The false idea behind “the one who got away”

Don't let this false idea ruin your future happiness.

The false idea behind “the one who got away”

Don't let this false idea ruin your future happiness.
  • I have a family member who married "the one who got away." He was her very first boyfriend in high school.

  • The only reason things ended was because they were going to be living in different states.

  • You could tell she always had him in the back of her mind; but that seemed to change once she got engaged to someone else.

  • Long story short, that relationship didn't end up working out, and she was left single after two years of engagement.

  • It so happened that her and her high school sweetheart started communicating again, and just a couple moths later, they were married.

  • I do think this is a wonderful and romantic story. However, I also think this relationship is the exception to the rule, especially in terms of waiting around for "the one who got away."

  • Not only is the very idea of it unhealthy, but it is unrealistic

  • Dwelling on this person, whom you may never be with again, has the potential to ruin future relationships that could actually be everlasting.

  • Be realistic about the relationship

  • This means the good, the bad and the ugly. Obviously there are cases where the relationship didn't end on a bad note, but rather because of distance or time; but that is important to think about as well.

  • Be honest with yourself about the parts of the relationship that weren't that good and may point to the fact that you really should not get back together. Understand where you both went wrong. It takes two in a relationship.

  • This can be a time of self-reflection; a time to understand why you loved this relationship so much and the qualities you could duplicate in either your relationship now or a future one in order to have a better, happier relationship.

  • Don't create a false ideal

  • Whether you are in a new relationship or single, dwelling on "the one who got away" can hinder your happiness.

  • You have to be present and enjoy your life now; and holding your current significant other up to the standard of someone who isn't even in your life isn't fair.

  • Also, this is a good time to enjoy being single and getting to know and love yourself. That is precious and important time that need not be interrupted by constantly dwelling on a past relationship.

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  • Move on

  • Last, but not least, is to move on. Don't hold out for something that may never happen and miss out on something that can be even better.

  • Understand that you can learn from the past, but that there are probably bigger and better things out there.

  • Focus on yourself or a new relationship, and let go of the past. There may be a very slight chance that you and "the one who got away's" paths may cross in the future, but they most likely will not. In reality you create your own happiness and love.

Tamsyn Valentine is part of the content team at She graduated with a degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations and journalism.

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