You Can’t Change The Past, So Stop Worrying About It

Thinking about what you do if you could turn back time will only waste your time and strain your patience. This is from my weekly podcast, “The Heart Of The Matter ” which can be found on SoundCloud and iTunes for free every Monday evening.

Seth Willingham

How much different would things be if you could go back in time and do certain events over? Would you still be with that person if someone had not cheated? Would you still be with that person if you were able to quit playing video games, or take a little less time to get ready, or whatever it is about you that irked your past partner?

Whenever I find myself pondering these questions (and countless others), the thought process is always halted by the same reality: “What is the point of this? You can’t change the past.”

There is no sense in thinking about what you would do if you could turn back time because the fact is that you are not afforded that luxury, and that doing so will only waste your time and strain your patience.

Fantasizing about what life would be like in an alternate reality won’t change what has already been done. All the daydreaming in the world will not grant you the opportunity to go back and say that thing you should have said, and it cannot take back that thing you shouldn’t have said. The only hope is that you walked away from the situation wiser than when you entered it.

We’re quick to label a bad date or a failed relationship as a “waste of time,” when the truth is that the only wasted experiences in life are those we learn nothing from.

It’s important to remember that nobody is without flaws, guilt, or wrongdoing in this life, and it’s even more vital to accept that we ourselves are flawed creatures. It is our flaws that makes us human, and it our personal flaws are what make us who we are as individuals.

Once you find the person you were destined to be with, the things that possibly drove a past partner away will be the same things that your current partner happily embraces. If anything, it could bring you closer.

You like to play video games after a long day of work? Maybe your partner is the same way, and now you have someone to join in. Maybe they like to open a book after work, and now they can read without feeling like they are neglecting you.

It takes you an extended period of time to get ready? Maybe your partner is the same way. Maybe they are self-conscious about their appearance. Maybe they can tidy up the house with the extra few minutes. The wrong person will rush you, scold you, and ultimately resent you, while the right person will accept that you take a little longer and will adjust accordingly.

We shouldn’t hide our quirks because those are what make us unique, and may very well be what our partner loves most about us. Now think about that past relationship you wanted to fix. Would you really want to be with someone who could not love you for all that you are?

Would you really want to be with someone who made you feel as if you had to pretend to be someone else? Would you rather fix something that is inherently broken, or wait for something that is rock solid?

Instead of worrying about the time you can never get back and the past you can never change, look forward to the time ahead and the bright future that awaits you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Mike is a New York-based writer and admitted hopeless romantic. If Ted Mosby and Carrie Bradshaw had a son, it would be him. When he’s not writing about love, dating, and relationships, he’s working his actual job as a sports reporter and columnist.

Tune into his podcast, “Heart Of The Matter” here.

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