I don’t know about you but after a breakup I spend way too long looking back at what I should have done better. I say it’s because I want to learn and be better for next time. But really, it just feels like torture.
I call it The Coulda Woulda Shoulda. And if you find yourself coming down with a case of The CWS, you need to know right now that it’s like a cold- treat it or don’t but there is really nothing you can do about it.
After a breakup it is hard to not think about what could have been done differently. I think about that big fight a couple of weeks earlier. What if I had held my tongue? What if I had apologized faster and admitted that I was being wrong and narrow-minded? Even though I know I didn’t di anything wrong, I know I didn’t cause the breakup because of the fight, and I was just being true to me. But the Coulda still runs through my head.
I wonder about if I could make it right if only I would have told him how I felt. If I would have shown him or if I would have chilled out or if I would have… These are the feelings if wondering what could have been. These are tricky feelings because there is really no way of knowing what would have happened. Because it never happened, and you can’t see what an alternate universe could have had in store for you. I usually find comfort in knowing that most relationships don’t breakup because of one misstep, it is no single thing that went wrong. It is a compilation of all the things that add up to show that this wasnt the right person at the right time.
And then the Shoulds. All those things that I think I should do that would make it all ok. I should apologize, I should email to explain, I should see if he’s happy by checking Facebook… Oh, insert the collective groan here. I usually tell myself to stop “shoulding” all over myself, at least that makes me smile and pause before I actually do look up the guy on Facebook. Shoulds in any context are bad news. Shoulds are worthless. It’s just inaction combined with guilt. Shoulds can be eliminated all together.
Why waste all this energy on things that haven’t happened and never will? All this wondering about the what ifs are unproductive and unhelpful. It doesn’t help get any closer to healing after heartbreak. It actually prolongs the process by living in the unreal realm of “What if.”
Snap outta it! It’s time to ditch The Coulda Woulda Shoulda and move on.