Do you have that one person who you could date, but for some reason, it didn’t happen? Sometimes moving on from them is just as hard as having an abrupt breakup too.
I never thought it wasn’t an easy thing to do until I experienced it myself. We were “perfect” for each other, and we thought we’d be a great match. But then, with too many misunderstandings along the way, I called it off — even before it got exclusive. I know he wanted to, but something didn’t feel right.
We thought we’d have more time in the future to be together, and that honestly became something that held me from moving on faster. I clung to that idea that we’d make it at some point. That we would love each other when the time is right. But that time never came.
“There is some evidence that regrets of inaction occur more in the long term or last longer, in part because our minds treat our unmet goals as a sort of mental ‘to-do’ list and over time we’re more able to remember things we wish we had done than the mistakes we actually made.”
And that’s how the regret of not being with the one who got away can haunt us for so long. You can’t help but think life would be better if you were with them. But that’s not always the case. I’ve proved it myself that we can get over the feeling if we wanted to let it all go.
While I’m fully moved on now, I’ve had some friends who have been stuck in the same situation. Getting over someone who you thought could be “the one” isn’t easy, but at some point, you have to because another better love story is waiting for you out there.
1. Question the Repeated Thoughts
“Things would have been perfect if we’re together.”
“I don’t think I can find anyone else who’s better than him.”
“I wish I tried harder to make things work.”
Based on my experience, those above were the repeated thoughts I had in my head. I became so sick of it because it didn’t bring me anywhere. It made me stuck and hard to move on. Every time a new person came in, I had the urge to compare them, and it’s not fair.
So one thing that works in this type of situation is to question those thoughts rather than letting them control you. Ask yourself, do you think you both can be a great match? What makes you think you won’t find someone better? What are their main qualities that you think are too good?
It’s also necessary to remind yourself of the flaws that they have too. Because they can be your reasons why you didn’t want to pursue it further with them, all of those things will make your mind think fairly. You may not find the answers right away, but eventually, when you do it enough, you’ll gain clarity and find the silver linings about it.
2. Get in Touch with Them but with Different Perspectives in Mind
Things are changing so fast, and so are your feelings about them. When you think you can’t change the scenario in your head, try to get in touch with them again but see them from a different perspective.
Avoid having the intention to win them back or try too hard to make things work between you two. Your main goal here is to see if meeting in person would still make you have the same feelings.
Most times, we like the idea of them. Our logic knows clearly why the relationship didn’t happen, but feelings take over most times. That’s why things might change if you decide to catch up with them again (with a different intention).
I’ve done this, and while people might call it a crazy idea, it will work out as long as you have the right intention to move on by seeing them again from a different perspective. When we became friends, I realized I didn’t want to be with him because of how incompatible we are actually.
He likes to argue so much, and I had the strong feelings the communication won’t work well in the long run because we both have the same character. We also value different things in life. His lifestyle doesn’t match mine, and I certainly don’t want to be the one who compromises in the relationship all the time. The idea to be with him is exciting but can be very toxic, so that realization has helped me get the closure and closed the chapter.
3. Accept the Regret Feeling Without Resistance
Regret will be there, that’s for sure. It’s something you can’t avoid no matter how much you try. But that doesn’t mean you have to act on it. There is always something that we regret not doing or having in life, and this is one of them.
I’ve seen people let regret take control of their life. They think they can’t live with it, so they put themselves back in the past by trying too hard to make it work again.
Of course, this can happen if the person you like returns your feelings. But if they don’t? Then you’ll waste so much time chasing them over and over again.
So remind yourself that this regret feeling is normal to have. Instead of trying to remove it away, accept it without any resistance. More importantly, you have your good reasons for why you aren’t with them right now. The truth is, if they are for you, then it will work out no matter what.
4. Be Open to Date Someone New — Who Might Be Different than Them
My friend, Angela, who is currently trying to move on from this type of situation, asked me why she can’t find someone like him, someone’s better.
For a second, I looked at her as if she meant what she said. Because I knew it’s not a good move. Trying to find someone who’s exactly like your old crush will only make it harder for you to get over the “almost” relationship.
The activity itself will remind you about them again and again, so you end up comparing the new person with them. We all know it’s unfair — no one likes to be compared to.
While you don’t have to intentionally date someone who’s completely different just for the sake of moving on, I still highly recommend being open to dating different types of people.
It helps you break away from thinking that your old crush was the only person you wanted to be with. There are many more interesting people out there if you’d like to let them in into your life, trust me.
A recap of the things you can do to move on from the one who got away:
- Don’t let the repeated thoughts control you. Instead, question them again and again until you gain clarity and find your answers.
- If possible, try to become friends and see them from a different perspective without having any intentions of wanting to be their partner anymore.
- It’s expected to regret them, but remind yourself that you don’t have to act on the feeling. You can accept it as it is.
- Don’t push new people away just because they aren’t like your old crush. You never knew if you happen to fall in love again.
Previously Published on medium
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