The “One That Got Away” Is A Myth — Here’s Why You Need To Stop Believing In It

When a guy who seems too good to be true enters your life, it only makes sense to hold onto him. And yet, these “perfect” guys usually manage to find a way out whether they’re trying to or not. Plenty of us end up with a special guy who has left our lives but not our hearts. For the rest of our lives, we refer to him as “the one that got away,” feeling that fate itself ripped him away from us. While this idea is tragic and romantic at the same time, it’s also a load of nonsense. This is why you need to get over him for good before his memory can ruin your happiness.

  1. If it really was “meant to be,” whatever let him get away wouldn’t have kept him away. We tend to get it in our heads that this person could have been The One, if only x, y, and z hadn’t happened. But if this relationship was really written in the stars, nothing would have been able to come between you. That’s not saying that you should have turned down that dream job opportunity just to be with him, just that if he was truly meant to be with you forever, life wouldn’t have worked out in a way that kept you apart.
  2. His absence makes room for someone who will fit into your life better. If you really believe in the concept of soulmates, it would make sense that the reason this guy “got away” is because you’re really supposed to be with someone else — someone you never would’ve given a second thought to if you’d been in a committed relationship with another person. The One That Stayed is going to make you a lot happier than The One That Got Away.
  3. You’re just fantasizing about what might have been. When the first chapter is good and the rest of the book has been torn out, it’s easy to imagine what you think the ending should have been, regardless of what had actually been written. But you’re only making things harder on yourself by thinking about the potential good parts and not the potential bad parts. The reality of your relationship, had it worked out, would have been filled with just as many fights, tears, and challenges as any other, and there’s no guarantee that you wouldn’t have broken up anyway.
  4. He’s only appealing because he’s not in your life anymore. You’re looking at what you had with rose-colored glasses. No matter how good things might have been between you two, he absolutely had his flaws. They’re going to be harder to see now that he’s gone, but trust me: if you were still with him, you’d get annoyed with his snoring just as quickly as you would with any other man.
  5. Some people are only meant to be our soulmates for a little while. Maybe it was meant to be, but not for the rest of your life. It’s okay to accept that he was destined to be with you… just for a short period of time. Some guys are meant to leave that mark on your life and then make their exit, and if he managed to get away, he might fall into that category. Reflect on the time you had together with a smile, then recognize that it wasn’t meant to last any longer than it did.
  6. If it was supposed to happen, he’d be making more of an effort, too. If you were the only one who was trying to see how you two could possibly make things work, he didn’t “get” away… he WENT away. If this guy wasn’t willing to try to make a relationship work between you two, that wasn’t going to change if you actually did get back together. You’d always be the one putting in all the work, and he’d still be the one to give up.
  7. He didn’t get away — it just didn’t work out. It’s easy to make this particular failed relationship seem like it was special, that its end was due to a tragic tear in the fabric of destiny. The reality, though, is that its demise was just as normal as the end of any other relationship. Sometimes, things just don’t work out between people, whether it’s due to location, lack of chemistry, or anything else that makes a couple incompatible. Seeing things end with this dream boy may have hurt a bit worse than other breakups you’ve had, but in the end, the reasons for your separation were probably nothing you wouldn’t experience with any other guy.
  8. Not moving on from him is only hurting yourself. I know it’s hard when you really believe that he was special. But listen — you need to find a way to move past him. He might have a special place in your heart forever, and that’s fine, but now that he’s gone, clinging to his memory is just hurting you. Pining for him and putting him on a pedestal in your mind won’t magically convince him to come begging for you to take him back, so do your best to move on and find someone worthwhile who won’t slip out of your life.
  9. If you were to get back together, it wouldn’t be as good as you’ve imagined. You’ve built him up in your mind and heart as someone you’d have a perfect future with. In reality, that future would be just as messy as any other relationship. He’d do things that would drive you nuts, and some of your habits would leave him pulling his hair out, too. Your image of him would be shattered, and it wouldn’t be long before you realized that the man you thought was perfect was actually just a normal guy.
  10. The true love of your life will do everything in his power to stay with you. He’ll move across the country when your job takes you elsewhere. He’ll go to couples therapy with you if your relationship is on the rocks. He won’t leave you for another woman. For him, getting away won’t be an option. He’ll stay with you through thick and thin, ensuring that the man of your dreams and the man of your reality are the exact same person.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.