Anyone who has ever dated has risked being deeply hurt or potentially hurting someone else. We are human. We distort ourselves, be it intentional or not. But one thing we all have in common when we experience betrayals is that we have to decide whether to forgive or endure the hurt.
When we forgive, we let go of holding on to resentment or anger toward someone who has hurt us. While letting go is important in all aspects of our lives, the topic often comes up while dating. Because? Because the central part of dating is getting to know someone. We spend time with them, learn about their moral beliefs, their quirks and their funny Uncle Charlie. Let’s dig deeper into who they really are and what they want out of life. We share a lot, and that often makes us feel particularly vulnerable. The relationship is new and fragile as we learn about each other. Mistakes and misunderstandings are made, and without forgiveness, these relationships will turn into many first dates instead of happily ever afters.
Forgiveness is one of the themes of my next romantic comedy, IN IT TO WIN IT. The story is funny and cheerful. However, the challenges of forgiving someone appear in the pages. Forgiveness is not always about forgiving the other person, freeing them from whatever harm they have caused, but sometimes, forgiveness can be about freeing ourselves.
IN IT TO WIN IT follows Drake and Morgan, who were once college sweethearts until she ghosted him. She not only walks out of his life, but leaves the country without any explanation. Of course, Morgan has his reasons, but at the moment, he’s not able to explain them to Drake. To say he is devastated by her actions is an understatement, especially since she left him at one of the most difficult times in his life. But ten years later, fate brings them face to face. They have grown mentally, emotionally and are working on their future careers. But one thing is still true for both of them: they must learn to forgive…or determine if they even want to.
I included this emotionally charged topic in the story because forgiveness is something we have all asked for and granted at one time or another, but it is not easy. It’s hard to let go of hurt feelings and resentment when your heart is broken. It’s hard not to keep a mental marker and bring up the offense over and over again. It’s even harder not to seek revenge. If someone has hurt you, why do you have to be the bigger person and forgive them?
But have you ever considered the amount of stress and heartache that comes with holding a grudge? How pain burrows into your life like an open wound, leaving you too emotionally drained to move on? It is clear that if you do not forgive, you will never be able to free yourself from the emotional baggage. You can never achieve inner peace.
But is it possible to forgive someone who has caused emotional or physical pain, especially someone you’re dating? In some cases, maybe not, but you can try.
What does it take to truly forgive? It’s a conscious decision. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget the offense or accept what the person did. It means that you have willingly decided to let go of the pain that someone has caused you. Maybe it means you have to find out what was behind the betrayal. Having this knowledge can help you see the situation from the other person’s point of view. You may need to have a conversation with the offender. Or, in some cases, you may be able to find out the facts that led to the misconduct and determine why it might have happened. Either way, it’s you who will have to dig deep to release the hurt and move on.
As you decide whether or not to forgive someone, it’s important to remember that we all fall short. We all make mistakes. But to truly forgive, we must be willing to extend grace to those who offend us. The same grace that maybe one day we need someone to give us.
In it to win it
Two businessmen compete for a piece of property, but they secure the biggest win of all, each other, in it second chance romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Sharon C. Cooper.
Spoiled, fickle and gorgeous are just some of the adjectives that have been used to describe Morgan Redford. Although she’s never had to worry about money, she’s determined to make a name for herself on her own terms. Her new venture won’t be an epic flop like her former professional cuddling service or short-lived pet hotel. This time, through the nonprofit she co-founded, Morgan is doing something meaningful, helping teenagers aging out of foster care, and she has her eye on a property that could house those kids. But the competition is fierce, and one of the bidders is someone I never expected. . . .
When real estate developer Drake Faulkner learns that his ex, who has been ghosting him for years, is a potential buyer for the property his eccentric mentor is selling, his competitive streak escalates. In no way will it allow him to gain the property he wants. bitter? Yes. Little girl? Probably. But his mentor has a stipulation: potential buyers must participate in a sort of Ironman competition for the property. Drake refuses to play along with this ridiculous demand, until he finds out that Morgan has signed up.
If the little miss can’t run a block without gasping for air, so can he. But as the games gauntlet heats up and forces them to confront the past, they encounter an attraction that feels all too familiar. Now if only they could keep their eyes on the prize instead of each other, but who says they can’t do both?
In it to win it is now available for pre-order and will be released on December 13th.
(featured image: Berkley Books and edited by Alyssa Shotwell)
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