Relationships are hard work. We know this. They are also fraught with potential problems, such as cheating and breakups, which can make us go a bit crazy. And as if we don’t have enough stuff to worry about, micro-cheating is the new buzzword that has got people talking. And worrying.

What is micro-cheating?

This new term was coined by an actual psychologist and it is making waves (and making people question their relationships) across social media. Micro-cheating behaviours include constantly checking someone else’s online updates, liking their pictures (especially the old ones), using suggestive emojis and generally spending more time interacting with them online than your partner would approve of. If it’s something that you wouldn’t share with your other half, you probably shouldn’t be doing it, right? Hence why this new term includes the word ‘cheating.’

In a nutshell, it’s a series of actions that may seem insignificant but indicate that a person is emotionally focused on someone else and seeking validation from them. Or so the mental health professional says.

But doesn’t everyone do this?

Most people do their fair share of social media snooping. The problem only really comes in if it becomes an obsession and interferes with your current relationship. And while you do have to take your partner’s feelings into consideration – because that’s how you make a relationship work – nitpicking to this extent probably isn’t good for your relationship either.

Naturally, the people of the internet have had much to say on the subject:

Should we be worried about this?

‘Micro-cheating’  was coined by a psychologist, and there may be some validity to it, but it does seem to offer an excuse for controlling partners to be even more, well, controlling. What you should be more worried about is establishing boundaries with and learning to trust your significant other.