Dating : He’s Not the One Who Got Away

h2>Dating : He’s Not the One Who Got Away

I’m not great at nursing my wounds.

I never had an easy time with breakups. Every time a guy would leave me, I’d spend a while wallowing.

Each time, I felt like I missed my chance at something better.

I’d focus on me. But what I did wasn’t self-care. It was the opposite. I’d ruminate over everything that happened and try to pinpoint just how I messed it up.

Is it because I wasn’t giving enough? Was I too needy? Maybe all those times he said I was cute it was a coded way of telling me I’m not sexy. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to be a good long-term companion.

There had to be some reason I missed out on the great future I had planned with these guys, right?

Each time I felt like the guy who slipped out of my grasp was The One That Got Away. And it took me a while to realize that the only thing I lost was an imagined future that was never really going to happen anyway.

Left for My Best Friend

My first boyfriend was someone I felt really strongly about. I had fallen in love and I started doing my best to be a good girlfriend.

I thought about him pretty much constantly, and I stopped paying attention to other guys.

I only had eyes for him.

But he had eyes for my best friend.

It turns out they had been talking a lot and sort of seeing each other behind my back.

So, he dumped me just to see if he could make something happen with her.

That’s right, I wasn’t dumped for another girl — I was dumped for a maybe.

It stung. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get over it. And even though it hurt when he left me, I clung to him. I even gave him my virginity and let him fool around with me for a while, hoping that he’d realize he was missing out.

You can probably guess how well that worked. I got felt up and fucked, but I never got him back.

And I’m glad I didn’t. At the time, it’s all I wanted. But the dating, hooking up, and experimenting I did after him really helped me discover who I was.

It gave me the opportunity to form my own identity. To be something more than just this guy’s girlfriend.

I learned more about what I wanted — personally, sexually, and romantically. And I realized it wasn’t him. He wasn’t the perfect guy for me, he was just the first one.

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Later on, I fell for a guy that seemed out of my league. He was older and cooler than me, and very popular. I didn’t know if I really had a chance with him, but things got flirty, then sexy, and then I had the honor of calling myself his girlfriend.

It was an honor I took seriously. I tried to do everything I could to please him. Even things I should have never done.

This guy was a walking red flag. He got off on violating my boundaries. And when I adjusted my boundaries to suit him, he insisted on pushing things even further.

Looking back, it’s painfully obvious to me that I was in an abusive relationship. But at the time, I thought the problem was me — that the abusive behavior was just his way of showing me that I wasn’t good enough for him.

I know, it’s really messed up. But that’s what happens when you’re raised to think you’re worthless.

I tried to give him everything, but it just wasn’t enough — and I don’t know that it could have ever been enough. So, he left me. Like my first boyfriend, he dumped me for someone else. At least this time, it was for more than a maybe.

I was devastated. I felt unlovable. I stayed up at night thinking of what I had done wrong and what I could have done to keep him. I tried to come up with some way to get him to love me again.

I thought I had lost the best thing that had ever happened to me.

What I didn’t realize is that I had actually opened myself up to it.

If he hadn’t dumped me, I would have just kept trying to please him. I would have held on to that relationship.

I don’t know how long it would have taken for me to realize that I was being abused and then how much longer it would have taken me to leave him.

Maybe six months. Maybe a year. Maybe more.

But definitely longer than a few months.

So, it’s a good thing he left me, because two months after he did, I met a man who showed me what real love is, who taught me that I can expect more from a relationship, and who would eventually become my husband.

I felt like my life was over when I got dumped. But getting dumped is what allowed me to meet Mr. Austin. I don’t think our mutual friend would have introduced us (she never said it, but I’m pretty sure she was trying to play matchmaker). And if she had, I think I would have been too caught up in my relationship to give Mr. Austin a chance, let alone pursue him.

Expanding My Love Life — For Better or Worse

Marrying my husband meant getting a partner for life, but it didn’t mean closing myself off to others. Our marriage is built on a deep devotion to one another, a strong bond between us, and an unfailing commitment to love each other with everything we’ve got.

It’s also non-monogamous, which means I’ve still got room for someone else.

For the fifteen years that we’d been together, that meant nothing in practice. To all appearances, we were as monogamous as they get. Sure, I had a crush or two (or three), but that’s all they were (and the last one was for a straight woman, so nothing could have come of it even if I tried).

That all changed when I met someone over email and things started to progress pretty quickly. After weeks of daily exchanges and staying up late to write to him and wait for his response to show up in my inbox, things got hot and we started getting close.

How close? Let’s just say if my marriage wasn’t open, this could have ruined it.

But it didn’t ruin my marriage — in fact, I think it’s stronger than ever now. It was this friendship with benefits that didn’t last.

Losing a potential relationship hurt. But losing a friendship hurt more. And I’ll admit that I spent a few days wallowing in my feelings and wondering if I could have done something differently, if I could have saved this thing we had going between us.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these flirty exchanges were never going anywhere. And the longer I held on to it and the longer I held on to the possibility that it could turn into something more, the more devastated I would have been when it ended.

Plus, being dumped (is that still the right word when you lose a friendship?) freed me up so I could focus on other things.

Now, I have the time to look for someone new, to open myself up to dating and finding someone who’s right for me.

At the same time, I can put some of the focus back on my relationship with my husband (polyamory’s weird y’all).

I can also work on myself and my writing. Flings are fun, but they sure do get in the way of a publishing schedule.

I’m Grateful They Got Away

I’ve had a lot of Ones Who Got Away. But in every single case, they were really ones who got out of the way.

Because they left me, I could find myself, find a husband, and now I can find a new relationship that really works and meets my needs.

I’m getting over the last one more quickly even though it hurts, because I’m better now at seeing these relationships for what they were. They weren’t my happily forever afters. They were relationships that either would not have lasted or would not have made me happy.

In every relationship, we think about the future. We start to imagine what it would be like if we stayed with that person for a while. Could we live together? Could we spend quiet evenings alone? If the sex started cooling off, could we still be okay?

What I was really mourning was that imagined potential future. But those futures were never really going to happen.

So, instead of focusing on this would-be future, I now pay more attention to the reality, to what the relationship really was and what it wasn’t. And when I look at the reality, I see the same thing in every case. There never was One That Got Away. There were only bullets that I dodged.

When I see these relationships for what they really are, I take a much healthier approach to recovering. I learn what I can from them, even if the lessons are painful. I process the rest. And then I move on.

There’s almost never One That Got Away, not really.

The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can start to heal.

Read also  Dating : -> Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse by Steve Bogira ->…

What do you think?

22 Points
Upvote Downvote

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Dating : About to head to my date

POF : havent been on in months and it feels good