Thought Catalog

When You Can’t Stop Thinking About ‘What Could Have Been’ With That One Person

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basiciggy

We all have that “what if” person. Maybe it’s a person you once dated, or perhaps someone you never had a chance to date but whom you still think about. What would your life be like with them now? How different, better or worse would your life be if you had been able to grow a stronger relationship with this person? Everyone will have one at some point in their life, even if it is just a fleeting moment or person in time.

You may be someone’s “what if” person without ever realizing it.

Even if they aren’t quite someone who had been in your life for a long period of time, they made an impact that left an imprint in your heart. If you haven’t experienced the awful feeling of unrequited love, consider yourself lucky.

This kind of love is an awful thing to dwell on because you know so clearly that nothing will ever work with this person, yet your imagination lets you run wild with the thoughts of what it would be like if you were with them. Sometimes you wish you could say what you want to them. Sometimes you wonder what you could lose if you ever did say what you wanted to say to them. There is a certain glory and gore for anyone who has ever had a “what if” person.

You don’t think about them every day or every week, or even every month. But when you do think of them, it catches you by surprise. You are friends, you are enemies, and you are all that resides in between. They are the question that lingers in your head at the worst possible moment, making you wish that you could go back in time and somehow fix it all.

Perhaps you are seeing your friends’ lives unfold. You’re watching them experience happy moments such as marriage and children, and you wonder what life would’ve been like with that person. It makes you feel things you weren’t prepared to feel. Maybe you are sighing in relief that you aren’t experiencing those happy moments with that one person. Or maybe you’re sad because you wish that you had both just given the relationship a little more care. Then maybe you’d be experiencing those happy life events with them. But instead, you are going through the waves of life; riding over one relationship after another just trying to forget the love that you left at shore.

And sometimes it can be the wondering how they are that hurts the most. You are wondering if their life has changed and blossomed since you went your separate ways. Or perhaps it hasn’t changed for the better. Regardless, you wish them well, and wish you had been able to continue on a future with them so you wouldn’t have to wonder any more. You would know.

They keep you thinking for whatever reason that somehow, some way the stars will align and it will somehow bring you together. You wonder if somehow that person would be able to see what life would be like together. You wonder if you would be happier with them or without them. You wonder if you would have just been settling to be with someone that you really weren’t meant to be with at all.

And sometimes you will be so thankful that you will never be together because part of you just knows that it would have been horrible.

You see, there was always something off about the two of you together. You would rarely land on the same page. You would never have feelings at the same time, you would never be available at the same time, and you would never want what the other person wanted at the same time. Time worked against you, my friend. And while you know that this is for a very good reason and that fate will sort itself out, you can’t help but ask yourself, “but what if we were happy together?”

The only thing that can give you comfort when you are in your most vulnerable state of questioning what could have been is realizing that every single person on this earth has or will experience what it is like to wish that someone who once was…still was. But while your experience is unique and completely individual to the love that you had or have for this person, just know that the experience itself is not. The feeling, the questioning, the “what if” may fade away, or perhaps it will stay with you long into your years of love and life.The thing is…everyone has a “what if” person. Everyone has one. TC mark

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