Flirting outside of a partnered relationship and infidelity often concern couples. In the digital age we live in, however, such phenomena are on the rise and, badly, made easier when we hide behind our computer or mobile phone screen. Nowadays, using the Internet has led to new terms to describe interpersonal relationships and online behavior. One of them is micro-cheating or micro-trust.
This word essentially refers to a series of seemingly small acts that suggest that a person is emotionally or even physically focused on someone other than their partner.
These small acts involve all forms of online flirting and infidelity. Examples include sending messages to someone else without our partner’s knowledge, storing someone’s number with false information so that our partner does not perceive it, and hiding the fact that we are engaged on social media.
What happens when we suspect that our partner is using technology to “play” with other people?
The problem with micro-cheating is that it is so subtle that one can easily fall into the trap of becoming jealous or obsessive for no apparent reason. However, the important thing in micro-cheating is not whether someone is micro-cheating but what is being offered to them through this behavior.
The overriding benefit is the reward, the confirmation that we are worthy as a man or woman, that we are still “passing our paint.” The pleasure, too, that comes from engaging with a person other than our partner (the allure of the illicit), and their interest in us rejuvenates us, boosts our confidence, and enhances our self-image, which can have a positive impact on us our relationship.
As much as we may believe that micro-cheating is not a form of true infidelity and that it is a harmless behavior, there is a high cost, especially when done regularly: creating a pattern that undermines both the stability of the relationship itself and the partner who may have no idea of the “little crime” going on under their nose.
A man caught playing with his mobile phone with an ethereal being he did not know personally was scolded for a long time by his wife. She did not believe him, no matter how much he honestly confessed to her that it was a game of charm and his mind, but that he would never put it into practice. The look on his wife’s face, how she looked at him, the poor “lover of petty infidelity,” when he tried to explain to her that his motives were innocent, but also very charming, through the words of love he exchanged with the woman he did not even know! Hard times for “princes” who hold the phone in their hands but do not hold power!
Therefore, our advice for the petty believers and their partners is: if they engage in such behaviors, it does not mean that the stable relationship is in danger and on the verge of breaking up.