Should I give him a second chance?
I believe in remorse and I believe that most people are good people. Because of such a mindset, I used to give my exes a 2nd, 3rd or even an 8th change only to realize later that in most cases it was absolutely not worth it.
I am still the same person and I still believe that most people are good people, but my life experience (and the experience of others) shows that in ‘most cases’ giving them a second chance results in re-opening of old wounds and returned old pain.
There ARE rare times, however, when they demonstrate pure and genuine remorse, but again, in ‘most cases’ it is not the case, which means if they feel no remorse and have no idea what caused you pain they will continue doing the same thing.
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Chance or no chance… sometimes it is a deliberate thought and sometimes a fleeting feeling. Perhaps your birthday is coming up (or his) or perhaps it is a busy holiday season (think of Thanksgiving or Christmas) and the thought of your spending these days without them for the first time may not sit well with you. It is like learning and re-learning to live without them on these days. Christmas or no Christmas.
So, when they suddenly call or send a text it may feel very tempting to give up on the No Contact rule and try again. Handling such moments is not for saints because if you are still suffering from an internal turmoil you’ll feel weak and vulnerable. If you are still not over them it will be very hard to just ignore their calls and feel ‘OK’ about it.
You won’t be OK. You will be thinking, debating, and ruminating:
~ He did not forget me, maybe it means something
~ I like receiving attention; It makes me feel needed and special
~ He seems nice and well-intentioned; I feel mean by not responding
~ Maybe he is a different person now. Should we talk?
Should you talk to him indeed? Should you give him a second chance?
Do not go back together and do not give him a second chance if:
1. You are suffering from a post-breakup pain. Post-breakup pain is real and you have to live through it. Getting back together just for the sake of relieving that pain won’t work. It may help short-term, but it won’t work long term. With the blink of an eye, after a short honey moon period, you will be back to the same drama that broke you off in the first place.
2. Your self-esteem is too low. They know what buttons to push and so –YES – they will push those exact buttons to get to you. Gifts, compliments, future talk, and promises – are the examples of sneaky ammunitions many exes use to get to us.
If you have low self-esteem, think you are unattractive or good for nothing, then it will play into his hands. You won’t be able to resist because your self-esteem is too low and you need validation. Especially if they were the rejector.
3. You are alone and lonely. You may be tempted to give them another chance when you are alone and lonely. Perhaps you had several dates with other people and it did not work out with any of them. Perhaps you felt like it may take forever to find someone like your ex. Perhaps you lost hope and are currently in terror of never finding anyone, of being alone and dying alone.
It does suck to be alone and so, when your ex calls, it seem like an easy solution. Giving them another chance seems so much easier, so much more comforting than meeting new people.
4. You think (aka hope) they have changed. If you never took notes of how they made you feel when in a relationship, then you will easily forget what it was like. We forget tears, name calling, broken promises, unanswered calls and text messages and hope that these things were the issues of the past. We do not want to think that getting back together may mean having more of these… and there will be.
When we think of giving them another chance we hope it will be different (i.e. better) this time. We assume that since they’re calling they are willing to work on the relationship. We do not want to think they are still the same difficult person with the same load of crap. You may figure it out very quickly if you let them do the talking:
~ are they brushing you off every time you bring up your past issues?
~ do they express remorse?
~ are they willing to see a couple’s therapist or a counselor?
Their inaction, refusal, denial, and lack of pro-activeness to fix issues that doomed your relationship will tell you exactly what you need to know. Do not give them a second chance if:
5. They won’t work on reasons of the breakup. Here is a typical attitude: ‘why ruin a good thing by talking about the past?’
They will pretend like there was no past and there was no breakup. You, on the other hand, will feel alone with your unresolved pain, and for the sake of ‘not ruining a good thing going’ have it bottled up inside of you. They will go along as usual, all full of themselves and happy, and you will suffer in silence and the exact same pain.
Giving them a second chance should be about YOU. Take a look at their behavior and answer this question: ‘what are they offering ME this time to make it work?’
They were fired as your boyfriend before (or they quit on you) and to be eligible for re-hiring they better have something great to offer this time otherwise they are WASTING YOUR TIME. Treat it as a business deal if you want. No successful business EVER signs a one-sided deal. Unless it is charity (and you are NOT charity) the deal must benefit both parties.
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