Why The One That Got Away Is Messing Up Every Relationship You Try
There are a few possibilities when it comes to your romantic life. You can date lots of people and never find "the one." Or, you might spend your entire life with the first person you ever dated. It is also possible to have met the love of your life and lose him or her.
They could leave us. Maybe we left them. Or perhaps they were taken. The the hard part is that it is difficult to tell which is which until the moment has passed. Until we can look back with a clarity we didn't have in the moment. Sometimes we are left with feelings of regret. Sometimes we are left with little more than a memory.
We were too young to realize what we were losing.
You know what they say, "if I knew then what I know now." The thing is, when we're young, we don't really understand that love takes work. Love may come to us from out of now where but it can disappear just as quickly as it arrived -- if you don't put in the effort. It is important to work for love because in the end, the only things in life that have any value take a little effort.
If we don't work for it, we don't value it. Working for things keeps them on our mind. Things that stay on our minds, become a greater part of us. Love has the ability to penetrate our psyches to the deepest level. The only way for that to happen, is to help excavate those deep layers. You've got to dig a place for it to live.
We never stop imagining what could have been.
Our favourite "what ifs" pertain to the one that got away. The last person we could have imagined spending our lives with. These memories are the most emotionally packed. It is when we were happiest and it is also when we were the most sad. It gave us the biggest peaks (and depths) of emotion and those leave us wondering about the other path. The road we didn't take.
We compare every relationship we have to this “golden standard.”
The one that got away often comes to define for us everything we are looking for in a partner. We thought we could spend our lives with this person and when it doesn't work out, we convince ourselves we want something close to it. The thing is, this person was, in all likelihood, far from perfect. But that isn't the way we remember it. Holding new people to a relationship standard that probably never existed, is far from helpful .
We’ll never stop loving this person.
This is true. That old "you'll always have a piece of my heart" line isn't entirely bogus. Because the memories of this person and the relationship are well worn, they can become a part of us. They change us. This isn't always a bad thing. We are supposed to learn from our past. Replaying your relationship mistakes can help you to understand yourself. It can help you see what you need to own in your relationships and what isn't your responsibility.
Use the memory of one that got away to be the best person you can. It can make you a better partner and an all around better human. Remember, you can find new love. Love may have degrees of magnitude, but it is unlimited.
Chin up, you'll be okay.