Calling a partner out for ‘micro-cheating’ just means you’re extremely insecure
A healthy relationship isn’t obsessively jealous
by Una Dabiero
The latest red-flag the internet has been throwing around to warn us taken girls about the evil of our guys? Micro-cheating. You've probably heard about it, but if you haven't, HuffPost Australia describes it as a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is "emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship."
Some examples of micro-cheating include messaging someone without your partner's knowledge, having inside jokes with someone, replying to someone with heart emojis or downplaying your relationship in conversation. Basically, they're supposed to be small secrets you shouldn't be keeping from your partner or small intimacies you're denying them by bonding with someone else.
Liking pix and tweeting emojis = microcheating. 😍💐🍑Are you in trouble?!
— Susanna Reid (@susannareid100) January 18, 2018
I definitely find some offenses labeled an instance of "micro-cheating" shitty. Like, I wouldn't want my boyfriend telling anyone our relationship is a joke. But I also think the concept of micro-cheating overlooks the most important part of a relationship: trust.
Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect and trust. Celebrating a 'micro-cheating' call-out culture reinforces the belief that a person's only intimate relationship should be with their partner and that policing your partner's attention is acceptable. It creates a culture where boyfriends ask why their girlfriends are texting their guy friends and then punish them for doing so, or a culture where girlfriends ask their girlfriends why they're looking at the new girl at works' Instagram. It builds the foundation for obsessive, jealous and abusive relationships where independence isn't valued and healthy boundaries aren't discussed.
Apparently “microcheating” is a thing now? Talking to pals and making jokes with people other than your partner is now a form of infidelity?? 2018 what the fuck
— sal 🌙 (@Vryxius) January 14, 2018
You aren't in a relationship to worship your partner or to stop building intimate relationships. You should have close friends of every gender, and you have no obligation to tell your partner every aspect of every friendship you have. You're allowed to tell friends things you haven't told your partner.
Cheating is becoming romantically involved with others — physically or emotionally. Making friends, telling secrets, liking social media posts and even nighttime texts don't translate to romantic involvement, and they shouldn't. America is obsessed with romance and fails to see the value of other types of relationships. Having intimacies with others, even conversations about your partner, should be celebrated. Independence and trust breed strong relationships. We should be spreading that rumor around.