Hello there. I’m back. Yes, it’s been a bit, I missed you too. I’m feeling back to my old self again, single, happy and ready to write. Now, don’t get me wrong I did not, I repeat DID NOT go on a writing hiatus because I had a man (plus I will note I did post while in said relationship). No, no, I took a break because I was trying to get a graduate degree, move (2 different times), find a job, write a 60+ page thesis, get some r&r in south Florida and travel to Europe to test my commitment genes (though they’ve failed me yet again), all of which I did with much grace and poise may I add. And if that’s not reason enough for you, well, maybe you’ll just be open to giving me a second chance…?
The Second Chance
Sometimes, like I mean on very rare occasions. Like once every 2 years, if not longer, I truly believe that it is okay to give someone a second chance. They messed up. They broke your heart. They treated you like shit. They lied. They cheated. They “broke your spirit”. Fine, sucks big time. No one is disputing that. No one faults you for never, ever, ever speaking to them again in your natural born life or after-life if you believe in that stuff, no one.
…They’re truly sorry. I don’t know how you really know, honestly, I always think once a liar always a liar, once a bullshitter, always a bullshitter. But I know that’s not right somewhere deep down. If no one could ever change then the world would really be an awful place…and a whole lot of people would never speak to each other again. So say their apology is genuine and they are really showing you the difference through their actions and not just their words. There is definitely that chance that someone can be more than sorry that they got caught, called out or told off. They aren’t just sorry because it ended badly they’re sorry they did it at all, there are those few people, and when you come upon those people, there is no reason not to give them a second chance if you really want to.
…They KNOW they will have to work hard. No one in their right mind is taking you back if nothing has changed. Someone should be working double time to show you that they are worth the risk you are taking with your heart and emotional sanity. If they aren’t working double or even triple time…well, I would question if they are really willing to work for your forgiveness or your future relationship.
…Things got lost in translation. Sometimes wires really do get crossed or words confused or stories twisted and you’re so mad you don’t check to see if there is something you may have missed, something that may just be a little bit off that could have changed the whole situation. Be open to being wrong. If you’re not you will live your life closed off to the chance of personal growth and change. And if you do find that it was you, fess up, don’t let your pride get in the way, don’t figure you’re just better off without them, humble yourself and say something.
…You just plain old miss them. Sometimes cutting ties is not as easy as you thought it would be, or your friends make it sound, or their actions made it seem like it would be. Sometimes cutting ties really does feel like something or someone in this case has been cut right out of you. Like you’re missing a piece of who you are or are supposed to be, and it’s just not worth teaching someone a lesson and losing part of yourself while doing so. This is where my best advice is just to talk. Until you’re blue in the face, until you hate the subject and couldn’t think of another thing to say about it, and then…let it go and if you both feel like you can’t make it without each other…why try?
Now, all of this is about second and third chances, when the real topic is forgiveness.
Unless you have a direct connection to the MIB (Men in Black) and their awesome memory eraser thing (which I have in fact told one man that’s what it would take for me to date him again) then you’re never really going to forget whatever it was that broke you two up in the first place (plus with Facebook pictures and emotionally charged tweets, dedicated websites…well you get it, there is always a picture or a post of the past somewhere these days). When they say something that reminds you of the girl he left your for, or the guy she cheated on you with you’re going to think about it. You are going to immediately go back to those feelings where you hurt, and it’s honestly, most likely, still going to hurt. But in these cases it’s not about forgetting, because if you forget too much you could find yourself right back in the same position they put you in last time. I’d like to say here “Keep your guard up”, but to me guard feels like a wall or shield and with either of those it makes it hard for other emotions to get through and real growth to occur, figuratively, use something soft like a pillow guard, you’re not trying to strong arm the person but you also can’t be oblivious to past events, and even if you try your mind won’t let you.
So that’s where forgiveness becomes vital. If you cannot forgive the other person there are in fact no second chances. While I write this I of course think back to the SATC episode when Aiden and Carrie get back together after she cheated on him and Aiden is trying so hard to get past it, and all she can really do is ask for his forgiveness (even guys should click that link, it really is one of the best scenes, sigh). So there it is, you have to forgive them, because without that forgiveness you won’t ever get past the past.
Don’t dwell. I know a girl who did not nice or honest stuff to a guy. She apologized. Genuinely and more than once, but somehow it is still a topic of conversation. It’s not just beating a dead horse, the horse has been beaten cut up made into horse burgers and shipped to Belgium, where they do in fact eat horse burgers, I know, I lived there. But the point is, you can dwell on what happened forever, but it’s not going to change the past. And at some point the one at fault is going to be over the groveling, apologizing and you. And all that will be left is a whiny boy and a girl who’s moved on. So get over the situation or get over the girl, but it’s gotta be one or the other.
I’m not a quick forgiver or big forgetter. Never have been, can’t say if I ever will be. Now, I say this knowing of at least two men that I gave way too many chances. It was as if they hadn’t been as shitty as possible yet, so it was easy to give it another go (smh). Now, I do in fact know that this is a bit of a character flaw, sometimes, but when it comes to men I’m dating, either you’re enhancing my life and well being or I just don’t need you. I don’t have boyfriends just to say I have a boyfriend. I don’t spend my time with you because I have nothing else to do. I don’t say I like you just so I can hear you say it back. Those things don’t matter. So when a guy does something that I find do be unacceptable, unless it really doesn’t faze me which is honestly occasionally the case, I feel no pressure to make sure they feel okay about what they’ve done. As I tell my girls all the time, I am not here to make any man or woman for that matter feel good about their decisions. I will not tell you it’s okay because that’s what you want to hear and I will not “play nice” and be your friend because you’ll feel less bad for being a liar. No, not a chance. No one is there to tell me my choices are right, or make me feel better when I do something shitty to someone I claimed to care about. I have never had an ex boyfriend that I dumped call me and say, “hey babe, it’s cool you dumped me for no apparent reason, you’re still a great person in my book!” No, believe it or not they don’t and I wouldn’t expect them to as nice as it would be to have that reassurance. So if you have forgiven but still want nothing to do with the person, don’t apologize. Don’t let your friends or society tell you that you not talking to them or being at least their friend means something. All it means is that, this is not a person you want in your life, and guess what… it’s your lucky day because you get to make the choices that affect your life! Hooray for that shit.
*But whatever you do please try to forgive, don’t let someone who was careless with your heart or feelings control your future relationships or mental well being, it will never be worth it.*
In the end, it’s always your choice. You always have a say in your life, relationships and future. So I say, give it a go if you’ve got it in you. If you’ve forgiven, if they’ve grown, and if you’re willing to put yourself “out there” one more time, by all means, do so. The worst that can happen is that they’ll fuck up again and you’ll learn a lesson about second chances, ho-hum…there is worse shit that could happen. Bon chancé.