Why I’m So Happy I Didn’t End Up With The Guy I Thought Was “The One”

When I was in my early twenties, I was madly in love with a guy I pictured my life with. Then things fell apart, and although I was crushed at the time, I can now look back and realize that the demise of our relationship was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me.

  1. He wasn’t as great as I thought. Perhaps I was too blinded by love to see things clearly or I was just thrilled to be in love for the first time in my life, but I didn’t see things that should’ve been huge warning signs for me. For example, he was quick to become aggressive with people when they rubbed him the wrong way. That is NOT the kind of guy I need in my life.
  2. He would have played me for a fool. Our relationship ended because he cheated on me with another woman. If I didn’t find out and we continued dating, perhaps eventually getting married, he would have played around behind my back like a total jerk. I dodged some major bullets there!
  3. His words didn’t match his actions. One huge thing I learned from dating that guy was how important it is for a guy’s words to match his actions if he’s worth being with. This dude would talk about how someone had to be honest and decent, yet he was out screwing another woman. What a loser.
  4. Everything had moved too fast. We had met, started dating and then in a few months he was giving me a promise ring. Whoa, talk about moving fast. I had thought it was fine, but looking back it was a bad start. It should have told me this guy was going to set fire to my world — and then burn me to the ground.
  5. He had serious baggage. He had children who were pretty cool, but he also had a hostile ex-wife, serious issues from his childhood and early adulthood, and the idea that he was perfect and didn’t need help. Great. I would have been stuck with some serious drama if we’d stayed together.
  6. We were in different phases of life. He was almost a decade older than me and he’d been through so much: a failed marriage, having kids, setting up his own company. I was just out of college and keen to start a career of my own. Marriage and kids were way, way off. It was like we were out of sync. I want someone I can grow with, who understands the phase I’m in because he’s in it, too.
  7. We wanted different things. His idea for the future involved moving to a tiny, one-horse town that was populated by people in retirement. I was hoping to stay in the big, vibrant city. Clearly we were on such different pages, we may as well have come from completely different books.
  8. I would have suffocated. After more time with him, I’m sure I would have died of boredom. He wanted me to fit into his life without much thought about what I wanted. For instance, he wanted to hire me as his personal assistant. Meanwhile, I had my own dreams, and I sure wasn’t going to abandon them for him. Oh hell no.
  9. He wasn’t supportive. He’d pretend to be supportive, but when push came to shove he really wasn’t. When I spoke about my career dreams, he would always make me feel like a stupid child for having them. Once, at his parents house, his mom had said how I’d do amazing things, and he actually looked angry. So much for support. I couldn’t imagine getting married to this jerk.
  10. His romantic history was a wreck. I know most people have drama in their ex files, but this guy’s was something straight out of a movie. I later found out that he had actually jumped from one relationship to the next, leaving disasters in his trail that no mere mortal would be able to clean up. After me, he’d go on to continue his destruction with other women. (Thanks for that info, Facebook.)
  11. He made me lose myselfI still maintained my life and dreams, but I was in a fairy tale state of mind regarding my relationship. I thought that no matter what signs were there that he was wrong for me, we could still make the relationship work. It was a good friend who saw me during this time and told me straight-up that I was lost who finally helped me open my eyes to the reality of my relationship.
  12. He was only my first real love. I had virtually no experience when I started dating this guy. He was the first guy I’d slept with and fallen in love with. To stay with him forever would have been a little weird. I mean, I had so much more relationship experience to get under my belt in order to be a stronger, more amazing person. He was just the start, not the end, of my story — and thank God for that, because the story got so much better without him.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.