The One That Got Away
All of us, no matter how "happily married" or "happily single" we claim to be, probably at times lament wistfully about "the one that got away."
I have been blessed with not one but two “loves of a lifetime”. One I married, but there was the one before him that got away. Actually, I let him go, finally- after six years. I had to for my own sake, for peace of mind, and to simply get off the roller coaster that was my greatest joy and worst heartache all rolled into one.
Do I still love him? Of course and I always will. Do I still think of him? Yeah, sometimes, probably more than I should. Usually it occurs in clusters. I see something that reminds me of him, or I smell a scent that takes me back in time, back to him. Or when things get really bad in my current life, I think of him because he was comfort, he was happiness, he was bliss. He was a fantasy that walked in reality. He was real enough to be with but not to hold on to. Does that make any sense? Neither did our relationship – at least not to anyone on the outside.
I think everyone idealizes the one that got away. Throughout history- the greatest loves were the ones that were doomed; Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde to name a few. I think it is because the love was full of promise, full of passion and it was always forbidden or else it just never culminated. The characters of the greatest love stories didn’t have children and grow old together, they didn’t fight about money or whether or not he put down the toilet seat. The characters died young, or were never able to be together or stay together. Because of separation they pined for each other for all eternity.
I think part of it is the old “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone” and the “grass is always greener” mentality. When you live with someone for years, you usually don’t appreciate them or romanticize the relationship at least not until one person dies. The one that got away gets fantasized about because the relationship was cut down in its prime; it never hit the reality phase of financial obligations, children or whatever. It was full of promise, hope, and desire.
We lament on what could have been, but never was. The truth of it is, it would have probably ended up just like every other relationship, in reality. Kids, car pools, illness, stress, lack of sleep, lack of sex…etc. But when we don’t have a current relationship or when things are no longer bright and shiny in our current relationship we drift off into “what if” land and lament on lost loves. It is purely an escapist act. There was probably a reason that lost love got away, they weren’t as perfect as you now imagine them to be.
Like my lost love, he was wonderful and amazing and even after six years every time I was with him that euphoria was always there. It was the times that we weren’t together that killed me. Because he was not perfect. He belonged to someone else. That is the real reason I let him go. When I drift back into the past I do not think about that. I just remember being happier than I had ever been in my entire life. But I know that is all a fantasy now, but a girl can still wistfully think about what once was and what could have been, as long as she remembers to appreciate what she has now.