If You Think You’ll Never Get Over “The One That Got Away,” Read This

When you think that a relationship has ended too soon, it’s easy to start thinking that your ex was really your dream guy that just slipped through your fingers. Obsessing over “the one that got away” happens to just about everyone at some point, but if you’re ever going to get over him, you need to keep these things in mind:

  1. You’ll look back on him one day and realize he was a mythThere’s no such thing as “the one that got away”. He’s just an idea in your head, an illusion, the McDreamy guy that actually doesn’t exist. You’ve built him up into mythological proportions in your mind, but honestly, if he were so legendary, wouldn’t he be in your life?
  2. If he was worthy of your time, he’d be yours. You know the saying, “the guy who deserves your tears won’t make you cry”? Well, the guy who can walk out of your life won’t do it, because he’s crazy about you. If he does, he isn’t worthy of your time.
  3. It happened for a good reason. Even if he’s out of your life because of something you did, such as taking him for granted when he was your BF, there’s a solid reason he’s not with you anymore. Don’t lose sight of why your relationship wasn’t built to last just because you have an unrealistic idea of him in your mind. It doesn’t make sense.
  4. Some day you’ll realize why it never worked out. You’ll meet another guy who will be so amazing that you’ll be glad it didn’t work out with the guy you considered to be “the one that got away.” Trust in the process of time to bring you where you need to be.
  5. No one “gets away”. You call him “the one that got away”, but honestly, the more realistic phrases are that he’s the “one that walked away” or the “one that chose to leave.” Stop making him out to be someone great who slipped out of your life. He made a choice to leave.
  6. Don’t put him on a pedestal. In a 2013 survey by Siemens, 73 percent of the people interviewed “make do” with their partners because they feel their true love slipped through their fingers. Yikes. You should never “make do” with anyone — your life is too precious for that. Besides, why should you be settling for someone just because you think no one else will live up to the hype of “the one that got away”? Someone more amazing is out there.
  7. He’s unavailable. “The one that got away” might have another girlfriend or have been a BF who couldn’t commit. Or maybe it was bad timing that got in the way of your perfect relationship. What’s the common thread through all these things? The guy is unavailable. So why wait for him? He’s out there living his life, and you should be doing the same thing.
  8. Stop obsessing over perfection. It’s easy to think that this guy you’re infatuated with is perfect, but honestly, the perfect guy doesn’t exist. He just seems that way because you’re loving him from a distance — or he’s using a really good Instagram filter. People seem so much more intriguing when you can’t have them.
  9. If you got him back, history would repeat itself. Once, I went back to an ex-boyfriend because I believed that the first time we’d dated had been bad timing and if we just got another shot, we could have an amazing relationship. Guess what? We got back together and things ended the exact same way. I realized I couldn’t blame the timing — it was us. We were bad for each other, and I’d wasted my time on him once again!
  10. He’s only going to hold you back. If you believe it’s him or no one, you’re preventing yourself from living your life and having the chance for amazing relationships. That’s the saddest thing. No one should have such power over you to keep you stuck in the past where the rules are different and the memories are rose-tinted.
  11. Asking “what if?” only lead to pain. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “What if we had a second chance?” or “What if he came back?” Stop torturing yourself! In time, you’ll realize that things happened the way they were meant to. But in order to see that, you have to get out of your negative hypothetical mental spin cycle.
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.