Being cheated on sucks balls big time. Not only does it ruin the relationship you were in, but the hurt stays with you into the next one. This doesn’t mean the relationship suffers, but it does mean that some things happen a little differently.
Here are 10 ways being cheated on affects your next relationship.
1. Don’t expect to bounce back. When cheating happens in TV and movies, we’re entertained and absolutely riveted. But my god, if it actually happens to you IRL it’s devastating. It’s okay to be completely shattered. It’s okay to be bitter and angry and in bed for days. A bad, bad thing happened so take all the time you need before jumping back in.
2. When you do, you’ll probably take things slow. You’ve been burned before, and nobody is keen to full-speed into a situation that makes them vulnerable again. Being monogamous means trusting someone to remain faithful, and it’s going to take some time to build that up again.
3. You have to be up front about how your last relationship ended. Unless you’re a-hundo, never-look-back, can’t-even-remember-his-name over it, it’s possible that you’re still carrying some residual feels. Obviously, you don’t need to start a first date with “I was cheated on and I’m watching you” (although I’d give you a standing ovation if you did), if things start to get more serious, giving a heads up might help them be more understanding of the following points.
4. Problems from your last relationship will be fresh in your mind. Let me be clear about one thing: your previous partner cheating on you was not because of anything you did or didn’t do. But it’s natural to have those thoughts. Was I too clingy? Too critical? Too much? As hard as it may be, it’s important to start with a clean slate and focus on what’s right for the current relationship, not relationships of the past.
5. That being said, you’ll probably be a little paranoid. This is natural. You trusted someone, they broke it. You trust someone again, what if they break it? A caring partner will totally understand this, and should be patient when you need a little extra reassurance.
6. And you might even let the fear of being paranoid stop you from speaking up. In relationships that followed ones where I was cheated on, I wasn’t sure whether or not to say I was uncomfortable with something out of fear of it seeming like I was just being overly sensitive. Your feelings are valid no matter how many times you’ve been burned, and it’s best to say something makes you uncomfortable right away than to let it build up inside you.
7. You’ll be constantly comparing things to your past relationship (don’t). The amount of times I’ve had partners be like “I’m not your ex-girlfriend” is, like… twice, but it stuck with me. It’s not fair to treat people based on experiences with someone else, and although it’s inevitable that you’ll notice similarities and differences, and maybe be wary of them, don’t let it become your life.
8. Small things may open old wounds. You’re likely sensitive to certain things depending on how your last breakup went down. An unanswered text, a close girl friend, canceled plans. These things are likely to happen during the course of a new relationship, but could hit close to home based on your last one.
9. You’ll probably still get upset about your ex. Even now, years later, you could still sit in this chair and get yourself worked up over my last ex who cheated on me. There will always be details and irksome moments to rehash, especially if it just happened. Being sad about an old relationship doesn’t mean wanting it back, and as long as it isn’t consuming your thoughts to the detriment of your new one, you current partner will understand.
10. Your new relationship is gonna be great. While being cheated on hurts, it doesn’t ruin you, and won’t stop you from starting over with someone new. Slowly but surely, your new relationship will blossom, and your partner will cement themselves as the secure, caring individual you deserve.
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