You’re thinking of giving someone a second chance.
Because whatever broke you apart doesn’t seem as much of a deal-breaker as it used to.
And no, it’s not just because you’re lonely (i.e., desperate).
You just also happen to really miss theirs.
You don’t see giving another chance to your ex as caving or selling yourself short.
Let others think what they will, but you have something with this person that not every couple has.
And it just might be worth fighting for.
Do a Second Chances Work in Relationship?
A second chance can work if the right foundation is in place. It’s normal to want to see signs of that foundation in the connection you share.
But not all relationships are worth the sacrifices they ask of you.
Sometimes, the things that blow up your relationship are there from the beginning (but well hidden). And no amount of couples’ therapy can make up for it.
Welcome to the less savory part of this post’s second chance relationship advice.
Look for the following signs you’ll both be better off apart:
- Your ex is abusive — physically or mentally / emotionally.
- There’s no chemistry between you (or none that you feel).
- You have nothing in common that draws you closer together.
- You both want very different things, and no compromise will work.
- Your ex expects you to take all the blame for what went wrong.
- There’s an imbalance in the relationship. One of you is more committed than the other.
To sum it up, if there’s no reason to believe a second chance for your relationship would go any differently (or any better), you’re both better off letting go.
Second Chance Relationship: 11 Reasons to Try Again
Some relationships are worth fighting for. The foundation is still there, and the thing that tore you apart hasn’t destroyed the best part of what you have together.
If you think that might be true for you, look through the following reasons to try again.
1. You both take responsibility for your own mistakes.
No one wants to be in a relationship where one person expects the other to take all the blame when things go wrong and all the responsibility for making it work.
Both of you should be willing to own your mistakes, apologize for them, and make amends.
Unless your ex is an abuser (narcissistic or otherwise), chances are there’s enough blame to go around for the relationship’s downfall.
2. The sexual chemistry is still (very much) there.
If you grew up thinking sexual chemistry is a Hollywood thing that real couples don’t need, think again. Genuine chemistry and sexual attraction are essential to a happy relationship.
If you both still want to kiss (or do more) whenever you see each other, take it as a good sign. If you don’t feel anything for your ex, maybe staying apart is best.
3. Your problems can be solved.
Obviously, if your ex was abusive in any way, your safety and well-being are more important than giving them the second chance they’re asking for.
Write down the problems you have and be honest if any of those are insurmountable.
If none of them are, start looking at possible solutions. Even better if they’re asking to look at them with you.
4. You’re still heartbroken after a month of separation.
Most break-ups hurt for a while, but after the first post-break-up month, a life without your ex feels like a better option than getting back together.
If you’re still grieving the loss of your ex and thinking of giving them another chance, you may have good reason to.
If your heart still prefers your ex to every other mortal, listen to it. See if there’s something there beyond loneliness or pointless second-guessing.
5. You’re both willing to work through this together.
This step is essential. The success of any relationship depends on both people committing to it and putting in the work.
Whether that means couples’ counseling or separate therapy sessions and regular date nights, you need to both show your willingness to talk about what went wrong and about what you can do to make the relationship better than it was.
6. You’re both willing to make changes or compromises to improve your relationship.
Aside from taking responsibility for your mistakes, both of you need to show your commitment to making any necessary changes or compromises.
By doing this, you’re both showing each other you believe the relationship is worth the growing pains.
A couple’s therapist can be a big help in identifying the changes and compromises that will do your relationship the most good.
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7. You’re both willing to work on yourselves (instead of trying to fix the other person).
Aside from making necessary changes in your relationship, each of you should be willing to work on your personal growth.
Your identity isn’t all about being part of a couple. And the changes you make won’t stick if you’re not also working on yourselves.
Here again, a therapist (for each of you) can help you get to the core of your personal challenges, so you can accelerate your growth and be the partner you want to be.
8. One of you is going through something.
Break-ups sometimes happen when one of you is going through a personal crisis — the death of a loved one, losing a job, etc. Stress can make people do things they regret.
If the break-up falls in that category, it can’t hurt to see what you still have together — apart from the need to support or be supported.
Be there for each other without expecting a quick fix or a thank you.
9. You think the grass is greener somewhere else.
When the going gets tough in a relationship, it’s easy to convince yourself you could do better with someone else.
Can we tell you you’re definitely wrong? Nope. But we can tell you you’re likely to run into the same thorny issues with your next partner.
The grass always looks greener before you start building something on it.
10 .You haven’t really tried (anything different).
You want to believe you gave the relationship your all, but it’s more accurate to say you kept trying the same approach, and when it didn’t work (again and again), you blamed your partner or yourself.
But what haven’t you tried that might bring you closer together?
Talk to someone who knows relationships better than you do, and keep an open mind.
11. You still love each other and want to be together.
After everything you’ve been through with your ex, you still love them and want to be with them if there’s any chance this could work. And you know they love you, too.
So, if you see enough of the other signs listed above, a second chance may be precisely what you both need. Talk to each other about what you’re feeling and what you want.
And set some ground rules to help you both avoid the same mistakes.
How Do You Get a Second Chance in a Relationship?
If you’re wondering how to convince your ex to give you a second chance, start by ticking the boxes for each of the following steps:
- Apologize and show them how genuinely sorry you are for your mistakes.
- Offer to work with them on repairing and improving the relationship.
- Take real, observable steps toward personal growth and healing.
- Show your readiness to make changes and compromises when necessary.
- Work steadily on rebuilding their trust without expecting a reward.
Whatever you’ve done in the past, it’s not all on you to make the relationship work if you get your second chance — or if you give one.
Should you give your ex a second chance?
At this point, you should know the answer to “When should I give him a second chance?” but you still might feel some hesitation. That’s normal.
You’ve been hurt, after all. Nobody wins in a painful break-up. And it’s understandable if you’re not in a rush to go through that again. That said, it’s still true that the greatest rewards often involve the greatest risks.
What are you willing to lose to gain the relationship you want?