What You Realize When The One Who Got Away Wasn't The One At All

by Paul Hudson

I wonder if everyone has that “one who got away.” I know I do.

I almost don’t want to believe everyone has one, but at the same time, I feel like the one individual we love most is always labeled as “that one.”No matter how real or superficial the love was.

Most people seem to go from one love to another, usually finding they’ve fallen deeper, they have reached a new high, this newfound love of theirs is the one they should spend the rest of their life with.

People understand the world from their single perspective, so it makes sense to believe they define love by their sole experiences.

People understand the depth of love according to how deep they themselves have fallen in love.

It does get a bit complicated when you consider the preconceptions we have when it comes to romantic love, but, for the most part, the way people understand the meaning of love hangs on their personal experiences.

Ipso facto, the person you love most defines the meaning of love for you.

In other words, her or she is “the one who got away.” Good? Bad? Depends on your situation.

For most people, the love they experience isn’t true enough to make much of a difference. They move on from one person to the next with sufficient ease.

Sometimes, however, we meet “the one” when we’re young. When we aren’t ready. When we don’t yet understand.

For those of us in such a situation, we aren’t going to have it easy -- not anytime soon. Possibly ever.

But for most people, there are plenty of things you figure out and understand once you realize “the one who got away” wasn’t “the one.”

You figure out love actually goes deeper than you thought.

With each new love, you learn more about love. You learn more about yourself and what love means to you. You come to understand love depends more on you than on anything or anyone else.

You come to realize you can love different people for different reasons -- it may even be possible to love two people simultaneously.

You come to figure out the human mind and the emotions it allows for are vast, complex and ever in fluctuation.

The more you realize “the one who got away” isn’t actually “the one,” the more you must be allowing yourself to love.

Unfortunately, with all the beauty that is love, comes all the ugliness that is love.

As high as love will take you, it will be sure to drag you to its darkest depths. It will hurt, and the pain will stay with you.

Yet the longer the pain stays with you, the stronger you can become. Emphasis on the word “can.”

You figure out love should also be independent.

With each new romantic love comes this almost unquenchable need for the other. Of course, this is only the romantic aspect of love.

The less titillating side of love, nevertheless, also breeds a sort of dependency.

When you love someone for the right reasons, the dependency you feel -- although still selfish in nature -- is less selfish than the intense feelings of romantic love we experience.

We still need the person for ourselves, but we also need this person to have his or her needs fulfilled.

Either way, our happiness, in large part, relies on this one individual.

With each new love, however, we come to better understand we cannot allow our happiness to depend entirely on another individual.

Of course, when it comes to love, our happiness must at least partly rely on that individual.

Yet we learn to reserve a part of ourselves, a part of our lives just for us.

This works both as a precautionary measure and as a way to better ensure the longevity of the loving relationship.

When you realize “the one who got away” isn’t the one, you figure out how much you yourself matter.

You figure out there is almost always a chance for newfound love -- almost.

If my reasoning is correct, and the one we love(d) most is always seen as “the one who got away,” then realizing that particular individual wasn’t “the one” necessarily relies on finding a new person to love.

Is this always the case? Assuming you were actually in love, then I believe so.

I can’t imagine time alone healing all wounds because our minds will return to the memories of that individual, even if only from time to time.

Love is the best and worst of all addictions. People create beautiful lives thanks to love -- just as others kill because of love.

We’re going to feed that craving regardless -- we can’t help it. Even if it means digging back into our past and allowing past emotions to flow over us.

When you meet someone new, however, you have to come to consider the possibility that it may always be possible to find someone else to love.

It is always possible, but it does become more difficult with each new love and with each passing year.

It becomes harder to love because finding someone who can not only fit our definition of love but surpass it becomes less and less likely.

It becomes less likely because there isn’t an infinite amount of incredible people out there.

You aren’t going to meet all the incredible people in the world because there isn’t enough time. And even if there was, there is always a limit.

There is a limit to everything in life because that’s the only thing that gives life meaning.

That’s the only thing that gives love meaning. The “one who got away” could forever be “the one who got away.” Or, your next “one” may just be around the corner.

Nothing in life is guaranteed, and everything's a gamble. You only have one choice: Roll the dice.

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