The popular but dreaded 2018 relationship term known as “micro-cheating” has bloody been resurrected via TikTok and a relationship expert has warned that it could lead to some problematic behaviour.
It almost feels like every week a new relationship or dating trend begins to go viral on TikTok. We had boyfriend inflation, beige flags and my personal face, the manifestation of ick lists — shout out to Miss Double Bay.
However, a blast from the past is back to come and haunt your dreams — micro-fucking-cheating.
To give you a quick understanding of what micro-cheating is, it’s basically a bunch of small things that people do that can be perceived as infidelity.
How does micro-cheating work on TikTok? Similar to ick-lists, creators are now creating mico-cheating lists, jotting down all the actions that they think is unfaithful behaviour.
One TikToker Teo Sol (@teo.sol) went viral after she posted a list that mentioned 10 things that were micro-cheating to her. Some of the actions included secret friendships, maintaining contact with exes and people you used to like and lying about your relationship status.
And I’m not gonna sit here and lie because I definitely have my own list of concerning behaviours within a relationship, but some of these are kind of extreme.
For example, a lot of people listed things such as liking photos of the opposite sex and blowing off steam about your partner to a friend — like the Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas ring camera rumour which is kinda fucked, in my opinion.
With the popularity of this trend, a relationship expert has spoken out about how some of these so-called “micro-cheating” lists and content could result in problematic behaviour.
Speaking to Daily Mail, relationship psychologist Limor Gottlieb of Brunel University in London said that setting boundaries in relationships is great, however, we shouldn’t follow the micro-cheating trend too closely.
“People who are drawn to this type of content may already be insecure in their relationships, especially people with an anxious attachment style,” she said, as per Daily Mail.
“Anxious people are already constantly preoccupied with their relationships and constantly scanning their environment for threats to their relationship. They want to closely monitor their partners and seek to be in close proximity.”
Gottlieb also claimed that this trend could “potentially increase conflict in relationships that in some cases may lead to violence.”
Again, I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m holier than thou ‘cos I definitely have my boundaries within my relo, but I can definitely see how this content can cause a shitstorm for those who are new to relationship or are just a little more anxious than others.
I hate to sound cliche, but Gottlieb also mentioned this: Communication is key within a partnership, and I believe keeping the lines of communication open could combat any worries surrounding micro-cheating.
“Ultimately, every couple needs to have an open dialogue about what cheating means to them and they need to negotiate their boundaries. What one person defines as cheating may not be the same for the other,” Gottlieb added.
Well, there you have it. Yet another reminder not to take TikTok trends too seriously.