Thursday, May 3, 2018

How to Tell if Your Partner Is 'Microcheating'

Sometimes it’s best to just keep your iPhone in your pants.
Behavior on social media, particularly Instagram, has become a sticking point for couples.
Some say liking a sexy Instagram picture of a friend or acquaintance is no big deal. Others view such behavior, called microcheating, as infidelity or a path to it.
Lindsey Metselaar, 27, falls in the latter camp. When she was scrolling through her Instagram in May 2017, she noticed that her boyfriend liked a scantily clad photo of his coworker wearing a crop top and booty shorts.
Upon further inspection, she saw that he had also commented, “Up late looking at this.” It immediately set her off. She sent her then-boyfriend a screenshot of his comment and texted him.
“I was like, ‘What the f – – k,’ ” Metselaar, who’s based in Union Square and muses about her personal life on her podcast, “We Met at Acme,” tells The Post. “‘I deserve more respect than this.’”
He then tried to gaslight her, texting her it wasn’t a big deal, before calling her a stalker. Ten minutes later, he called her and apologized. But even after they reconciled and agreed not to post flirty comments on people’s Instas, she was never able to get over his initial digital faux pas.
“It showed me that he put himself before me,” she says. Four months later, they broke up.
Others have no problem with such behavior.
“[Trying to exert] control over social media is just a waste of energy,” says Brittany, a 25-year-old publicist based in Soho who declined to give her last name. She’s been in a relationship for two months and doesn’t care about her boyfriend’s social-media activity. “If you’re a millennial in a relationship, you should be able to accept that there are a lot of good-looking people on your lover’s [Instagram] feed,” she says.
And besides, she adds, “I don’t get jealous of other hot girls. Chances are I am liking their photos as well.”
It’s an issue for celebs, too. This past winter, hip-hop couple Cardi B and fiancé Offset faced cheating and breakup rumors related to Offset’s online escapades. The pair are still engaged, but in her latest single, “Be Careful,” Cardi laments, “I thought you would’ve learned your lesson/’Bout likin’ pictures.”
Since microcheating is such a gray area, Vienna Pharaon, a therapist at Mindful Marriage & Family Therapy in Midtown, says that couples should set their own boundaries.
“Move your covert expectations out into the open,” she says. “We need to be clear about the impact our interactions on social media have on each other … so that we feel aligned and honored and respected.”
And if someone in the relationship is particularly bothered by a partner’s online activity, understanding is key.
“If that person is reacting to something, there’s a story there,” she says. “Maybe they were hurt and someone stepped out on them [in a past relationship] and you liking a photo is a story that keeps them stuck there.”
Metselaar, who is currently single, puts it more succinctly.
“It just doesn’t make you feel good,” she says. “When you enter a relationship, you have to start thinking about the other person.”