“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
The only time I personally ever characterized a failed relationship as “the one that got away” was with I man I met in graduate school.
He didn’t leave me; I left him. He was a great guy, but not cool enough for me at that immature time in my life. Looking back, which I did a lot, I thought about how stupid I was to not be able to appreciate his many great qualities. He really had a lot of them.
I think about the one who got away as an exercise in looking backwards.
You can’t really know that he was the one that got away until he’s gone. Then you can look back at what happened, probably with regret as I did.
I beat myself up about this relationship for a while. But then I realized that I couldn’t be any more mature than I was. I think it’s mostly true that we all do the best that we can in life. Looking back, that might not look very good, but if you knew then what you know now, you would have made different choices.
That “failed” relationship is part of what has contributed to who I am today.
Because I regretted my decision so much, I really thought about it and tried to learn from it. You only get so many great guy opportunities in life and I didn’t want to blow it again!
Nobody “gets away”.
Either the relationship didn’t have enough juice to sustain itself, they leave you or you leave them. I think getting over it is a process of grieving if it was a big loss and then examining it to learn something from it.
All of our relationships have the potential to teach us something about ourselves.
Even if you look back and decide that the guy was a big loser, you can try to figure out why you chose him in the first place. You can look at what part you played in both the creation of the relationship and its demise. This isn’t about beating yourself up (you did the best you could); it’s about learning enough to not repeat the same mistakes. It’s about learning to make better choices and learning how to better manage yourself in the next relationship.