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It’s something right out of a movie: you find someone you like, you go on a few dates, you claim you’re together, and then, BAM—you find your significant other has cheated. Cheating is ridiculously draining for both parties involved, but especially for the cheated-on: you may think you’re not good enough, you may think you’ll never be able to move on, etc. However, no matter what you’re feeling, don’t act right away. Give yourself time to yourself (hint: use this time to NOT think about being cheated on and INSTEAD recognize your worth) and, whether it’s a week or a month later, follow these guidelines at just the pace you want.

1.     Reflect.

Look back to the time you were together. Were there signs your partner was cheating? How long did you know them for? Did they treat you well?

2.     Talk.

As much as it might hurt, meet the cheater in question for a calm chat. Ask them what it was that made them stray—was it you? Them?  Other external forces? If you feel as if you’re not getting a true answer, don’t press them for one. If they can’t be honest with you even after they’ve cheated, they’ll probably never be honest with you. If they were honest, however…

3.     Plan.

Assuming you still want to stay together, figure out a way to make the relationship work. Compromise, compromise, compromise.

4.     Wait.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are good relationships. Once you and your significant other have decided on some new relationship stratagems, spend some time apart. See if this is what you really want, if it’s really what’s best for you.

5.     Forgive?

There’s a question mark after that because it’s up to you. Some people think you can eventually forgive a cheater, others feel differently. I feel as if I’ve said this a lot in the article, but do what’s right for you, not for your ex or your friends. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

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