The One Who Got Away


On the news recently, I heard about a study that was just done at Northwestern University in Chicago, where they asked people what their biggest regret was.  44% of women said their biggest regret was “the one who got away.”

So, I began to think, ‘Do I have a one who got away?’

Hmm…  Here are some of “the ones who got away”

1. Joe: Met him at 23. My first love.  I used to think I’d die without him. We broke up and got back together at least 25 times. Toward the end, he got a little psycho and obsessive, to the point when he turned to my mom and said, “I’m going to marry your daughter,” right in front of my entire family. “Um…do I have a say in this decision?” I wanted to ask him.  Instead, I ended things for good. Joe is living happily (it seems) with his wife and children.  When I think about him, I think good thoughts, and I get the creeps a little bit at the same time. I have absolutely no sadness that I’m not with him.

2. Greg: Met him at 31. Perhaps the closest to being the one who got away, Greg and I had bad timing. There was a woman who had just broken his heart. When she found out he had a new girlfriend (me) she talked him into getting back together. She then dumped him again and we started dating again. The woman then found out about me again and wanted him back. Ultimately, he didn’t end up with her, but I realized that if a guy breaks up with you twice for someone else, he’s not really digging you that much. On another subject,  Greg ended up becoming a mult-millionare, and is happily married with five children.  Greg and I are good friends. In fact, because he’s so successful, he’s turned out to be a mentor for me professionally.  He gives great advice and he’s very inspiring professionally. I mean, wouldn’t you take advice from someone who was wealthy and successful? I consider myself lucky to know Greg. As far as regret?  None.  Wasn’t meant to be.  Plus, he was a devout Catholic and could never marry someone Jewish.

2. Kyle:  Can you say “looza?”  Kyle was short, chubby, and not very smart. I dated him during a period in my life when I was a little desperate and had zero self-esteem.  Three months into our relationship, he said to me, “I feel like I should be in love with you by now and I’m just not.”  Thank you Kyle! You did me a huge favor!

3. Tom:  Okay, this guy LOVED LOVED LOVED me! And this is how awful I was to him.  I broke up with him 15 minutes before we were supposed to go out for breakfast with his parents!! He is now very wealthy and very happily married and when I think about how I treated him, I cringe.  My regret: never calling him and telling him how sorry I was, not to try to get back together, just because what I did was so cruel.

4. Ken: Adorable, commitment-phobic, wealthy attorney who actually has never gotten married. We dated for a few months.  I always wanted more. He wanted to keep it casual. Plus, I moved out of town.  I just ran into Ken. I hadn’t seen him in 15 years. He looked better than ever and couldn’t have been nicer.  Ken wasn’t the one who got away, he was the one who RAN away!! 

Here’s my advice.  If you have a one who got away and you’re single, go back and get him!  If he’s married though, hands off!  I mean it! Facebook friend him and call it a day, and I mean that. No long messages and plans to get together! 

As for me, I don’t choose to live my life with regrets. I look to the future. What didn’t happen just wasn’t meant to be.  Sure, there are guys who I really liked who didn’t want me.  There are also guys who really wanted to make me a wife and I didn’t want that.  So, I’ve been on both ends. The bottom line is, I’m older now. And wiser.  And I can guarantee one thing.  From this point on, I will never have a one who got away, ever again.  Know why?  Because I won’t let that happen!  When you’re young, you don’t always see a good thing.  Being a little older is a different story.  When something’s good, you hold on to it!

By: Jackie Pilossoph 

Author of two novels, magazine writer, newspaper columnist and blogger.

Jackie Pilossoph

Jackie Pilossoph is the author of FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE and two other novels. She is also a freelance magazine writer and weekly newspaper columnist. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in Communication from Boston University. She lives in Chicago and is working on her fourth novel.