Why does every man seem to have “that one girl who got away,” who lingers ominously around the depths of his dating history?
Simple: because we’re men, and f*cking things up is what we do best – aside from lifting heavy weights, watching sports 24/7 and being ignorant of fashion (your sarcasm detectors should be ringing).
So naturally, our dating lives aren’t immune to the wrath of our (at times) chronic ineptitude.
Now, before answering the question of why all men seem to have some woman in their past who “got away” – and has haunted them ever since – let’s first explore what the term means.
Usually, we’ll use the phrase to describe an ex-girlfriend or someone we were once in a relationship with (note: past tense) – but have probably not spoken to, since. Hence, the whole “getting away” from you part.
Yet, in order for anything to get away from you, technically speaking, you must first possess it (very similar to the NFL’s fumble rules).
That’s an important distinction to make. I hate when people toss the term around lackadaisically, like that time they sat next to a knockout on the subway and failed to say a word.
See, she didn’t get away from them – they never really had her in the first place.
The one who got away isn’t just some regular girl – she’s a girl you know you probably could have spent the rest of your life with, had you done a couple things differently.
Maybe they were the finer points – like you didn’t call her enough, or you never really surprised her. Or maybe it was something big, something unforgivable like you cheated on her.
But, either way – if you’re no longer together with a girl whom you wish you could be – then chances are it was you who f*cked something up along the way.
After all, if it was you who got cheated on, I doubt you would still be yearning for the said cheater to come back into your life (although it definitely wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened).
A lot of times, whatever the specific reasoning, we’ll tend to let women out of our grasps due to a false sense of security with them.
While comfort within relationships is good, getting too comfortable within them (or anything else in life) can often lead to their demise.
As soon as you get overly comfortable with something, it’s usually not long before you start to take it for granted.
This is especially true for the people in our lives, specifically our girlfriends or former girlfriends, at any rate.
That’s why these women tend to linger in our minds long after our relationship with them has finished. It’s because we see things now that we didn’t see prior.
Generally speaking, we’ll only begin to realize the true extent of all the things we took for granted once they’re removed from our lives.
At the same time, we also might remember certain aspects of a lover that may be... stretched a bit from how they were in reality.
For instance, we may view one particular girl as “the one who got away,” but – during the time when we were together with her – we didn’t really appreciate her.
And this might be for good reason. Perhaps you might have argued often – or maybe you didn’t really like certain aspects of her personality – but once she’s gone, it’s common to lose sight of these things and harbor feelings, due to the loss of love (or “like,” or infatuation).
I mean, it’s never easy to lose anything in life, but when you’re dealing with people, it’s even harder.
In many instances, we’ll make mistakes within relationships when we’re young, but that’s part of being young: You live, and you learn.
It still doesn’t make it any easier to learn these lessons, and usually, the one who got away manages to slip away early in a man’s life – before we’re wise enough to handle things with care, so to speak.
Well, they say, “the first cut is the deepest” (or at least Sheryl Crow does), and that’s part of why we might mourn one particular girl longer than others.
It’s extremely common for a man to call one girl “the one who got away” because she was the one who showed him love or other intense feelings in the first place.
As a result, it’s also not uncommon for us to trace every successive girl we meet, or get close to back to our first instance of infatuation.
When a woman steps into our lives, it’s only natural for us to compare her to past women we’ve been with, even if we try not to.
Still, most guys have these women in their pasts, and while they might hurt from time to time, these are really only growing pains.
It’s part of the whole “dating game.” Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose – and sometimes, you might come across a really bad loss, one that tends to linger.
You can either mope about it, or you can use it as a reminder of how fragile relationships – and people, in general – can be.