Dating and Relationship Advice

Welcoming someone back into your life can be just as hard as letting them go. Whether it’s a friend you fell out with, or a romantic partner who's betrayed your trust, letting bygones be bygones can be difficult — especially when the betrayal was grave or life-altering. You may begin to question your judgment, and why you never saw the betrayal coming.

As time passes, the person who betrayed you may reach out again to make amends. How do you know if you’re ready to forgive them? Here are some ways to determine whether you’re ready to let go of the past and rebuild your relationship.

Sadness has overtaken resentment

After a betrayal, we may feel resentment along with feelings of disappointment. But as they say, time heals most wounds. Resentment often ebbs as time passes, with sadness taking its place instead. When this happens and the thought of forgiveness crosses your mind, it’s a sign that you’re one step closer towards letting go of the intense hurt that the betrayal caused.  

You want to shed the past

There is an unspoken power that forgiveness bestows upon us — it helps us shed heavy emotional baggage we might not even known we were carrying and opens our hearts to new people and prospects.

Sometimes, it takes time and emotional maturity to realize that forgiveness is the key to letting go of negativity. Forgiveness doesn’t always lighten the load for everyone, but it's a good place to start.

You want the person back in your life

Most of the time, our instinctive reaction to betrayal is to cut someone off completely. Yet after going cold turkey for a couple of days, weeks or even months, we sometimes find ourselves wanting the person back.

Missing someone deeply is not a good enough reason to let them back into your life. But upon reflection, you may realize that their presence brings you more happiness than their betrayal brought sadness.

It's crucial to realize that their role in your life after being forgiven may change. In fact, they may not play a role at all going forward, even if you forgive them. You ultimately get to decide the characters in your journey and the parts they play.

You feel ready to set new boundaries

A part of forgiving often involves recognizing why or how you were hurt, and how you can set boundaries with the person who’s betrayed your trust. This will reduce the likelihood of them hurting you in the same way.

It’s easy to fall back into old patterns, especially when you’ve already developed a certain dynamic with that person. But if you feel prepared to put your foot down and discuss boundary-setting with them, then that’s a good sign that you’re ready to bury the hatchet.