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Relationship expert warns couples how to know if you're guilty of 'micro-cheating'

Relationship expert warns couples how to know if you're guilty of 'micro-cheating'

Most people think cheating is pretty black and white - but there's a big grey area when it comes to being unfaithful in a relationships.

Most people think cheating is pretty black and white - but there's a pretty large grey area when it comes to being unfaithful in a relationship.

You may think that because you haven't actually been between the sheets with someone else, your hands are clean.

However, there are a few other scenarios that could cause problems between you and your other half - and you might not even realise that you are putting your relationship at risk.

Although they might seem insignificant to you, some more subtle behaviours and actions can actually cross the line.

Maybe your conversation with a co-worker while the kettle boils is just a bit too flirty, your checking up on that old flame's social media accounts or your hiding some specific text messages from your partner.

Whatever it is, if it leaves you with a slight feeling of guilt or sneakiness - it's most likely classed as 'micro-cheating'.

Basically, anything that suggests you've got your eye on someone who isn't your significant other means your playing with fire.

Dating expert Melanie Schilling described it as 'a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship'.

Micro-cheating is a more subtle form of unfaithfulness in relationships.
Getty Stock Photos

Although you might not have physically done the dirty, any 'subtle betrayals' that you know your partner wouldn't be happy about is enough to earn you the unenviable label of a micro-cheater.

This isn't to say you should blank every other person on the planet to ensure you aren't accused of two-timing, but it's a reminder to be wary of the intention and context behind your actions.

If your making sure you look extra well groomed incase you bump into that person in the gym, you might have a problem.

To clear up any confusion, relationship expert Susan Winter illustrated the boundaries of what micro-cheating really means.

She told The Independent: "Although micro-cheating may not be physical cheating, it’s certainly testing the borders of emotional cheating.

"Flirting is flirting. And flirting is the act of fanning a spark that can easily spread to a flame."

Winter shared her tips for spotting the signs of micro-cheating in a relationship, as well as how you should handle confronting the issue.

Keeping tabs on someone else's social media accounts or hiding text messages could be a form of micro-cheating.
Getty Stock Photos

If you notice your significant other is acting in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable with another person, she recommends addressing the situation head on.

Although it might be awkward or upsetting, approach it in a diplomatic and rational way by explaining your concerns and how they made you feel.

Ask them how they would react if things were the other way round and you will hopefully get them to either fess up or offer some clarification about why they are so friendly with that certain someone.

And if you're left thinking 'there may be more to the story', Winter advises that you should press for answers.

The dating guru said you should ask your partner if there is anything you need to know about their feelings for someone else and dig into why they are giving their attention elsewhere.

Loads of people are just naturally flirty, so you might just have got the wrong end of the stick.

But make sure your other half is aware you want them to reign it in, as you might have a micro-cheater on your hands.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Sex and Relationships