Micro-cheating is when you do little things with other women behind your partner’s back that they could easily interpret as you being unfaithful to them. Even if you haven’t had sex with another woman, your relationships with other women have crossed the line from platonic into questionably romantic. Here’s a list of things you should avoid doing so you’re not guilty of this behavior.
- Not saying who you’re going to see after work. When you make plans with a female friend after work, that’s fine. Everyone can have drinks with a co-worker or a good friend to make the end of a rough day feel a little less terrible. But do you lie to your partner about it? Do you avoid mentioning the person’s name or that you were drinking with another woman? Even if you don’t have romantic feelings for your friend/colleague, this can feel like you’re not being entirely faithful to your partner. When you hang out with a friend, always be open about it to your partner and let her know the real deal. It’ll be way worse for you if she finds out on her own.
- Dressing up for a specific person. This is a subtle thing you won’t even realize you’re doing. If you and a good female friend make plans to hang out and dress better than you would for your actual girlfriend, this could hint you’re trying to impress the other woman. You shouldn’t go out of your way to look better for her unless there’s a specific reason (a job interview, a dressy occasion, etc.). Keep your attire casual and never dress any better than you would when you go out with your guy friends. Always save your best outfits for when you take your partner out somewhere.
- Consistently checking out a woman’s social media page. Have you caught yourself scrolling aimlessly through a woman’s social media profile? That’s probably a bad sign, especially when you’re in a relationship. You don’t want to constantly check in on this woman, especially since you know your partner may not feel comfortable with you browsing another woman’s social media page. Remember: micro-cheating isn’t about being physically intimate with someone other than your partner, it’s about all the other subtle things that constitute a romantic interest. Looking through someone’s social media profile probably means you’re thinking about her more than you’d like to admit.
- Keeping your dating profile open. If you’ve just entered a relationship and you still haven’t taken down your dating profile, that’s OK. Everyone forgets to do this. But if it’s been more than three months, you should probably delete it or freeze the account. Your partner may think you’re keeping your options open if you have your profile ready to go at any time. You should at least uninstall it from your smartphone.
- Acting differently with a female friend when your partner isn’t there. Do you find yourself acting more flirty with a female friend when it’s just the two of you? Your partner probably wouldn’t be comfortable with this. You should talk and interact with your female friend as if your partner was always around. The more you have this mindset, the less likely you are to catch yourself saying something you shouldn’t. You don’t want to give your female friend the wrong idea and you don’t want your partner finding out about it.
- Having a fake name for a contact. When you do this with a female friend, you want your partner to look over the name and not feel like they want to read what they sent you. This is something you should never do. When your partner finds out, she’s going to take everything the wrong way and immediately believe something is going on even if there’s not. If whatever you’re sending to your female isn’t something your partner would like, stop talking to her and tell your girlfriend. She’d prefer you bringing it up to her rather than finding out for herself.
- Not mentioning you have a girlfriend to people you just meet. You don’t have to say it immediately, but if you’re talking with a female friend and you can tell she’s flirting with you and you don’t mention you have a girlfriend, you’re in trouble. The woman may take it the wrong way and attempt to escalate things far beyond what you were hoping, even if it’s just harmless fun. Find a way to mention you have a girlfriend, such as by saying the two of you are attending an event over the weekend or mentioning that she sent you a funny text message earlier. It’s simple but gets the message across and keeps you out of the danger zone.