The “one.” The “one that got away.” It all comes down to one. It only takes one.
That’s what they say. But that is not really true. When it comes to love, it is kind of a numbers game and odds are there has been more than one in your life. As someone who loves the game of craps (but sucks at math), I have never been able to understand odds. In fact, the only thing I can honestly say that I do know about odds is that you want them to be “ever in your favor.” When it comes to love, it does not always feel like they are.
If you are lucky, real love — the kind that stops your heart and takes your breath away — happens more than once in your life. If it has, then chances are it has failed, too. Many times. Lucky you! And just like that, as determined as we were to find love, we become hellbent in forgetting it and the person with whom we shared it.
Just get over it.
You need to get over him/her.
It does not seem to matter whether the love lasted two weeks or two decades. When it ends, everyone wants you to get over it — fast. Why?
Because love. Your next one is “just around the corner.” It is coming “when you least expect it.” You are going to find it “when you aren’t looking.”
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t think we are ever really over the ones we loved. The ones we really loved, that is. If what you shared at one time was truly love, I do not believe that ever entirely goes away. It shouldn’t. It is like a fine wine leaving remnants in the glass that is our heart.
Think about how many times you have heard that a friend has gone out with someone and said, “He/she is great, but I don’t think he/she is over his ex.” We immediately throw this person into the undateable pool.
Certainly, there are circumstances where this may be warranted. A lot of it has to do with the timing. If you are out with someone two weeks after he has gotten out of a three-year relationship, yeah, too soon maybe. He needs to work through some stuff before he is ready to move on. But does he need to be over it?
What if it has been a significant amount of time since the last relationship ended and he can still speak fondly of that person and their time together? Is that so terrible? Or is it an indication that this is someone who values the people they love and hopes to experience the same with you?
Relationships can end. We can even stop loving someone. But to say we are over them — I don’t know about that. Because the love we share with someone shapes and molds us each time. It becomes a part of us forever. We move on from it, sure. But the love left behind is imprinted on us.
I do not care how awful it was when it ended or how much you cannot tolerate the person now, there is always that moment when you met them. There is always that “one time” when that person was your world or made you feel like you were the world. It may have been long ago, but it is not gone from your existence entirely. It is why when you hear “that song” on the radio, or drive down that one road, no matter how long it has been, your heart still remembers that moment of love as if it were yesterday.
Real love teaches us. It teaches us what we do and do not want in a partner. We learn how to be better at love from the ones we loved first. If we just got over all of that and truly erased the entire experience from the space in our hearts and minds where that love once occupied, then wouldn’t we just continue making the same mistakes over and over? If loving someone were as fleeting as we often try to make it be and we could “just get over it,” we wouldn’t bother with it anymore. What would be the point?
I think it is because we never fully get over the love we once had for someone that entices us to love again. It is because we remember that love that we want it again. We love a little deeper, a little more completely with each love we find. We want love to last. With every love we lose, we learn just how precious and valuable it is. It is how we ultimately (hopefully) find the one we never have to get over.
Have I had a great love? Yes.
Have I moved on from it? I have.
Am I over it? Never.