The One That Got Away

While scrolling through my Instagram DMs today I saw a message from a guy that simply said, “Remember me?” And yeah, I did remember him. I remembered in late 2013 when we were hooking up for a while and I really liked him and when I told him that he said “I’m sorry but I’m just not into you like that” and he started dating someone else maybe a week later. I was pretty devastated but I accepted it and moved on. I also remembered when I ran into him at an event I was hosting in early 2015. We were both drunk as hell, he told me he was single again and we wound up back at my apartment. I remember him suddenly bursting into tears while I was in the middle of giving him a blowjob then sobbing on my couch for a minute about how his ex was a controlling bitch and he made a mistake and should’ve picked me, and then I remember him getting up and running out the door while I sat there naked and wondering what the fuck just happened. Today, more than three years later, is the first time I’ve heard a word from him since.

Flashback to late 2011. I’d seeing a guy for three or four months, it wasn’t official but we were spending at least a few nights a week together and I had developed very deep feelings for him. One night while out drinking together, he told me several times that he was in love with me, a sentiment he repeated the next morning. Maybe a day later I finally worked up the courage to ask him if we were actually a couple and he told me, “I’m still waiting to find out if my ex wants to get back together, but if she says no then we can give it a shot.” That one GUTTED me, but I refused to be someone’s backup plan so I cut ties with him and he wound up back with the ex anyway. About a year later on a rare Saturday night that I wasn’t working at the strip club for a reason I don’t remember, a work friend text me around 11pm and said, “Guess who’s here.” This guy had shown up alone and asking for me, saying he needed to talk to me. My friend went over to tell him he should leave, and he immediately burst into tears and told her that he fucked up, he made a mistake, he should’ve picked me, and even went as far to ask her if I had left a sweater or something in my locker because “he missed the way I smell”. Despite being repeatedly told I was taking the night off, he apparently sat in the corner of the Crazy Horse alone and miserable until the 5am closing time “just in case Laura comes in late.”

I could keep going with these stories, in my past nine years spent navigating the dating scene as a single woman there’s been so many of them. Today’s message had me wondering, what is it about me that makes so many men incapable of seeing my value until it’s far too late? Why do I feel destined to always be the one that got away but never the one that just got chosen from the start? I’m trapped in a cycle of rejection followed by emotional displays of regret, swimming my way through a seemingly endless stream of men who can’t appreciate me until they’ve lost me.

But then I realised I’m not alone in this and it’s something so many of my girlfriends have experienced, so much so that “They ALWAYS come back” is a common saying among women. I wonder if it stems from the fact that a lot of men never learn to process emotions properly, yet another harmful byproduct of a society that regularly tells men it’s shameful or unmanly to talk about their feelings, or if it’s something else. I truly don’t know.

What I do know is that I’m not someone you get a second chance with once I’ve closed the door and moved on, and most of these guys ended up being something I look at as a bullet dodged anyway. I want to be with someone who wants me from the beginning, someone who looks at me and sees my worth and says “Yes, you’re awesome and I pick you” without having to hurt me first. I think I deserve that. We all do.


7 thoughts on “The One That Got Away

  1. WinterWonderland says:

    Well, the common factor here seems to be that these guys were perfectly happy with hooking up with you, but didn’t want anything more.

    This is just a guess, but I AM guessing that they were all supremely attractive guys…the kind of guys that have women chasing THEM on Tinder instead of the other way around. And like far too many men in that position, they’ve be grown entitled and jaded, believing that they can easily replace you when they got bored, they get annoyed, or when you confess the feelings that they don’t want to consider reciprocating. (Because they don’t want the party to end.)

    See, the thing is that there’s single, and then there’s single. The guys sending you desperate messages on Insta believe fundamentally that they’re unwanted and unattractive, because they neither have casual NOR serious relationships. They’re scared that they’ll be alone and unloved forever, and they just want someone to tell them “guys, it’s okay. You aren’t an orc. You aren’t the elephant man. You’re just an awkward victim of shitty algorithms who needs to go outside.”

    You’re in a different situation: you can find a casual relationship, but you’re at a stage in your life where that sort of thing is unsatisfying. You want something REAL. You’re also probably the victim of shitty algorithms, but also of society’s attitudes towards women who unapologetically earn a living based on their appearance.

    It’s why the science is very clear: the Halo Effect is a double-edged sword for women, even as it makes our world a playground of entitlement for the beautiful men of Tinder.

    I don’t really have a solution for you that’s any different that for the poor men on Insta.

    (If you’re even looking for a solution: there’s pain here, but sometimes pain just wants to be recognized and appreciated, not solved.)

    All I can think of is the same advice one could give to those lonely men: Delete Tinder. Delete Bumble. Go outside. Meet people who experience you as a person, instead of a profile. You’re spectacularly good at social media, and it’s part of your job, but perhaps consider dialing back on that, too.

    Or, hell, maybe you ARE happy. I don’t know. I just know that you seem to be someone who deserves it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luc says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that Laura
    I’M 49years old ,if I was 15 years younger
    Than I’m pretty sure,I would a lady like you
    Now I’m single and try to pick up my life again,I was 26 years happy married with my beautiful wife and I never cheat her or hurt her,but she died in my arms she had cancer😢 and now I must move again with my life and that is not easy,I did go to a therapist but ,I can’t speak to him ,its not clicking,so have a good night ,and do wat you like to do,grtz from Belgium🔥🔥💯💯👍👍👍


  3. I believe that dating as a whole is a 0 or 100 deal. You’re either ‘all in’ with someone or you’re ‘all out’. No half stepping like those guys you mentioned here. It’s crushing in some way to realize that you’re not good enough to get someone who stops on the first go around. I’ve had far too many cut out and to be honest, I don’t know what I’m likely to do if any of them were to come back wanting another go. (Not really. They’d be extraditiously cut down and snuffed out. I wouldn’t drag it out or even do unto them as they did to me. Simply tell them that they should’ve stopped instead of thinking there was someone with a better heart than mine.)

    Cause at the end of the day, it almost always comes back to that. Heart. In trying so hard to be the smartest person in the room, they overthink things and it costs them. You seem to be super down to earth and I think it’s a lot different for men than it is women out here.

    I don’t even bother with ‘dating apps’ anymore. I just don’t bother. I’m done trying to read through who knows how many false statements, faces and so on before someone decides I’m not even worth a reason why I’m not good enough for them. I think social media in general, has done more harm than good in society these days. Folks see you without really trying to learn you. They think reading the inner flaps of the book makes them knowledgeable enough to make a decision and it’s not even close to being accurate. Aim to be the realest in any room you’re in. That’s what I aim to do, flaws and all. Cause in the end, being real won’t get you everyone but it will be enough for the right one.


  4. bladethunderbolt says:

    That’s something about humans that really, really annoys me – their inability to move on from someone, be it a friend or a lover. I have friends that simply can’t accept not having someone in their life anymore, even though said person has fucked them over and caused their emotions to be all fucked up.
    It’s like with relationships, when people break up or they feel the other person is limiting their potential, yet this person still wants them to be together… WHAT?! That shit is crazy to me. If that is the case with someone, I always say to them that clearly they should not be together… If you have doubts over a relationship or feel like you’ve been let down, fuck that person because you deserve someone that doesn’t give you doubts and encourages the things you do and crucially encourages WHO you are.
    I always tell people, if someone has done wrong by you, cut them out of your life like a cancer and you will be better off for it.

    The way I see it, it all boils down to people’s insecurities and fears whereby they think they won’t be able to build the same bond they currently have with one person, with an invididual that they don’t yet know even exists… But that’s bullshit, because at the end of the day, no-one is special and once upon a time, everyone we currently know we did not know before.

    People be governed by their hearts more than their heads too much.


  5. Chris Cook says:

    I believe everything happens for a reason. And If things happened differently with those guys you wouldn’t end up a crazy cat lady with those awesome kitties 🐱 and they wouldn’t have an awesome mommy

    Thanks for sharing


  6. Coming from a guy who was in a toxic off and on relationship, I couldn’t commit with another girl because all I wanted at the time was to be happy and not get hurt again and wanted to be back with my ex because that’s where I would feel happy until it would inevitably go bad but I didn’t know if I could feel that happiness with someone else or that if i did feel it, I was scared it would go the same way as the other relationship. I’ve come to more understand what I want and have started noticing signs of a relationship going bad and what to do to fix it or at least attempt it.


  7. lupinkas says:

    I think you’re right, in the sense that its the way men have been raised. I’m reading a book about the archetypes of the mature masculine, and how much of what men are raised on goes directly against those archetypes. It makes us immature and lazy man-children. Which leads to that patriarchy which feminism tries to fight.

    The book is called King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. Its very good so far.


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