Are you familiar with the Distracted Boyfriend Meme?
The viral meme is an example of the newest trend which is tearing couples apart—it's called micro-cheating.
"Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship," world-renowned dating expert Melanie Schilling shared in her website.
Apparently, micro-cheating is the thin line between flirting and being friendly. For example, in the Distracted Boyfriend Meme, someone who believes in micro-cheating will tell you that the guy's act of looking at the other lady can already be considered as a form of unfaithfulness.
"If you are conducting a 'covert flirtation' and keeping it from your partner, that's micro-cheating," Schilling adds.
Furthermore, experts say that micro-cheating has become more rampant (and has caused mistrust that eventually leads to break-up) thanks to the world of social media. How? According to psychologist Martin Graff, it all starts when your significant other shows a little too much "digital interest" in someone else.
"It can be something as simple as repeatedly 'liking' someone's posts on Instagram or commenting on someone's Facebook," Graff says in an interview with Telegraph. "So much of human relationships has moved online."
If you're unsure whether you or your partner is cheating, here are other subtle signs that you should look out for:
1. Messaging someone without your partner's knowledge
"Secrecy is the tell-tale sign," Schilling said. If you feel you have something to hide, you probably have a reason for that.
2. Messaging your ex-partner
Sending a message to your former flame (like a "Still up?" at 2 a.m.) might lead to other, more intimate exchanges.
3. Sending flirty emojis like hearts or kisses
Better save those cheesy GIFs, sparkly hearts, and flying kisses for your partner only.
4. Regularly checking someone else's social media profiles
Why would you check someone else's Facebook and Instagram accounts on the reg if you're not interested?
5. Sharing private jokes with someone else
Sharing a private joke with someone else might mean that you have this special connection. Remember to keep your distance so you nothing gets misinterpreted.
6. Constantly talking to someone else other than your partner
If you tend to share memes, videos, or stories more with someone else other than your partner, you better evaluate your actions. What's worse is when you talk about your relationship problems with this person.
7. Being extra nice and sweet to someone else.
If you go out of your way just to please a friend, like buying him food or giving gifts, these acts can be taken out of context by your lover.
This story originally appeared on Fhm.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.