Does THIS Count as Micro-Cheating on Your Partner?

Should you just accept that your partner follows or interacts with attractive people on social media? Or does this behavior constitute “micro-cheating”?

What high-value conversations can you have to discern if their behavior is harmless, or driven by bad intent, without letting your own past trauma get in the way?

I’m sure this is going to be a subject with a lot of opinions. I’d love to read yours in the comments under the video once you’ve watched it.

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Matthew:

You could get someone who’s a personal trainer who’s like, “I’m building my client network.”

Stephen:

Right. Did you have to like 500 pictures of women in yoga pants? Was that absolutely necessary for your career?

Matthew:

Yeah. And by the way, for record, Dan, your career is training people who want to get their bodies in shape. Why are all the photos you’re liking people who clearly already have a trainer?

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Matthew:

What we want to talk about in this episode is the phenomenon of men who are in relationships, or I suppose we can expand that to anyone who’s dating or in a relationship, who is still liking photos of attractive people who aren’t their partner on social media. And we had a question, Steve, that came into the inbox. This person who will remain anonymous, I think she requested to be anonymous, said, I have been in a relationship, which is relatively new. We’re only together four months with a guy and everything is going great., apart from one thing, I keep obsessing over a girl he was seeing previous to me. He dated this girl for four or five months right before we met. First, he said it was only casual. But then on later date, he said it was very toxic and he didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to know anything about the girl because I prefer not to know about ex’s.

But then I saw on his Instagram, he had a picture of the two of them with a heart. I found that strange because if it wasn’t a relationship, why would you post that on social media? Then one night, on a night out, we met a guy he knew and he said, “Oh, are you still in love?” Referencing his Instagram post. When I asked him about it, he said I’m reading too much into it and deleted the picture. I said, “It seems you’re not over this girl. And I don’t want to be second best.” He reassured me that I’m not second best and that I make him very happy, and that all his friends love me, and that his friends and family hated the previous girl. I can’t help obsessing over the girl because it’s like I have these little snippets of information, but not enough to give me a full picture. So I create the story in my head myself.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling anxious and he was being off with me and ignoring my texts. So I searched her Instagram and lo and behold, he had liked her most recent pic the same day. This drove me over the edge and I had a massive fight with him over it. He claimed he liked it by accident, which is a complete lie. And that it didn’t mean anything. We eventually resolved the issue and are back on track, but I can’t help comparing myself to this girl. And I can’t stop wondering what went on between them. It’s driving me insane. I don’t know what to do. How can I get over this? I don’t want my jealousy to ruin the relationship because other than that, we have a great relationship. I want to move on and just forget about her, but I don’t know how. Please, help.

Well, thank you for a very honest and vulnerable question. Stephen, what are your thoughts?

Stephen:

Oh man. That’s a hard situation because it’s like the genie is out of the bottle now. And she knows about this woman and she knows that obviously her boyfriend had some kind of fraught relationship. Or there was some residual feeling. So it is one of those things you can’t . . . You can’t unsee that.

Matthew:

Well, before we . . .  Okay. So maybe a nice place to start for this episode would be to zoom out a little bit and zoom . . .  Well, let’s zoom back in on this woman’s specific situation. But just for everyone out there who is in this place of, is it okay for my partner to like pictures of other attractive people on social media while they’re with me? What do we think about that? Because that’s just a very generic widespread issue of our time. You know your partner that you’re dating now was no doubt following other people before you were in a relationship. As a single person, they would probably be following other attractive people, liking various posts. Now, you are in a relationship which comes with an assumed degree of loyalty, exclusivity and respect. Is it disrespectful? Is it disloyal to like other people’s pictures? Is this a form of what people call micro-cheating?

Stephen:

Yeah. It’s like, as a blanket rule, it would . . .  Obviously, everything would be easier if you just assumed as a rule, I won’t do that. Like the gain is small from going and liking other people’s pictures, other attractive people’s pictures. And there’s a lot of potential downside. So just on that basis, if you’re being rational, you could just say, “Just don’t do that if you’re in a relationship. Make your life peaceful and easier. Why create even the possibility of that kind of conflict?”

But it becomes like there’s levels, aren’t there? Because it could also, you could get into a relationship and you already followed some attractive women or men on Instagram. And then your partner might be like, “I don’t like that you follow these sexy people. Why do you follow them? You don’t know them. It’s some person who’s every shot is in a bikini. So it’s only a visual thing.” And then it’s like, should you be loyal and unfollow them if that makes them uncomfortable? It’s like, where do you decide your boundary is for loyalty?

Matthew:

Right. Because there are a lot of people, and we get the question from people. I’ve had it on tour before where someone said, “My partner follows a lot of bikini models and people, Instagram influencers who are influencers mostly because of their looks. My guy follows a lot of these people. Am I supposed to be okay with that? It makes me insecure that my partner follows all of these different people.”

Stephen:

Yeah. So, I mean, what do you do? Because I can totally see a couple deciding like we just don’t do that thing. We just don’t like other people’s Instagram photos. And someone might equally decide, for the sake of the relationship, we don’t have independent opposite sex friends that we hang out with one on one, because we just don’t create a situation where someone might feel uncomfortable or jealous. But I get that, but I don’t think everyone has the same rules. And that’s kind of where the problem is. Some people are just like, “That’s not a big deal. I like attractive people’s pictures. What’s the matter?”

Matthew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephen:

So what do you do if people just don’t see eye to eye at all on the same standard for loyalty.

Matthew:

Well, that kind of cuts to the crux of the issue, doesn’t it? We all have different standards in relationships. And it’s one of the primary sources of conflict. It would be interesting, you have values and then you have standards. And they’re not the same thing. They intersect, but they’re not the same thing. A value would be loyalty, right? We both value loyalty. A standard is what loyalty means to us. I have a female friend from way back who I remember years ago said to me . . .  And she’s in a long-term relationship. She said, “Oh, going out and having a kiss with a stranger isn’t cheating.”

Stephen:

Wow.

Matthew:

Like on a night out, her version of that was, “Oh, that’s not cheating if you go and have a snog with someone on a night out. That’s not cheating. That doesn’t count.”

Stephen:

It’s like there are people who think stuff they do on their bachelor night doesn’t count. Or on, you know?

Matthew:

Right. Now, I know she would never have said, “I don’t value loyalty.” She would’ve said loyalty is important. But the point is that she had a different standard for loyalty than I do.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

So we’re in a position when we look for a relationship or when we assess someone who were dating, we’re in a position of looking not just for synergistic standards. Sorry. We’re not just looking for synergistic values, but we’re looking to align on what the manifestation of that value actually looks like. What’s the standard we have for that value.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

And that’s where so many people butt heads. Two people value loyalty, but they have a completely different idea of what it means. Now, that’s why conversations so early in a relationship is important.

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Matthew:

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Matthew:

Because the first few months of dating is where you talk about those things. It’s where, in the case of this person, he has liked a picture of his ex, who she already has an issue with. And her ignoring that . . .  Which she hasn’t obviously. She talks about having had a big blowup with him over it. But ignoring that isn’t the right thing.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

Also, there’s a way to bring it up that just causes destruction. But what we want is to be able to bring our partner that and say, “Here’s why I struggle with that. Here’s the problem with that for me. And here’s how it makes me feel. And it’s not my version of what loyalty is.”

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

And I do think that to get into the weeds a little bit of whether liking somebody else’s post is a version of disloyalty. I kind of think, okay, well, you may say we have a standard for our relationship where if we were in an airport and we walked past a magazine stand and you saw the person on the cover of Maxim or FHM or whatever, and said, “Man, she’s so hot.” You might say that’s one degree of disrespect, is because why would you say that to me?

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

But at least in that situation, you could say you are interacting with the magazine.

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

When you like someone’s picture on social media, you’re not interacting with a magazine, you’re interacting with the person.

Stephen:

Yeah. And the communication is open for it to be two-way. Someone could see your like and respond to you. They could DM you. There’s many more open possibilities.

Matthew:

Whether or not they ever see it is a separate issue. But you have put yourself on their radar.

Stephen:

Right.

Matthew:

When we walk past magazines at a magazine stand, we’re not putting ourselves on someone’s radar. But on social media, we are. It’s maybe a one-way interaction, but it’s an interaction. And of course, in the case of it not being a well-known influencer or celebrity. In the case of it being an ex, that now becomes something that can be reciprocated. And maybe is even likely to be reciprocated and at the very least seen and acknowledged.

Stephen:

Yeah. It’s a little different than liking a Billie Eilish photo where she might have 30 million people following.

Matthew:

Right.

Stephen:

But even that, some people may just be like, “I don’t like you liking sexy Billie Eilish pictures or something.” You know that everyone might have a level where they’re like, “I don’t like that either.

Matthew:

She’s not wearing a hoodie in that photo. But that’s also an interesting distinction. Because you could say, “My standard is not that my partner never likes a picture of someone of my gender.”

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

You could say, “My problem is if they like something that is quite obviously just a post that is about this person’s attractiveness.”

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

If Billie Eilish . . .  I love that Billie Eilish is becoming this thing . . . If Billie Eilish releases a solid new record . . . 

Stephen:

For sure.

Matthew:

 . . .  and someone likes it. Or Billie Eilish has just won an award, and you like it.

Stephen:

Maybe I just love the James Bond song.

Matthew:

It’s time to celebrate. It’s just cool that she won that award, and like it also. I mean, even that . . .  I mean, I can’t. The idea of liking something that’s just not even in your world, even . . .  It just seems like a pointless waste of energy. But even that . .  it’s about the work.

Stephen:

Sure.

Matthew:

But if Billie just puts up a photo of Billie in a bikini on the beach that says #hotgirlsummer.

Stephen:

She wouldn’t put that.

Matthew:

She wouldn’t. That Billie would never do that. But if she did and you like that one, then that’s a different . . .  You could argue. Well, now you’re just liking something that’s in that . . .  What are you liking except this person’s looks at this point? There’s a context to that. So I think that even within liking pictures, you can argue us about context.

There are some people who are in a world where I’m sure they argue, professionally, it’s important for them to be able to like other people’s photos. You could get someone who’s a personal trainer who’s like, “I’m building my client network. And the more people I engage with, the more people follow me and see me as a trainer and want my services.” But that can be hard for the person who’s dating that person who says, “Okay, you can always claim that this woman in a bikini could be a client one day, or that she could give you a repost or whatever. But it still makes me uncomfortable.” And then further nuance may be required where you go, “Well, look, I understand that you want to make connections on social media. But can you maybe be a bit nuanced about what you choose to like?”

Stephen:

Did you have to like 500 pictures of women in yoga pants? Was that absolutely necessary for your career?

Matthew:

Yeah. And by the way, for the record, Dan, your career is training people who want to get their bodies in shape. Why are all the photos you’re liking people who clearly already have a trainer? These people clearly are not trying to get in shape. They are already there. So yeah. But that’s where intention matters. And over time, if we truly get to know someone beneath the surface, we talk to them. We get to know their behavior. We start to understand more and more about their intentionality.

Is this just some way of , you know, justifying constantly liking attractive people’s photos, so that I can continue to sort of flirt from a distance and have this cheap thrill whilst justifying it through my work or connections or whatever else we can try to justify it through these days? Or is it genuinely, “No, this is . . .  You know me and you know that this is just . . .  I’m trying to build something and there are certain things that help me build that, but you can see the context.”

And when someone is very open in general, and you get the impression that someone’s not hiding things from you, that starts to become . . .  You can grow more comfortable over time. I think one of the hard things about the beginning of a relationship is that we don’t know someone’s intent.

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

So trust is something that’s built slowly. It’s not built quickly. You don’t just go into a relationship trusting everything. Trust is built and accumulated slowly. Now, later on, there may actually be things we’d be less cool with in the first three months, then we’re cool within year three.

Stephen:

Right.

Matthew:

Because in year three, we’re like, “No, I know this person. I know who they are. I know where this comes from.” So now they go to dinner with that friend, that in month one, I would’ve been like, “You can’t go to dinner with that person.” Now in year one or year two, you’re like, “It doesn’t feel like such a big deal, but that’s because I know you.”

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

So I think that our boundaries actually, what we class as a trespassing on our boundaries or over our boundaries is relative. It changes over time as our trust for someone changes. What you have in this question is a woman who’s saying, “I was already inflamed. What I had was a guy who already I felt a little bit insecure about this person he dated. Why? Well, because he said it meant nothing, but then he also described it as really toxic. So now I’m worried that it did mean something, because maybe you still have some emotion around this.”

Stephen:

Yeah. And especially if it sounds like it was a dramatic end. It feels like, “Oh, well, he must have felt strongly about her because he’s saying how toxic and difficult it was.”

Matthew:

Exactly. So now you have a situation where you go, “Oh, all the emotion from this hasn’t been released.” Now, some people won’t agree with me on this. But my personal view on this is this idea that you have to be over the last person in order to be with someone else, I think is kind of we’re way, way, way too black and white about that.

Stephen:

Well, the problem is, like you said, with this guy, she doesn’t know yet if this is just the very tail end, last burning out of that relationship, yeah, what happened. Or is it to her, she’s like, “Is this a pattern? Is he the kind of guy who clings onto ex’s and is going to always be one foot potentially liking an old flame’s pictures.” It’s hard for her to tell at this stage.

Matthew:

And she doesn’t know if this is coming from a place of desire to be with this person. Or just residual anger over having been mistreated or . . .  We can carry feelings with us. We can become parents in life whilst still being angry at our own parents. We can get into a relationship whilst still having some residual resentment or anger about how someone treated us in a previous relationship.

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

Just because we haven’t worked through everything about our past relationship, it doesn’t mean we can’t have another one. If that were true, my God, the amount of new relationships that would happen would diminish very, very quickly.

Stephen:

Right.

Matthew:

But intention is a different thing. If my intention is deep down, I would love to be back with this person. Now you have a bigger problem because now it can become a real insecurity for the person that you are with. “Well, what if this ex of yours turned around and said that they wanted you again? Where would that leave me? Now, I don’t feel safe.”

Matthew:

So I think that we have to be careful about making these blanket statements about, “Well, you are not over your ex.” It’s okay for there to be residual emotion. I do think good advice for someone who has residual emotion within a new relationship, a good advice is not to spotlight that, not to focus on that. Because what can it do for your current relationship, really?

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

It’s okay to have a conversation about it, and to be like, “Yeah, it hurt me then,” or “I struggle with that then,” or, “Yeah, for a long time, maybe even still, it makes me a little angry from time to time. But it has nothing to do with wanting to be with that person. I just feel something.” It’s okay to be honest about that. But my advice for anyone in that situation is don’t go live into that emotion. Don’t go adopt it and now get frustrated and get angry. And because now it’s like, well, now you’re just living there. It’s not that it’s there and it’s just something that you’re processing. You’re living there and that’s not productive to your new relationship. It takes the focus away from your new relationship.

But there is a difference between feelings and intentions. Now the problem is that this guy that she’s dating, if she said, “Well, he said it was casual, but then he said it was toxic. So I’m sensing feelings around this.” That’s one thing. That’s kind of like a moment where she goes, “Okay, that’s a marker. That’s made me feel a bit funny. And of course that it seems like it wasn’t far behind them meeting.” And she’s still early on with him. So she’s understandably not feeling particularly secure right now. Because the roots of the relationship aren’t deep.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

And that’s something we all . .  We have to be kind to ourselves. Sometimes when we see something early on and it inflames us, part of it is that the roots of this relationship we’re in now aren’t deep. So this isn’t a tree that’s been growing for a while and is really plugged into the soil, and whatever storm comes along this tree is sturdy. It’s got a thick trunk. No, I am inherently trying to nurse and water and grow this very young plant to see what it can become.

Stephen:

So I guess then the question she would probably want to say to you is like . . .  Well, she said he’s a great guy in other respects, right? She said they seem to have something special. But that for her it’s like, “Do I take the risk though on this patch of soil? Is this patch of soil going to turn out to be poisoned? And I shouldn’t risk everything on this. Like how much risk should I take at this stage?”

Matthew:

That’s exactly right. And what’s now made it worse is that it’s not just him saying, “Well, it was toxic and maybe I hadn’t been fully transparent about how much that affected me at the time.” But she now goes out and they bump into his friend, and his friend says . . .  I mean, what kind of idiot friend says this? But his friend says in front of her, “Oh, are you still in love?” Which is a weird thing for a friend to say in the context of you being out with a new person.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

But let’s say the friend has made a clumsy comment. But that clumsy comment has further inflamed what she’s already worried about. Now in a sense that’s not his fault, right? Not in a sense. I mean, it kind of, it really isn’t his fault. His friend has said something. We’ve all been in a situation where we are with someone we really like and we’re around their friends, and their friend says something clumsy that hurts our feelings.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

Maybe it all alludes to an ex of our boyfriend or girlfriend. It alludes to who they were before. There’s some detail that you’re like, “Oh, that’s stung.”

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

We’ve all been in that situation. It’s not our current partner’s fault that someone said a clumsy thing that was about a time before you. But where it becomes problematic is when she realizes, “Oh, he’s liked her picture.” So now it wasn’t just something his friend said that stung, it’s something he actually did. Not the hugest deal in the world. He didn’t go and sleep with anyone. But he did like a picture of someone that he said he’s completely done with.

And what makes it worse is it’s during a time where she wasn’t feeling good communication from him. So of course that’s salt to the wound. Not only were you not texting me back, but you somehow found the energy and the space in your mind to like a picture of someone you said means nothing to you at this stage. Then she confronts him about it and he lies. He says, “I hit it by mistake.” We don’t know that’s a lie, but it seems pretty close to a lie. You see it  would be quite the coincidence.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

Now in a sense, this is what I think is very important. Are either of those things a complete dead end for a future relationship? I would argue, no. He lied saying something that we say because it’s kind of convenient to say it, especially in the first few months isn’t uncommon amongst people. If they’re in the first couple of months and they’re thinking, “Oh, I just don’t want the aggravation of being completely honest about this at this stage. I’m going to say something that’s easier.” Or we say something as a reflex defensive response. And later on, we kind of have that pang of, “Oh, that was a lie. And I kind of don’t like lying. But I did lie.”

Stephen:

Right.

Matthew:

And many people, if they’re honest, have been in a situation where they didn’t tell the truth.

Stephen:

Yeah. Or they obscured the truth. They’re like, “Oh, that was ages ago,” or “That was . . . “

Matthew:

Correct. And so, can he be better? Likely. Well, not likely. It’s possible. There is the Robert Greene thing. I heard Robert Greene say, “No one does something once.” So if you ever see someone do something, never assume that’s the only time they’ve done it.

Stephen:

Right.

Matthew:

This is something they do. This is not a one-off. This is a pattern for them. If you are seeing it, it’s a pattern. And I think that’s an incredibly profound and useful bit of life advice. And you could easily say, you could be . . .  You are within your rights to say, “If he’s lying now, then he’s likely a liar. He’s someone that will lie to make things easier for him.” And that doesn’t bode well for you later on.

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

But what’s tough, and we’re a little philosophical here. But what’s tough to me is that just because you lied once, it doesn’t mean you’ll always lie.

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

If that’s true, then none of us will ever be better people, because we’ve all lied.

Stephen:

Right.

Matthew:

So I think in a way that both are true. Much like, one of my favorite phrases is why can’t both be true. Anne Lamott says “All truth is paradox.”

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

It’s both true that if someone does something, probably that’s not the only time they’ve done it. It’s a pattern. It’s also true that people grow. Now, is it a big enough lie to completely end everything on? Maybe not. Is liking a picture of his ex in month four of seeing you a relationship-ending situation? Maybe not. Maybe, if you want to just cut and run, maybe. But the problem is, in general, that . . .  And by the way, I want to make something very clear. If she decided based on all the things she’s intuitively feeling, I’m going to really back away. I would understand.

 

Sephen:

Yeah. And that’s the thing. Sometimes it’s like the evidence stacks.

Matthew:

Exactly.

Stephen:

And sometimes you’re like, “Well, this is one thing. But everything else has been great and trustworthy.”

Matthew:

And so I kind of want to separate this into two categories of advice. For her, I would completely understand if she said, “I’m going to cut and run. The evidence of what I’m seeing doesn’t look pretty. And I feel like there’s pain on the horizon because this person is not over this person.”

Stephen:

Sure.

Matthew:

I’d understand. The more generic advice I’d give for people in situations where they see something that they don’t like is, human beings, that idea that we’re programmed to . . .  We associate, right? And we associate for survival. If I hear a rustling in the bush, my brain says, “Get away,” because it might be a lion. And it might just be the wind. But I still run because I’m like, it means lion. Now, I haven’t seen a lion. I just hear a rustling in the bush. But it’s enough to create that association, it’s enough to trigger danger warning.

Stephen:

The downside is big, if it is a lion.

Matthew:

The downside is big in that case. Yes. Now in a relationship where we’ve experienced something before. Maybe if she’s experienced . . .  If in her previous relationship, she was with someone who kept saying about somebody else. “Oh, they’re a friend. Don’t worry about them. They’re a friend, they’re a friend, they’re a friend.” And then all of a sudden, he left her for that friend. The next time she’s in a relationship, and she has a little bit of a funny feeling, it’s that rustling in the bush. Oh, that means lion. So now, before she even knows, she cuts and runs. And we’ve all had that. Well, most people have had that experience of, “I should just cut and run because I heard a rustle in the bush.” The problem is you . . .

Stephen:

Your Spidey sense goes off.

Matthew:

Right. But the tough part is you can hear so many rustling bushes at any time in any early relationship, that you’re always running. And now it turns into avoidant behavior on our part. So we sometimes have a tough time figuring out what the midpoint is between true intuition and this false danger that is triggered by our trauma. The rusting in the bush where there was no lion. But we ran anyway because now even rustling bush is terrifying. That’s the interesting part of this to me.

Now, someone might say, “Well, what’s the answer to that?” Whilst I say she would be well within her rights to say, “On the basis of everything I’ve seen, I don’t want to take this risk.” She might also take a different approach and say, “I am going to use this as a cue to recalibrate how I feel about this situation, and what I believe to be the trajectory of this situation. So I’m now not going to see my goal here. My intention is no longer to fall in love as quickly as possible, because this feels so awesome and this person’s awesome, and I can feel it all going in the right direction.”

No, she’s now been presented with something that requires either that you run away, or that you stay and ignore, or the third option, that you recalibrate. Because what you can’t do, if you stay there . . .  I think there’s an interesting conundrum. She needs, we could argue, more data, right? He said, “No, it wasn’t intentional and it doesn’t mean anything. And I’m really happy with you.” She now needs more data to see whether his future actions align with that truth, or whether they show him to be exactly what she was worried about.

Stephen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:

The question is though, even if she does that, that’s a very logical answer. We’re emotional people. So she’s now going to be in this situation saying, “I need more data.” But in the meantime, her anxiety’s going to be flaring up like crazy and that’s going to have an impact on the relationship itself. Because her anxiety now is going to be a presence in the room.

Stephen:

Yep.

Matthew:

So how do you manage your anxiety while you’re waiting for more information? You won’t have such anxiety if you lower the stakes of the relationship in the first place. If you make a switch, for example, from saying, “What if this person I want to be with turns out to be someone who’s still in love with their ex and hurts me?” If you make a switch from that to, “I’m assessing whether I want to be with this person. I’m information-gathering right now and watching and seeing if I want to be with this person,” that takes a lot of the anxiety out of it. Because I’m not making a decision that I want this person and now I’m terrified I’m going to get hurt and lose them. I’m deciding whether I want the person in the first place.

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

And that means you can still bring your charismatic, fun self to the situation. But you are creating a lot of emotional space, a little distance. And if that person says, “I’m having a great time with you, but I feel like you’re not as into me.” And you can say, “No, I’m perfectly into you, but I’m just taking things slow because to be perfectly honest with you, that concerned me a little bit when you did that. I understand that you said it was a mistake, but it concerned me a little bit. And I’m just protecting myself in this situation and letting it unfold at an organic pace that feels good to me.”

Stephen:

Yeah.

Matthew:

That’s what recalibrating is. And for anyone out there who’s like, “Should I cut and run, or should I stay?” You can always make the decision to gather more information. But in the meantime, recalibrate your expectations of this relationship. Because if you go forward wanting to have the same view of it you did last week, but you’ve been given new information that concerns you, then what you’ll have is anxiety that’s produced by the chasm . . . 

Stephen:

Yeah, the conflict.

Matthew:

 . . .  between what you are seeing as and what you are seeing in the real world, what you’re seeing in their behavior. That’s what’s going to create the anxiety. If you remove the image you have of what this could or should be, and you just say, “I’m going to assess it for what it is right now,” that gives you freedom.

 

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Matthew:

Do you want to change your life? Go to this video now immediately, right now.

 

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Matthew:

Be wildly attracted to someone. Think someone is incredibly sexy. You know, what’s powerful? Someone knowing that you think they’re incredibly sexy and attractive. And also knowing that that has no effect on your behavior.

 

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4 Replies to “Does THIS Count as Micro-Cheating on Your Partner?”

  • The guy i have been in a relationship for 4 years he keeps going to dating sights and tries to get them into conversations then he gives them his photos and phone number. Then I spent the whole day with him for his birthday. He posts that no one acknowledged his birthday. The has been telling other women he loves them. I have told him it is over and he needs to move out. But he won’t leave he says he is not cheating he is loyal.

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