To The Girls Who Get Caught Up Wondering What Could Have Been

To The Girls Who Get Caught Up Wondering What Could Have Been ©iStock//lolostock

When things feel crappy, it’s hard not to second guess your choices. But always wondering what could have been is totally pointless and can really hold you back. It’s time to let those thoughts go, for good.

  1. You can’t change the past. Until time machines become available for purchase on Amazon, there’s no going back, boo. You can’t change things that have already happened, and wondering about their hypothetical outcomes is utterly useless. Close that door and move on.
  2. It’s a waste of your mental energy. Some of us were born with storytelling minds, so rewriting the past in a daydream can be fun. But if your brain is focusing too much on rewriting an ending on something that has already ended, you’re probably too distracted to do much else. Use that beautiful brain on work, family, friends, hobbies and find a new story to tell.
  3. If it was supposed to work out, it would have. The word “fate” seems to have evolved into an enabler for laziness. If you work hard, actively choose happiness and treat others with respect, good things will come. The people who are meant to be in your life will stay put or return to you. If you loved someone and they chose to leave you, it’s their loss. Stop looking back.
  4. You shouldn’t have to force the important things. You can’t convince someone to stay with you, you can’t force someone to love you and good relationships are never one-sided. If they were worthy of the love you have to give, they would’ve stayed and you would’ve gotten that same love in return.
  5. It closes you off from other opportunities. If you’re so preoccupied thinking about what could’ve been, you’re not giving yourself a chance to meet new people. You’re watching a closed door and not noticing the ones that are opening right in front of you. Pull yourself out of that haze and let life happen.
  6. There are so many other amazing things you could be thinking about. Puppies. Cake. Wine. Idris Elba. All the things you’d buy if you won the lottery. Coffee. Eating an entire pizza by yourself. Idris Elba. New pajamas. Naps. A giant stack of books. Idris Elba. See? These things are better, and will put you in a much better mood than ghosts of romance past.
  7. Focusing on the future is way more fun. Your exes and almost-loves are easier to dwell on because you can see their faces, and you can still hear their sweet words. The future is an unknown blur, but that’s the fun part. It might be a little scary, sure, but the chances are good that you’ll meet people in the days ahead with faces that are even dreamier, who will offer words that are even sweeter than the ones you heard long ago.
  8. Eventually, you’ll see why it wasn’t supposed to happen at all. Closure is a real son of a bitch. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes you don’t even need it at all. One day though, you’ll realize that “the one who got away” got away for a reason. They were never supposed to be yours, and you were never meant to be theirs. And when this happens, you’ll want to slap yourself for wasting so much time missing them. So save yourself some time (and pain) and just forget about them now.
is a freelance writer for Bustle and Petcha, and editor for Wise Bread. She suffers from separation anxiety, and can't bear to be away from her dog for more than 20 minutes. Her dog doesn't seem to care either way. Sweater season is her favorite season.