I’m Sure It’s About Me: Second Chances

Before I could sit down Paul burst out, “I know she’s not interested in me.” Thoroughly confused I asked, “Who? Explain please!” Paul recently went on a first date and, although he was interested, he believed she was not. She cancelled multiple times, responded with short emails, appeared distracted during drinks, and left early. Paul wanted to process everything he’d said and done, hoping we could figure out how this would “never happen again.”

Danica’s friend Whitney offered her some unsolicited parenting advice when Danica’s daughter was suspended from school. Not only was Danica hurt and offended, she now believed Whitney disagreed with her parenting style. Danica stopped talking to her friend and began avoiding her at community functions. Danica wanted to talk to me about why her friend changed so dramatically.

Since Paul was just returning to the dating world, we took some time to process healthy expectations and dating norms. Paul left less focused on this one date with plans to reach out to other women. Danica and I spent the session exploring how, although she felt like Whitney was a really close friend, in fact Danica did not open up much to her emotionally, which made it difficult to assess the situation. As this was a pattern for Danica we outlined some tools for how to share in an emotionally healthy way.

A few months later Paul came in for a check up: “Do you remember that woman who blew me off? Well it turns out that her kid was really sick and ended up in the hospital. She just contacted me to apologize and ask me out on a date.” Eventually Danica decided to try again with Whitney, and invited her out for coffee. As Danica opened up about how hurt she felt at Whitney’s reaction, Whitney shared that as a child she was in trouble a lot at school which led to her parents being very cold and distant to her.

No matter how smart or intuitive we think we are, sometimes we just can’t see the whole picture. Who is someone in your life that needs a second chance?