By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 25th, 2021

We’ve all heard of cheating before.

We’ve even heard of “emotional cheating.”

But lately, there is a new buzzword gaining steam , “micro-cheating.”

This page is designed to be the definitive guide on it.

I’m going to teach you,

  • What micro-cheating is
  • If you should worry about it
  • Some of the most common warning signs to watch out for
  • How to talk to your partner about it
  • How to breach the topic with your ex

Let’s begin!

What Is Micro-Cheating?

Honestly, micro cheating is very difficult to define.


Well, because everyone has their own view on what “cheating” is and isn’t.

For example, someone may have an agreement with their significant other that it’s ok to go out with a member of the opposite sex and another couple might agree that it isn’t ok.

Now, I realize my example there is excluding the LGBTQ community but I couldn’t think of an all encompassing example so bear with me here (it still applies to you too.)

Understanding this “grey area” of what is right and wrong is important to understand what micro cheating is.

Put simply,

Micro cheating is when you engage in a set of behaviors that skirt the line between fidelity and infidelity.

It’s when you live in that grey area.

Probably the most common example I give to people is that if you purposely flirt with someone and you believe the interaction is harmless but your partner does not. That’s a good example of micro cheating because it violates the boundaries of your relationship.

Now, this leads us to the next big thing that we need to talk about.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Should You Worry If Your Partner Is Micro-Cheating?

In most cases I believe micro-cheating isn’t something you should be worrying about.

Nine times out of ten I notice that it’s completely normal for someone to need to get that ego boost of flirting with someone else to feel validated when someone flirts with them.

That is normal.

However, with that being said I’d like to give you a few strategies that you can use to really determine if this is something to worry about.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Let’s go all in on the example I gave above with flirting.

I’d also like to operate under the assumption that you are not ok with your partner flirting with someone he/she could potentially date.

If you really take a step back and think about it, there are two types of flirting.

  1. Harmless flirting
  2. Serious flirting

Generally there are certain types of behaviors that follow these paths.

Let’s look at harmless flirting first.

Harmless Flirting

  • Generally this type of flirting is done in front of you
  • There are no sexual innuendos made
  • If you notice the body language of your partner remain relatively normal
  • Your partner doesn’t single out one person and spend all of their time talking to them
  • Your partner doesn’t make meaningful eye contact with the person

Serious Flirting

  • If you notice that the frequency in which your partner flirts with someone increasing
  • You notice the intensity of the conversations becoming greater with that someone else
  • If your partner starts sharing personal things with someone else that should only stay within the confines of your relationship
  • If sexual innuendos are made to someone else
  • You get the picture

Now, this puts us on an interesting path. Let’s take a moment and talk about some of the warning signs you should be watching out for with micro cheating.

What Are The Most Common Warning Signs To Watch Out For?

In my opinion there are three big signs that you want to keep an eye out for if you suspect your partner of “micro-cheating.”

  1. The frequency and intensity increasing
  2. Your partner begins hiding things
  3. Your partner gets in touch with their ex

Lets take a moment to talk a little bit about what each of these signs means.

1. The Frequency And Intensity Of Micro-Cheating Increases

In my experience from working with clients I notice a clear correlation to addictive behavior and make no mistake about it, micro-cheating is a precursor to actual cheating.

If you really think about it you usually aren’t going to cheat on someone who you are unfamiliar with. Often, you find that cheating starts out with these small micro-cheating behaviors and slowly but surely increase.

So, if you notice your partner spending a lot of time on the phone with someone odd and the intensity of their conversations progress in a romantic way that is a big warning sign to keep an eye out for.

2. Your Partner Begins Hiding Things

Let’s say that you notice your partner feels the need to hide certain things from you.

That could be problematic.

One common theme I see among micro-cheaters is that they are very protective of their phones and sometimes even go as far as changing names in conversations they are having with people.

A few months ago, I was working with a client who told me that she caught her partner cheating by going through his phone, which is a bit morally debatable, but she noticed that the girl he was talking to he renamed as “Billy” so it didn’t seem odd that he was spending so much time talking to this person.

Pay attention for behaviors like that.

3. Your Partner Gets In Touch With Their Ex

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

I specialize in advising people going through breakups.

So, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I’m talking about this.

The big thing I want to highlight here is that it’s ok for them to get in touch with their ex during appropriate times. If you share a child with your ex it’s not exactly like you can NOT talk to that person.

However, if you notice your partner starting to rely on their ex for emotional support on things that they should really be coming to you for then that is cause for concern.

How Do You Talk To Your Partner About Micro-Cheating?

Talking to your partner about this type of stuff is never easy.

Often I find that when people do end up having conversations about micro-cheating it’s immediately after the “offending” person has ben caught micro-cheating and both parties aren’t exactly in the calmest moods.

So, I always advise my clients that coming away from a conversation successfully boils down to two things,

  1. Timing
  2. Tone

Lets talk about each of those things now.

1. Timing

Rather than rushing into a conversation I think it’s a lot smarter to wait 24 hours to let your emotions settle down. Ideally you’d want to have this conversation during a time where your partner is in a great mood.

I find people tend to be a lot more responsive to bad news or controversial news when they are in good moods.

Waiting 24 hours is also great because it gives you time to plan out what you want to say.

2. Tone

Your tone during this conversation can make or break you.

If you come at this with an aggressive, rude or even mean tone your partner will not be receptive towards what you have to say. On the other hand, if you come at this with a nice, kind tone, almost as if to say,

Hey, the micro-cheating didn’t bother me. Let’s just talk about why you felt the need to do this.

You’ll find your partner is going to be a lot more receptive towards what you have to say.

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12 thoughts on “The Definitive Guide To Micro-Cheating”

  1. Tess

    April 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    my situation is a little different, I’ve been with this guy for about 2 years and a half now he’s the love of my life we had our ups and downs but we managed to make it work he changed so much for me he even proposed, I was so excited and so was he to start a life together, he was amazing to me but I broke his heart. the past week or so he kept asking me if there’s something I would like to share with him or if there is something he doesn’t know, and I was confused so i said if there’s anything you would like to know you can just ask me and I was willing to tell him everything. A few days later i get a text saying “this is over, you killed me i can’t believe I was thinking of marrying you.” i didn’t know what he was referring to, but then I realized he hacked into my instagram and saw my DMs with this guy, I have to admit i was wrong although i wasnt in a relationship with this other guy i still flirted and shared a lot of personal information about my boyfriend and his life which was not nice of me to do and i think that is what bothered him the most because he trusted me and i hurt his ego, i knew what i was doing was wrong and i was going to end things that same day before he hacked me, but I said i will wait until the next day and i guess it was too late. i have never cheated or hurt anyone in my life so im in absolute agony just thinking about this. i guess the reason why i didnt share this info with him before even though i tell him everything was because i knew it meant nothing and at the same time i knew what i was doing us wrong and maybe if i told him things would get worse especially since hes the jealous type. now i regret not telling him I’d rather he breaks up with me knowing i still told him the truth than breaking his heart like this and losing his trust. He blocked my number after that message and he didnt give me a chance to explain myself or even tell me what exactly was the reason. I honestly dunno what to do i keep beating myself up cause i know its my fault he doesnt deserve what happened. I messed up and now theres no going back 🙁 But i love him more than anything and i just wish i can explain myself.. I really don’t know what to do

  2. Lauren

    September 5, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Hi Chris,
    Are you talking about the texting bible?

    1. Chris Seiter

      September 6, 2018 at 4:06 am

      Help me Lauren….what was the reference about the Texting Bible??

  3. Lauren

    August 29, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I also forgot to add that I deleted him from Facebook from the start of NC. The same day of the night I found out he was hanging out with some girl, I got a new job offer with more money and better hours that he knows about. I also had told him too that I was getting a gym membership. So I have had those in my favor as well and not to mention we have a daughter together. I’m lost as to why he’s not reaching out anymore.

  4. Lauren

    August 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Chris,
    My 30 days no contact is almost over and I have not heard from him in a week. I don’t know what to do at this point now. I don’t think he cares…

    1. Chris Seiter

      August 30, 2018 at 1:32 am

      Hi Lauren…you need to get my eBook so you know how this whole process works!! After 30 days, you want to reach out in a certain way by text. Go to my home page and tap into those tools and resources!

  5. Lauren

    August 22, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Okay so waiting a little longer to see if he would reach out more has worked but I haven’t gotten anywhere because I still ignored him. I haven’t finished a full 30-45 day no contact yet but it’s going strong. He txted this week once “hello” then the next “how is my daughter” I replied to that only saying she’s fine but then he quickly replies “good, how are you”. It’s like he’s trying to slowly start over without talking about anything!!! Is this normal for guys? I will say this is typical of him atleast. I haven’t gotten an apology or let’s tAlk or even a type of excuse/denial. We may have not put a real official label on the relationship but he knew I didn’t want him talking to other girls. I get it he’s lonely and I am too but He’s made no life changes that makes it ok for me to move back with him with our child. We have seen each other only 3x since our daughter was born 8 months ago! He came here when she was born and I visited him twice. I just saw him in July. I want him to think he’s lost me and I AM willing to walk away. My only concern with not saving the relationship is when will my daughter ever get to see her dad. What would you suggest?

    1. Chris Seiter

      August 23, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Lauren.

      I know you are worried about your daughter and her connection with her father going forward. These things tend to work out over time. But right now, keep your eye on the ball and do the things you need to during NC to heal and grow. Your perspective on all this will evolve with time.

  6. Lauren

    August 17, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you for responding I truely appreciate that advice. Should I reach out to him and get details or wait for him to reach out again. I have only heard from him once so it feels like he doesn’t care.

    1. Chris Seiter

      August 18, 2018 at 3:28 am

      It can seem that way (that he doesn’t care), but often in these situations there is a type of mirroring effect. He feels much of what you feel. Maybe he processes it different. Maybe he has pushed his feelings down inside. But this mirroring is not unusual phenomenon.

      Perhaps wait a spell.

  7. Lauren

    August 16, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Ok this is kind of complicated. I don’t know whether to care or not. It feels like My ex (father of my child) cheated but does it really count as cheating. We split up a year ago while i was pregnant and I moved back to my family’s and we are 4.5 hours apart from eachother now. Him and I have been talking, working on things and talk about being together. I followed all of your steps to get to this point and it worked but the confusing part is I guess we aren’t even actually official. He has mentioned making our relationship more official and I kind of ignored it. He’s asked me to move back and I told him I can’t yet because he doesn’t have a place for us to stay. He lost his license and doesn’t have a legit job and I’ve been patient and waiting for him to improve. There hasn’t been a whole lot of improvement as in him finding a job and place.
    So 2 weeks ago I called him at night his other daughter answered the phone using FaceTime and I asked where daddy was. She said he was outside talking to some girl. Mind you he’s living in a camper on a few acres. I asked if it was the girl who boarded her horse there and she said no idk who it is. I told his daughter to give him the phone while on FaceTime and he looks down at the phone, sees me as I’m cussing him out and makes a guilty face and hangs up. So I then blocked him a few days then unblocked him and have gotten 1 txt within the last 2 weeks asking how our child was. I’m in no contact so I didn’t respond. Idk what to do from here!!! Help!!!

    1. Chris Seiter

      August 17, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Lauren!

      I understand why this would be upsetting. Though the two of your are not back together “officially”, you were working in that direction and then this happens. Maybe there are some things you don’t fully know yet about who this other person is and what they whole story is. Maybe they came to know each other before the two of you began trying to reconcile.

      Probably best to learn more and what his intentions truly are and just take things slow