A Thank You to the Love that Got Away

The one that got away is the most important person you’ll meet in your life.

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Photo credit: Pixabay

By James Woodruff

I think about you when the night is quiet and still.

I remember the private moments — hopes, dreams, the deepest desires we had for the years left on this earth. It was always easy to talk to you.

However, there was a wall between us. The wall was made up of bricks that I put there. And you didn’t begin to break through it, brick by brick, until it was too late.

I’m sorry I didn’t believe in me enough to know that I was great exactly where I was. You deserved a man I knew I wasn’t. No matter how hard I was trying, I felt like a perpetual failure in your eyes. I was making a choice for you and that wasn’t fair to us. I thought you needed “stuff” when all you wanted was me. What you really needed was a man who’d be there. A man who’d be present and available to help shoulder the sometimes unbearable load of life. You needed to know that once I got a hold of you I’d never let go.

When you lose the one that made everything feel perfect and real, you over-think why it feels that way. We’re taught that things that are easy aren’t going to last. We expect relationships to be hard because it fits the narrative that they take work. Realistically, it doesn’t take much for a relationship to be successful. People have their rules and requirements. The internet has a ton of advice out there on how to do a relationship the right way. None of this matters if you aren’t present in your loved one’s presence.

I think back of all the moments that you felt alone, isolated, confused, disappointed, or angry. No amount of words of assurance could have fixed it. No cute affirmation was going to comfort you. A hug, a forehead kiss, a light caress on your arm would have made all of the difference. Being there would have been the glue that held pieces of us together.

I used to believe that the one that got away was used as a ploy for people to make sense of situations that never got closure. Now that I’ve experienced it, I understand why people can be conflicted over the “right person, wrong time” conundrum. You meet someone whose energy is unmistakable. You’re drawn to them in the most natural, pure way. But something isn’t quite right. Whatever it is, it eventually tears you apart and you spend some time mulling over the why. I’ve learned that the “how” is a better way to cope with the loss.

The one that got away is the most important person you’ll meet in your life.

That person will teach you lessons about yourself, about love, and about life. Without realizing it, the one that got away became a major influence in my growth as a man.

I have a different philosophy on what it takes to make a relationship work and last forever. It’s not about money or status or even maximum effort. It’s about two things: knowing that you’re ready and showing up every single day. I finally know and believe that I’m enough as I am. For you or anyone else.

I’m thankful that the love we had for each other was enough to make you whole again. I’m not over you. I may never be. But you showed me what it means to truly love someone and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

This story was previously published on The Good Men Project.

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