In "Finders Keepers" by Stephen King, there is a character named Andy Halliday and he says his lovelife has been in the rearview mirror for over 15 years.

What does “in the rearview mirror” mean in this context?

  • 3
    It means it's long behind him. That is, he hasn't had a love life in a long time, over 15 years. You see things behind you in a rearview mirror. Commented May 15, 2016 at 15:46
  • Most simply, "in the past."
    – user173015
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


A rearview mirror is for looking behind you when you're driving a car. So to say something is "in the rearview mirror" means that it's behind you - in this context, in the past.

You can check the literal definition of "rearview mirror" at PhraseMix and Wikipedia, and find many metaphorical examples at BrainyQuote, e.g.:

I tend not to spend a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. If you say, 'Oh, I did 'Hill Street Blues' or 'L.A. Law' and everything I do has to measure up to some preconceived notion of that,' it would paralyze you.


In this context, "in the rearview mirror" is used figuratively to mean "in the past".

Here is another example where it is used figuratively:

With the midterm elections safely in the rearview mirror, Obama is on legacy patrol.

From Obama’s One Hand Clap With Castro

So in the text you've quoted, it means that he has not had a successful love life in the last 15 years.

Rearview mirror, as per dictionary.com literally means

A mirror mounted on the side, windshield, or instrument panel of an automobile or other vehicle to provide the driver with a view of the area behind the vehicle


A figurative meaning that a person has moved on and is no longer having a hold on them.

  • 3
    Hello, Albert. If you're going to post this as an 'answer' rather than a 'comment' (which latter action others have already taken) you need to add authoritative references here on ELU. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:35

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