Hello! Dated a guy from high school (T) until after college – he was selfish and inconsiderate so I finally broke it off. I still had a “friendship” with him (it’s in parenthesis because we clearly weren’t just friends but we didn’t sleep together) until he stopped contact for 4 months. I dated someone else (say S) but only thought of the ex the whole time wanting him to be the one that did all these nice bf things for me. I broke it off with the S and give it another shot with T.
Now we are talking again (me and T) and he seems to be having trouble - making decisions that push me away and make me upset - and most recently when confronted about his behavior has been saying he’s afraid he’s going to hurt me again and worried he isn’t going to be the person I want him to be.
Self-respect aside - how many chances does one person get ( I seem to have a hard time listening to common sense when it comes to this guy) and is it fair to just put this on him to decide if this is going to happen or am I accountable for deciding whether or not this relationship is a go! Help, L!

L, if you’re going to invite someone back into your life they better well have their sh-t a f-ck of a lot tighter than the last time, otherwise, what’s the point?  You have to be honest with yourself - is he good for you?  You might desperately want him to be, but that doesn’t mean he has the capacity.   

I was trying to think about who in Hollywood has shacked up twice and the only couple that sprang to mind is Drew and that Apple computer guy.  I was really rooting for them in round two and things were looking good until one day…. it was splitsville…again.  Who knows why they broke it off, but I would imagine it’s hard giving someone a new slate when like, you already know all the sh-ttiness they’re capable of…you know?

Having said that though, if you guys are willing to put in the hard work, identify the issues that were problematic the first time, and find real solutions to fix them, then hey, you might have a fighting chance. Now while I want to be optimistic, L, I have to admit that I’m worried that this boy is already getting gun shy. You’ve heard the famous Maya Angelou quote, right?

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

L, I think this is a very poignant statement in your situation.  Look, if he is telling you that he’s afraid of disappointing you, if he’s already shutting you out, if he’s really not making a concerted effort to change, then I’d take his words/actions as the truth and BOUNCE.  Self-deception is real mind f-ck and I don’t want you to waste your time hoping he’s someone he’s not.