Being cheated on, despite how much it hurts, isn't all doom and gloom. BABY, YOU WILL LOVE AGAIN! *Tosses arms up in air, does mini-jig, twirls* And when you do, it will be even more amazing, mostly because of what you learned in the process of being cheated on. You might understandably ask what good can possibly come of being cheated on. As misguided as it sounds, some good can come of being jerked around by a total jerk who is a jerk. This is your very own silver linings playbook. Because you could mope for the rest of your life, feeling sad about being betrayed, or you can dust yourself off and try again. Do you think Beyoncé would have met Jay-Z if she'd just sat around in her room crying about how her high school boyfriend cheated on her? Moreover, do you think she'd be the all-powerful, inspiring Beyoncé she is today if that were the case? That's not to say that Beyoncé never felt sad when she got jilted, nor that you should beat yourself up over feeling sad when something legitimately sad happens — but no wallowing. No letting any jerk keep you down, even if they get you there for a minute.
Once you get over being betrayed and move into your next relationship, you're probably going to take some baggage with you. Some of it might be bad baggage: Maybe you're less willing to dive head first into romance; Maybe you'll have some hard to break down walls you put up after being hurt; Maybe you'll be suspicious and always on the back foot. But there's good baggage you can take with you too, and yes, that is a thing that exists. It's the stuff that should remind you that someone can hurt you, but that doesn't mean they negatively impact all of your future relationships too. Here are the positive things you can take from being cheated on into your new relationship to make it even better.
1. You know what you want from a relationship
I don't know about you, but every time I've been cheated on, I should have seen it coming. That's not always the case; sometimes it's surreptitious and unforeseeable. Either way, being cheated on will make you reassess how you want to be treated in a relationship, and how you want your relationships to function. Maybe you used to be with a negligent ass-face who stayed out all night, ignored your calls all the time, and ultimately cheated on you. Great! Now you know how hellish that is, and you'll never accept that kind of treatment again. Or maybe you were in a seemingly perfect relationship with someone who was always traveling or who lived in another city, and their infidelity came from the distance. Going forward, you now know that that kind of arrangement might not necessarily be the best thing for you. The point is, with hindsight, you'll be able to see (because, trust me, you'll be over-analyzing every bit of the relationship after it ends) where you might have made allowances you didn't really want to make, and you'll be able to go into your next relationship with an even better idea of what you want out of it.
2. You work harder at building and maintaining trust and honesty
Trust and honesty will mean more to you after being cheated on. So much more, in fact, that you will end up being more trustworthy and honest, because you'll truly come to understand what those things mean. Once you start to really realize the value of these elements in a relationship, you'll prioritize them with someone new. Instead of allowing details to be brushed over and stories to go untold, you'll want to create an environment of communication and openness, so that you and your new partner feel more like a team than just two people who go out together. When trust becomes a conscious give and take, and a requires real effort to create and maintain, you'll start to understand yourself and the person you're seeing better.
3. You appreciate kindness more
Once you start prioritizing things like trust and honesty in your relationship, and being less afraid to ask for the things you need to feel safe, you might just find someone who is willing to show you true kindness. And it will feel like nothing else in the world. It will feel better than a giant bowl of every single Ben and Jerry's flavor at once surrounded by all the cutest puppies and Tom Hardy. It will be the best feeling you've ever felt, and having known the exact opposite feeling, you will always be grateful and appreciative of being treated so well. In short, you'll never take your new relationship and the kindness it affords you for granted, because you know that's not always the case when you give your heart away.
4. You know how tough you are
Above all else, being cheated on teaches you that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. That's you! You're the tough one! You survived! You moved on! You bettered yourself! You found new love! That's the circle of life: the fan just keeps spinning, even when there's shit being flung against it. And you can weather it. You're tougher than you look, and definitely tougher than you sometimes feel, and no matter what life throws at you, you know that even though there might be dark days, there will also be ones so glaringly bright that you'll have to squint your eyes to make sure they're real and not a dream. Being cheated on can feel like the end of your life and happiness — but it never is. There's always, always room for more good times, and that's a great thing to have knowledge of going into anything, not just a new relationship.