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Dating Someone Who Has Been Cheated On – What to Expect


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Are you considering getting into a relationship with someone who has been cheated on before? You may be wondering what some of the issues would be that you have to deal with and what you should expect when you date them. You may even be wondering if it’s a good idea to start the relationship at all or if you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Here are a few things you should know about dating someone who’s been cheated on.

They May Have Trust Issues

A lot of people come into relationships being very naïve about that relationship and where it might be headed. They may not have many expectations, especially if it’s their first relationship. The thing is, all of our past relationships inform our future ones.

In other words, we learn things from previous relationships that we bring over to all the following ones. We may have baggage from those old relationships that we would bring with us as well.

So, someone who has been cheated on before may suspect that anyone they date could cheat on them as well. Their ability to trust maybe seriously damaged or even broken. This isn’t even something that’s exclusive to people who have been cheated on.

People who have seen awful things happen around them or had traumatizing experiences in their life may be afraid of being cheated on more than your average person would.

Just as you would be more careful about touching fire after the first time you’ve been burned, so too will someone who has been cheated on be careful about getting into new relationships. They may have trouble trusting you, and that can show up in a few different ways. Not everybody who’s been cheated on before will act the same way in a new relationship.

The Potential for Jealousy

One way we see people react to having been cheated on before is that they are quick to have jealous thoughts. If they see you hanging out with someone that they think could be a potential partner for you, they may suspect you of starting a relationship with that person. If you engage in behavior they see as suspicious or difficult to understand, they may suspect that cheating is going on.

There’s a tendency there to see unfaithfulness everywhere. What has happened with someone like this is that the trauma of being cheated on has created a fear that is very difficult for them to control.

You have to realize that this is possible and look for signs that they are made jealous easily. You may be tempted to brush off or dismiss jealous behavior or even laugh about it. You may engage in arguments over it. You may even try to convince this person that you are trustworthy.

Really though, the only way to correct the jealous behavior is to prove your trustworthiness. Once they can see that you are someone who can be trusted, it will become harder for them to rationalize their jealousy.

A Fear of Being Left Alone

When someone has been cheated on, that can affect them in a variety of ways. Some people internalize a lot of what has happened to them and even blame themselves. Then you think they were cheated on because they weren’t loving enough or they didn’t give the other person enough attention. So, this may manifest as them being kind of clingy and being deathly afraid of being left alone.

They may overcompensate in the relationship by trying to be everything they ought to be and more. That fear of being left alone or a fear of contributing to cheating may cause them to behave in strange and inscrutable ways.

You want to be very careful that you don’t take advantage of someone like this. You don’t have to call them out on all of their behavior that stems from their fear of being left alone, but you should be reassuring and let them know that they don’t have to do to prove themselves so much.

To get at the root of the problem, it can be helpful to reassure them that they may not have been responsible for the other person’s actions and for being cheated on it. Remind them that when someone cheats, it is terrible behavior and it’s not the right response for someone that is unhappy in a relationship.

They Will Need to Heal

You have to know going into a relationship like this that the person who’s been cheated on will need time to heal. Not everybody heals the same way, nor does everyone heal successfully. You could be taking on quite a project if you try to help them take on their healing.

While some people will tell you not to take on any of their healing for yourself and carry that burden, a good relationship requires two people to support one another.

Their healing process could take a very long time. Some people get over being cheated on pretty quickly and are resilient and are able to move on. Others may take many years, or their healing process may be so slow, that they never seem to get completely over it.

It’s important not to make assumptions about how their healing will go and how quickly it will be finished. That’s simply not something you can tell from the start of the relationship.

If you’re going to make the relationship work with someone who has been cheated on, there will be times where they will need more support from you than you will from them. There may be times where both sides are not giving equally.

Remember that if you are there for them in their hard times, they will be more likely to be there for you in your hard times. Not everybody has the same difficulties in life, and you have to understand that going into relationship with someone who has been cheated on will require a lot of work, a lot of understanding, and a lot of love.

infinity sign in the sand by the sea
Jennifer Whyte

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