I was talking to a good friend, and he asked me if I had ever been in love. I didn’t have an answer. Then he asked if I had ever felt like “one had gotten away.” And to this… I did.
A long time ago, I dated a good friend of mine. A and I were good friends first, and eventually dated. He lived far away, so eventually things faded away with the distance and time. Because things just faded, there was never that jarring “end” to our story… and so I always wondered.
With all of the other men I had dated, I always said there is a reason they are an ex, and I always had that reason right off the top of my head. But with A, I never had that reason… it was shitty timing and distance but never anything about him that was the reason for the “ex.”
For a very long time after we stopped seeing each other, I compared every other man to him. Over time I realized the reason that A understood me so perfectly is because we were friends first, and he understood what made me happy as a person, and not as a girlfriend. And I held out hope, that maybe we would reunite and it would be as magical and wonderful as it had been before. Just a small flicker of hope, because my rational head knew that my heart could be playing tricks on me.
Two years ago, I still felt the flutter and the spark when we saw each other, but I hesitated. I’ve always been a person that follows my gut, and that hesitation made me think again about rekindling our relationship. Then a few weeks ago, he was in town on business, so I went to see him for dinner. I knew I had to see him and finally close the book on whether or not A and I were a thing. It’s been years and years of back and forth… and I deserve to move on and be happy. So when he was in town, I went to see him for dinner.
We had a great time, and as I get older I realize how important good friends are… which is what he is. A good friend. I finally know with absolute clarity… he is not the love of my life, he is not the one that got away. He is everything I remember – but simply not mine. I don’t know how I know, but I know this time.
It’s a little sad, but it’s also so liberating that I can finally close that chapter of my life and my heart. So. Here is to the next step. I’m not sure what, but I feel like there is a clean piece of paper in front of me now.