Straight Talk Advice

Jan 10, 2007

Two-timing boyfriend wants a second chance

Dear Straight Talk: I need some advice. I dated “Justin” for over a year and it was a very fast, very serious relationship. He is the first man I have loved or been intimate with. We even spoke of marriage.

I broke up with him two months ago and now he is saying all the right things. I don’t know what to do. We bickered and fought and had misunderstandings every weekend that we were together. He’s 27 and I’m 19 and though the age difference doesn’t bother me, other things did. For starters, he lives three and a half hours away and it was always me that did the driving. Then when I arrived on Friday nights, he always wanted to hang out with his friends at the bar and I would end up waiting at his house for him to come home. Another problem is that I wanted a family and he didn’t.

Despite all this, I love him. He is charismatic and well-liked, and he has given me a lot of confidence in myself and helped me with issues around my body. I initially broke up with him in a huff and my first feeling was relief, but then I panicked. I tried to get him back, but he refused my calls all week. I drove to see him that weekend and he made me wait 28 hours in my car before he agreed to see me. Finally, it looked like we were back together.

A couple of weeks later, he got drunk and was intimate with another woman. He regretted it immediately and cried when he told me about it. It was the last straw and I walked out. Now everything has changed and he is fighting for me. He has promised to put me first in his life and has apologized for being a jerk when I tried to get him back. He says he will drive to see me once each month, and that I’m the only girlfriend he could ever imagine having kids with.

I know he loves me and I truly believe that he woke up. But now someone else has come into my life. “Kal” is a friend from high school and I’ve always had a crush on him. Kal is in the navy so we haven’t seen each other, but we’ve been talking on the phone a lot. I want to give Justin a second chance, but I wonder if he’ll ever really change. What should I do?—Torn in two

Dear Torn: The rule of thumb in relationships is this: What you see is what you get. In other words, the way Justin has been for over a year is how he is. It’s hard to accept when your hopes keep painting a different picture, but reality is “what is” not what “could be.”

So far, Justin’s turnabout is purely talk. If you decide to give him a second chance, let him do all the driving for awhile. How often he visits will tell you everything.

From Brittney, 18: It’s not like you’re torn between two marriage proposals. You’re not even dating Kal yet. If you love Justin it can’t hurt to give him another chance. If he goes back to his old ways, get rid of him for good.

From Kendra, 19: My first love didn’t appreciate me either and when I broke up with him he said all the right things, too. But I knew we wouldn’t make it because I would never be able to get over some of the hurtful things he had done. I’m now with a guy that treats me with respect, appreciation, and consideration and I feel more worthwhile than ever. I say move on, find someone who treats you right the first time around, not the second.


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