By Mariah Gramolini

It goes without saying that no one ever wants to be cheated on, yet a recent study found that up to 75 percent of college students (including myself) face this reality. In the age of Facebook, Tinder and Snapchat, it is easier than ever to seek connections outside of your relationship — especially when something as simple as a winking emoji can be suggestive. Something that was once strictly taboo is now considered commonplace, and it seems as though young adults are desensitized to unfaithfulness. Let’s keep one thing straight: cheating – whether it be physical or emotional – is not OK. It is a selfish act with an extremely destructive tendency to affect everyone involved in the situation.

Obviously, realizing this is not going to make the issue go away; human beings are notoriously flawed when it comes to sex and that will never change. So what is one to do after cheating occurs in a relationship? Whether you are the Tiger Woods or the Elin Nordegren of the relationship, the road ahead is rough, but here are some important things to remember



  • First, and most importantly: Cheating is not an accident. It is a choice. The sooner you understand this, the better.
  • There is absolutely nothing and no one to blame for your poor choices. Some food for thought from Benjamin Franklin: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
  • No more lies. Cheating and lying go hand in hand; if you’ve been caught for the former, you are definitely guilty of the latter. Lying to yourself ultimately hurts you and is more disgraceful than any wrong that you can do to your significant others (S.O.s). Do everyone a favor and give up the act.
  • Cheating is a mistake that you will never be able to make up to your S.O.s Even if you convince them to give you a second chance, they will never truly be able to trust you. The best thing you can do for that person is to let them move on.
  • It really is your loss. While the ones you have wronged move on and find happiness elsewhere, you will still have to live with the shame and guilt that your actions have caused.
  • In case you haven’t heard: karma’s a bitch.
  • The most commendable thing for you to do after cheating is to honor that relationship by learning from your mistakes. Do not allow “once a cheater, always a cheater” to define you: Change your habits to ensure that you do not put yourself or anyone else through this dilemma in the future.



  • As with any relationship, it’s perfectly normal to miss your S.O.s Loneliness is powerful and might lead you to pick up the phone with your exes in mind. Don’t! Text a friend instead and plan something that will distract you from thinking about your recent break-ups.
  • Do not listen to apologies, excuses or lies. If your S.O.s are deceitful and selfish enough to cheat, their words no longer have any validity and they no longer deserve your time of day.
  • While it is in your best interest to forgive them, realize that they will never be able to make up for what they did to you. Their actions have lost them a place in your lives, whether that be as lovers, friends, acquaintances, fuck-buddies or otherwise.
  • Remember, your S.O.s’ infidelity is in no way a reflection on you and should never affect your self-worth. Rebounds can be validating and even helpful, but a romp in the sack with a random just to feel good about yourself is not likely to give you positive gratification in the long run.
  • In my recent experience, the best songs to belt out when you’re feeling particularly resentful are Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” (of course), Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style” and “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera. And for the fellas who would like to pretend they don’t know these songs, go to the gym or, better yet, a kickboxing class, to blow off steam while also getting in a great workout.
  • On the bright side, that person did you a favor. Despite the intense animosity that you will rightfully feel towards unfaithful S.O.s, be thankful to be free from obviously shady individuals.
  • Learn from the experience: Resolve to never again settle for someone who lies to you, disrespects you, does not appreciate you or lets you down.


Take note, readers! In the unfortunate event that you find yourself in my shoes, you will no doubt have some pretty intense feelings that you want to express. As you work to move on, you might find that there are a few things you want to say to the person who did you wrong. Instead of taking a trip to Crazy Town and egging their house and/or car, stay classy and try to deal with your emotions in a constructive way. Spend time with friends, revisit old hobbies and enjoy some much-needed “you time.” A final piece of advice from someone who has encountered this first-hand: Do not give a cheater a second (or third) chance. Eliminate him or her from your life immediately and never look back.

Beware cheaters! For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and cheating is a damn powerful action. If you have found yourself washing egg off of your car once or twice, consider reevaluating your readiness for a serious relationship. While it may be true that college is not the best time to find your soul mate, that does not mean it’s OK to hurt people. If you are unhappy in a relationship, save everyone the heartbreak and regret. Be honest with your S.O., and either work to improve the connection or end it honorably.

Mariah Gramolini studies secondary education. She can be reached at