For many women, should you forgive a cheating boyfriend is a mute question, since sometimes you simply can’t forgive, as much as you’d like to. But if you’re struggling with this decision, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

When you’re considering that you might forgive a cheating boyfriend, it’s important to look at both the past and the future to make the right decision for yourself in the long run.

Did He Confess or Get Caught?

Can you find something to appreciate in the honesty of coming clean? Or did your boyfriend get caught after repeatedly denying the infidelity? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a confession out of the blue is better. He’s only doing it because he’s feeling guilty and hopes that admitting to what he did will make himself feel like a better person.

Does He Show His Regret Beyond Words?

When you’re struggling with the hard decision to forgive a cheating boyfriend or not, his general attitude is much more important than his words. Is he willing to stick around while you decide what to do? Is he patient enough to accept that things will be very different for a while?

Forgiving A Cheating Boyfriend

Did He Cheat on Other Women in the Past?

If there’s ever a right time to forgive, it’s when your man is a first time offender. If he’s also cheated on other women, then that’s just who he is, and you’re simply wasting your time. In fact, dumping them without one more word might be the moment when he realized that he can’t really get away with it, so you might be doing any other women he dates a big favor.

More: 10 Signs You're Dating a Sociopath

Were There Any Extenuating Circumstances?

It’s easier to forgive a cheating boyfriend in situations. The obvious ones are when you were taking a break or in a long distance relationship. In fact, if people didn’t promise monogamy to each other when starting a long distance thing, everyone would get a lot less hurt when sex with others almost invariably happens.

Can You Trust Him Again?

This is the most difficult question to ask yourself, and it might take weeks or even months until you find the answer. No relationship can survive without mutual respect and trust. He broke it, but if you want to fix it, you need to make sure that you can trust him again, or at least give it your best shot. When you already know you can’t, don’t waste and more time and end it.

Are You Open to a Monogamish Relationship?

Less than an open relationship, a monogamish one involves casual stuff on the side, either separately or for threesomes. If you think you’ve found the love of your life and he claims he can’t be just with one person sexually, that’s certainly a way to forgive a cheating boyfriend and move on. But if you’re interested in being exclusive for life and he’s not, it’s clearly not a good match.

Breaking Up With Cheating Boyfriend

Are You Better Off Single?

Moving on after an infidelity is never easy, so you need to make sure that it could be worth it before you even put yourself through that. Is he the man you can see yourself with in 5 or 10 years? Do you have the same goals and that kind of compatibility justifies forgiveness this one time? Or are you better off being single and finding a man that wants to be monogamous as much as you?

Are You Willing to Work on Your Relationship?

Before you try to forgive a cheating boyfriend, it’s important to know it will take a lot of work and your relationship will never be the same. It can be different, and in rare cases it could be even better, but it takes a lot of effort to rebuild the trust from scratch.

See also: Can You Really Stay Friends with an Ex?

How Much Time Are You Willing to Invest in Him?

Most of the time, it takes over 6 months before trust starts developing again. Are you willing to invest that much time in your relationship? If children are involved and you want him around for their sake, give it up to a year.

Can You Truly Let It Go?

The worst thing you can do when you forgive a cheating boyfriend is to keep bringing it up in arguments after it’s settled. That’s not healthy, and it will also push you apart more. Not using his infidelity as a weapon doesn’t mean forgetting, it just means moving on.