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Second chance love: What to do differently

When you get a second chance to make your relationship work, you want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes that caused the first try to fail. In order to really make the most of your romance repeat, you have to make sure you do things differently. We have some tips to help you make your relationship work this time around.

Couple embracing outdoors

1Leave old grudges behind

If you want to give your relationship a second chance – and give it a fighting chance to work out this time – you can’t bring past grudges and resentments with you. Any emotional baggage either of you cart back into the relationship will hamper your chances at improving on what you had. Before you agree to give things a second go, think about any lingering issues or anger you have. Can you move past whatever is still bothering you? If you don’t think you can, you might not be ready to start fresh, but if you’re willing to leave the past in the past, do your best to leave it there and avoid temptation to rehash old fights or open old wounds.

Hold a pre-start meeting to discuss any outstanding issues either of you have and work through them before you start the relationship back up again. This way, you start with a clean slate.

2Focus on what does work

Whatever you had was strong enough to warrant both of you wanting to give your love a new beginning, so to keep it going this time, focus on all the things that did work – leaving past problems out of the spotlight. The more you expand on the aspects of your relationship that were working – your ability to make each other laugh, your desire to really support each other, your love of a shared hobby – the stronger your bond will become and the happier you’ll be as you give your love a new shot.

3Communicate more

Most relationships start to erode when the lines of communication close up, so if this is something you had to deal with when you and your man decided to end things, this time, make communication a top priority. Any time you feel like things are sliding off the rails or that something isn’t right, don’t hold it in – talk about it. The more you can be open and honest with each other, the smoother your relationship will be and the better your chances at success.

The longer you hold things in (rather than discussing them), the bigger and more frustrating they become.

4Be wary of old patterns

Relationships are built on routine but not all of them are particularly useful or healthy. As you embark on this second chance at love, pay attention to whether or not you’re immediately falling back into patterns and routines that brought things to a head last time. It’s easy to say things will be different, but a lot of effort has to go into making that statement a reality. Falling back into old patterns that didn’t work is just going to turn you against each other all over again.

Make a list of what didn’t work or what you hated about the first incarnation of your relationship. Writing it out can help you notice if it happens this time so you can put a stop to it before creating too much tension.

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