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Here’s a question that most of us have pondered at some point in our lives: 

Do cheaters miss their exes? 

It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? After all, they’re the ones who messed up, so shouldn’t they be wallowing in regret and longing? 

But hold on, let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.

When it comes to human emotions and relationships, things rarely are as simple as they seem. So, in this article, we’re going to dig a bit deeper into this question. 

First, we’ll explore five factors that can influence whether a cheater misses their ex. Then, we’ll walk through eight different situations where cheaters might find themselves missing their ex. 

Sounds interesting? Let’s get started. 

5 Things to Consider When Talking About Cheaters Missing Their Exes

Do cheaters miss their ex?

Before we discuss the situations where cheaters miss their ex, let’s first talk about the things you should first consider while we discuss this topic.

1. The Dynamics of the Previous Relationship

If the cheater felt genuine affection, love, or connection with their ex, then the possibility of missing them might be greater. Nostalgia, after all, has a funny way of painting the past in favorable hues, even after betraying the trust of a loved one.

Take the time to consider this. Was the previous relationship emotionally fulfilling? Did they share an intense bond that made them feel unique and appreciated? 

These are critical aspects to remember, because even though someone cheated, they might still look back fondly on some elements of their past. 

But keep in mind, reminiscing about the good times doesn’t necessarily mean they regret their actions or miss their ex, it could simply be a longing for what once was.

2. The Reason Behind the Infidelity

Understanding the root cause of the betrayal could provide insight into whether a cheater misses their ex or not. 

Did they cheat because they felt unhappy, unfulfilled, or was it more about the thrill of the new relationship? Perhaps they cheated due to deep-seated personal issues like commitment phobia or self-sabotage.

To miss someone usually means there’s a sense of loss, regret, or longing. However, the reason for infidelity might reveal that what they miss is not the person, but the sense of security, the lifestyle, or the companionship they had.

[Related: 6 Surefire Signs Your Woman Is Cheating (Or Losing Interest)]

3. The Emotional Makeup of the Cheater

People are diverse, complicated creatures with their unique emotional landscapes. 

Some are capable of compartmentalizing their feelings and actions, while others struggle with guilt, remorse, and regret. Similarly, some people are capable of love and deceit simultaneously.

So, consider this; the cheater’s emotional capacity and maturity play a huge role in determining whether they miss their ex or not.

They may have feelings of remorse and guilt, which can easily be mistaken for missing their ex. 

It’s also possible that they miss the comfort of being in a relationship and are confusing that with missing the person.

4. The Outcome of the New Relationship

Signs a cheater is miss ex

Sometimes, people cheat and move on to a new relationship, believing they’ve found their greener pasture.

However, when this new relationship doesn’t live up to expectations or fails completely, it’s not uncommon for them to start missing their ex.

In such instances, they might start to romanticize the past relationship, overlooking the reasons that led them to cheat in the first place. 

If the new relationship doesn’t work out, they might even feel regret and wish they had worked on the previous relationship instead.

5. The Passage of Time

Time heals, they say, but it also provides perspective. As time passes, people often gain a clearer understanding of their actions and the consequences. This clarity can lead to feelings of regret, and hence, missing their ex.

But just because a cheater may miss their ex as time passes doesn’t mean they’re ready or willing to make amends.

It might just be a moment of introspection, a fleeting feeling of nostalgia. How they act upon these feelings is another story entirely.

8 Situations Where Cheaters Miss Their Ex

Signs someone is cheating

Now that we’ve laid down the groundwork, let’s delve into eight situations where cheaters might miss their ex.

1. Their New Relationship is Unfulfilling

There’s a common situation where the cheater’s new relationship isn’t as satisfying as they expected. You see, the grass might seem greener on the other side, but reality often paints a different picture. 

Initially, the excitement of a new relationship can be intoxicating. They might have been convinced this new connection was worth risking their existing relationship for.

As the novelty wears off and reality sets in, they start comparing. They might realize that the depth, understanding, and comfort they had with their ex are missing in the new relationship. 

It could dawn on them that what they thought was a spark was nothing but a fleeting thrill of novelty, leaving them longing for the steady warmth they had with their ex.

In such cases, they might begin to miss their ex, the familiarity, the shared history, and the deeper connection that now seems lost.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to repair the damaged relationship, but the sense of missing their ex can be strong.

2. Their Ex Has Moved On

This is another common scenario. When a cheater sees their ex moving on, living their best life, or even entering a new relationship, it can trigger feelings of loss.

In some cases, it’s less about missing their ex and more about a blow to their ego. The thought that their ex can survive, and even thrive, without them can be humbling. 

They might have been holding onto the belief that their ex would always be there, stuck in the past, pining for them.

Seeing evidence to the contrary can make them start to question their decisions and miss the sense of security they once had.

Even worse, witnessing an ex moving on and building a new relationship can instigate feelings of jealousy or competitiveness, stirring the illusion of missing their ex. 

But it’s needful to differentiate between genuinely missing someone and simply grappling with bruised ego or jealousy.

3. The Guilt Hits Hard

Sometimes, the weight of guilt can be overwhelming. This is especially true if the cheater has had time to reflect on their actions and see the fallout of their choices.

The remorse associated with causing pain to someone they cared about can lead them to miss their ex. 

It’s a tough pill to swallow when you realize you’re the villain in someone else’s story. When this guilt hits, they might find themselves yearning for their ex, for a time when things were less complicated, when they hadn’t caused this harm.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that feeling guilty and missing an ex are connected. One can feel guilt over their actions without missing the person they hurt. 

Despite the possibility of this, it’s also possible to miss their ex and yet not feel remorseful about the cheating. Human emotions are complex and can’t always be neatly categorized.

4. Their Ex Grew and Changed

When a person is cheating

People change and grow, especially after traumatic experiences like being cheated on. If the cheater notices this change and growth in their ex, they might find themselves missing what they once had.

Seeing an ex transform and become a better version of themselves can trigger feelings of regret and loss in the cheater. They might start missing their ex, reflecting on what could have been if they hadn’t cheated.

5. They Realize Their Mistake

When the fog of infatuation clears, the cheater might realize their mistake. They might come to see that the reasons for their infidelity were misguided or not worth the destruction caused.

In such situations, they might start missing their ex intensely. This is one of the few scenarios where missing their ex could come with a genuine desire to make amends. 

The realization of their mistake might prompt them to take responsibility for their actions, attempt to mend bridges, or at the very least, seek closure.

6. They See Their Ex Happy

Another potential situation is when the cheater sees their ex genuinely happy.

This happiness might be with a new partner, a new job, or just being single and content. Seeing someone they once loved, thriving without them can stir up mixed emotions.

On one hand, they might feel glad to see their ex doing well. On the other hand, they might find themselves questioning their decisions, especially if their own life isn’t going as well. 

They might start missing their ex and the life they shared, even though they were the ones who ruined it.

7. They Never Stopped Loving Their Ex

Do cheaters miss their ex

Sometimes, infidelity occurs not because the love has faded but because of other factors like insecurity, the need for validation, or personal issues.

In such cases, the cheater might miss their ex simply because they never stopped loving them.

In these scenarios, the feeling of missing their ex might be accompanied by regret and a strong desire to make amends. However, whether they should act on these feelings is a completely different matter that depends on numerous factors.

8. They’re Alone or Facing a Crisis

Loneliness or a personal crisis can often lead to introspection. When a cheater is alone or facing challenging times, they might find themselves missing their ex.

In times of crisis or distress, people often yearn for comfort, for someone who knows them well. 

If the cheater had a strong emotional bond with their ex, they might find themselves missing that support. However, in such situations, it’s more about missing the support and comfort an ex provided rather than the person.

Moreover, loneliness can play tricks on the mind, leading people to romanticize past relationships. A lonely cheater might forget the reasons they strayed and only remember the good times with their ex, creating a sense of longing for what used to be.


Whether cheaters miss their ex or not is a complex question, dependent on a myriad of factors and emotions. 

It’s also crucial to remember that missing an ex does not equate to wanting them back or acknowledging the pain caused. It’s a mixed bag of nostalgia, guilt, longing, and sometimes, genuine love.


1. Do cheaters feel guilty for hurting their ex?

Yes, in many instances, cheaters do feel guilty for the pain they cause, but it’s important to note that this is not always the case. 

The depth and manifestation of this guilt can vary greatly depending on the individual’s emotional maturity and the circumstances surrounding their infidelity. 

For some, the guilt may set in immediately after the act, while for others, it may take time and distance to fully comprehend the extent of their actions.

However, it’s also possible for a cheater to feel no guilt, especially if they’re able to rationalize their actions or lack the emotional depth to understand the impact of their actions. 

It’s a stark reminder that human emotions can be quite complex, and people’s reactions to their own misdeeds can differ greatly.

2. Can a relationship be repaired after cheating?

The possibility of repairing a relationship post-infidelity is subjective and depends heavily on the individuals involved. 

Some couples can work through the pain and betrayal, using the experience as a wake-up call to address underlying issues and strengthen their bond. 

This process usually involves professional help, open communication, and a genuine effort from both parties to rebuild trust.

However, not all relationships can or should survive infidelity. For some people, cheating is a deal-breaker, an act of betrayal they can’t move past. 

Even if the cheater is remorseful and willing to make amends, the hurt party might decide that ending the relationship is the healthiest choice. It’s crucial to remember that both outcomes are valid and depend entirely on personal boundaries and emotional resilience.

3. Do cheaters cheat again?

The adage “Once a cheater, always a cheater” isn’t universally true. While it’s accurate that some individuals may repeat their actions, not everyone falls into this category. 

Some people learn from their mistakes, grow, and ensure they never repeat the hurtful behavior.

The key lies in understanding why the cheating occurred in the first place. If the cause is a deep-seated issue that isn’t addressed, the chances of repeated infidelity might be higher. 

However, if the cheating was a one-time event followed by genuine remorse, personal growth, and active efforts to address the issues that led to the act, the likelihood of repeating the mistake might be significantly reduced. 

As with everything related to human behavior, it’s nuanced and highly individual.

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Anita Oge

Meet Anita, a relationship writer with a passion for helping people navigate the complexities of love and dating. With a background in information science, she has a wealth of knowledge and insight to share. Her writing is sure to leave you feeling empowered and inspired.

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