THE coronavirus has been one of the greatest challenges to hit the world in recent times. 

Millions of people continue to suffer from this highly infectious virus. 

And, as the race mounts to find a vaccine, the world is warned to prepare for a new normal, where we'll see rapid changes in the global economy and how we interact with one another.

There also seems to be another new normal on the horizon, which is cheating. According to Australian psychologist Melanie Schilling, the largest contributor to this is micro-cheating.

"You might be engaging in micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another person on social media, if you share private jokes, if you downplay the seriousness of your relationship to your partner or if you enter their name under a code in your phone. These are all signs that you are conducting a secret flirtation and keeping it from your partner. If you feel you have something to hide, ask yourself why."

The rise of micro-cheating has begun to eat away at a lot of relationships, because it's not seen as real cheating.   

Although the difference between micro-cheating and friendship may see to blur, Melanie said you can easily differentiate the two. 

"It's the secrecy and deception that accompanies the communication that defines it as micro-cheating," she said.

"Your partner may have a perfectly platonic relationship with a friend and they may be upfront and open about talking to them and seeing them. This should not ring alarm bells. However, if they start to conceal their relationship from you or lie to you about it, then start considering the appropriateness of their connection."

She also said many couples were suffering from micro-cheating and relationships were being destroyed, because it turns into actual cheating. 

The idea of having a side dish is justified by micro-cheating.

Melanie also warned that couples needed to look out for the early signs, which mainly are their partners lying about things and spending more time on their phone.