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How I Finally Began To Get Over 'The One'

'We clung to each other for months, because wouldn't you, once you had found The One?'

For a year, we were deliriously happy. In him I saw everything I had always wanted in a man: intelligence, independence, creativity, compassion, a sense of humor, an easygoing attitude, not to mention monster sex appeal. And he felt the same way about me; “You are my dream girl,” he would often say. We had met in the most random of circumstances, which bolstered our belief that, yes, we were meant to be; the universe had plucked us out from a sea of romantic disappointments so we could find each other.

He was The One for me, and I was The One for him.

A year into our relationship, our problems started, and they were of such a nature that they snowballed into bigger and bigger issues. While we assured each other that we still loved each other, I never got comfortable in our relationship again. As time passed, the space between us got wider and wider, and we fought harder and harder, eventually exposing sides of ourselves that the other had never seen before. I realized that he could be immature and cruel in his anger; he realized that I could get needy and tended to sink deep into despair. We were both shocked to discover that we weren’t as perfect as we had earlier believed.

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But we clung to each other for months, because wouldn’t you, once you had found The One? Surely this was just the universe’s way of challenging us, compelling us to prove that we would do anything to keep true love in our lives?

After many disappointing months of trying to get that old spark back and failing, I realized that that was my mistake in the first place: believing so blindly that he was The One. I had idealized him so much, assigned so many wonderful characteristics to him, expected him to never fail in his commitment to me, assumed that he’d always understand me, and established a perfect picture of him in my mind that could never ever capture the complexity of the person he actually is. When things fell apart between us, I fell apart, too, because I had discovered that I could not control how he chose to act; he was his own person more than he was The One for me. The entire foundation of our bond—that we were the only two people who could make each other truly happy—had crumbled, and I felt lost and betrayed not just by him, but by my own romantic foolishness.

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All this time, he wasn’t The One. He’s a great guy, with a lot of great qualities, and true, we have the best conversations, we share the same visions, and our chemistry is off the charts. But none of these things make him The One; they just make our romance better than any romance I’ve previously had.

He may be my favorite boyfriend out of them all, he may even be my greatest love, but he is not The One.

This, then, is how I finally began to get over The One: I simply stripped him of that unique position he had held in my life. He’s not The One for me, and I am not The One for him—no one is. It’s not a privilege I’m happy to give up, because it’s a beautiful feeling, to have someone who thinks you mean the world to them. But it’s a realization I have had to make so I can free him of my intense hurt and disappointment at how our seemingly perfect union turned out, and I can free myself of his constant blame, too.

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We’re no longer together, but I still love the man who used to be The One. Maybe I always will. But for my own sake, I have to deny him that immense power he once held over me. He is no longer the first choice, the one true love, the ultimate goal of my romantic existence. Now, he is just a person, much like me, hoping to find love in a sea of romantic disappointments.