Love doesn’t hand you a guide book when it enters your life; it doesn’t take the time to explain the Do’s & Don’t’s of a relationship; it doesn’t slap you on the wrist when you’ve done something naughty.

Love expects you to show up looking your best, refreshed and with two #2 pencils – you had a good breakfast this morning, didn’t you? Every day you wake up, you’re faced with a new exam – and you’re expected to pass with flying colors. So while you’ve given up partying to devote your essencto your relationship, your partner messes up and needs a do-over.

When is it okay to hand out a make-up exam? When should your partner get a fail? And does passing a makeup exam give you full credit?

When should you give someone a second chance?

Let’s get one thing straight before we dive into this article: You can enter a relationship with black and white non-negotiables – i.e. no cheating, no lying, no flirting, and absolutely no going to the restroom with the door open.

At the end of the day, only you can dictate the severity of the punishment for breaking each rule. Having said that, there is still a general guideline you should consider.

If your partner is constantly screwing up, maybe it’s just time to walk away.

Times when you should give your partner a second chance

This article is for giving a second chance – maybe a third. When you’re talking about fifth or sixth, it may be time to reconsider.

Everyone makes mistakes and when it comes to relationships, there is usually a deep relationship issue pulling the strings. Before you violently end your 3 year relationship – and this is the first time your lover has cheated – take a look at the general health of your relationship.

Are you as close as you used to be? It’s important to take responsibility for your actions in the ordeal. Just keep in mind: doing so doesn’t mean you deserved what was coming, nor does it mean it’s the reason the ‘mistake’ ever happened.

Just because you didn’t shave for a week and kind of let yourself go, doesn’t mean your partner had the right to sleep with your best friend.

Signs you need to give your relationship another try

Second chances are not for lovers who constantly need them.

Nor are they for those who freely hand them out. When all else fails, consider the switch-scenario. If you were in your partner’s shoes, would you ask for a second chance? All ego aside, would you deserve one?

Relationships are complicated, and no one is perfect. Mistakes happen; mistakes that we would sell our souls to get back.

Finally, try to look back to your list of non-negotiables.

Ask yourself which matter most.

  • Did your partner intend on hurting you?
  • Is there regret, guilt or even a desire for a second chance?

There are many things to take into consideration before jumping the gun and walking out on a generally successful, happy relationship. Make sure you take some time before making the decision.

What a second chance means

Let’s assume you’ve decided to give your lover a second chance.

If it’s not the fifth and the mistake hasn’t cut a life-threatening hole inside your heart, I’m proud of you for being open-minded. Before we deep-dive into reasons to give someone a second chance, there are a few things you should know when you have decided to give the relationship another chance.

1. Be prepared

Be prepared to continue feeling the stinging agony left behind by the mistakes throughout your reconstruction.

You’d be silly to believe that giving it a second shot automatically makes the pain go away.

Embrace the pain first, then accept the possibility of a cure.

2. When you forgive, you forgive

It wouldn’t be fair for your lover to keep harassing you for your past; it wouldn’t be fair if you did it either. When you take someone back and offer them a clean slate, you’re not allowed to slap them in the face with their mistakes.

3. Two wrongs don’t make a right

Them screwing up does not give you the right to go out and make the same mistakes.

4. You have every right to walk away

Like I said before, love is complicated.

You might think you’re able to give a second chance without having to replay the fight, or the images of your lover cheating on you only to discover you’re not. Don’t feel like you owe anyone anything by being in something you don’t want to be in.

Remember that everyone screws up and relationships are games of trial and error. Fighting, messing up, making up it’s all part of life. What it really boils down to is this: if it’s meant to be, a second chance is all the relationship’s ever going to need.

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