Why We Need To Wake Up And Stop Daydreaming About Exes

Susannah van der Zaag
Susannah van der Zaag

When we were little we imagined what we wanted to be when we grew up. We’ve been planning our dream weddings in the back of our heads for as long as we can remember. And we’re all guilty of fantasizing about the perfect house we’ll own someday.

Daydreaming is totally normal. There’s nothing wrong with envisioning what you want most in the world.

But there’s one daydream we all have at one point or another that is nothing but destructive.

I’m talking about the, “What if he just showed up?” daydream.

It doesn’t matter if he’s your boyfriend, your ex, your best friend, the guy you just started dating, a hook-up, or even the guy you just started talking to, you will at one point have a vision of him showing up unexpectedly at your door step.

You have this daydream when you’re bored. When you’re stressed. When you’re feeling sad, angry, and generally distraught. You especially have this daydream when you’re lonely.

This seemingly harmless fantasy doesn’t know the meaning of realistic expectations.

It started in adolescence, when you’d imagine the boy you were crushin’ on would show up to your soccer game. He’d see how good you were and ask you to the Homecoming Dance. In college, your best friend who you’re totally in love with lives down the hall, and you think every knock on your dorm room door could be him. Just popping over to say hi, see how you’re doing.

You and your ex could live states apart, and yet you picture him getting in his car and driving four hours just to apologize to you on your front porch, like a Taylor Swift music video come to life. You could be living abroad, halfway across the world, and still, still, at some point, a tiny, ridiculous part of you actually thinks, “Imagine he got on a plane and just showed up.”

This daydream will throw your hopes on top of a mountain, and swiftly knock them back down. We’re so aware that it’s a completely crazy fantasy, but sometimes we just can’t help it.

But the thing about this deadly daydream is that it’s just that: a dream.

Snapping out of it is like waking up from a real dream. You feel a little bit groggy, and a part of you wishes it was real, but you rip off the covers and move on with your day. Sure it’d be awesome to hang out with Jennifer Lawrence at a celebrity party on the moon, but the technology just isn’t there yet. And yes, it would be amazing if the guy you liked showed up unexpectedly at your house with a pizza, but he hasn’t texted you back in over a week.

This daydream only makes you feel happy for a little while before the disappointment settles. But it doesn’t last. The star of your daydream will eventually fade away into fantasyland, joining all the other knights-in-not-so-shiny-armor.

Besides, when you find the one who actually would just show up at your door, you’d see him coming from a mile away. TC mark

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