Second chances. Two words, a millions different meanings. When it comes to relationships is the sign that we are willing to give someone a second chance after they’ve broken their first, an indication we might always be willing to overlook their mistakes in the hope of a better outcome the second time around? Just like a cigarette, we are prepared to look past all the harmful factors for a few moments of a nicotine rush. Is this rush a similar sensation when we are reminded of the happy memories once made in a past relationship? Are we addicts or are we optimists?

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Perhaps we are already halfway there by giving someone another opportunity to come back into your life when they gave you a reason they don’t deserve to be. Do we keep going back to a losing game to roll the dice one more time and gamble our trust in someone so we might eventually cover our losses? After all, if you’re in the position of debating whether or not to give someone a second chance then you’ve probably already invested a significant amount of time, energy and love. It’s only natural we want to cover the costs of what we’ve already spent.

Research has shown that smoking reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years. When we add up the time over the course of our lives we’ve spent worrying in toxic relationships about the other person not replying to our messages (even though they’ve been online), having doubts of ‘what if they’ve been seeing someone else?’ or the extra hours spent talking to them about what went wrong, only for them to go and repeat it again. Could this time just be rivalling the same amount of years lost by smoking? You might not have this time deducted from your life, but you’ve certainly lost it spent on other bad habits. 

Just like quitting smoking, it requires a great deal of discipline, support and the will to want to quit. Three days after quitting smoking you experience moodiness, headaches and the craving for a cigarette. When you’ve broken up with someone, you experience all the same effects and the craving to contact that particular person. A month after you’ve quit smoking, a person’s lung function begins to improve. And just maybe, by cutting yourself free of that person can finally help you breathe again. You can always rely on other things to help you quit like nicotine patches and gum, which in relationship code is time spent with your best friends. They alone might not be the thing to help you completely quit, but they certainly make the journey a lot easier.

Unless smoking one day becomes a healthy option and the person who broke your heart truly does change, then bad habits will always be bad habits. It’s only us that has the power to ignite the flame, but in the end it’s only you that gets burned. 

By Jordan Wake