Why It’s OKAY To Want To Know Why It Didn’t Work


I’ve talked about break ups, I’ve talked about how they pretty much never come out of the blue, and I’m quite sure I’ve even discussed ways to go about moving on from one. Now, I’d like to discuss something that I think most dating advice columnists, experts, bloggers, and gurus will tell you NOT to do. But, what the hell. I’m into it, my readers might be into it too.

I think it’s ridiculously important to figure out why a relationship didn’t work out. Or, if this is your situation, why he left you. (Note: Even if you did the leaving, you still should give it a good emotional and mental once-over.)

Sometimes a guy can leave us high and dry, and all we have to show for it is some lousy t-shirt. And confusion. And unanswered questions, most notably, “Why?” and “What happened?”

But here’s the standard response you get from pals: “FORGET HIM. He wasn’t worth your time anyway! He’ll be sorry he ever lost you! A better one is on his way!!”

This final tidbit is true (the other tidbits may be true as well, I don’t know your situation). A better option is on his way to you, but he can’t show up until you’ve done the work from the last round. He can’t do what he’s supposed to do (romance your pants off, have soul-mate-connection-level sex with you, be almost everything you’ve ever wanted) unless you’re prepped and ready to receive him.

So you gotta do the work, as you would with anything else that’s worth, well, anything.

And when I refer to why it didn’t work between you two, I’m not talking about “he didn’t ever do the dishes” crap. I’m talking more along the lines of, he didn’t love me unconditionally. I couldn’t open myself up emotionally to him. The “I didn’t really want to be in a relationship but I didn’t want to be alone” kinda reason. The dishes can wait.

What were the points of contention?

Why did they bother you?

How did you feel when they happened?

Were these scenarios a relationship reality or a fear-based illusion you created?

Who was the first person in your life that made you feel this way? (WHOA. I know, that one’s heavy. But downright necessary to break this lifetime pattern.)

If you don’t do your dating due diligence, guess who you’ll run into again? Your ex. Only this time his name will be Freddy. And he’ll be about 4 inches taller with a smile you can’t ignore. With Mr. Fix-It sensibilities and a penchant for romantic comedies. And you’re going to think you’ve hit the love lottery, until you start to realize that this is the same soup, you’re just trying to reheat it.

Spend time with your soul sista (aka your intuition) and revisit some (probably unpleasant) feelings you might have initially ignored. And the next time your friends brush off your break up, ask them to be a little more real. Their outside-looking-in viewpoint might contain some surprising insight.