It’s painful to watch people try to make sense of a relationship that has already ended. It’s like putting together a puzzle blind-folded. You may eventually get it. But you’ll never know for sure.

Clara at 15 was already in it pretty deep. I wished that she had been given a few more years before she would become victim to the epidemic of wasteful meaning making. Even at her age she knew the clichés, the main truths present in our society. Let go of the past. Forgive and move on. To her credit, she did each of these. The problem was that she revisited each of them over and over again. Every morning when she woke up in the months post break-up she tried her own method of moving on. She would engage in a repetitive, torturous, insight-seeking session whenever left alone.

Did he really like me when we were together? (Fear, confusion)

Develop the same list of contradictory behavior: He said and did (fill in the blank), but he also did this (fill in the blank). Conclusion: That doesn’t make sense. (more confusion, fear).

This is all especially concerning because of the next point.


After a break-up when things don’t go as planned, it can make you trust yourself less. If you were with this person and things ended, how can you trust that you know how to make good decisions, and that people you’re with are who they say they are. There is this increasing doubt in your ability to see things as they are. It’s like doubting yourself when you look up at the sky and knowing if it’s green or blue. You don’t trust any of your conclusions about the relationship or the present state of the relationship, break up, or lack of relationship. This is shown by your tendency to go over the same exact thing in your mind, or by telling the exact story to friends to finally “confirm” the final point.


Trying to figure things out and living in the past….or overanalyzing present behavior (texts, social media, etc.) is not present time. The mental space you use to analyze the past is wasted important space. Space that could be used to live your life, keep hope alive, and keep moving forward.  Bottom line: The more time you spend trying to understand what went wrong, the less room you have to live your life. And it will certainly only prolong your grief.