater on your hands.
2. They're cyberstalking someone else.
Listen, the internet is a great thing, but it can also lead to issues. If your significant other is spending a lot of time looking at someone else online, then it could turn into a problem. Are they constantly looking at someone else's Instagram or Facebook? Is that person someone your partner is attracted to? "Cyberstalking others on social media that [they] are attracted to," could definitely be indicative of your partner micro-cheating.
It sucks, but it could also be a good way for you and your significant other to have a difficult conversation.
3. They're super close to someone else. Like, too close.
Everyone is allowed to have friends outside your relationship, and if your partner has someone at work or school who they spend a lot of time with, that can be a great thing. However, it can also be a sign of micro-cheating. According to Martinez, if your partner has someone who they're super close to, and who "they're overly familiar with," keep an eye out.
"Lots of people have what they refer to as a work 'husband/wife.' Meaning either or both parties looks out for the others needs (food, career interest, appearance, etc.)," and it isn't always a bad thing, but it certainly could be, especially if they're acting too flirty with that person, and you sense that something is off.
4. They're starting to withdraw.
Unfortunately, if someone is micro-cheating on you, then they'll probably start to distance themselves from you. You might not notice it at first, but if they aren't sharing as much as they used to, or wanting to spend as much time with you, they might be micro-cheating. Additionally, if they aren't wanting to have sex as much as they used to, it could be a a bad sign.
Licensed psychologist Dr. Wyatt Fisher tells Elite Daily that "emotional and physical withdrawal," are pretty big signs of micro-cheating, and something you should definitely be on the lookout for.
5. If You're Worried About One Specific Person
Obviously, not everything involving micro-cheating means that your partner is actually hooking up with someone else. Micro-cheating involves more of the emotional side of things, and you should really trust your gut when you feel uncomfortable with your significant other around a certain someone.
"You're picking up on subtle cues you can’t quite put your finger on," Martinez said. "It feels like something about their relationship is different than the way he or she interacts with others."
Obviously, no one wants to get cheated on, and micro-cheating still sucks and is a betrayal of trust. But even if you're certain that that's what's happening, every expert I spoke to emphasized that you should never snoop on their phone. According to Anita A. Chlipala, author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, "That should be a last resort," she tells Elite Daily.
So, if your partner is doing all the things that could be signs of micro-cheating, have a conversation with them. "Be direct about your fears," Pella Weisman, licensed psychotherapist and dating coach, tells Elite Daily. So do just that. And remember that you're awesome and deserve only the best, babe.
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