I was walking through Sierra Hall the other day when the sight of someone almost made me stop cold in my tracks. My breath caught in my throat, my heart rate increased and my stomach flip-flopped. You’d think I saw Johnny Depp or a ghost or something.
But no, the person I saw was very real, and someone I actually didn’t even know. So why the sudden change in vitals? It’s simple, the person I saw happened to resemble someone I used to know.
Truth is he’s not just some ordinary “someone” from my past. He’s “the one who got away.”
You know, the person you tried having a relationship with then something, usually your head, got in the way so things ended. And then years later, you look at them and realize they’ve become the person you are currently looking for.
Yeah, not a fun place to be.
Remember EJ from my cheating article? Well, he is my “one that got away.” The two of us actually have a rather extensive past, but sadly it is one that would not fit within my allotted 900 word count. So you’ll have to do with the Reader’s Digest version.
Our story goes like this: we met in high school through mutual friends. I was never completely sure I could see him as someone I could be romantically involved with. But he developed definite feelings.
It turned out we made good friends. Even though I knew of his feelings, I would accept his phone calls at night and we would have some deep conversations. I wasn’t willing to give up a good friend, just because I was unsure of my own feelings.
He asked me to the senior prom and I said yes. We even went out on a date a couple weeks before the dance, but it never went beyond that. I never let it.
Fast forward to a year after high school when I saw him at a party. As shallow as it sounds, he totally transformed his appearance and I was instantly attracted. We talked, caught up, and I definitely felt a spark. I believed he did, too.
But what did I do? I ended up sticking with the guy I was already seeing, even though I knew very well that was the wrong decision. And EJ moved on.
I finally figured out, after almost four years, why I never gave EJ that first chance when we were still in high school. This is something I haven’t admitted to many people. But here I am, willing to lay it out all on the line, here, in this column.
I was insecure and selfish.
Back in high school I was under the impression that I was supposed to be with a certain type of guy. I foolishly believed that my family and friends would judge me by who I chose to be in a relationship with.
My already fragile adolescent psyche could not handle such judgment, but perhaps the reason behind that belongs in an entirely different column…or in a journal for psychological studies.
Blaming my loved ones entirely as the reason I never gave EJ a chance would be unfair, though. It was my own irrational insecurities that kept me from pursuing a relationship with him.
I pushed my happiness to the back of my mind and was more concerned with putting on a good show for my friends and family. The ironic thing is, I know for sure that EJ is someone who my family and even my friends would “approve” of.
Selfishness is a fickle thing and throughout it all I never even considered EJ’s feelings. Sure I was aware of them, but I didn’t really care that I was hurting a good, genuinely sweet and caring guy.
All I cared about was how I was going to break the news to him, and how it would make me look. I didn’t want EJ to hate me, I knew I couldn’t deal with that. And I knew I couldn’t stand to be seen as the bad guy. But at the same time I also didn’t want to have to deal with his emotions.
So there I was: this young and very immature girl, who was unwilling to give a guy a chance. And here I am now admitting that a guy who is in a rather serious relationship is someone who I wish I hadn’t let go.
I can’t say I totally regret how I behaved in high school, only because regretting something usually means you are discontent with where you presently stand in life.
But I can say that if I had given EJ that one chance, then maybe I might be that much more content with my life now.
I don’t like to offer advice that I wouldn’t follow myself. So for those of you who find yourself second guessing emotions about a potential relationship all I can say is: give it a chance. You don’t want to end up asking a bunch of “What if’s” like I have. It’s easy to know what won’t happen.
Mine and EJ’s story started during a time when I didn’t know what I wanted in a relationship. Now that I’m older and slightly wiser I’ve come to terms with how things have turned out.
Thanks to Facebook I am well aware that EJ and his girlfriend are happy with their relationship. And, as pathetic as this makes me look, I am willing to admit that I have thought, “Wow, that could be me,” on more than one occasion.