Second Chances: Yes or No?November 4, 2016
In a story as old as time, your eyes meet with a special someone and the next thing you know you have fallen headlong into love. Starting a relationship with someone new can be a thrilling time in your life and there is something inspiring about the beginning of a new relationship.
At the same time, these exciting feelings are often accompanied by anxiety and doubt as you open yourself up to a new person. As time passes, you decide whether or not the relationship is working and whether it’s time to move on with your life.
In the wake of your breakup, you find different ways to cope with the loss. Some people get a daring new haircut, binge watch tear-filled dramas with cake and other fill the void by meeting new partners. While some people find the prospect of dating new people exciting, others find it scary and intimidating.
No matter where you exist on the spectrum of coping mechanisms, it’s likely that there will come a time when you, or your former flame, ask for a second chance. This moment can be quite the conundrum. Should you give up new possibilities to reclaim the stability and comfort that came from your relationship?
Before you ask for a second chance or give your ex-lover another opportunity to do right by you, you need to ask yourself the following questions.
Was it a healthy relationship?
Think back to the course of your relationship. Was there a give and take or was it abusive? If you were ever in an abusive relationship, you need to stay out of it. However, if it was a healthy relationship that met with typical bumps in the road, it might be worth a second try.
How have you grown and changed?
What have you learned about love and romance since the relationship ended? Remember, every relationship has two people contributing to the energy of the partnership. If you are unable to see the role that you played in the relationship, especially the unflattering habits you may have, you are at high-risk for making the same mistakes again.
How has your partner grown and changed?
What was at the root of your relationship woes? Were the two of you brought down by core values and characteristics that are unlikely to change or was it circumstances that you can overcome? Find the right balance between accepting that someone can grow and recognizing that certain aspects of a person are unlikely to change.
What do you have to gain/lose?
In different phases of your life, you will find that you have more to gain or lose by entering into a relationship. Do you risk breaking the hearts of your children by rekindling this relationship that didn’t work out once or will it provide a secure and stable home environment for them? If you only have to worry about yourself think to what you stand to gain or lose from an emotional standpoint. Don’t compromise on respect.
As the song so famously states “breaking up is hard to do” and that is why many couples reconnect many times before the breakup sticks. While you shouldn’t be afraid to give an old love a new chance, you should remind yourself of the difficult times and ask yourself this one final question: “if this is the best it gets, is it good enough?”