When you define cheating, do you think it is only when someone has a physical relationship with someone other than their partner?
Sex isn’t the only thing that separates a romantic relationship from a normal friendship - there’s a next level emotional connection, a sense of them being your home, and so many other things.
So why should we think cheating is only cheating when there’s sex or kissing involved?
We’re sure a lot of you will agree that cheating exists in realms other than this and it can be just as damaging.
To help explain this, countless studies have looked at different forms of cheating and have come up with a term to account for the grey areas - ‘micro-cheating.’
There are a whole lot of things that people considering infidelity and when it comes to emotional cheating, the areas can seem grey, but the pain is just as real as physical cheating.
According to couples therapist Lindsey Hoskins, who spoke to TIME, "The line is in different places for different people in different relationships.”
According to a study from Ashley Maddison, the top three things that are considered cheating apart from a physical relationship include:
- Forming a deep emotional bond with someone else (55%)
- Sending naked pictures to someone other than them (46%)
- Texting erotic messages to someone other than them (44%)
Not only this, but things like lying to your partner, keeping a friendship secret, meeting up with someone in secret, and a whole string of other actions are also considered a form of cheating.
Modern social media exaggerates the grey area in all this, with Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex and relationship therapist and author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity, saying cheating is a “conscious choice” and you need to acknowledge when behaviours cross a line.
Communication is paramount in a relationship, and you and your partner need to be honest and need to define what “crossing a line” means to you.
Not only this, we need to be open to our partners about what we need to be happy and not go elsewhere to find what might be lacking.
“An alternative conversation to have is one that outlines what it is that each partner needs from the other to feel happy and satisfied in the relationship, and how to talk about it when they don’t feel that."
Are YOU guilty of micro-cheating?
Make sure you’re open and honest with your partner, it’s the key to making love last.