I know that there is a part of you that is thinking about giving you past relationship another chance.
It makes sense to want to justify trying again in relationships. We know that everyone makes mistakes, including ourselves. Some things can be easily forgiven. Some require a little more communication and sincerity but can be worked through. And some are just too large and too consistent to ignore, forcing you to reevaluate everything you thought you knew.
You sit with your head in your hands, because you know how much you care about this person. Letting them go wasn’t something done lightly. You made a decision based on what you had to do for you, and that meant you couldn’t stick around and let them continue to hurt you the way they had. You couldn’t just pretend everything was fine when everything really wasn’t.
You found a way to pick yourself back up and keep pressing forward because you know you deserve more than that.
Yet then, you ran into them by accident. Or you caught a glimpse of something they posted online. Or, they reached out to you, and you ended up having a conversation with them- one where they asked for another chance because they realized just how wrong they were. They swear they’ve learned from their mistakes and they want to prove it to you if you can just let them do so.
And for a moment, you think about letting them try again.
You remember all the wonderful times, the good memories. The things that made you feel like nothing bad could ever happen to the two of you. You justify that everyone makes mistakes and that maybe you shouldn’t hold it against them so harshly. That giving them another chance could be the start of something great for both of you again.
Yet in your gut, you know that it’s not really about that, is it? It’s not about whether people can change, or whether you are obligated to give them another try at showing how much they love you. It’s not really about them at all. It’s about you.
Because sometimes relationships are the catalysts to teach you lessons, whether or not that’s what you expected. Sometimes they are meant to be only moments, not permanence. They’re meant to show you aspects of yourself that you didn’t know existed, both the good and the bad. They’re meant to show you who you are and what you want out of life. While relationships involve two people, and they are both important, you also need to know that it’s okay to do what is best for you.
Because right now, this is about you, and how without this person in your life right now, you’re still surviving. Even more so, you’re moving forward. You’re looking around and realizing that the world didn’t fall apart, even when someone you deeply trusted and loved hurt you. Even when they couldn’t be trusted anymore.
It’s wonderful that they realized their mistake. That they saw what they had done and now are trying to be a better person because of it. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to be the person they test this out on. You know there will always be that small lack of trust that exists because even if they never do that thing again, you will always remember it in the back of your mind. You will wonder if in a week, or a few months, or a few years they will do something like that again. Even though people might feel they deserve a second chance, you aren’t required to let them back in for any reason- history, feelings, or otherwise. When you let them go, you were saying, “This is something I can’t put up with, and I refuse to.” You were defining your boundaries, and if that person loves you as much as they claim they do, then they should respect those boundaries now- even if it means they don’t get what they want.
It can seem harsh, but not every relationship is meant to come back together just because people learned from their mistakes. You need to know it’s not your responsibility to let someone back in just because it’s what they want. Not when deep down, you know the best thing for you (and them, even if they don’t see it yet) is to part ways and take the lessons you learned with you. Keep those lessons in mind when you fall in love with another person.
So if they’ve changed, that’s great. Let them show that to someone else. Let them take what they’ve learned and use that knowledge not to hurt the next person they give their heart to.
You are just fine without them.