Many people have got one. Someone from the past they still think about with a sense of longing, even though they know that it didn’t quite work out. It’s the man or woman who got away. Over the years, you might have wondered about The One That Got Away and felt rather wistful when you remembered the fun you used to have.
Sometimes, even when you’re happy in your current relationship, The One Who Got Away might be there on the edges in the background and you might wonder, ‘What if…?’ When your current relationship is not working out as you’d like, you might find yourself combing through fantasy, ‘if-onlys’ and sometimes false memories of what it was like with him or her. Fantasies, after all are so much more fun than reality.
All those illusive possibilities come to mind and it becomes compelling. You start to forget this love was doomed and had been heartbreaking. You’ve moved on, yet the ex Who Got Away keeps tempting your mind back to those heady days. It was exciting, unsettling and you grieved when it ended. You might even have felt guilt, regret and despair. But now, you think back on the times you had together as so wonderful you begin to romanticise the whole relationship and an illusion of perfection is created.
Maybe you’ve even thought, from time to time, about tracking down The One That Got Away. Tucked away in the back of your mind, you might have a passionate reunion fantasy. Once, unless you stumbled into each other in the street, it would have been difficult and taken concerted effort to reconnect. Now, it’s all too easy to dig up the ghosts of our romantic past.
If you find yourself wondering a little too much about The One That Got Away and feeling tempted to go searching….Stop and think things through.
The dangers of searching
Losing yourself in the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘maybes’ is fine, but if you find yourself seriously searching all known sites, you might well be heading towards near-stalking behaviour. You might kid yourself that all you want to do is say a virtual ‘hi’ but remember that you got away from one another for a reason. Where you are now is the result of choices – one of which is to not be with The One That Got Away.
Gina was a woman tempted to get in touch with her One That Got Away. While typing in the URL of a website belonging to the One That Got Away, her computer suddenly crashed. She laughed as she said she took this as A Sign. She recalled there was a good reason they hadn’t stayed together, even though they had had some fun times.
If you’re tempted to look up The One That Got Away, remember that it might be less of a case of Could’ve Been Mr. Right and more a case of Would’ve Have Been All Wrong.
Perhaps you should settle for reading back over old diary entries (if you’ve still kept them), flipping through photo albums or taking it all in in technicolour on social networks. The past might look exciting, but you left it back there and moved on.
Know your fantasy from your reality
Romanticising the past is tempting – and something we all do occasionally. It’s hard work maintaining a good relationship. When things aren’t going so well with your current partner, looking to the past can make it all seem as if you should be back there. That’s the fantasy.
The reality is that you have a bank of treasures to reminisce about but The One That Got Away was simply a person it didn’t work out with. There’s a reason you reached a dead end, you weren’t meant to be as a couple. Someone you loved truly, madly, deeply once can be remembered tenderly knowing that the excitement you felt with that person can be captured in your mind. Nobody can take away the good memories.
Looking forward, not back, is what’s truly interesting and exciting. Enjoy the relationship you’ve got now – and work on making it better – not the one you once had.
To learn more about enriching your relationship see Heart’s Desire