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Things You Learn When “The One” Becomes Just Another Ex

You thought you had found the person you’d be spending the rest of your life with, and then it all came crashing down. Here’s what you’ll realize.

the one becomes just another ex

I have always been terrible at goodbyes.

For the longest time, the thought of leaving someone and being left with just memories to visit terrified me. The child in me longed for the comfortable and safe. Like a coddled child, I was frightened of being left in the dark. Instead of facing reality, I would play the “strong woman role” and insist on staying even if staying in the relationship wasn’t the solution to the problem.

Where’s the good in goodbye?

Perhaps everyone has had their own share of breakup stories. For so long, I had dreamed of building my life with this one person. When you’re young and idealistic, the dreams of forever can seem so easy and realistic. However, when you get older and get a more pessimistic view of the world, you see reality for what it is. These dreams, more often than not, become a lofty ideal, and nothing more. What happens when there is nothing worth saving, and all you have to do is say goodbye?

Why do we fear the unfamiliar and cling to what can never be ours? Reality can be so harsh, and living in a daydream can be such a sweet escape from the bitter truth. However, like all dreams, you have to wake up from it eventually.

What happens when our visions of forever come crashing down on us like broken glass? [Read: What I learned when you broke my heart]

What I learned when “The One” was gone

Every breakup paves the way for lessons to be learned, and these are what I learned when “The One” became just another ex.

#1 You see the world with new eyes. It is still the same world, but you see things in a brand new perspective. You find yourself detached, and you find yourself experiencing a new kind of freedom.

While your view of the world might be a bit frightening, at first you realize that there is a strange beauty to it. There is excitement in the unfamiliar, and you know that you will welcome this change with open arms.

#2 Life is always open to new beginnings. Some people were meant to be chapters in our lives, but we make the unfortunate mistake of making them the whole book. No matter how sad or bitter the ending was, you will always find that life will give you new beginnings only if you allow it to.

There are those who would choose to shut out the rest of the world just because one chapter of their lives has come to a close. Those who are brave enough to turn to the next page would be gifted with a new beginning, a fresh start. [Read: Is dating again really the best way to get over your ex?]

#3 Life never really stops for anyone. As unfair as it might seem, life continues. You find that your seemingly perfect relationship has come to an end, and that’s sad. You might even think that what happened is unfair, and you might even ask yourself why it happened. But life does go on, both of you must move on because it is essential.

It is fine to grieve for a while, but you know that you must never allow yourself to dwell in misery forever. The world stops for no one, and time can indeed be your friend if you would allow it to be. [Read: How to survive the first 168 hours after a breakup]

#4 You realize that you can never really forget, no matter how hard you try. As Pablo Neruda once wrote, “Love is so short, but forgetting is so long.” Time is funny, and the moments you have spent with each other can never be wholly erased from your memory.

The moments you shared with “The One,” including everything about them that made you think they’re your soulmate, will serve as a reminder of how, at one point in your life, you were deliriously happy with each other. And even if all you have are memories, they can serve as a reminder that you once found happiness, and you can find it again. [Read: Why your ex still crosses your mind from time to time]

#5 The concept of forever becomes less idealistic and more founded on reality. When you are in love, you want to promise your partner the world. You promise them forever, even if you realize that forever can never really happen because the concept of time can get so unrealistic because of your emotions.

When “The One” disappears from your life, you realize that there’s no certainty to any promises you can make in the future. You can promise to love someone and cherish them forever, but circumstances, changes in emotions, and even time can make you realize that a promise of forever is nowhere near as important as working on your relationship day after day.

#6 Lovers can become strangers again. Someone who has played a significant role in your life can become a mere stranger, another face in the crowd. The person you animatedly spoke about with your friends will become just another name on the list of people you once dated.

But there will be times when a song will play or you’ll hear their name mentioned or you’ll pass them by, and you can’t help the memories from rushing back like a tidal wave of emotions.

#7 Dwelling on what ifs does nothing. When a relationship ends, your mind tends to lead you to think of the what ifs. You wonder what you should have said, what you should have done, what you shouldn’t have done, even if you know that dwelling on these situations will only make you feel worse.

In the end, you’ll learn that there’s no point in dwelling if you want to move on. You realize that after you’ve allowed yourself to grieve, rethinking your past decisions will never bring back your ex. It will never make them “The One” again. [Read: Should you ever date your ex again?]

#8 Moving on isn’t impossible. While moving on can prove to be a challenge, you know that it’s just a matter of time, the right distractions, and sheer will. If the breakup is recent, you might find yourself at a loss for how you’ll ever be able to get over this one person who turned your life around.

But as time passes by, you’ll realize that getting over the person you thought was “The One” isn’t that much different from getting over your other exes. It may be a lot harder because you’ll remember how good you were together, but in time, you’ll look back and understand why it was never supposed to work out. [Read: How to move on and deal with a breakup with a smile]

#9 You will miss them, and that’s okay. There will always be something to miss about your ex, no matter how traumatic the relationship *or the breakup* was. There are days when you will think about them in passing, and you might even miss the days you spent together.

When it comes to “The One,” you might even find yourself turning them into the standard for your future partners. But instead of comparing every possible future partner, use your experiences with your ex to learn what should and shouldn’t be happening in a good relationship. The end of your relationship with “The One” doesn’t have to negate every good thing you had going on. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back from a better future]

#10 You can learn to be happy for your ex. Everyone needs a new beginning, a fresh start. Believe it or not, everyone deserves a shot at happiness, even the one you thought you would be with for the rest of your life. They may have been the cause of heartbreak and pain at some point, but it doesn’t mean you have to carry your anger and pain with you forever. Remember, this person gave you some pretty awesome memories, after all.

[Read: 15 lessons you can learn from your own breakups]

The title of “The One” doesn’t have to stay with one person forever. Someone could be perfect for you now, but relationships can end, and you can move on and give that title to someone who deserves it more.

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Colleen Anne Javellana
I'm a quirky and passionate individual who believes in True Love. I live for deep conversations and a good novel to read. I am in love with Life, and I want to ...
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