Why There Is No Such Thing As 'The One That Got Away'

Photo: getty
Why There Is No Such Thing As 'The One That Got Away'

You crossed paths and connected with someone, felt something magical but for whatever reason, it didn’t pan out.

Maybe it was timing. Maybe he lived too far. Maybe you were not in a place to pursue something. Or maybe it did turn into something but slipped out of both of your heart hands. Or it turned into a significant multi-year relationship but ended, for all the myriad of reasons relationships expire.

And in looking back, you believe he was the one that got away.

So you keep thinking about this person. You start comparing him to who you’re with now. You wonder what could have happened if the stars were in the right place. If the circumstances were right. Or if he just changed this one thing about him. Or if you were who you are now because now you want what you lost.

Cold shower.

There is no “the one.” The idea that we are only meant to be with one person on this planet is not romantic. It’s sad.

With this belief, it means that if you arenot with your “one,” you are with the wrong person which means you are compromising, settling, and you’re giving love a dead end instead of wings. That is not fair to you or who you have chosen to love.

RELATED: 12 Signs You're His "One He Made A Mistake Letting Go"

You can love many people. Hundreds if you have that kind of time and energy. Probably not in one lifetime. But you know what I mean.

And each love experience is different. There are so many factors that contribute, including but not limited to: Where you’re at in your life, your definitions, the residue of past love experiences, what you want and what matters to you today. Because who you are today is not who you were in college. Or maybe even last year.

We move our love chips and bet on different things. Bet is not the correct word. More like invest. But invest doesn’t work with my chips metahor.

Anyway, when I was twenty, I didn’t care if someone was spiritual or had any self-awareness. I cared about a pretty face and a nice butt. Today, most of my chips are on kindness, character, spirit, and self-awareness. The question I ask myself went from Is she hot? to Can I build something real with this person?

Why can’t you have both? I’m not saying you can’t. But if you’re not a kind loving individual with good character and some self-awareness, you’re not even at the table. Or at least for me.

My point is what I put weight on has changed. My lenses have changed. My taste has changed. And as we change, who we attract and who we are attracted to changes. Then through the relationship, including all the messiness, especially all the messiness, we continue to learn, grow, change and evolve. Hopefully together. Not apart.

And that’s the beauty of love. Love grows and expands us like nothing else.

RELATED: The Heartbreak Of Losing The One Man Who Believed In Me To Suicide

So going back to this idea of “the one.” There is no such thing. So that means if there’s no “the one,” then no one got away. You just met someone you really connected with and it didn’t work out for whatever reason. Even if it was just timing. Just because you got four numbers on a lotto ticket doesn’t mean you could have won the lotto. You didn’t. You may have come close. But you didn’t win. It didn’t happen.

Also, there’s a pretty big chance that if that connection was earth-shattering, it may have come from dysfunction and wounds rather than a true connection. I believe true connection is earned and requires a peeling of layers. It does not come in a bottle.

Okay, the reason why I am yelling there is no “one” is because thinking there is may be what’s making you not stay present in your current relationship. Wondering what could have been will always throw you into a time machine.

By believing that the real person you’re supposed to be with is out there instead of with you here, you are splitting your relationship with a crowbar. By feeding this belief, you will be putting a blacklight on everything that is “wrong” with your current relationship. Instead of feeding and growing everything that is right. So if you’re currently in a relationship and you’re thinking “the one” got away, it’s time to start thinking this:

“The one” is the one you’re with right now.

Now you’re present. Now you are able to see things in someone because you’re not comparing, drifting, and fantasizing. You are here. Now this is real. It may not be perfect but no relationship is. Now you can build something. Now your relationship has a chance.

Like I wrote in my other blog, I saw the most beautiful woman the other day. And she wasn’t my girlfriend. You will find others attractive. Yes, you may have certain connections to others. But who you chose to love is who you chose to love. That is your one.

Will it be your one forever? Who knows? Maybe. But that doesn’t matter. You are not choosing to love this person because of a guarantee.

Love is about the journey.

Not the promise.

So get on one by being present.

Stop thinking about what was or what could have been.

Look, if you are not happy in your relationship and you believe it’s over, that it’s not fixable because you can honestly say you’ve done all you could, okay. I get it. But if your relationship is in trouble because you’ve been drifting, because you believe the one you should really be with is that guy you connected with at the record store two years ago and you keep allowing yourself to fantasize about him, you never gave this one a chance.

RELATED: Why You Miss Him So Damn Much, Based On His Zodiac Sign

John Kim LMFT (The Angry Therapist) pioneered the online life coaching movement seven years ago. Kim became known as an unconventional therapist who worked out of the box, and when he built out a coaching team of his own and launched an entire movement to change the way we change. Follow him on Instagram and check out his audio courses for the tools you need to build better relationships (Discount code: LOVEHARD)

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.