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Cheating & Infidelity

What Is Micro-cheating? 5 Tips to spot it

Sure. It’s easy to identify a cheating partner when there is physical touch involved. But what about micro-cheating? The things that are not so easily identified. Like winking, under the table, keep touching, and even using the phone under the table?

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There is one word for these things that draw a line between fidelity and infidelity.

Micro-cheating refers to the small acts that are close to cheating.

Just like different relationships count different actions to cheating, micro-cheating acts also vary from one relationship to another. However, there is a standard rule to what can count as micro-cheating.

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The general rule says that it can be any act that is more emotionally, physically, or sexually charged with another person that is not your partner.

Micro-cheating always leads to actual cheating in the future.

Is micro-cheating emotional cheating?

No. But they are quite related. Emotional cheating is a cause of micro-cheating.

With emotional cheating, there exists an inappropriate investment in emotions.

Micro-cheating, however, does not mean emotional line crossing.

Examples of micro-cheating scenarios

  • Sending each other flirty jokes or memes
  • Putting more effort into your appearance just in case you meet with your admirer.
  • Stalking your crush
  • Lying about your relationship status
  • Discussing your sex life with someone that is not your partner
  • Telling someone you’d date them if they were not committed
  • Confiding emotional feelings to someone who is not your partner.

Tips to spot micro-cheating

Although it can be hard to find out when your partner is micro-cheating, these tips can give you reliable hints:

They always value their phone’s privacy.

Source: el CREMA

If your partner likes keeping their phone face down, they may be hiding some critical notifications from you. 

Even when you get the chance to hold the phone, you may find some other apps are password-protected and cannot access them.

They are continually using their phones.

Even during your good times together, a micro-cheating partner will tend to keep their eyes glued on their phones.

If you ask them to put the phone down so that you can have a great time together and find it hard to do so, they may be talking to some interesting person.

“Just a friend.”

When you find your partner micro-cheating, they are most likely to say the other person is just a friend and that you should worry about nothing. If the other person has feelings towards your partner, your relationship could just be getting into a problem that, if unresolved, infidelity is bound to happen.

They save someone in their phone under the wrong name.

What’s the reason for saving someone in your contact list with a different name? Lying is a factor that contributes to infidelity. When you begin lying in your relationship, take a step back and ask yourself what you are trying to hide. Usually, in micro-cheating, you will be lying to cover your traces, so your partner does not suspect anything.

Saving a person with a different name means you are also lying to your partner about them, and you want to keep your micro-cheating under the water.

Your sex life is affected.

Naturally, when your partner is getting sexual satisfaction away from your relationship, it turns them away from you. This leads to your sex life is affected and declines eventually.

If you notice this, your partner’s micro-cheating may have led to the actual cheating.

Dealing with micro-cheating in your relationship

If you have spotted micro-cheating in your relationship, you will need some response to deal with it and end it before things get worse.

Commit yourself to change

Once you know how cheating, either full-blown cheating or micro-cheating, affects your partner, you may consider changing before things worsen. If you change, commit yourself to the new you and avoid the temptations associated with micro-cheating.

Besides, it is better to end the micro-affairs and put the focus on your relationship or marriage.

Know the boundaries of what counts as cheating and agree

Setting up boundaries to what will be treated as cheating in your relationship can help you avoid various micro-cheating scenarios. Discuss with your partner about boundaries that will make both of you feel safe.

Define what a monogamous relationship means to you

Monogamy is not being held hostage. It is an agreement that constitutes agreements for both parties. Most relationships survive because people have chosen to stay faithful to their partner due to choice.

What happens after micro-cheating?

Work on your relationship

When either of the parties has committed micro-cheating, the best way to get over it is to work on their relationship.

Pay more attention to your better half, go for outs together and make each other feel appreciated and loved.

Most people find themselves micro-cheating for not feeling valued or appreciated.

Talk about it with your partner.

Although such conversations can be challenging for you and your partner, you may consider getting marriage or relationship counseling. If both of you will be committed to solving micro-cheating, their bond may strengthen your bond and relationship again.

How do you overcome it?

Not every couple will move past micro-cheating if their partner discovers. And why is this? Many do not acknowledge the mistake and keep on with their lies, provided they are not caught.

But if you want to overcome micro-cheating, you have to be honest with yourself and your relationship.

Besides, showing regular gestures of love to your partner and prioritizing your relationship can help you overcome micro-cheating easily.


Micro-cheating acts vary from one relationship to another, depending on what is counted as micro-cheating in a relationship.

This form of cheating, even if it’s not physical, may lead to an actual affair.

It is important to address it if things have not got out of hand.

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