Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.
Getting Cheated On Makes You Feel Like Garbage
Several years ago, I was cheated on. Panic attacks followed our breakup—though, at the time, I didn’t realize I was having panic attacks. I felt horrible, the tears kept coming, my heartbeat was skyrocketing above 100bpm, and I couldn't sleep. I had a hard time concentrating on anything else—sometimes, I just needed to scream. I was in a sorry state. I also dedicated myself to work, so I could hide from my personal pain.
That was 2016. It was ugly. I focused on processing the relationship, and I, fortunately, moved on to something better.
Don't Ignore Your Gut Feelings
Early on, I knew intuitively that something was wrong, but I ignored my thoughts and feelings—I kept trying to trust the guy I was seeing. I thought I had trust issues I needed to work through — I was wrong, I should have listened to my gut.
Here’s one of the big takeaways I learned from that experience: if he has trust issues with you, there must be a reason why. Cheaters assume everyone cheats, so they have a hard time trusting you. They get jealous easily.
Cheating is terrible, so if you’re considering it, don’t do it. Try to be as faithful as you possibly can. Be faithful to yourself. Live in accordance with the best kind of principles you can find. And hopefully, you’ll attract someone who is on the same level as you.
Don’t be too afraid of a cheater. It isn’t the worst thing in the entire world to have spent time with a cheating loser. Your fear of cheaters may draw you to them. You can survive relationships with these idiots! I promise. You can learn from your mistakes with these people and find someone else who is way better for you.
Signs He is Cheating: Facebook
One of the best ways to tell if someone is cheating on you is through social media. Particularly Facebook. There are a few crumbs cheaters will leave behind. If he is making it difficult to see all of his friends, that could be a sign, but don’t jump to conclusions too quickly… you want to find several questionable things, not just one little sign. Some people just want their friend list private.
1. If he doesn’t want to be official on Facebook, make sure there is a good reason why. Personally, I don’t want to be official on Facebook because I don’t really want people up in my business. It’s very weird announcing to a large audience the person you’re going out to see for kisses and such. I’d rather not do that whole Facebook official thing. Maybe your partner feels the same way about this.
You can covertly tell your Facebook audience that you’re seeing someone with status updates and pictures. Eventually, your love life will probably make an appearance on your social media.
2. Look at the comments he puts on other women’s Facebook posts. If you are savvy at Facebook, you can probably figure out who likes who in about 5 minutes or less. You’ll see who comments on his timeline, how frequently, and their content. You should look at her timeline and her profile pictures. And you should ask yourself if it seems more like it is about attraction or friendship. Don’t jump to any conclusions yet. If there is a certain ex or girl you feel like really stands out, you may want to keep that in mind… you may want to make a point to secretly follow their activity. I can usually track who likes who through Facebook, unless they are making efforts to keep it private.
3. Does anyone seem to like his pictures and make too many comments? Do their comments seem unusual or flirty? Do they communicate a lot? People who are interested will communicate often and with whatever means they have. Consistency is king when it comes to dating, so if you see a lot of back and forth… someone might have a crush.
4. Does he mention someone a lot in real life? You may want to look them up on Facebook to see if there are any ongoing suspicious conversations. Guys reveal their secrets in just about every breath they take. They can be pretty straightforward.
5. Has he been spending more time with a female friend? Try looking on Facebook to see if there’s any weird wording or clues that have been left behind.
Read More From Pairedlife
In Healthy Relationships, You’ll Do Less Social Media Stalking
Ultimately, if you’re having to dig through Facebook, you probably don’t feel super secure in your relationship. That’s totally normal in the beginning! When you’re just establishing a relationship there are a lot of unknowns. As the relationship ages, you shouldn’t feel a desire to look through their social media… in fact, the idea of that would probably sound boring to you.
In the beginning, it’s smart to run a background check on someone. Google them and their phone number.
Also, yes, it’s very weird if you’re in a relationship with someone and they’re spending a lot of time with someone else. Even weirder if they’re spending more time with this person than you. The bulk of their time should be with you. Even if you’re in a long distance relationship, there should be a significant amount of time spent on communicating via messages and calls.
Guys who cheat are dating a collective, not an individual. He isn’t going to be as attentive to you as someone who is focused. He may be affectionate, but he might not know how to attend to emotional needs, or how to propel things into the future. Guys who are still playing the field will have strange schedule hiccups. Try seeing him on different days, especially on days you don’t normally hang out. You should be able to see this person any day of the week.
Make sure he is both comfortable hanging out at his place and yours. Sometimes guys won’t go to the girl’s place because it seems too serious. And sometimes they don’t want you at their’s in case someone decides to pop in. Also, will he take you to public places, or does he only take you to his place?
Roommates sometimes leave little clues about your boyfriend’s unfaithfulness. If they say something strange that implies he sees more than one person — the roommate may be unwittingly trying to let you know the truth. Roommates would know if more than one lady is heading back to the apartment. Roommates have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. Sure, they might not know everything, but they’ll know if he’s got another honey.
Make sure you have a conversation at some point that you’re exclusive. Guys can whittle their way out of anything and say they didn’t know they were exclusive or dating, or whatever. You have to draw the lines. Don’t just let them draw the lines. Relationships are abstract pieces of art. People can interpret things in different ways, so you have to communicate to really understand why things are the way they are.
People will cheat at any point in a relationship. It doesn’t matter how close you are or if you have been together for ages. The key here is to know it is a choice. And that choice may make no sense at all.
Here are some other clues that he isn’t focused only on you:
1. He has no ideas or plans on how to spend time with you. Sure, planning is hard. Try to successfully answer what you want for dinner every night. Your significant other should at least have some ideas on how they would like to spend time with you, and they shouldn’t seem bored all the time. If you start to realize he is taking you to the same places he takes his exes, then you have a problem.
2. He has feminine items pop up at his place. That pink toothbrush isn’t yours. That curling iron isn’t yours either. And you can tell they’re used.
3. He disappears without reason, and he doesn’t really tell you who he is with. He may have said he was camping all weekend, but he didn’t give you details about who he was with. He also didn’t send any texts or try to call you the entire weekend.
4. He constantly talks about how he has been cheated on. It’s an indication that he might not have processed his most recent heartbreak, and he might try to understand his ex by cheating on someone else. He also could be preoccupied with the idea of cheating, maybe he is gaslighting his ex, or he thinks that everyone cheats.
5. He doesn’t seem to have any strong feelings against cheating. He thinks cheating is normal. He thinks you should just deal with it.
6. In your gut, you constantly feel like something is wrong. Listen to it. Explore it. Realize that trust isn’t there. Don’t expect trust to suddenly appear. If you’re in the early stages of a romance with a cheater, it’s best to get out early.
As gruesome as cheating is, you can survive it. It’s miserable to go through the emotions and have your trust broken, but you will survive it.
You can leave this person, especially if you think that trust can’t be repaired. And you may find relief in getting away from someone who doesn’t care enough about you to protect your heart. You deserve someone who cares about your thoughts and feelings. You deserve someone who wants to focus on you, who desires to be loyal, and has better things to do with their time than cheat.
People who really want to support and nourish a relationship are less likely to cheat. They won’t put as many expectations on you — they’ll unconditionally love you. They’ll stand by you when you’re at your worst and when you’re sick.
As scary as it is, some people have no clue what they’re doing in relationships and do whatever they want in the moment. They don’t think about repercussions. They also don’t think they’ll get caught, and they like doing things in secret. Cheaters often get sad not because they broke your heart but because they were caught.
Straight up tell people you want a supportive and nurturing relationship, and not one just based on idle things or initial attraction. Look for someone who really wants to be with you for the long haul. You need someone who wants to build a life together. If your partner doesn’t want to work in conjunction with you, they might just see you as an object.
It doesn’t make you a failure if someone cheated on you. It doesn’t make you any less of a person just because you went through a failed relationship. You are still you, and you still have a chance to find a meaningful relationship, if you decide to opt for one instead of taking the single route.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Andrea Lawrence