Is the "One That gained Away" Real?

Why we remain fixated on previous relationships the don’t worthy it.

posted February 25, 2019 | the review by Ekua Hagan


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Am I opening up the proverbial can of worms through delving into this subject while i am in a happy and healthy relationship?

Alas, this just more demonstrates the magnetic pull and also power that the one that gained away. Prefer the concept of soulmates, this cinematic hyperbole walk little an ext than encourage poor, starry-eyed saps to assign an ext value to a connection than the deserves. After all, you can only have actually a single soul mate — and only one that obtained away, the latter even enjoying special, posthumous privileges, long after the relationship has actually run the course. Those that get away will constantly be remembered together somewhat bigger than life — great, mythic, enchanting heroes of her past. They room the most beautiful, the wittiest, the ideal lovers, the ones who taken us the most. The ones that no one else can measure as much as . . . Even years later. They room a beloved curse, forever trapped by ours nostalgia.

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Rose-Colored Relationships

Reminiscing about the past may not be great for us, however it’s actually exactly how our brains room wired, states Colorado-based clinical psychologist Jodi J. De Luca:

“Our memory of the previous give an interpretation to our present and our future. If the feelings linked with a details memory room enjoyable, climate our brains are drawn earlier to visit the memory over and over again. Such is frequently the instance with the one that got away.”


She likens this impact to a sort of emotionally time travel, the kind we experience once listening come a favorite track from our past. As soon as we hear that familiar tune, that not inexplicable to all of sudden be conquer by “a lively constellation that emotions and also physiological reaction all incredibly occurring as if they were happening today,” states De Luca.


Unlike popular music songs, however, previous relationships have a propensity to it is in redefined by rosy retrospection. The famous adage of see the world through rose-colored glasses is based upon this emotional phenomenon. Follow to Astroglide’s residents sexologist, Dr. Jess O’Reilly, rosy retrospection is a an outcome of remembering and also judging the past much more favorably 보다 you evaluate the present. Through time, this distorted watch “can negatively influence your endure of the present and expectation for the future.”


She further explains:

“Though this cognitive prejudice can be positive it if help to develop self-esteem when you inaccurately recall her ex’s behavior as overwhelmingly positive, the can result in distorted recollections that the relationship. These biased memories often tend to become much more positive over time, as you most likely don’t remind the end of the relationship and focus top top the neutral and positive elements as time passes.”


Our brain respond the same way to brief, whirlwind relationships, favor summer flings or holidays romances, wherein we are much more likely “to idealize the unknown,” claims O’Reilly:

“When you an initial meet a new love interest, you often tend to subconsciously fill in the gaps with details the reflect your an individual desires. You do positive, perfection-based presumptions because you desire to favor them…”


The problem is the no one is perfect, and also “the more you learn about them, the less you’ll idealize them.” with a fling, you nothing have enough time to see that side.

An attempt to deal with the Past

Clinical psychotherapist Kevon Owen offers an additional reason as to why we often glorify previous relationships. We merely want to appropriate our wrongs.


“Finding points that are lost, acquiring the win, fixing what was broken. The one who obtained away have the right to be a an extremely distracting clues in the direction ours life is heading since they can be every those things,” he says.

In an ideal world, that explains, wednesday learn and grow to move past these regarded errors, “but the chance to carry out it through the human being who obtained away may be gone, and also that can be very difficult to reconcile. The one who got away have the right to symbolize failure in countless areas.”


This is as soon as holding on to the past deserve to start to negatively influence our present. Owen says framing someone together the one that got away deserve to lead to self-esteem issues, as well as sabotaging current and future relationships. After all, that can compete with a romanticized ideal?

Letting the One Who obtained Away Go


As i have been composing this post, i can’t help but admit to having a few fleeting, rose-tinged flashbacks to previous relationships. And also yes, one v someone that i thought might have been the one, however instead became the one who got away.


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You could think the the best method to acquire over these world is to avoid thinking about them altogether (or at least, it is what i assume), yet that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, denying the existence of the relationship argues that she not rather over them, says Owen.

Rather, he says, the most vital step to take it is come realize the the one who got away is gone: “You don’t desire to be through someone that doesn’t desire to be with you or wasn’t willing to work to enhance your relationship.”


To aid you take this step, try implementing these tactics:

Make a list of reasons why the relationship worked, and also one because that why it didn’t work. “Putting the on document helps girlfriend think an ext realistically about the relationship,” according to O’Reilly.

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Stop adhering to their society media. If you can not quit cold turkey, “wean yourself off a tiny at a time,” says O’Reilly. One of her clients choose to perform 10 pushups every time she wanted to inspect her ex’s page. Over time, the advice subsides.

Do you have someone who obtained away? exactly how did you get over them?