BY ANDY KAY
Microcheating. It’s the new trending relationship topic that is loosely classified as “almost cheating” or “barely cheating.” What does almost cheating consist of, according to popular discussions?
- Keeping a dating profile online
- Having dinner with someone you are attracted to
- Following an ex on social media
- Sexting with someone other than your partner
- Sending sexy photos to someone other than your partner
- Paying for cam girl services
- Lying about your relationship status
According to a Business Insider article this year, microcheating is something of a “salacious and hard-to-define emotional affair." A lot of criticism is citing technology for making it easier to communicate and converse intimately without ever being physically present. Yes, there is something to be said for tech and social media playing a role is this issue, but it’s not really a new problem. So how can we avoid the issue altogether?
Microcheating is the gray area that people tend to avoid talking about with their partner, for more than one reason. Sometimes one partner would rather ask for forgiveness than “permission” from their other half. Other times, an issue is never an issue…until it comes to light. I often see it in my line of work where one person is doing something that they know would make the other person upset, but not angry enough to leave. So instead of having a talk about what makes each partner uncomfortable, people go about their lives hoping that the subject never becomes an issue.
There’s a couple problems with microcheating. It has the ability to evolve into full-fledged cheating quite easily. There is that whole “slippery slope” thing that catches a lot of people off guard. Another problem with microcheating is that if one person discovers the other person doing things in that gray area, a big hole is punched in their trust.
I have worked cases that began as what the partner considered mircrocheating, and they snowballed into huge fights and actual break-ups, when they could have been easily avoided by having a discussion about what they found “okay” and “not-okay” in the first place. The trust is damaged, and then suspicions are fueled from there, leaving a wake up bickering and anger.
What it all comes down to is what you and your partner decide is acceptable for your own relationship with each other. I don’t believe that there are any universal rules of cheating. What is find for one couple, is absolutely relationship-ending for another couple. Having a real discussion about what each of you consider acceptable or cheating is the real answer. Some people have “open” relationships, while others abide by what is considered more traditionally conservative. But tradition varies, just like opinions and values. Trust me, it’s better to talk things over with one another, rather than having to call me.