To truly forgive someone is to continue on with the relationship (whatever kind of relationship it is) as if no offense ever occurred.
This is rare, since most people will change, perhaps only slightly, their expectation of the individual who committed the offense that required forgiveness. Additionally, each subsequent offense tends to build upon that until trust is broken.
So, for me anyway, true forgiveness may be given once, may be given twice, depending upon the nature of the relationship, but if forgiveness is required too often that will erode trust to the point that forgiveness will ultimately be unavailable.
(Incidentally, I never forget.)
I really had to think about this one - mostly to work out what forgiveness actually is.
So I looked it up:-
stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.
"I'll never forgive David for the way he treated her"
synonyms: pardon, excuse, exonerate, absolve, acquit, let off, grant an amnesty to, amnesty; More
no longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake).
"I was willing to forgive all her faults for the sake of our friendship"
cancel (a debt).
"he proposed that their debts should be forgiven"
And that kind of sums it up. I don't hold a grudge and if people accept the consequences to their actions, I move on. It's not altruistic, it's about me. I am not going to let someone else's actions screw up my life - and if their actions have screwed up my life, I will put my energies into sorting my life out and not wasting energy trying to screw theirs up.
And on the cancel a debt definition, I will not lend something I cannot afford to lose, I either say no. or give it me back if and when you can.
Which kind of sums up my philosophy on life - 'Shit happens, deal with it.'
To forgive is to quit blaming. When I gave up the superstition of free will, I discovered that I had forgiven every wrong that I had ever suffered.
Old ideas have a way of creeping back in. When I find myself angry at someone, I have to remind myself that free will is an illusion.
I forgive for me, not to make someone else feel better about having wronged me. I don't like the feeling of hurt or the anger that follows on its heels because it will turn to hate if allowed to fester too long, so I get rid of it as quickly as I can.
If the person who has hurt me tells me he/she is sorry, it is easy enough over a short time to know if they truly were contrite or just saying what is expected. I may forgive, but I have a list that he or she is now on. I will not forget, but they can be removed from the list if and only if they have shown their remorse was genuine.
So, what does it mean for me to forgive? It means I don't have to carry the burden of anger or hate. It means that I can get on with my life without having compromised my core values.
The best metaphor I can think of is venom... When a snake bites, we immediately do what we can to remove the venom... Tie a tourniquet, get to the hospital, and get some antivenom. Heal.
I feel like the emotions caused by people who harm us are the same. This doesn't mean we forget what happened, or that we remain friends with the serpent who bit us, or worse, pretend it didn't happen. Nor does it mean that we don't remove that danger from society if we have that chance. But we remove the poison from our bodies first, so that we can survive.
And forgetting is not an option. For the most part, if someone caused enough harm to warrant forgiveness, that event is going to be set pretty hard in the mind where forgetting isn't going to happen. But it doesn't' have to.
Once the poison's out, we can think more clearly, and do what needs to be done to take care of ourselves.
The short answer is "it depends"
On what kind of relationship they have with me, what they did, how many times have they done it etc.
Sometimes I forgive but cut off contact because either they are not important enough to me to bother giving them another chance or because they've hurt too much to give another chance.
With others, the pain they caused fades away and I no longer think about it.