Permanently Erasing the Ghosts of Relationships Past?

“Adults are, like, this mess of sadness and phobias.”-Mary, as played by Kirsten Dunst in the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Everyone has ghosts, and the most terrifying of them all are the Ghosts of Relationships Past. You know, the ones that you wish you could look back at fondly and learn some kind of valuable life lesson from. But really, you sort of wish that you would get hit upside that head really really hard to shake the memory from your brain permanently.

One of my favorite movies, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” explores this concept. If you’ve never seen it and are too lazy to click the link above, the premise of the movie consists of a man named Joel Barish (played by Jim Carey) who goes through a gut wrenching break up with a woman named Clementine (Kate Winslet). Instead of facing his inner demons and moving on; Joel goes to a doctor who can essentially erase memories of certain events and people from your brain. *SPOILER ALERT* Of course the movie progresses on and he ends up realizing he doesn’t want to erase the memories of Clementine and blah blah blah everyone lives happily ever after.

Upon analyzing the storyline, I had a thought: What if we could erase the ghosts of relationships past?

We all have one (or a few of those) relationships that we wish we could erase from our memories, or at least put under lock and key and put on a shelf wayyyyy in the back of our overcrowded closet and forget about. But would we be better off without those memories?

I really like lists, so here are my thoughts on the subject:


-There would be a much lower level of pessimism in our lives. Remember when you were 15 and you thought that you would meet your boyfriend at a football game and you would wear an ugly crossaige  and go to prom and and actually go through a long distance relationship in college and live happily ever after? If we could erase those past relationships (official or almost ones) would we be more open to the possibilities, like we were as teenagers?

-Your confidence would be through the roof. Without the memories of failed relationships and rejections, we would have the same swag as we did before we were tainted by those Magnificent Douche Lords.

^Oh. The Feels.

-Ignorance is bliss. The whole idea of a prince charming wouldn’t be a quaint notion, but a possibility (in our minds anyway.) Sort of like when we were 5 and actually thought you could be like SnowWhite, or Ariel, or Belle. Screw you Disney. Screw you.


-We would be opened up to dealing the feels, good and bad all over again. Minus the lessons that we learned. That’s like taking the SATs….in 3rd grade.

^You. Trying to navigating the dating wilderness. Or me, having a bad day.
-Okay there were probably SOME good memories, right? Maybe some that are actually nice to look back on? Ones that trump the drunken fights and angry texts? No? Okay, I tried here.

In the end, as much as these relationships (or in some cases relationshits) may or may not have sucked, they were important. They helped you figure out what you want, and do not want. What you’ll put up with or what will make you kick them to the curb. However, in the event that you do not agree with me it is 2016. If they can create cars that can drive themselves, maybe the whole Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind thing isn’t that far off.


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