Does he deserve a second chance?

Apr 5, 2011 at 3:18 p.m. ET

Some relationships are worth saving, and others are not. If yours has recently suffered a major setback and you’re not sure whether you want to give your guy a second chance, here are a few important questions to ask yourself.

Man apologizing to girlfriend

Has he apologized?

Of course, he should say he's sorry if you're going to consider taking him back, but amid the chaos of the fight and confusion of the aftermath, he may not have actually said the words. His apology is the first step toward contrition and a sign the situation could be salvaged. If you don't recall him actually apologizing, rethink how badly you want him back.

Has he taken responsibility?

Apologizing is one thing, but taking responsibility for his actions is entirely another. This means not only saying he's sorry, but also admitting he's done something wrong without blaming his actions on someone or something else. An "I'm sorry, but..." isn't going to cut it. He needs to show you that he knows he failed you, he accepts he made a bad decision by doing something to hurt you, and that it's no one's fault but his own.

Does he understand why you're angry?

Being completely broken up about having taken the relationship for granted shows he understands how much he upset you. If he's just paying you lip service and trying to get back in your bed without truly believing he's done something wrong, he could (and probably will) just end up hurting you again.

Do you still love him?

This is the ultimate question you need to ask yourself before taking back a guy who has hurt you or jeopardized the relationship in some way. If the answer is yes, you can figure out how to rebuild trust. If the answer is no, then you know there isn't any point in taking him back even if you don't love the thought of being alone. Sometimes, it takes a major breach of trust to show you that the relationship was over anyway.

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