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You’ve cheated. Now what?

What to do when things like that happen

You’ve cheated. Now what? What to do when things like that happen

Surely by now you’ve seen the popular cheating or not cheating videos on TikTok, where podcasters dissect different cheating scenarios and determine whether it’s considered cheating or not to them. These scenarios are things like kissing a friend on the cheek, messaging a female friend consistently, buying someone a drink on a night out, or even small things like sending someone TikToks. Cheating can be defined in many ways and is super personal to each individual and couple. So when we’re looking at if you’ve cheated and how you can repair that relationship, it’s important to understand what constitutes cheating for you and your partner. 

There are different kinds of cheating

Before we dig into tips on how to recover from cheating there’s a few things to note. While all cheating is bad, when the scale of cheating can be anything from having slid into someone’s DMs to actually sleeping with another person, it’s safe to say there is a hierarchy in cheating — where some acts may be easier to recover from than others. While some podcasters, such as the two guys from Relateables, might think that even sharing a meal with someone is considered cheating, studies show that Gen Z is the most lenient generation when it comes to relationships, cheating, and monogamy. Maybe it’s because it is now easier than ever to cheat - thank you, internet - or maybe it’s because Gen Z has more open definitions of relationships, generally, and what they consider healthy. 

@relateables69 Cheating or not cheating? || #fyp original sound - relateables

The most important thing is communication 

To understand if you have cheated or not, we recommend having a conversations with your partner at the start of your relationship to align with what both of you consider cheating. If you’ve already done something and you regret it, and believe that your partner wouldn’t be comfortable with it, then it’s probably some form of cheating. So, how can you move on from cheating? How do you come back from this? Well, first things first, you need to come clean even if you’ve only done something small. Honesty is always the best policy because while what you’ve done could seem very innocent it might not be such a small thing to your partner. You need to be honest with them to give them the autonomy to make their own decision on the matter. Sometimes, it’s easy to dismiss something as not important or relevant for your partner to know, but for example, if you’re drunk one night and get kissed by someone, it might seem like a party foul to you, but to your partner could be something much more serious. After you give your partner the space to process and decide how they feel about it, consider all your options. Here are a few.

@mayjei Is it cheating if? PT 1 Do you guys agree? #fyp #viral #isitcheating #cheating #boyfriend #girlfriend #dating #couples #love #blackcouples #crazygirlfriend #crazy original sound - maji

Couples therapy

The most obvious option might be breaking up, but couples therapy could also be an option depending on how you and your partner feel about the situation. If you’re dedicated to making things work, consider putting in the effort to see someone professionally who can keep both of you accountable.  

Digital detox

Maybe it’s a good idea to check in with yourself and think about why you did what you did. Relationships take all parties to be healthy. It’s not just on your partner to do the work here – it’s very much up to you to dig within yourself and figure out why you cheated. A digital detox is one way to give yourself the space to do just that. Let yourself go off the grid for a bit and reconnect with your feelings and what you want out of a relationship. 

@therapyjeff 10 Questions to ask your partner that are hard to hear but will make your relationship better. #mentalhealth #therapy #relationshiptips #datingadvice #dating #couplesquestions original sound - TherapyJeff

 Go to your friends

Look, normally it’s not the best idea to have your friends act as a stand-in therapist, but in this situation, you’re going to need them. You’ll need friends to be there for you – and not just in the hand-holding, coddling way, but in the tough-love, you-messed-up way as well. Friends can help keep you accountable, provide a shoulder to lean on, and offer valuable advice. 

Embrace the consequences

Your actions have consequences, there’s no denying it. So if you cheat, you’re going to have to face the music and deal with whatever your partner decides to do moving forward. It could be that you all resolve everything and patch up your relationship, or it could be that you’re now single. However things go, you need to be an adult and deal with the consequences of your actions maturely, safely, and kindly. Don’t get mad at your partner if they decide ending the relationship is the only way forward – respect them and their decision and use this as a learning experience for future relationships. 

@makinglovelast Before You Decide to Cheat Beware of THIS Consequence. #affair #cheating #infidelity #affairrecovery #intimacy #couplestherapist #viral #foryoupage #foryou #trust Love Of My Life - Metrow Ar

 Talk to your partner

Cheating is super subjective. Everything from kissing someone on the cheek, to sharing a meal with them, to sliding into their DMs, to actually having sex with them could be considered cheating. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner and discuss what you both are comfortable with, especially in our digital world where sometimes good intentions can have disasterous consequences. If you do cheat, remember it’s not the end of the world – it may very well be the end of your relationship, but it might also not be. Take the steps you need to make sure you’re respecting your partner, and don’t hate yourself. Sometimes these things happen. It’s how you handle these situations that show your true character.