“What is microcheating and are you a little bit guilty of it?” the headline asks in (Link): Metro. “What is micro-cheating? It’s the newest infidelity trend to mess up your relationship,” (Link): Bustle tells us. “Micro-cheating: The small actions that some say is as bad as full betrayal,”(Link): The Independent warns.
As a writer who has made a living in the made-up “dating term” buzzword space for more than a decade, I don’t know if I can take it any longer. It’s lies, all of it.
None of this is real. It’s filler.
It’s a distraction from the headache of complicated issues involved in figuring out intensely personal and widely variant emotional boundaries with a significant other.
It’s bullshit. All of it.
Ask yourself this: Have you ever heard, outside of the context of either a media space or a social media space, anyone ever use these terms? OK, “ghosted,” sure. But “kittenfishing”?
That’s about as convincing as the infamous 1992 hoax when a fairly hilarious young person fed The New York Times a bunch of made-up “grunge” terms (like “swingin’ on the flippity-flop”) and sold them as gritty slang realism.
Here is a quick survey of this vast sphere of bullshittery which appears to be metastasizing of late:
Micro-cheating (emotional infidelity).
Ghosting (one person disappears from a casual dating relationship).
Kittenfishing (similar to the deception of catfishing but using an old dating profile or some other form of misrepresentation). Roaching (a person hides the fact that they’re sleeping around).
Benching (“You’re not in the starting lineup, but they haven’t quite cut you from the team”). Breadcrumbing (dropping indicators of interest sporadically but never really moving forward with actual dating).
Tindstagramming (a guy reaches out to a girl from Tinder whose Instagram profile is linked). Submarining (you disappear and then you come up again). Mooning (keeping your phone on Do Not Disturb to ignore a suitor).
Cinderfellas (middle-aged men who want instant life-validation fireworks in a relationship).
Cushioning (creating several potential future relationships by flirting with others in case your current relationship fails).
R-bombing (someone has their “read” receipts on and doesn’t reply). Phubbing (ignoring someone for your phone).
Cuffing season (settling down with someone for the cold months) and clearing season (the desperate days toward the end of cuffing season). Drafting season (right before cuffing season).
Demisexuals (attraction to emotions). Sapiosexuals (attraction to intelligence). Ecosexuals (attraction to environmentalists)
…All fake. Fake news. Fake trends. Fake phrases.
Here’s a trend that is very real, though: Bullshitting. We are all bullshitting ourselves.
Why do we do it? Why are there going to be about a thousand more of these terms introduced into the lexicon while this article and others decrying this nonsense can do nothing about it? Because we are all so desperate (myself included) to impose any kind of structure onto the messy chaotic utter black pit of despair that often lies within the realm of love, dating, and relationships.
You can read that editorial (Link): in its entirety on The Daily Beast.