There’s cheating, and then there’s micro-cheating.
Cheating. It sucks. But yeah, it happens.
But now there’s a new thing you gotta worry about: Micro-cheating.
What’s micro-cheating? Well, it’s basically like that Distracted Boyfriend meme come to life.
Or, as dating expert Melanie Schilling explained to HuffPost Australia, it's “a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship.” OH COOL.
Those actions can include stuff like sharing secrets with someone you’re attracted to outside your relationship; keeping your relationship with a person you’re attracted to secret from your partner; and taking steps to hide or mask the depth or breadth of that relationship from your partner.
It's basically when you crave an unhealthy amount of validation and attention from someone outside of your relationship. Maybe it's physical, but just as often it's not.
And, as Schilling notes, micro-cheating can create a negative and unsustainable relationship pattern. If you allow it to happen, you're saying “It's OK to flirt with him/her, I'm happy to take second place and I don't really matter,” she said. “Over time, this can erode your self-esteem and set you up to be the 'victim' in your relationship.”
If you really wanna dip your toe in the micro-cheating pool of destruction, you can check out this Thought Catalog piece, which details a delectable 33 different ways “Your Boyfriend Is Micro-Cheating (And Totally Getting Away With It).”
Just some light afternoon reading.
They include him doing cool stuff like “obsessively checking another girl’s social media feeds” and “purposely neglecting to mention his significant other in conversation.”
Warner Bros. Pictures
Of course, you could just IGNORE ALL OF THIS and build a relationship on mutual trust, respect, and admiration. But WHAT DO I KNOW.