Why Second Chance Romances Are Set To Be On The Rise In The Coming Year

The last few years have been tumultuous, to say the least. Between the political environment, the global pandemic, and worldwide lockdowns, for many people, things were put into perspective. When you're sitting around, stuck in your house for almost an entire year, without any definitive answers about what the future would be like — remember vaccines weren't available until early 2021 — it really makes you think about life, love, and what you may want to do differently once the world goes back to normal, er, the new normal rather.

But not only did 2020 make many of us re-evaluate things, it also took a toll on relationships. Even those who were in loving partnerships found themselves climbing up the walls, wondering if it was time to throw in the towel on their relationship. "More people are finding themselves trapped in a situation where they are struggling to cope with what is going on for them as well as what is going on between them," psychotherapist Ronen Stilman told BBC in December 2020. "Like a pressure cooker that does not let any pressure out, the lid can eventually pop, and the relationship breaks down."

As 2021 came around and things started looking promising in the post-lockdown world, and the concept of things like oystering came to the forefront, people were really ready for a change. However, just because you may have been aching to get away from your partner during- and post-lockdown, it doesn't mean that the feeling would be permanent for everyone.

What's a second chance romance?

If you've ever dated someone, broken up, then reconnected after a period of time, then you've experienced a second chance romance. While not everyone thinks that getting back with an ex is a good idea or that it even has a chance at success, it's not impossible. But it does involve a lot of work, maybe even more work than the first time around.

"You absolutely must leave the past in the past, learn from it by all means but don't bring it up in the heat of an argument," relationship expert Annabelle Knight tells Cosmopolitan. "To try again you must be willing and able to move on if you're to have any hope of having a future together ... Most second chance relationships fail because couples assume they can just slip back into the way things were. It's really important to nurture this relationship just as you would with any new romance."

If you can be wary about the mistakes you made in the past and do your best to avoid them or be cognizant enough to work on them before they become issues, then second-chance romances have a chance at truly flourishing. Which is a good thing because they're about to be on the rise in the coming year.

Why 2023 will see an increase in second chance romances

Once 2023 rolls around, the pandemic will have officially slowed down, and those endless days of lockdown will be three years in the past. People will have had time to realize what's important to them and will have made the changes that they needed to make. In doing so, some will realize that the person they broke up with either mid- or post-lockdown is the one they want to be with, and that person might actually be their soulmate. For others, their idea of a second chance romance might look like giving themselves a chance at love with someone new. 

According to a survey of 14,000 people by Bumble, 39% of people ended a serious relationship in the last two years, and of that number, 36% are giving the potential for love another try by using dating apps for the first time. People are willing to take a risk on either new love interests or love that soured during the pandemic. The latter is a trend that started in 2021 when Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck began spending time together. 

"I think sometimes, when we're single or when a relationship is ending, we do think back towards old relationships, and there's nothing wrong with that," therapist and relationship expert Rachel Sussman, LCSW, tells Refinery29. "It's starting over but it's not starting over, because you had a relationship with this person, you know this person."