Breakups suck. Despite all the lessons and advice our parents teach us, nothing really prepares us to fall in love with someone and then have that person choose not to be with us anymore. With a broken heart and a shattered ego, our brain demands explanations.We crave resolution and closure. But we rarely get what we desire. One magical date and he didn’t call again, why? Two weeks of texting and flirting on Facebook and then nothing, why? One month spent dating a guy you were ambivalent about only to have him dump you, why?
Frankly, asking why is a colossal waste of time. Keep this word in your back pocket every time you are tempted to contemplate a dating scenario gone awry: Next. Next is your best friend when it comes to dating, hook-ups, friends with benefits, and all the rest.
We waste so much time thinking, What did I do wrong? Why didn’t he like me? What could I have done differently? What’s wrong with me? What doe she have that I don’t? Why does he like her?
That endless, pointless fantasy of speculation can be resolved with the word Next. Asking yourself those questions rarely elicits an answer that you either want to hear or one that will be helpful to you. Let’s all stop beating our heads against a wall trying to come up with answers. While self-reflection and taking responsibility for your actions can be healthy and important, these questions are ultimately preventing you from moving forward.
In those moments of weakness or despair, the simplicity of Next can provide solace. When he doesn’t call you again … next! When a relationship that seems to be going well ends … next! When the guy you’d been dating for a month ghosts you … next! Make Next your dating mantra.
I know, it’s not easy. It feels better to listen to Adele with that bottle of Pinot Noir while watching “Amelie” and ask why? Actually, those first three activities are always feel good, but throwing yourself a pity party does not. Watching “Real Housewives” marathons in sweat pants quickly becomes self-destructive.
What did you do wrong? Most of the time it’s not about what anyone did wrong and more about two people with busy lives that aren’t invested enough to find a way to make it work. It’s about timing. And the things you don’t know about each other. It’s about peccadilloes and incompatibilities. Asking yourself repeatedly what you could have done differently won’t help. It won’t make him call you back, it won’t make you feel better about the perceived slight, and it won’t make a new prospect miraculously show up on your doorstep.
Instead, focus on Next. Next takes the guy out of the equation and puts the focus where it should be … on you and your happiness. Next is positive and productive. Next will get you out to a bar for happy hour rather than sitting at home watching “The X Factor.” Next will get you flirting with the new guy rather than wondering what you could have done differently with the old guy. Next will have you laughing with girlfriends about it rather than bummed you didn’t hear from him. Next is your ammunition when dating has you down. Don’t be afraid to use it.