It’s September. Boo and I are driving down to New Jersey for the last BBQ of the summer. We want to get one more in before the leaves change colors and snow falls – if we can only get to our destination. The traffic is horrible.
“There has to be like a hundred accidents,” I say to Boo.
“Nah. Maybe just one. Drivers are just rubbernecking,” he replies.
“What the hell is rubbernecking?” I ask. As a non-experienced driver and proud city girl, I hadn’t heard of the term. Boo explains that rubbernecking is when drivers slow down just to look back at an accident.
“So it’s like when people in relationships look back at the past…” I muse.
He nods. We continue to crawl on the highway like two tortoises. My mind begins to race like the hare.
People look back at accidents because it’s human nature; we all love a train wreck. And, when it comes to relationships we often go back to an ex. Our past relationship might have been a hot mess, a pile of poop even – yet it pulls us back in. Even if we don’t reunite with an old flame or rekindle a dysfunctional affair, emotionally we hold on to the past, to our baggage and to feelings of regret, anger and betrayal.
That’s relationship rubbernecking.
Thing is constantly looking over your shoulder will trap you in an off-and-on relationship. You won’t move on if you’re not looking ahead. Sure, you should reflect on your past – the mistakes, the stumbles, the lessons and triumphs. Just don’t make it a habit of slowing down every time an ex texts, calls or comments on one of your Instagram selfies. If you pause every time an ex contacts you, you won’t be open to a positive and loving relationship. Instead, you’ll be stuck in traffic with your past loves, searching for parts to salvage and ultimately not moving forward.