My one is a guy I went out with when I was seventeen. Of course, all of you normal people who aren’t embroiled in the emotional turmoil of it all can turn and say to me, ‘But you were only a kid.’ I know that. But the two years we had together are still yet to be beaten in terms of that wonderfully carefree brand of happiness that only the least tainted of loves can bring. I’ve become jealous of my teenage self and how easy she had it with this great guy. She got to be part of that couple that everybody loved seeing together. She was loved so much and spoilt rotten… but circumstances changed. They split up, and she grew up to be me. A mournful sap who, eight years later, still has this guy on a ridiculously romanticised pedestal and still lets out a sigh at the sound of his name. I often feel the need to give myself a slap.
My friend has gone through a similar charade. Her guy has been one whose memory has caused her torment for years – to the point that when she happened to bump into him at a festival last summer she fell to pieces and didn’t know what to do with herself. We can try our best just to do small talk then push them out of our minds, but when they go and do something like add you as a friend on Facebook it just rakes up those emotions of lament and heartbreak all over again. What do we do? Do we keep up the ‘nice to see you, mate’ façade or do we admit that we want to rummage through every aspect of their online lives and cry over pictures of their new girlfriend?
My ‘one that got away’ was a Facebook friend of mine for a short time. I did indeed rummage through his life and irrationally despise his new girlfriend. But then as I wasted my precious free time scouring his news feed, I came to the conclusion that my guy was actually a bit of a twerp. I found myself feeling irritated by what he had to say and the fact that he hadn’t seemed to grow up in all that time we had been apart. My friend said she often wondered if maybe her guy would see her and instantly split up with his girlfriend and marry her instead… but she knows he’s an idiot. What the hell are we doing?
What lesson do we need to learn here? Well, we seriously need to let go. Perhaps what we should take time to think about is why they got away. There must have been something. Whatever it was that did it must have happened for a reason… everything does, so the saying goes. There are far too many people out there that need meeting for us to be continually resurrecting the ghosts of relationships past. It’s okay to fondly recall the memories, but just remember that’s all they are. Memories. Let’s all go and listen to some Streisand.
Image courtesy of en.hispeed.ch