If your ex cheated, diving back into the world of dating can be intimidating. But being cheated on doesn’t mean the end of romance, intimacy and happy relationships — in fact, it’s just the beginning. If your ex cheated, you can still find love, fulfilment and commitment - and you deserve it all.
Consider these strategies for moving onward and upward:
Do not accept responsibility for a cheater. Know that it’s not you — it’s them. Your ex cheated because they chose to cheat. You were not the “cause” of their cheating, so there is no reason to assume that your next partner will cheat too.
Date outside of your comfort zone. Do you have a certain “type” to which that you tend to be attracted? Try getting to know different types of people and hang out in different venues to see if your attraction is broader than you realized. You might attract someone with whom trust arises more easily.
Trust yourself first. Trust your instincts when you get back into the dating game. If something doesn’t feel right, bring it up with your new partner right away. If you recognize a pattern of overreacting, seek professional support. Just a few sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you to reframe your thoughts and expectations so that they’re more realistic.
Be realistic and reasonable. You can’t expect a new love to do everything your ex did — the good, the bad and the ugly. They’re two different people with different values, backgrounds and expectations. Look at your kids (or other siblings you know) as examples — they’re often polar opposites, so there is no reason to assume that because one person cheated on you, another will.
Admit to your negative feelings so that you can get over them. If you’re feeling angry, jealous, resentful and downright vengeful, go ahead and own your emotions. Every feeling is valid and can even be useful as long as you keep your thoughts and behaviors in check. If you’re jealous, think about what you’re jealous of. Instead of lashing out at others, look at ways you can change to be more like the person you aspire to be.
Slow down. If you’ve been out of the dating game for a while, you might want to take your time and get to know a potential partner before making a commitment.
Be honest. Once you decide to commit to a relationship, be honest with your new partner about some of your concerns. Ask for reassurance and patience and offer them the same.
To learn more about how to move past an unfaithful relationship, listen to this podcast here.
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