Giving Relationships Another Chance: If It Didn't Work Then, It Never Will

by Paul Hudson

I feel that most peoples’ preferred relationship status varies along with the seasons of the year. When temperatures are colder in the fall and winter, we are likely to seek companionship to keep us warm during the less than ideal weather. Then springtime comes and the temperatures start to rise. The warmer the weather becomes, the shorter the skirts become. Libido rises and all of a sudden, the thought of being in a relationship makes you miserable — but you are in a relationship nevertheless.

So you break it off. Summertime is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. If you aren’t in a relationship by the time summer creeps up then I recommend doing your best to stay single. Beaches, pools, Jacuzzis….too many reasons to take your clothes off to willingly imprison yourself in a relationship. Speaking of Jacuzzis, I dipped into an interesting conversation while soaking in one last night.

Get enough liquor into a small group of males and females, stick them into a Jacuzzi and just sit and listen to the ridiculous sh*t that gets said. No matter how the conversations start, they will inevitably develop into segregated banter between the men now sitting on one side of the hot tub and the women sitting on the other. It’s difficult for me to clearly explain the argument coming from the women’s side — their bikinis spoke louder than their words — but they basically were arguing that when it comes to failing relationships, timing is essential.

The ladies believe that if a relationship fails the first time for whatever reason, that blaming the failure on immaturity or poor timing is acceptable. “We were too young.” “Too stupid and immature.” “Things will be different this time around.” The women in the tub were advocating that a failed relationship should be given another chance in the future because it has a higher likelihood of working out the second time around.

Most of us have been in this position before — if we have been in the game for long enough that is — so there is not much need for further evidence. The fact is that relationships very rarely work out after a second go. The men in the hot tub vehemently argued in rebuttal, explaining that if a relationship doesn’t work out the first time around, it won’t work out a second time around.

I’m sorry to say that I have to side with the boys on this one. The chances of a relationship working out after a second, third or fourth go is so close to zero that dubbing it a rare instance is almost misleading. To think that you and your ex could possibly work out some time in the future after failing miserably the first time is naïve — and quite frankly, silly. There are several reasons why a failed relationship is doomed to remain in infamy. The first and foremost is the baggage that each of you will undoubtedly be carrying.

Breakups don’t happen for no reason — there’s always a reason. I am sure there was a long list of things you did not like about that person. I am also sure that they had a very similar list filled with the things about you that drove them crazy. If you were at any point in love with them then you must have fallen out of love with them at some point — otherwise you wouldn’t have broken up with them. You may still convince yourself from time to time that you still love them, but the fact of the matter is that you are no longer ‘in love’ with them.

Yes, there is a difference. Falling out of love can be as painful as falling in love is beautiful. Even if it wasn’t painful to you, it’s likely that it was painful for the other. Once one of the persons in a relationship has been scarred by the other, the chance of complete repair is impossible. The moments when we are in love resonate in our minds stronger than others. The experiences that we have while under the trance are more colorful, fuller, vivid, more real. The joy more pleasant and the pain more horrible. Words ring clearer and cut deeper. Forgiveness doesn’t always come easy.

Not only will you have old scars to worry about, but also new ones. Past pains bring about new ones. Memories will resurface and will come up in conversation — passive aggressive jabbing. Moods will worsen and fights will ensue. Sooner or later, you will find yourself in the same position you were before you got together — except the months or years you threw away.

Problems always arise when two people get back together after a break. Unless the two are very mature and sexually open, the fact that each have been sleeping and/or dating other people will cause tension. Secrets will be kept from the other and chances are that sooner or later, the two of you will spill the beans and then feel hurt by the other’s endeavors. Even if everything seems great for the first few months, within a year you will find yourselves with serious problems and familiar, uncomfortable feelings.

The worst of it all is that those putting themselves into these sorts of arrangements do so under false assumption. You assume that you are going to get back together and that things will go back to how they used to be before things went south. You miss that setup and hope to recreate it. You want to feel the way you felt and love the way you loved.

This, I’m afraid, is impossible. You see, love itself changes from day to day — even moment to moment. With new experiences, new memories lived and new beliefs, we are different people than we once were. Our psyches have been slightly altered and for this reason the entire system has altered. We simply never experience an emotion exactly the same way — especially not one as complex as love. You will never go back to the way things once were; you can only move forward. So why not move forward? Move on with your life.

Find someone different. Someone who can show you a different side of life — a different view on reality. Live in the moment and the possible future, not in the past. The beauty of life is that it has an expiration date. As animals, plants and people are born and die, so are moments in time. When the moment has passed, let it go — there’s absolutely no possibility of resuscitation.