The Internet Debate Over What Constitutes ‘Micro-Cheating’ Is Intensifying

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Nov 08, 2023

Constant use of social media exposes users to terms and words that many people embrace. Now, “micro-cheating” has become a popular term on TikTok, with many creators making videos about the topic. 

Even though the idea has been around online since 2018, TikTokers have eagerly adopted it to categorize actions that don’t fulfill the requirements for overt infidelity but may still develop into it in the future. Let’s explore this TikTok movement and its repercussions in more detail.

TikTokers Understanding of Micro-Cheating

Many TikTokers believe that micro-cheating encompasses several behaviors that degrade trust in a relationship without overstepping into infidelity. It refers to actions that betray loyalty, causing anxiety and perhaps weakening the basis of trust between partners. 


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While there isn’t a list of micro-cheating practices everyone agrees with, there are general, universally accepted examples. They include hiding connections, not disclosing your partner online, and flirting with others.

Exploring TikTok's Take on Micro-Cheating Acts

TikTokers believe that micro-cheating includes a list of certain acts linked with the phrase. These lists range greatly and have various behaviors that TikTokers consider to constitute micro-cheating. 


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Some instances include being too affectionate with someone other than your spouse, confiding in an ex about present relationship problems, and stalking beautiful people online. These videos spark discussions, arguments, and divergent viewpoints on what constitutes micro-cheating.

TikTok is Questioning the Need for Labels

Although many TikTokers agree with the idea of micro-cheating and see the benefit of categorizing such actions, many people have different ideas about the term. Some contend that having many rules and classifications can harm relationships.


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TikTokers have highlighted the significance of communication, trust, and personal limits. Some believe good relationships should be based on open communication rather than strict categorizations.

Micro-Cheating as a Tool for Relationship Dialogue

Despite the conflicting opinions, some creators see value in utilizing the phrase “micro-cheating” to start crucial talks in interpersonal relationships. Partners can more clearly grasp each other’s expectations, limits, and comfort zones by bringing up potentially problematic behaviors and openly addressing them. 


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It acts as a starting point for constructive dialogue that builds trust and solidifies the basis of a relationship. While opinions vary on the necessity and effectiveness of the term, micro-cheating creates room for disloyalty and unhealthy relationship dynamics.