How To Move On From The One That Got Away

Does anyone actually know what that phrase means? Sure, Katy Perry wrote a song about it so you can just identify with her lyrics, but can you really relate unless you’ve experienced it? How can you be sure the one you think is the one that got away actually is? Maybe it’s the guy you dated for three years, maybe it’s the guy you dated for three months, or maybe it’s the guy you almost dated; either way, one of these guys not being in your life anymore is making your mind and emotions race a million miles a minute, wondering what could have been, should have been, and reminiscing about all the time you spent together. That, my friends, is the one that got away.

It’s not my place to say how long it takes to develop feelings for someone or how long it takes to know whether this person is going to impact your life for the long run or not. Personally, I’ve had stronger feelings for someone I’ve only known for a month than someone I dated for five months. How is that possible? That guy I knew for a month was the easiest person to talk to, the most caring and hardworking guy I’ve ever met. We liked and disliked the same things, had the same beliefs and philosophies, and were attracted to each other on many levels. The feelings I had for him were something I hadn’t felt in a long time, if I had ever even felt them at all in my life. I knew I wanted to be with him now. I didn’t care about the future; I’ve learned not to think so far ahead. In the present day, I knew I wanted him in my life.

It was the first time in my life I was genuinely happy. I didn’t have to pretend he was something he wasn’t or our relationship was more exciting than it actually was. I enjoyed his company; everything we did and said was new and thrilling and everything I had been looking for. As cliché as it sounds, he made me a better person. We never officially had the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, but I was happy with whatever we were at the time and those closest to us (family and friends) knew the truth. But shortly after two months of what felt like the fastest honeymoon stage, things changed.

He became more distant and the cute little text messages stopped. At this moment, I didn’t know what to think so I backed off a little, thinking maybe he was worried things were going too fast. I’ve never been a clingy, in-your-face girlfriend but I couldn’t help but wonder why he wasn’t answering my texts as fast as he used to, or why he didn’t make plans anymore. Usually I would confront issues like this in a relationship, but I knew this guy hated confrontation and talking about things he didn’t want to, like emotions.

Long story short, he ended things for personal reasons and not being able to put in the time and effort for a relationship. He even used the famous line “it’s not you, it’s me” but of course I still thought it was me, how could you not? I was head over heels for this guy. Was I in love? No. Was I completely infatuated with him? Very much so. Once things ended, I realized how much this break up impeded my daily life. I was still constantly thinking about him, wondering what he was doing when he wasn’t with me, always awaiting his Facebook statuses or Snapchat stories just so I could feel like I was still part of his life.

A mutual friend finally sat me down and hit me with the harsh reality of the situation; it was over. There was no shed of hope for this continuing in our futures so there was no reason to exert any more energy into this situation. I’ve always been the type of person to listen to advice given by outsiders, but have it go in one ear and out the other, but I knew this time there was nothing I could do to block it out. I knew it was over, but I didn’t want it to be so I did what I said earlier I had never done in our relationship; pretend it was something it wasn’t. It wasn’t a relationship, it wasn’t even a real thing anymore. It was more pathetic to hold on to something that wasn’t there than accept defeat and move on.

Breakups are never easy and they take longer to end than the relationship did to start. Luckily, or unluckily, I’ve had a lot of endings to know I needed distractions to help me get over him. I recently accepted a job offer that’s going to further my career and help me start fresh. My new schedule made me wonder if I was ever going to see him or talk to him again, but after realizing I had done something for me and that gave me a happy and secure future, I didn’t care. If he wants to be in my life, he will make an effort. He used to be high on my priority list, but I have found something even greater to be my number one.

I didn’t have to replace him with another guy or alcohol or ten pints of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. I replaced him with my dreams and aspirations. Once you start doing things for yourself that make you as genuinely happy as he made you, it makes it easier. Of course I still think of him when I see his Snapchat stories, but I can’t help but look forward to what the future has in store for me, without him. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog