How To Get Over Being Cheated On And Start A New Relationship

Updated August 17, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Unfortunately, many people have experienced the pain of having a partner cheat on them. It can be tricky business starting over. It may be difficult to figure out when one is ready to move on and look for a new relationship—or even if they should.

If you've been cheated on, you personally know just how difficult it can be. Sometimes that difficulty can outlast the relationship that's ended and carry over into your future relationships, keeping those from working out the way you'd like them to.

It is possible, however, to move on and have a successful new relationship. You just need to learn how.

Didn't I Already Move On?

You're right. Ending your last relationship took a lot of strength. However, relationships are a lot like riding a bike. Not because you never forget, but because if you fall off, getting back up might not be enough. You need to stop and make sure that you weren't hurt too badly before you hop back on again.

Do You Feel Like You Need To Start Over?

Emotional Triage

If you've ever been bike riding with your friends, you probably know how to handle a fall. You don't always go straight to the emergency room—though sometimes you might. You need to figure out how badly you are hurt and what kind of help you need.

After you've been cheated on, you may want to spend some time by yourself to make sure that you're okay before moving on to the next relationship. You can also spend time with family and friends—they'll let you know if you're not acting like yourself. Or you may believe that you need professional help to heal.

Getting Over Being Cheated On: Talk To Your Ex

This can be hard, but it can also be important for you as you explore future relationships. You might already understand what happened and why, but you might be missing closure if you left as soon as you found out about the infidelity. If you aren't sure why your ex cheated on you, ask.

You might hear something like, "It was a mistake in a moment of weakness." If this is the case, it should help you move forward in your relationship. One of the greatest fears we can have after being cheated on is that it was our fault. This fear can carry into—and poison—future relationships. However, not all people are the same, and you might not have reason to think that you'll be cheated on again just because you were once before.

On the other hand, you may hear something like, "I didn't feel like you were paying enough attention to me" or "You didn't make me feel wanted." To be clear, being cheated on is never your fault. However, answers like this —though hard to hear—can help you be mindful in future relationships. It might be a good reminder to make sure that your next relationship has your full attention.

Getting Over Being Cheated On: Do Something Great

Being cheated on can make you feel unappreciated, unimportant, or powerless. But, with your relationship behind you and before you get on to the next one, use this time to accomplish something important to you. It could be a work goal, a goal in one of your hobbies, or reaching a personal milestone.

Focusing on yourself can help you to recover from being cheated on and better understand your true worth. It can also help to give you the confidence you need to stride into your next relationship. Just think, when you meet your next partner at a restaurant, you'll be able to say, "I'm here celebrating a promotion" instead of "I'm here because I don't see the point in cooking for one."

Getting Over Being Cheated On: Decide What You Want

Before looking for a new relationship, you should also decide what you want out of your next relationship. Society can put so much pressure on us to be in relationships that we feel the need to move from one to the next without asking ourselves what kind of relationship we want—or even if we want one.

Think of all of the things you may not have liked about your last relationship—before the cheating—and ask yourself how you can avoid that happening in your next relationship. If your ex was always complaining that you were too busy, look for a partner who is as industrious as yourself —or don't look for a partner. If you didn't like living with someone else, look for a partner who isn't interested in commitment right now —or don't look for a partner. 

To reiterate, the point here is not that you shouldn't find a new relationship—the point is that if you don't need one to be happy, that's okay. If you do want a relationship to be happy, keep reading.

Starting A New Relationship: Focus On Yourself

When you're starting a new relationship after being cheated on, it can be hard to focus on yourself and your needs. However, these should absolutely come first. That means that you shouldn't be thinking about whether your friends and family will be happy or proud that you've found a new relationship. You definitely shouldn't be thinking about how having a new relationship will make your ex feel.

You may be wondering if you should be focusing on your new partner as well as yourself? Of course, you should be aware of how your new partner is feeling. However, as someone overcoming a great hurt, you should still be more worried about yourself. That will prevent you from doing things to make your partner happy that you aren't ready to do yet. 

Starting A New Relationship: Let It Happen Naturally

We've already talked about how moving from one relationship to another too quickly can be bad for you. It can be hard to tell how long enough to wait between relationships, so one method is to wait until you meet someone naturally. That means no dating sites or apps, no blind dates, no having friends hook you up.

There's nothing wrong with meeting people in those ways, but they can move you along faster than you might be ready for.

Starting A New Relationship: Take It Slowly

No matter how you find your next relationship, take it slowly. Being cheated on can hurt your sense of trust, and rebuilding it with someone new can take time. It may seem unfair to move slowly with your new partner because of what your last partner did to you. What's even less fair, though, is being suspicious of your new partner because you didn't give yourself time to get over your last partner.

A strong relationship built slowly is better than a fast relationship that burns out prematurely.

Starting A New Relationship: Be Honest

Telling your partner—or anyone else—that you were cheated on can be difficult. However, it can be important for your new partner to understand your attitudes going into the relationship. You may be afraid that your new partner will treat you differently when they know you were cheated on. But wouldn't you rather know that sooner than later? That being said, it doesn't have to be something that you open with. You probably don't want to start a relationship with, "Hi, I'm Erin, and I was cheated on in my last relationship." However, it's bound to come up at some point, right? Try to be honest when it does.

One way to make this part easier is to explain the situation as something that happened to you rather than something that was done. As mentioned above, it's never your fault that you were cheated on. So, tell the story like an accident or a traffic collision rather than like a crime or an act of violence.

This also helps you to understand that while being cheated on hurt at the time, it is something that you can learn from and recover from.

Recovering With A Relationship Counselor

You may have read that heading and thought, "I don't need a relationship counselor; I'm between relationships." You may be between relationships, but that doesn't mean that you can't benefit from a relationship counselor.

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo
Do You Feel Like You Need To Start Over?

Relationship counselors can help you in several ways. They can help you to learn from and recover from your past relationship. They can help you decide what you want from your next relationship. They won't help you find the next relationship, but once you find it, they'll help you to navigate it.

While you might be unable or unwilling to talk to a relationship counselor in your area, there are alternatives, including online relationship counseling. 

Online therapy has helped many individuals work through the pain of having a partner cheat on them. Online therapy is often more convenient than in-person therapy, and research has shown that it can also be just as effective.

Through an online therapy platform such as Regain, you can talk to a licensed and professional relationship counselor over an internet connection. You can meet in a chat forum, over a video call, or even instant message when you need help right away.  Regain is affordable, too, likely costing less than your local in-person therapist.


There's far too much pressure on us to get back on our feet and out on the dating field after being cheated on. The goal should be to get back on your feet, but you need to do it healthily for yourself and your future relationships if you want that new relationship to be successful and make you happy.

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