I heard this song lyric in one of Tristan Prettyman’s songs the other day. She said something about “being in love with a memory.” And it struck a chord for me.
I don’t know if anyone else does this, but the last year when I got dumped, I lingered. I mean, I have let my feelings hang on for a bit too long.
Let me explain what I mean.
The breakup story:
I should have seen the breakup coming because this guy was super busy with work. It was a new promotion, they transferred him to Baltimore for it. The stress was worse than he expected. I wouldn’t see him for two weeks, we barely talked.
I should’ve seen the breakup coming. Things weren’t working.
I was convinced that I could make this work. This was the nicest guy I had dated in a long time. We cared about each other. The situation was what was wrong.
So I did the typical things I used to do after a breakup. Lots of wine, lots of chatting with friends. Probably too much.
I spent all my time remembering the good things. All the things that made him an amazing man. Why he was different from everyone else I had ever dated.
And the friends all swooned and agreed. I thought it was helpful. Every other time they had pointed out the faults.
What went wrong:
There it was, the validation that I was looking for that this was a great guy.
So in my head, I was hearing what other people said and I interpreted it as validation for continuing to feel so attached to this guy.
This guy was too busy to call or text when we were nearing the end of the relationship. He wasn’t perfect. But I kept loving the good memories.
I went almost an entire year hung up on “the one that got away” even though I was trying to rebound and date other people.
And TV, movies, and music all continue to validate this, too. It’s the great tragic love story- two people in love torn apart by circumstances beyond our control. We were meant to be!
I have a vivid imagination.
I took a Me-Cation (a vacation for just me). I felt a fire light inside me. I needed to move on, and I was going to do it NOW. I wrote an email to the guy and laid it all out there. After all this time, I still wanted to try to make it work. I asked him to reply if he wanted to stay in touch. Or if he didn’t reply I’d drop it and leave him be.
I never heard from him.
That was all I needed to shake it up. I moved on. I decided to move on, rather. The decision is the part that mattered.
I stopped tcrying over the great memories to friends. I stopped making him the hero. I’M THE DAMN HERO OF MY OWN STORY.
Here’s my tip if you’re going through anything similar: Do not make the one that got away the champion. Don’t romanticize him. Don’t wax poetical about the happy memories and make him out to be the only great man there will ever be.
Those happy memories are a part of the past. Not the future.
Sure they were great. But in the end, the guy chose to walk away.
When I decided to move on, I decided that I was going to use those happy memories to set my bar higher. That guy made me feel great, now I don’t waste my time with guys that don’t make me feel that good. He did special things for me, he planned dates and put thought into it. He was into me, and made sure that I knew it.
I make time for men that make me feel amazing and that treat me the way that I deserve.
Thank god that guy walked away. I don’t think that his behavior of not calling me would make the cut now.