Second chances: when you should and should NOT give someone another go?

One of the biggest questions you can be faced with when you're in the early stages of a relationship is when to give a your partner a second chance or not? Everyone can certainly make mistakes, but some may be bigger than others. So when should you give your partner the benefit of the doubt? In the end, it will all come down to your deal-breakers.

Having been a psychologist in the dating and relationship field for 20 years, what I can say is that everyone has their own position on this. While some will be black and white about giving second chances, others can be much more forgiving. Some will have personalities that are driven by a strong moral compass, while others can live happily in the grey.

What's really important is to know where you stand on these important behaviours so you know how to respond if they occur. Here are 20 common situations that you may want to think about:

*Cheating *Running late and not texting *Flirting with other men/ women *Binge drinking *Not getting along with your friends *Offending your family *Forgetting your birthday/ anniversary/ special event *Being rude to hospitality staff (waiters, bar tender etc.) *Lying *Meeting up with their ex and not telling you *Bad kisser *Lack of sexual chemistry *Put you down/ makes disparaging comments about you *Doesn't like your kids (solo parent) *Bad manners *Looks at their cell phone when you're talking *Scares and intimidates you *Is very very tight with spending money *Experiments with drugs *Breaks commitments due to work

Now as you read some of these I'm sure there will be several behaviours that you can live with and others you absolutely can't. Each person will be different. Get familiar with what your deal-breakers are and be clear about these with your partner. And if they occur - no second chances, just keep on moving on.

Outside of these, then it's about working through each behaviour with your partner when/if they come up, and getting a commitment to do things differently as a team moving forward.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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