When I Lost The Person I Thought Was “The One,” I Found Myself

I was convinced he was “The One.” We dated for two years and really loved each other… or so I thought. When he broke my heart, I was crushed. I didn’t know how I’d ever pick myself up again, but then I realized I had the person I needed in my life and it wasn’t him—it was me.

  1. We were so wrong for each other. We were very different. Sometimes I wondered how we were making things work. We wanted different things out of life and we had different goals. Even where we wanted to live was different! If we’d lasted longer, I would’ve compromised so much of myself for that relationship. Hectic.
  2. I’d been ridiculously young. I was in my early 20s when we dated and it’s scary to think that I was already thinking in terms of “The One.” FFS! I had my whole life in front of me!
  3. My happiness had a question mark on it. I felt like I was happy with him, sure, but in quiet moments I sometimes doubted if the relationship was right for me. I tried to ignore that, though, blinded by thoughts that I’d found my soulmate. Geez. I was totally lost!
  4. I could finally discover new territory. Getting dumped by this guy hurt like hell but it also gave me the opportunity to discover myself. I was like a foreign country! I had to figure out what I was about, what I wanted out of life, and where I was headed. My mind didn’t have room for committed relationships because it was full of me!
  5. I created my own path. This guy wasn’t really supportive of my writing career, which totally sucked. I think if we’d stayed together, I probably would’ve ended up being his PA or something. I had bigger dreams and being without him meant I could forge ahead with them without an asshole raining on my parade.
  6. I thought I had it all sorted—what a joke! When we’d been together, I felt like I had everything in life sorted. We were going to get married and be happy. Oh, whatever. I had nothing sorted! I had so much to learn about myself and life. He did me the biggest favor by dumping me so I could realize that.
  7. I can look back and feel nothing. That breakup had been painful AF but it helped me grow. It taught me that I can deal with scary things life throws at me. Now, when I look back on those days, I don’t feel a thing… except relief that he’s not in my life anymore.
  8. I would’ve left him sooner or later. He never would’ve made it into my current life, anyway. I’ve changed so much since my early 20s and he just doesn’t fit in with who I am now, so it was better we went our separate ways when we did, instead of wasting each other’s time.
  9. I dodged a bullet. If he hadn’t dumped me, he might’ve become my husband since we’d talked about marriage. Ugh, I can’t imagine having been married in my early 20s! I wasn’t ready for that level of commitment and was crazy to think I was.
  10. I’d been sidetracked by soulmates. Getting dumped really helped me take stock of my life and what I wanted from a relationship. I thought I’d wanted him but I’d been wrong. Maybe I’d been in love with the idea of love and soulmates because we hadn’t been right for each other. I used the heartbreak to show me what I really wanted so I wouldn’t lose myself again.
  11. I lived it up big time. I’d been stuck in an LTR with him while my friends of the same age were out living life as single people. Now that I was single again, I could join them and have some amazing adventures. This was important for me to do so that I wouldn’t regret it in future.
  12. I realized I own my smile. The experience taught me a lot about how I’d expected him to make me happy and define who I was when relationships aren’t supposed to do that. Now, I want to be complete just as I am, before entering into a relationship. Only when I’m happy with myself can I be happy with someone else.
  13. Pain is weakness leaving the body. I love that saying and it totally applies here! Learning to depend on myself and be a stronger person wouldn’t have fallen in my lap if I’d stayed with that guy. I could only learn just how strong I am by not having him around. In that way, the breakup had been a blessing in disguise, helping me see who I really was and what I was capable of achieving.
  14. I fell short on self-love. I’d been looking for a relationship to make me feel worthy, which is why I fell for this guy’s charming act. When he loved me, I felt like I was validated. When he dumped me, I felt like I was worthless. It was so messed up! It showed me that I had serious problems with self-love and had to nurture that before I could have a happy life. Losing who I thought was “The One” just helped me see that I didn’t need someone to show me that I’m worthy. The loss was worth it.
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.