You want to look for the best in people.

However, knowing someone who once cheated on their significant other in a past relationship, or maybe someone who cheated on you, can be a difficult thing to look past.

There might always be that seed of doubt in your heart, knowing they can flip a switch and emotionally or physically cheat on you again.

Or maybe you're capable of giving that trust over, knowing that people can learn from their mistakes.

Let's see what the internet has to say.

Reddit user, rachael_0898, wanted to know your opinion on a tricky matter when they asked:

"Do you think once a cheater always a cheater? Why or why not?"

Look for the best in all of humanity.

If someone made a mistake, that doesn't damn them for the rest of time, does it?

Life Is Not Black And White

"No. Life is more complex than a binary on/off truism like that. And people change. You are not the same person you were when you were 8, or 12 or 20. You grew, you learned lessons, you grew some more."

"You will not be the same person when you are 60. This definitely means you live and learn. Not everyone will, but to assume nobody does is wrong."


You Better Be Ready To Live With The Consequences

"No, not necessarily, but the stigma is deserved. You can grow and change, but you hurt someone and there are subsequent consequences for hurting people."


"You may never cheat again, but you will never have the chance to cheat on me again."


"Exactly. I'm glad for the people who learn and grow and whatever, but I don't have to take that baggage on. I'd leave a dating relationship for cheating, but truly picturing ending my marriage if he had a one-time physical cheating episode (emotional affair is very different, I'd leave for that), is a lot less black and white than I'd like it to be"


Once Is Fine. Twice? You're Pushing It.

"No, if they do it twice tho, thats when they're always a cheater"


"That's the way I look at it. Everyone makes mistakes. What matters is how you learn and grow from the experience. Someone who cheated once, was remorseful, and was able to understand the hurt they did may not cheat again. But once someone cheats a second time, it strikes me as those things not mattering, so that boundary is never established."


Hoping For Future Clarity

"As someone who cheated on a partner, I sure hope not. I live with the guilt to this day, and I know I’ll never be forgiven for such actions. I moved on and wish her the absolute best. Last I heard she was getting married and is happy. I’ve learned my lesson and don’t think I can bring myself to bear that burden twice over."


Give Everyone A Shot, But If That Doesn't Work, Then...Revenge?

"Essentially, mistakes are the most effective moments of learning, factoring in neural plasticity and growth mindset, people are very capable of reflective change. Assuming that the person cheating feels that way about it - they might just be trying to have a cake and eat it too, in which case, f-ck their dad."


And then there's that old saying: once a cheater, always a cheater.

You Pass A Certain Threshold

"I feel there’s a certain age/time in life where if you have cheated, you have a WAY higher chance of doing it again. Young people mess up, adults should know better."


"I feel like so many teenagers don’t even know what love is so that chase anything that seems like"


"Agreed. Once you get to that 25 mark, it stops being a youthful mistake and starts becoming a pattern of sh-tty behavior."


You Had All The Time In The World To Grow

"Probably not always. But recent experience with my now ex would say yes. She cheated on her first bf when she was 19. She then walked in on her next bf cheating on her at 22 after being with him for 2 years so she knows how it feels to be cheated on. She was then single for 7 years and met me at 29. She cheated on me after 15 months living together. She had years to grow up in between and still cheated 10 years after doing it the first time, while also knowing how much it hurts. So in her case at least, she certainly is."


You Can Never Go Back

"Yes, mostly because in my almost 50 years, I've seen it play out repeatedly in just one of two ways..."

  1. "The cheater cheats again."
  2. "The cheater doesn't cheat again, but the partner is always suspicious of everything the other does because the trust was lost."

"Honestly, I wouldn't want to live with either of those scenarios. I'd rather be alone."


Over 30? That's Who You Are.

"Everyone I know who cheats still cheats on their new s.o.(s)"

"People don't change much once they hit the 30 year old mark if they aren't active in bettering them self. They stay the same no matter how much they 'swear' they've 'changed'."


Trust Your Gut. Don't Get Taken.

"Everyone is different"

"When I was 17 I got drunk and cheated on my gf with a girl I had a crush on for a long ass time. It was horrible, I hated myself for doing it, and I've never even come close to cheating ever again."

"In my 30s, my fiance and I had two kids (one was mine, the other was from her previous relationship but the kid called me dad and for all intents and purposes I was). We had a house together. Were building a future together. The thing I liked the most about her was I always felt like she was going to be loyal..."

"A few months before our wedding, I found out she was banging a guy she worked with. Total pos too (33 felony charges, face tattoos, no car, lived at home with his mom, etc.)"

"Kicked her out of the house, but a year later I decided to give her another chance because I wanted to give my son a life with mom and dad together. Long story short, she was talking to and hanging out with multiple guys and lying to me about it."

"Tldr: everyone is different, and some people can cheat once and never again. But there's a very good chance a cheater will cheat again"


Always consider a person's past when looking ahead to the future you might be sharing with them.

Consider what kind of trust you're willing to give, and how much you're willing to lose if that individual ends up cheating again.

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