Micro-cheating in a romantic relationship: perception and experiences of University of Baguio students

Art Jacob E. Bermejo | Loreign Jayne A. Corpuz | Nicole N. Racraquin
School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts


Infidelity has been the focus of several scientific studies for many years. Relatively, little is known about micro-cheating aside from it being a small act of cheating. The purpose of this study is to describe the nature of micro-cheating in terms of romantic relationships among college students and to identify what significant behavioral indicators are considered types of micro-cheating. The researchers used thematic analysis in this research study to generate themes that answer the main purpose of this study. The data were collected through an online interview. The college students provided their insights regarding their perception of micro-cheating, and this resulted in several themes that described the nature of micro-cheating. Micro-cheating is described as trivial behaviors or a small act of infidelity. It also involves the use of technology or the Internet, specifically social media like Facebook, Instagram, and online dating applications (e.g., Bumble and Tinder). The result also shows that micro-cheating can be a warning sign that such trivial behaviors can lead to full-blown infidelity. Moreover, micro-cheating can be observed as crossing the boundaries of friendship, having hidden or implicit desires, and using technology as a medium. Finally, in the actual goal of establishing the concept definition, the researchers were able to particularly present a description of micro-cheating which are the actions that come close to the mutually established boundaries of a relationship.


Keywords: infidelity, micro-cheating, cheating, romantic relationships, computer-mediated communication