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The One Who Got Away

Two years

That’s how long it will take for me to make her mine. I play the friend role, occupying myself with other women, allowing her to confide in me about other men. Our friendship has an aroma of something more and continues until one night we can taste it. We find ourselves on the phone drifting away from conversations of others to conversations about us. Together. And then, it all happens so fast: We become a couple, she moves from her Oakland home to be with me in my New York City apartment, and we go through the ups and downs most people must endure when they’ve made a move too quickly.

Ten months.

That’s how long it will take for us to break up, messily, and her to move out. This is how I know life is not fair.

I never knew my ex-girlfriend was the one who got away until she went away and didn’t come back. Strange how when she was in my life, I acted like she wasn’t the one, and how in the end, that is probably the reason why she left me. After all, if I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t be writing about the one who got away on a blog entitled, Until I Get Married because she would still be with me and yes, we might have been married.

But that was then. This is now.

The details of our journey from the rich hills of love to the slums of resentment aren’t nearly as important as my final destination – a dead end of sorrow, where I learned all the lessons of losing the one.

This is the first: She is the one who got away for a reason; she goes away for good. She is not the one who goes away and comes back a little later. As badly as we want to be back with the one, we can’t, and no amount of words will make this possible, which is lesson number two.

No woman wants to be the one who got away; she wants to be the one who stays. Of course I told my ex I regretted all that I did to make her leave, but it was too little too late.  As a matter of fact it gave her even more reason to keep it moving. A woman knows she’s the one who got away; it’s something they believe in their heart. So when a man tells her this, she has even more incentive to move on much like my ex has, with a new man and a new life.

Finding out my ex moved on was what brought me to my last and final lesson, which is this: I put my ex where she belongs, in the past, and though the scars are still there, I refuse to let them be nothing more than evidence of my experience. All of us can have one who goes away (we should be so lucky to ever have loved like that in the first place), but in the end, we must back out of sorrowful dead ends, make room for the one for us, and make sure that one doesn’t go the way of the last one.

It’s taken me two years to learn these lessons.

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  • Delishia

    Good piece. You right we know when we’re the one that got away…and we never want to be….

  • me-me

    if you go the rest of your life feeling that the one that got away was the one.. how do you expect the “new one” to ever feel like she/he has a major part of your life? will they forever be the mistress/jumpp-off to the memory of THE ONE.. or do we accept that we will have several THE ONES that all point us in the direction of THE RIGHT ONE, the one that best suits you.. the one that may leave.. but comes back and stays there till death do you part…

  • Nicole

    I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I haven’t experienced this yet, on a deep level but like you said, we want to be the woman who stays, or simply – the one.

  • Nicole Symmonds

    This is an awesome piece. Thanks for sharing.

    My preface to this response is that I know you aren’t looking for anything to make you feel better about the one who got away. Your post is no cry for validation or reasoning. But I felt compelled to share something with you. If she was the “one” and when I think of the one, I think the one who God meant for you, she’ll come back. I don’t know if you want her to come back at this point, but if that’s God’s design, there’s nothing that could really change it. Both of your hearts will open up to the possibility if that’s what He wants. And I know you weren’t so much talking about “the one” as you were “the one who got away” but I just wanted to share nevertheless. That’s all.

  • natural nubian

    this is pretty crazy ’cause now you’ve got me ruminating if i was the one who got away.
    one lesson i learned (which also took me 2yrs) is that i must define what i am worth. i believe so many times women get caught up comparing what we have/want to what others have, only to result in unhealty ego and pride that turns into “what i deserve.” i no longer say “i deserve,” but rather “i’m worth.” coming into the honest knowledge of the value of who i am and what i can bring to the table in a relationship helps me navigate the waters, separate the champs from the chumps, and guard my heart along the way.

  • marriedbutsingle

    I often wonder if my ex feels if I am the “one who got away.” I definitely know that I am. My only regret is that when things are done out of God’s timing, the end result can be tragic and you find yourself losing more than a boyfriend or husband. You lose a friend. Nevertheless, I have learned that when we make a mess of situations, God will fix it and do it all over for you, but only if you let him.

  • BoomShots

    You know i use to think about the one that got away very often. So much so that screwed up a very good relationship with the one that came after. It was not until that I realized that my relationship experiences were part of my whole groth experience and are intended to help me better understand what are the qualities I need in a owman and what I need to provide in order to have a happy and healthy relationship.

    So if you never learned why and how that relationship failed to work for you and her, you may continue to question why she is no longer with you. But if you have learned and thus continued to make yourself a better man you will no doubt be able to attract her or another “one” into your life.

    That has been my experience and this is a man who pined for the “wrong one” and spent too long with the “one to run away from” before getting to the point of recognizing who the best one is…actaully she looks nothing like any of the others and if you had asked me to imagine her, i would have been way off. But it is like we been together forever….that is how comical life can be.

  • BabyImAStar

    Nice piece, something about it hurt something in my heart.

  • me-me

    that was good knowledge Boom!!

  • me-me

    i don’t know, married. i’ve never known God to bless a mess. He’s not the author of confusion.. humans are. to quote some black movie.. sometimes we hold on to the very thing that God, himself, is trying to tear apart. He’s pretty much black and white.. yes or no… for me or against me..

    but i am in agreeance with the last section.. Things will fall in line, if we let Him take control AND if it is in His word for us. Every good thing, isn’t a God thing. we may just find out the “the one”, was standing next to you the entire time, but in order to see that we need to stop having affairs with relationships past.

  • Yogee

    If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with? Is that ultimately what this boils down to…I mean, when you come across the second “one?”

  • Yogee

    Maybe God allows a certain amount of pain from failed companions, in order for us to recognize when the right “one” comes along. We can better appreciate him/her? To know what’s healthy, some of us need to experience what’s unhealthy? There must be balance for those of us who go against choosing what’s best for ourselves. No?

  • Coco

    Your blog is my best find this week. It’s amazing and this article brightened my day. I wish more men were as transparent….I guess it takes time.

  • Coretta

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog, but it is articles like this that will keep me coming back. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Very interesting. As well as the conversation afterwards.

  • Dera

    Great post. A hard lesson learned. It took a lot to bear your soul. This experience will make you a better man for the ONE.

  • Dell

    I really liked this story because it exposes the one mistake we can all so easily make and how close we all are to losing “the one”. Unfortunately, knowing, “you don’t miss the water to the well runs dry”, isn’t a lesson learned until it’s too late. What I would like to know is how those that haven’t made this mistake got it right. Is it because they were able enjoy the water in the well although, it seemed bottomless? How flawed we are as humans to deny even ourselves from such bounty or maybe it is in God’s perfect design to have us have this experience for the benefit of learning humility. I don’t think “the one who got away” is really that at all…they are the hindsight that we need for when “the one” shows up.

  • Danielle D

    If someone is “the one that got away” then how are they “the one”?

  • Vanessa

    Great post Jozen!

    My ‘one’ got away and got married last year. I’ve always wondered if I was wrong for letting our relationship end, but I rest assured on the fact that if it is meant to be- it will be. I’m certain that when our relationship dissolved I was not ready to return to the ‘safety’ of a committed relationship. Especially after being together for almost three years; I was not prepared to yet again hold myself to the standards of a committed relationship. I’ve often wondered if the grass was truly greener on the other side?!?!? It is a question that I cannot answer. But what I do know is that right now, he is happy and so am I. He will forever have a special place in my heart and I hope that my memory rests peacefully with him too. Everything in life happens for a reason. Holding on to the past with resentment does nothing but keep you from your future!

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  • I G

    This is my first time reading your posts. Your candor is refreshing. I agree with a few people here, God will lead the way. In the mean time you have to make a lesson of every situation. The day I met an ex, I said to myself I’m going to marry him. Clearly, he is in an ex but we have grown to be very close friends over the years. We live in different cities but often discuss dating and possibly marrying each other. I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if we had stayed together through the years. A couple that started dating the same time we did is still together, married and with child. But there is no point in wondering. I can’t change the past and perhaps this is the right path…the path that enables both of us to appreciate each other more.

    In the mean time, in the words of Erykah Badu – “all you have to do is hold on to you…so pack light”

  • sb

    awww, i feel the same way…thank you for putting my perspective into words & hope the best for you….sometimes when you love someone it hurts so much to walk away.

  • Annelli

    It is possible for someone to be “the one” and still get away or be pushed away. When people say “if it was meant to be, it would be” ….leaving they’re life up to chance….we are the engineers of our life…we create the type of life we want, so if you have a great person who loves, honor, respects and cherishes you, but you take them for granted, leave them or push them away…how can you then turn and make claim that they were not the one when you didn’t even try in the first place? When you didn’t give the relationship a fair shot? It would be like someone saying they didn’t pass the bar exam therefore it wasn’t meant for them to attend law school..knowing full well that they never tried or made the effort to pass the Bar to begin with. Relationships of any kind require effort…positive effort that is. If you want that raise or promotion on your job, you can’t sit back and think “well…if it is meant to be, it will be” and sit back doing everything unproductive, doing things that will not get you that raise or promotion…you have to put in the effort and show your boss, show the company that you worth the raise and the promotions.

  • Annelli

    I don’t think God has anything to a choices that we make in our lives and we have to stop thinking that just because, a relationship didn’t work out that God had something to do with it, that it wasn’t meant to be or they were the one who “got away.” Often times people put they’re lives on auto pilot…they think that things are just suppose to “happen” without any positive effort on they’re part. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he….that is a quote from the Bible. People often attract into they’re lives what they’re dominate thoughts and feelings are….change how you think and you will change your life. No one else is resp. for making you feel a certain way…if a person has had more than one failed relationship they need to take a look at themselves, they need to clear the sub-conscious and conscious mind of all negativity, unproductive beliefs and negative exp. and replace them with positive, loving and grateful thoughts…it is also important to feel good, to feel warm, to be detach to the outcome…..

  • ME