Well it’s official, the dating world has lost its mind.

First, we were told that ethically non-monogamous relationships were the way to go. Then we were told to shack up with someone, anyone, just for the cold winter months (cuffing season). Oh, and then to dump them come summertime aka. ‘hot girl summer’. And now we’re being told that thinking a fella is hot is considered to be cheating on your partner.

Well, hand back my single badge and check me into a nunnery because I. Am. Done.

Yes, there’s a current shame file doing the rounds on social media, with people writing lists of things they consider to be micro-cheating.

These include things like maintaining contact with exes, becoming friends with people of the opposite sex who are attractive, being vague about your relationship status, flirting, sharing intimate details about your relationship with someone outside of the relationship, being touchy with someone else and daydreaming about someone else you have a crush on.

Umm … excuse me, what? Aside from that all sounding pretty darn controlling, are we no longer allowed to enjoy life?

The simple fact is, we all micro-cheat!

Whether it’s giggling a little too long with the sexy barista, or letting a guy hold your hand as you navigate a slippery sidewalk in high heels or admiring the physic of your favourite rock star. Unless you’re a robot, you’ve done it.

Because let’s face it, we all have eyes and an attractive person is just that – an attractive person. Even if I’ve got a boyfriend (which sadly I do not **sob) I’m still going to say, “Phwoooar” to my work girlfriends when the office hottie walks past. Confident that it will not only get a giggle but is also completely harmless.

And you know what, I would hope my boyfriend did the same. In fact, I’ve taken great enjoyment checking out attractive people with my partners in the past. A quick nudge to each other as someone who is obviously sexy walks past has created bonding experiences.

“Check out the boobs on her,” I would say to him as a buxom blonde walked past. We’d have a giggle and get on with our night.

The only people who need ridiculous lists outlining what is ‘micro-cheating’ are those among us who are insecure or have serious control issues.

And to that I say, have you thought about getting help for that?

Now, in all fairness, I will concede that there are some things on the list that could be considered a little dodgy in a relationship. For example, liking other girls thirst traps on Instagram does get under my skin a little. But telling them they can’t have attractive friends from the opposite sex is just ridiculous.

As a single gal myself, I’m not going to stop brushing my hair and forgoing makeup just so I can remain mates with some of the good guys in my life who are shacked up. I like to think their girlfriends are confident enough to know I am certainly not a threat.

And telling your partner they can’t talk about your relationship with anyone else is giving major red flags. Sometimes you just need to let off steam. In fact, venting to someone else can actually prevent arguments in your relationships.

I’ve got a couple of partnered up friends who will call to get my opinion on whether their partner is in the wrong or if they’re just being sensitive on a particular issue. The number of times I’ve said: “No I think you’re turning something very minor into a bigger problem than it is,” is a lot. They then give up the fight and their relationship are much stronger for it. You’re welcome.

The only reason you would have an issue with your partner chatting to others about your relationship is if you’ve been up to no good. Guilty conscience perhaps?

I think so many people spend far too much time keeping track of their partner, and constantly snooping to see if they are cheating. It must be exhausting. How about you both just live your lives and hope for the best.

At the end of the day if they are going to cheat, then they are going to cheat. And if they get caught, then they get caught. But don’t go looking for it! It’s almost like accidentally manifesting it, and we certainly don’t want to be doing that.

So until we stop making ‘rules’ and ‘lists’ dictating our relationships to within an inch of our lives and sucking all the fun from them, you can find me watching TikTok’s in the bath or guzzling martinis at the local bar, and certainly not writing list on what counts as micro-cheating. Sheesh!

Jana Hocking is a columnist and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking

Read related topics:Dating AdviceJana Hocking


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