Cheating has different meanings to different people. However, it can either be physical or emotional. Consequently, there are two types of cheaters; the full-on hooking up with other people, the blatant cheater, and the sneaky, low-key cheater who might not sleep with other people but is not faithful.
If you don’t already know, the micro-cheater has feelings for someone outside your committed relationship. It’s a small act of emotional cheating and a common dating trend.
Similarly, a micro-cheater is the guy your friends want to warn you about (because he flirts with them), and dating him is the reason why people look at you pityingly. It’s, without a doubt, embarrassing.
However, some people argue that micro-cheating doesn’t count as infidelity. Therefore, you should discuss what you consider cheating to eliminate any confusion in your relationship with your partner.
Here are warning signs to look out for to detect micro-cheating in your relationship:
1. He is shady with his phone
Firstly, there’s no denying that phones are essential. We use them to communicate with our friends and family, send and receive work emails, among others. Consequently, almost all of us are attached to our phones.
However, if he’s always on his phone even when he’s with you, as opposed to focusing on you, well, that is a red flag.
Also, if he is overly protective of his phone, has apps that automatically delete messages, and gets defensive whenever you ‘touch’ it, um…it’s clear he’s hiding something. He may not be cheating, but something’s up, and you need to keep an eye out.
Moreover, if he has late-night calls that he has to receive outside or in the bathroom- there’s your answer.
2. He’s on a dating app
Most people delete their dating apps when they enter a relationship but still have profiles as they haven’t deactivated them. It’s common.
However, if you learn that his profile is recently active, for instance, yesterday, when he was still dating you, it goes without saying that he’s micro-cheating.
Similarly, he wants to see what’s out there instead of committing to your relationship.
It’s just a matter of time before he gets what he’s looking for and he’ll be actually cheating-you know it.
3. He gives you reasons to be jealous
I bet you’re a pretty secure and confident person. However, the way he treats and acts around other women is a little suspicious.
It’s not that he talks to other women, but the way he does it. Either he’s a little too friendly or seems to take an active interest in them.
Maybe he goes out of his way to satisfy a certain someone’s needs. For instance, he gives a co-worker a ride even though she lives on the other side of town. Just take the hint.
Another way you can know he’s micro-cheating is when he tells you something, and he unconsciously blabs out, “I can’t wait to tell Karen, she’s going to be so thrilled.” And you’re left wondering why Karen from work would be excited that he can make a Cuban dish- wait, does he want to cook for her? Well, he likely has an emotional affair with his colleague.
4. He talks about his ex a lot
It’s common to mention an ex to your partner once in a while; maybe you guys talked about your past or something related. However, if he frequently talks about his ex and seems to know almost everything going on in their lives, something’s up.
Either they are friends, which shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s something he’s made you aware of. Or surprise- surprise, he is actually interacting with his ex in a not so platonic manner.
Communicating with an ex isn’t bad, but contacting someone is inappropriate if done in secret.
You can also randomly mention his ex’s name and observe his reaction as he responds- you’ll know.
5. He tells you that you’re imaging things
If you feel uncomfortable and pick up on cues that suggest he’s micro-cheating, for instance, he’s extra chatty with your female neighbor or has flirted with your friends before and when you confront him; he argues that you’re making stuff up, you have a micro-cheater problem on your hands.
Intuition is a valuable tool, and if you pick up on feelings that you can’t put your finger on, you should act on them and confront them.
When in a committed relationship, you should be able to discuss anything with your partner, right? So, when you’re uncomfortable, you can talk about it and have a rational conversation with your partner.
However, not getting caught is all a cheater cares about. Consequently, he doesn’t care about honesty and will make excuses that don’t even make sense.
Similarly, he’ll be defensive and lie about almost anything.
7. He starts to distance himself
Maybe you notice that he’s paying less attention to you or doesn’t want to hang out together as you used to, and he’s suddenly grown an interest in seeking excitement by clubbing or parting, then something’s off.
Chances are he wants to meet someone new or “run-into” someone.
“What is his motivation?”
“What does he hope to achieve?”
When you voice your concerns, and he tells you that he wants to meet other people or have fun with his “friends,” and there’s nothing to worry about – red alert.
8. He Responds to Thirst –Trapping
A thirst trap is a sexy or flirty social media post intended to attract attention by sexually enticing people – I’m sure you’ve come across such posts, especially on Instagram.
If you catch your partner responding with heart eyes galore or fire emojis under such posts- you need to be vigilant as he may also be engaging in flirtatious DMs.
If he takes ‘sexy selfies’ and doesn’t send them to you, he sure is sending them to someone.
Don’t let it go unchecked. Those pictures require effort; therefore, it’s not likely they’ll just be sitting on the phone.
Relationships aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. They’re hard work, and if you notice that your boyfriend is making you uncomfortable: you should confront him.
Don’t pretend that you’re OK just because you’re scared that you’ll seem “jealous.” Micro-cheating sucks, and it’s a betrayal of trust. Please don’t be oblivious to the signs.