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2017 was full of awful dating trends.

Cushioning, love bombing, sidebarringand submarining were all there to ruin your expectations of people and your belief in love.

Now, 'micro-cheating' has come along and chances are that it has probably already happened to you or even worse, you've been the culprit.

Micro-cheating is basically a form of flirting with someone behind your partners back.

This isn't exactly a new thing, as it is in everyone's nature to flirt a little, but where is the line and how far do you have to go to consider it cheating?

According to dating expert, Melanie Schilling micro-cheating can be defined as:

Micro-cheating is a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship.

Schilling tells Huffington Postthat examples of micro-cheating include texting someone in secret, lying about your relationship status or having someone saved under a fake name on your phone.

This might not sound too bad. As long as nothing happens, no one is going to get hurt, right? Nothing, wrong with an innocent bit of flirting.

However, as Schilling rightly points out: "If you feel you have something to hide, ask yourself why."

Secrecy is the crux of micro-cheating. If you are open about the flirting then that in theory should be OK, but keeping it a secret would indicate that you have ulterior motives.

Should you find yourself on the receiving end of micro-cheating and allow it to continue it can lead to all sorts of unwanted situations like a lowered self-esteem and admission that this type of behaviour is ok.

Of course, there is a chance that this is just your partner's way of being friendly and there could be nothing illicit behind it at all.

Should you suspect that there is something untoward happening at your expense, then Schilling has some advice for you.

The first thing you need to establish is the intention behind the behaviour.

If this is an unconscious habit your partner has developed over time, due to previous partners allowing it, then you have the opportunity to put your foot down and set some new rules.

However, if this is something they are actively choosing to do, and they do not change when you ask them to, perhaps it's time to consider if this relationship is good for your well-being.

HT BuzzFeed

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