Should you give people a second chance?
I want to say yes. I’m an optimist at heart and think people generally mean well, wanting to be kind and good. So when someone slips up in friendship, I try to find the positive possibility and give them another shot.
People make mistakes. People screw up. People can be idiots. Goodness knows I have.
In friendship, I assume the best and give second chances. I try to be forgiving and always open-minded. I try to allow people to show me their best side. I try to let friendship power though bumps in the road, knowing our relationship can evolve and grow with us and with time.
I focus on being slow to judge.
(Third time though? Nope. I believe in that whole “fool me twice” logic.)
– – – – – –
But romantically? Not so much, no. I don’t usually give second chances.
Or, frankly, sometimes not even first chances, though I’m getting better at that one. I tend to be a bit harsh and judgmental when it comes to my love life. First impressions and experiences at the start have some serious staying power in my mind.
The first text you send me after I give you my number shouldn’t try so hard to be clever that it ends up being creepy. (Sorry barista at my local Empanada place.) Similarly, if you ask me out and express interest, you should follow through.
Effort and consistency is sexy.
It’s not idiotic though, with this one-shot-only logic, right? I mean, it’s just intelligent. It’s a protect my heart thing. And maybe a little bit of a defense-mechanism thing. And if I’m being honest with myself, it’s also easy justification for the walls I let spring up at the drop of a pin.
I won’t be fooled again. And I sure as heck won’t even give you the chance to try.
– – – – – –
I’ve never gone back to someone I started down a romantic road with, whether that journey was a handful of text messages or years of being boyfriend and girlfriend. When things end, I close the book and never look back.
Is that fair though? How many great rom-coms (yes, fiction, I know) are about people meeting once, and poorly, then reconnecting when the timing is right? They sure would be short movies if one half of the pair declared “You failed once, therefore it’s a hard pass for me.”
So much of relationships working out is about timing; two people being in the same stage of life at the same time.
There must be some sort of logic in life bringing people back together. There must be some lesson still to be learned, or possible potential outcome. There must be a reason for it.
– – – – – –
People can change, right? Maybe not change, but grow.
People can grow. Right?
So here I am, considering giving someone a second shot. Another romantic chance. And for some good reasons, I think. Quite a bit of time has passed, life situations have changed….
Honestly though, this debate is a moot point. This wavering is pointless. I have already put the second chance out there. (And fairly succinctly and bluntly, not in my normal convoluted passive-aggressive way either.)
I am just waiting to see if he takes it.
He might, and he might not. And I have absolutely no way to control or know the outcome until time tells me. Ask me how good I am at being patient, I dare you. Ask me how good I am at not being in control.
And that is petrifying… being vulnerable with someone who has already dropped the ball once. Putting yourself out there. Again. I keep going back in forth in my head between the idea that I’m being an open minded adult and the concept that I am being a naive idiot.
I’m not sure which side is going to win. I’m not sure which side is right.
– – – – – –
Perhaps this whole situation isn’t even about him, or the possibility of us. It’s possible that it really doesn’t matter if he steps up or disappears. It’s possible that I’m looking at this whole thing completely wrong.
It might not be about getting the outcome I want.
Maybe the most important thing about second chances is to be able, and willing, to give them.
In select circumstances, of course.
*NOTE: If you confused about all the Monty Python Gifs… well, I couldn’t think of any good pics to go with this post. So I went with Monty Python, because, well, I like Monty Python.
**Also, perhaps your confusion over my choice of imagery will give you some insight into the state of my feelings with this situation…. Just all over the place and seemingly random. And a little goofy.