Many people think they have a “one that got away,” a relationship they thought would last forever but for some reason or another just didn’t. Maybe that’s the case, but I’m pretty glad that all of my exes are out of my life. Sure, I have moments where I miss some of them, but on the whole, I’d never want to get back together with any of them!
“The one that got away” is such a common trope.
How often do you hear people talking about this? Almost everyone has someone in their mind that fits this description, someone they romanticize and dream about even if they’re in a new relationship that’s much healthier. It’s very common. Is it always true, though, or was the person who got away meant to stay away?
I know all my relationships ended for a reason.
I can only speak for myself, but each of my relationships ended because that was their fate. It was over, done with, books closed. They ended for good reasons too, reasons that couldn’t be fixed by trying round two. Many of them were toxic, but even the ones that weren’t had reasons like the other person not liking me as much as I liked them or someone being emotionally unavailable.
I’ve tried going back and there’s nothing there.
Last year I reconnected with an old flame thinking nothing would happen. We quickly developed feelings for each other and a new relationship blossomed, only it wasn’t as exciting as we thought it’d be. It turned out that we had just about nothing in common and didn’t have anything to talk about over meals. It was awkward and the fire quickly fizzled. Going back showed me that getting back together with exes isn’t as glamorous as I thought.
I’m glad they’re all gone.
When I think back to each situation, even the ones where the timing just wasn’t right, I see that they belong in the past. I’m glad all these exes have moved through my life and have exited stage left. They bring very little, if anything, to my current life.
Sure, sometimes I miss exes.
I’m only human, so it’s not that I’m now immune from missing them. I still miss some of my exes sometimes. It’s just that I know having them in my life again wouldn’t do me any good. I’m not lying to myself on that front, it’s very clear to me. Nonetheless, I catch myself daydreaming about them every so often.
I know it’s time for me to move forward.
There are future lovers in my cards, likely lovers that are going to contribute much more to my life than someone in the past. It’s time for me to keep my eyes on my current dating life and not get sucked up into the past. I need to move forward, letting go of previous emotional entanglements. It’s the only way.
I try to have no interaction with exes at all.
I absolutely do not talk to exes anymore, especially after the innocent coffee date with the last one that led to another relationship. I just don’t even go down that road. As of lately, I don’t even creep on their social media. This one has been very difficult and once I caught myself clicking on an ex’s profile without even thinking about it. I try to stay far, far away.
We often see the past as better than it was.
One reason why I think a lot of people fall prey to the “one that got away” idea is that we often have rose-colored glasses on when we think about exes. We remember all of the good things and conveniently forget the bad. I can be guilty of this sometimes when I’m imagining being with an ex again, but I have to snap myself back to the present moment and to reality.
An old flame may be comfortable but bad for growth.
I see what’s enticing about an old flame. It’s someone who knows you, at least partly. It’s someone you have a history with and someone you have a certain comfort level with. None of this is good enough to justify falling back into old patterns. I know for me that being with an ex is like back-peddling in my personal growth and I don’t want to do that.
Maybe this mindset has worked for you, but not for me.
I’m not saying there aren’t any “ones that got away.” In fact, there probably are. Maybe you even get back together and you’re happy. That’s great, it’s just not my story. Mine is that exes are exes for a reason and they are to stay in the past. That’s that.
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