The 3 Biggest Risks You Take When You Let Someone You Love Go
1. Although you may not appreciate what you have now, it doesn’t mean you never will.
2. The person he or she is now doesn’t necessarily define the person that he or she will one day be.
3. There is always a possibility that you’ll never find someone better.
I thought this article was a worthwhile post. I feel like much of the time, when we have a friend, or family member or other loved one whose relationship comes to an end, we reassure that person with encouragements such as, "don't worry, what is meant to happen, will," or "you will find someone down the road to whom you are better suited!" Sometimes this is ends up being true. There are some people those of us date for which these sentiments are obviously, very clearly true (because some of the people we date, it's clear we could do way better when looking back on those relationships). But sometimes, it might not be true. Sometimes these well-meaning, positive comments might be a friend, hoping for the best, assuming the best for you. But that doesn't mean their comments are accurate and that you will find someone "better" down the road.
Life is short. If one thinks over the amount of people a person typically falls deeply in love with during their lifetime, that list isn't a long one. For most people, it can be counted on one hand. How logical is it that after each romantic relationship in your life concludes, the one following it will always continue to be better than the previous one? (Meaning: a better match for you overall, a deeper connection, someone whom you will love even more than the last one). This could happen. For some people it does. And they get lucky. This is a wonderful thing. Or for some people, the relationship they were in was truly a bad one, so the next one will almost certainly be an improvement. So sure, it could also happen to some of your loved ones, friends and family members whose relationships end. But in terms of statistics, its not super likely that this will be the positive fate of everyone you know. Or even for the majority of people you know, including yourself.
I have talked to many people about their romantic relationships throughout my life. I also read a lot of books (which are certainly fiction, but obviously stories authors dream up are based on actual human challenges and experiences, which is why we love them so much). I believe that while some people end up with their great love, that many, many people do not. I have gained this perspective via lots of conversations with friends, observing the relationships of people close to me, as well as lots of reading (both fiction and non fiction).
For many, many people, sure, when a relationship that was deeply meaningful to them ends, they generally go forward and fall in love again. Most people do. And sometimes its even better than the last relationships they had. But for many, it doesn't quite happen that way and a big part of their heart always wonders about someone else from their past. A big part of them knows they let someone go that they shouldn't have, in retrospect. Someone they actually could have made it work with. Someone who, looking back, they now realize was rather extraordinary. This isn't a cynical perspective, its a realistic one.
Most of us will eventually find someone we decide to settle down with. Someone we do love and with whom we enjoy spending time. But for each and every person out there, is this person, the one they choose to finally settle down with, the best they likely could have done? Is this person even the best match for them out of all the people they have dated? For many people, sure, it could be. But for a lot of other people, probably not. I suspect most of these people falling into the latter category would not admit this to many people, if anyone. Who wants to admit, "Yes, I love my spouse, we have a lot in common and have great fun together. But there is still that one person from my past who I let go, and now looking back sometimes, I know it was something I shouldn't have let go of."
Within my experience, it seems like a lot of people settle down with someone who they love, enjoy spending time with and who fits the bill for the most part. But I also suspect for many of these people, they know in their deepest heart of hearts that there might have been someone else in the past with whom they connected more deeply with, or with whom they felt they could be more open with, or someone they loved more passionately or deeply. People just don't tend to admit these things. But in looking all around me, I have my strong beliefs that it's true. Deep connections and passionate loves are rare. I think it usually takes going further through life to realize that. And often by then, we have let something like that slip out of our grasp.
It comes down to who you meet and when. Often times, when we let someone go, we don't realize until much later on, once we have further comparisons after dating other people, that actually that person was the one who really made our heart sing, who filled us with excitement, or adventure, or inspiration, or challenge, or warmth, and who just might be the one that part of our heart still thinks about. But by then, it's too late.
So we go with one of the people we have met since then. Someone we have enough fun with, someone with whom we have a decent level of compatibility, someone with whom we enjoy spending time with and care for enough. Because we know its risky to keep looking after a certain point. Especially for those of us who have someone in our past that we realize now we should not have given up. Then we are even less likely to risk going through many more people afterwards.
Some of us get lucky and end up with our greatest love, but many of us do not. We end up with someone we love and enjoy, but it's not quite the same as that other one. And it's very often something we realize, as the article above says, too late.