Most of us have stories about “The One That Got Away.”
He might have been a high school crush or the lovely woman from a previous job.
When we hit a bumpy road in life, such as with divorce, we wonder “What would have happened if we…?” You still may be dealing with a broken heart and your friends have a glazed look when he is the topic of conversation for the hundredth time. The cliché “Time heals wounds” does not seem to working for you.
Understanding what the one who got away represents, gives clarity in determining what is lacking in your life now.
That relationship may remind you of happier, carefree days. You were younger without all of the current burdens and responsibilities.
When we feel overwhelmed, it is natural for our minds to drift off into fantasyland of what might have been. Does that relationship conjure up fun and excitement that seems to have vanished with divorce?
It does not always mean that you want the actual person back, but rather the circumstance surrounding that former relationship. When a few friends talked about the one who got away, it seemed like they were missing the social clique and parties more than the boyfriend.
What did you learn from that relationship which can be brought into new ones?
Perhaps it is having a sense of fun or someone who treats you respectfully. Examine the specific behaviour or action that caused this break up.
If she left you for someone else, then her interest level plummeted and it was over. If you drifted apart – analyse that situation so you can gain closure. We look at the past through rose coloured glasses which can affect our sense of reality regarding a former relationship.
If you had a holiday fling and wonder if it could have been made permanent, rethink this situation. If it was meant to be, then there would have been communication between you two when the holiday was over.
If stuck in the past and having difficulty letting it go, consider seeing a divorce coach to get you back on track.
A way to avoid dealing with present problems is to stay rooted in the past.
A friend did cyber stalking on her former flame who is happily married with a suitable spouse. Both are high powered solicitors who are on the party circuit. Discussing how his current life choices are so different from hers, was the wakeup call for my friend to move on. She was having difficulty in her marriage which prompted this reminiscence. Going through a divorce stirs up emotions and a longing for pleasanter times from the past.
There are cases where people have reconnected many years later and got married. There are also ones where the same problems from before, sabotaged their relationships again.
Consider relationship counselling if tempted to reunite with the one who got away. Divorce can leave one vulnerable, so do not jump right back into another relationship.
Working on getting a more fulfilling life, diminishes daydreaming about a past love during or after divorce. Enlarging one’s social and professional networks brings interesting people into one’s sphere. Connecting with others helps to lessen loneliness and gives a sense of community. Understanding why a relationship has continued to haunt us, is the key to exorcizing it for good.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce
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