Day 340 Question 340:
Do you believe in second chances? Are people really capable of change?
I believe in forgiveness. I believe people make mistakes and deserve the chance to redeem themselves….yes even the people that make massive mistakes. I have to admit though that I struggle with second chances. “You know that popular phrase: Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.” I think the meaning behind that expression is stuck somewhere in the back of my mind just lingering.
The way I came up with this question is quite silly and superficial. A couple of years ago I met a guy online (yes I have done the online dating this….with a busy schedule and being a non-drinker it is not always easy to meet people out and about) and we chatted for a good bit over email and over the phone. We finally decided to meet just casually. He said that his apartment complex was going to be having a big bonfire so I decided to meet him over there. When I got there it was obvious that I did not meet his standards (I was in the middle of my weight loss journey). He barely spoke to me and it just felt so awkward and uncomfortable. He talked to everyone else BUT me. I finally excused myself and just left and after that night I never heard a word from him again…UNTIL TODAY!!! He must not have recognized me because he sent me an email saying how cute I am and how he would really like to take me out sometime. I responded by saying: We have already met and it didn’t go well. He apologized for being an ass and was hoping for a second chance. I told him I was skeptical and he said he understood that and said he was in a bad place at the time and his priorities were in all of the wrong places. Now here comes my character flaw….I want to give people the benefit of the doubt but in dating/potential relationship situations I just can’t. My mind immediately assumes that this guy will still be the superficial asshole that he was to begin with and then I will have wasted my time once again (yea yea I know time is never wasted because you always learn something). Then again I think about how different I am from just two years ago. I can’t help but remember the way this guy made me feel the first time we met….I was not up to par…I was not good enough….I wasn’t worth his time. I spent majority of my life thinking the same things about myself….why would I give someone else the opportunity to feel that way? I believe people are capable of change….I have changed tremendously but I still have quite a ways to go. I believe change only comes when you truly want it and when you put in an exhausting amount of effort. How do I know that this guy has changed? Would I be a fool for seeing if just maybe he has?
In many situations in life I have no problem with giving people second chances….like I said I know that mistakes are inevitable and I believe we all have goodness in us (it is just hidden much deeper in some than others). When it comes to dating and relationships though….when I have been disappointed that feeling never seems to go away. The last guy I dated well over a year ago was wonderful in so many ways but he also just crushed me in others….again I never felt like I was going to measure up. He could come to me now and say he is sincerely sorry and explain to me his journey and how he has changed for the better and has realized how much I mean to him but I don’t think that feeling of being betrayed and feeling lesser of a person would ever cease. Am I being selfish for not letting that go or am I being smart? When do we know the right times to give people second chances?