“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
A Three-prong Approach
Framework for the Past
“The one who got away” is a paradigm that exists out of a mentality associated with the past. One important gift our past gives is guidance for the future. Think about the purpose the relationship served in your life. Did it give you clarity about who you are or what you truly want in a relationship? What are the lessons afforded to you as part of your experience? Did it teach you about love, relational skills, communication skills, self-assertiveness, appreciation, commitment, or self-love?
Even though your former partner may seem like the “one” who got away, some people find that they get one step closer to finding their ideal partner with each relationship they become involved. Through the process, they learn more about themselves and what they need and want out of a relationship.
It’s wise not to stay too long in thinking about lessons from the past. As you focus too much on past thinking, you risk developing a sense of regret, which may hold you back from seeing the opportunities of the present.
A good framework to combat rumination of the past is the ironic acknowledgement that the future is uncertain. You can’t be certain that the old relationship with the “one” who got away would have turned out as you expected. You won’t know if the positive aspects you identified in your former partner or former relationship will remain intact many years down the road.
People change, relationships change. Sometimes it’s the very changes that dissolve a relationship. There is no prediction to what the future holds. Often times people marry their dream partner, only to find themselves at odds with one another years later.
Framework for the Present
Have faith. There is more than one person on the planet that could be your soulmate. Trust that you are lovable and that you will find someone who loves you and sees you for all the wonderful qualities that you possess.
Understand that although it’s painful to think that you might’ve let the “one” slip away, he/she slipped away for a reason. Every relationship that we encounter at any given time is intended for us for a purpose. Sometimes the gift of a relationship is not apparent until time passes and the initial heartache subsides. Then you’ll realize that the heartache of a lost relationship was actually a gift in disguise.
A quote from Deepak Chopra states: “Whatever relationship you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.”
Framework for the Future
Understand that a good relationship that’s sustainable across time and circumstance requires hard work. Willing partners committed to working on the relationship over time will reap the benefits of a deeply fulfilling connection to their partner, evolving their relationship into something more beautiful than what they started.
This understanding brings hope that even if your current or next partner seems not to compare to the endearing qualities of the “one” that got away, commitment to working on the relationship itself may actually exceed your expectations and initial comparison. Love is created over time.