And, friends, we've got yet another term to add to our dictionaries: "micro-cheating."
"Micro-cheating" is a new term to describe a partner's "seemingly small actions" which suggests a person is "emotionally or physically focused" on someone else. Things like repeatedly liking an ex's Instagram posts, or constantly texting someone else.
Readers beware: this term might bring you some momentary relief that there's ~finally~ a word to describe your relationship pet peeve. But, you could end up misconstruing platonic gestures as "micro-cheating."
SEE ALSO: Swiping is the new cheating—or is it?
Dating expert Melanie Schilling, who coined the term in 2017, explained to HuffPost that these small actions can occur in the digital realm, as well as offline.
"You might be engaging in micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another guy/girl on social media; if you share private jokes; if you downplay the seriousness of your relationship to another guy/girl; or if you enter their name under a code in your phone," says Schilling.
"Other things you should look out for are if your partner is having private conversations or online chats that he/she quickly shuts down when you enter the room," Schilling continues. According to Schilling, these acts are "signs" that your partner is conducting a "covert flirtation" which they could be hiding from you.
Those who experience small twinges of jealousy when we see partners repeatedly liking their ex's sultry Instagram selfies can take solace in the fact that there's now a word to describe this behaviour. But, it's also worth taking the term with a pinch of salt. The small acts mentioned by Schilling can be totally harmless in many cases. Your partner could simply be engaging with a friend for whom they have no romantic feelings.
Schilling recommends establishing the "intention behind the behaviour" which will help you decipher the meaning behind their "micro-cheating."
"If this is an unconscious habit your partner has developed over time, due to previous partners allowing it, then you have the opportunity to put your foot down and set some new rules," says Schilling. She adds that if it's something "they are actively choosing to do" and they refuse to change, then you might want to consider showing them the door.
The new term is proving divisive on social media, and many feel that the term depicts actions which could well be the result of a platonic relationship.
I am not down with this "micro cheating" conversation which, to me, is all about straight people deciding never to have meaningful connections with people outside of their gender out of fear they will replace feelings for an SO
— Casey Quinlan (@thatcaseyquin) January 11, 2018
having friends: micro-cheating
— erin the ultimate nope rat (@eehouls) January 11, 2018
"microcheating" is a stupid concept and you're ALLOWED to have meaningful friendships with people outside of your relationship. if your partner tells you otherwise, that! is! abuse!
— clowncipher wants you to please take his teef (@BLASTPROCESSlNG) January 11, 2018
Proceed with this new term with caution, folks.