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Regret letting a great person go.


esteluna
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Last night, I was mindlessly scrolling on facebook, and saw that an old flame of mine (we dated for a little while in 2015, then I decided to put him in the friend zone for no good reason at all...) just got married. He was a really great guy, came from a good family, hx good values and wanted a committed relationship, was educated and had a great career. Everything I said I wanted in a man. I was happy for him, he looked very happy, but I was not expecting how hard it hit me. This person was so sweet and supportive of me throughout the years, even while I dated other people despite him always showing interest in being with me. He politely asked me many times to work on my codependency issues so that we could have a real chance of dating exclusively, but rather than do this, I proceeded to date a couple of "bad boys" instead. Worst of all, I often vented and emotionally dumped on him when these relationships inevitably failed. I know this deeply hurt him. I feel so horrible about this, I simply cannot fathom what I was thinking back then to do that to someone who had been so caring towards me, even when we weren't together.

 

Although we had drifted with our contact and hadn’t seen each other for around 2 years, I thought about him here and there and how I had made a mistake to push him away and date the losers that never really cared about me instead. I suppose I tried to shove these thoughts out of my head rather than truly deal with my mistake. And, if I'm honest, I supposed he would always be there one day when I was truly ready. In fact, after dong a lot of soul searching and refusing to date low quality men, I thought I was getting close to contacting him again. And of course, I saw the picture yesterday. I am truly happy for him, he seems like he is very content in his life now. But at the same time, I feel (maybe for the first time) the gravity of the loss that I can only blame on myself. We will never hang out again, never have late night talks about life and philosophy, never do art together again. I guess because I always thought one day we would reconnect, I never truly processed our "end" because I didn't think it was one. I know 2 years seems like a long time not to see someone, but in that time I was completing my registration, starting a new position and my own practice. It went by in a blur, and the times we used to hang out together seem not so long ago at all. I truly feel sadness that I will likely never see this person again.

 

Fast forward to today, I am 100% not ever going to try to contact him outside of congratulating him on his wedding (which I did, and in true gentlemanly fashion, he replied thanking me and commending me on opening my practice). I want him to be happy, and I will not interfere in his life. I suppose I’m just looking for some kind of comfort or reinsurance that there will be other men like him (kind, caring, educated and successful, etc.) out there for me. Or, preferably, just the one. I am becoming less and less hopeful due to the very low frequency of meeting these men lately in my city, but I’m contemplating moving to the next province over. Maybe I’ll have a better chance there.

 

Anyway, has anyone else had a similar experience? Did you manage to find another great person out there?

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Yes, I have had similar experiences. I sometimes scroll Facebook and see stuff about my ex's that I don't like seeing lol May I offer some perspective...From what you wrote, it sounds to be honest like you were not really that into this guy romantically. I think if you liked him a lot or loved him, you wouldn't have "friend zoned" him and never pursued him again. We don't just easily drop someone that really means a lot to us. No doubt he is a lovely person and he seems to tick all the boxes. But just being nice and ticking boxes doesn't mean you're going to fall in love with that person.

 

I think you do only see this man as a friend, but he was always your Plan B. Perhaps you were thinking that if you didn't find anyone else, you would go to him. But he wasn't your first choice, just a backup. That's why you were dating those bad boys and not him. He got tired of being your Plan B. He wanted to be someone's Plan A. And he found that in his wife.

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Thanks for your reply, I think you make some good points. I think I was into him romantically, but not nearly as much as these bad boys that offered nothing in terms of a long term realtionship. There was a spark with him in terms of intimacy, but I was looking for fireworks. I was afraid that without that, it would end up like my passionless long term relationship I had ended a few years prior to meeting him. I feel like if I had given him a real chance and dated him exclusively, slowly, I would have fallen in love with him. He was/is very loveable. I think he was at the time my Plan B, but as I matured and dated and learned about people, I started to see him (and I suppose men like him) as my Plan A. But by then, it was too late. I don't think it helps that his new wife has the same name as me... I'm sure coincidental, but still a tough pill to swallow.

 

I know there is no point in regret, I can't change anything in the past. But I'm afraid I have lost my chance, that I am in my 30's now and men like this don't come by often. Or, at this point, at all. I don't know why I couldn't value someone that truly cared about me at the time, he showed me over the years how he wanted me to be happy. And I'm so angry at myself for chasing/valuing men that didn't care at all about me. I should have been smarter, I knew better. I just don't know how to forgive myself now... or feel hopeful about the future anymore.

 

Were you able to find someone else in the end?

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Imo, you were not right for each other. It's just that he stopped being an option and people tend to want what they can't have. Plus, you sound tired of being single. Imo, he was not right for you and his marriage doesn't change that.

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Thanks for your reply, I think you make some good points. I think I was into him romantically, but not nearly as much as these bad boys that offered nothing in terms of a long term realtionship. There was a spark with him in terms of intimacy, but I was looking for fireworks. I was afraid that without that, it would end up like my passionless long term relationship I had ended a few years prior to meeting him. I feel like if I had given him a real chance and dated him exclusively, slowly, I would have fallen in love with him. He was/is very loveable. I think he was at the time my Plan B, but as I matured and dated and learned about people, I started to see him (and I suppose men like him) as my Plan A. But by then, it was too late. I don't think it helps that his new wife has the same name as me... I'm sure coincidental, but still a tough pill to swallow.

 

I know there is no point in regret, I can't change anything in the past. But I'm afraid I have lost my chance, that I am in my 30's now and men like this don't come by often. Or, at this point, at all. I don't know why I couldn't value someone that truly cared about me at the time, he showed me over the years how he wanted me to be happy. And I'm so angry at myself for chasing/valuing men that didn't care at all about me. I should have been smarter, I knew better. I just don't know how to forgive myself now... or feel hopeful about the future anymore.

 

Were you able to find someone else in the end?

 

Um, well I was with someone for two years and engaged. The wedding was booked for January this year. Unfortunately my ex had bad mental health issues and got severely into drugs. So I had to end it. I'm 35. I've been single for about nine months now. I'm not sure if I'll find anyone but next year I'm planning on having a baby by myself by using a donor.

 

Anyway, I think I will find someone good eventually, and so will you. There is a reason you chose other guys over this guy. There is usually a reason why we do things, even if the reason is subconscious. These days people live to their 80's or even 90's. So in your 30's there is time to meet lots more people still.

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Um, well I was with someone for two years and engaged. The wedding was booked for January this year. Unfortunately my ex had bad mental health issues and got severely into drugs. So I had to end it. I'm 35. I've been single for about nine months now. I'm not sure if I'll find anyone but next year I'm planning on having a baby by myself by using a donor.

 

Anyway, I think I will find someone good eventually, and so will you. There is a reason you chose other guys over this guy. There is usually a reason why we do things, even if the reason is subconscious. These days people live to their 80's or even 90's. So in your 30's there is time to meet lots more people still.

 

That's really commendable that you ended something that wasn't healthy for you before it got too serious. I also think it's incredibly brave that you are deciding to move forward with having children on your own, and have such a positive outlook on the future. It helps me put things into perspective. I think along with this regret business, I've also paired with a lot of hopelessness, that I had my chance and it's over for me now. I suppose if a friend of mine was telling me this, I would not agree at all. You're right, we have many years ahead of us. Thank you for the reminder!

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What you are going through is getting quite common these days. There are a lot of good guys out there that just want to be themselves and be loved by a good woman, but they end up plan B because they don't give this fireworks that seems to be a necessity these days for women. The problem is, fireworks don't last, and when the sky clears, the women get bored and runs off after the next feeling of fireworks, thenin their 30s to be left wondering where all the good guys are.

 

I know a lot of good guys who may not be the best looking, tallest, aren't muscular, and many earn a good packet, but they still get put off by women as not good enough. So many of them are choosing not to bother anymore. I mean, what's the point? Women just don't want the good guy. They say they do, then friendzone only to look back with regret and chasing around the bad guys and getting nowhere.

 

And reading your post, you have a long laundry list of all the great things you want in a great man, but also a long list of how badly you treat good guys. Are you actually good enough for a good guy?

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Am sure deep down you are more thankful of him for being a part of your life, that relationship taught you a lot. Try to look at it in a way where you are getting to know what qualities in a person you are looking for. Its good he is respectful to you, at the same time you are also quite mature now in the way you communicated with him.

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I was him at one point (I’m a woman). I was always this guy’s plan b. Loved him to pieces but he rejected me so many times but I stuck around for 5 more years as a friend and have to hear all his women problems.

One day I said enough and valued myself and rethought of what’s best for me. I finally went out on a date with a great guy who no women gave a chance with because “he’s too nice”. I’m 34, and just like you, was afraid not to find a great man.. well I did. And now just recently married. I loved my ex a lot but there was a reason why it didn’t work out, and now I know why. A better person came whom I love so much and best of all, who loves me back :)

 

You live and learn and it’ll hopefully lead you to finding what’s right for you.

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What you are going through is getting quite common these days. There are a lot of good guys out there that just want to be themselves and be loved by a good woman, but they end up plan B because they don't give this fireworks that seems to be a necessity these days for women. The problem is, fireworks don't last, and when the sky clears, the women get bored and runs off after the next feeling of fireworks, thenin their 30s to be left wondering where all the good guys are.

 

I know a lot of good guys who may not be the best looking, tallest, aren't muscular, and many earn a good packet, but they still get put off by women as not good enough. So many of them are choosing not to bother anymore. I mean, what's the point? Women just don't want the good guy. They say they do, then friendzone only to look back with regret and chasing around the bad guys and getting nowhere.

 

And reading your post, you have a long laundry list of all the great things you want in a great man, but also a long list of how badly you treat good guys. Are you actually good enough for a good guy?

 

I hear you, it's definitely not good to be shallow and reject people based on little things. However I have to disagree with you in the sense that just because someone is really nice and has a good job, etc. doesn't mean that it's possible to fall in love with them if you're just not. When people are talking about "spark or "chemistry (or lack thereof), they are talking about that special something that ignites inside them. It's not possible to force yourself to feel it if you just don't. When someone gets friend zoned, it's not because they're a "nice guy" or "good girl". It's because the other person is just not attracted to them and/or just not feeling it.

 

Sometimes we can't even explain why we do or don't feel something. Five years ago I was dating this guy. My Mother was really pushing me to him because she thought he sounded great. He's still my good friend and my Mum keeps asking after him even now! He's very handsome, 6 feet tall, intelligent with a master's degree and he's a teacher. And on top of that he's also really nice. I am actually overweight/chubby. But when we were dating, I just wasn't feeling it. I was attracted to him and ended up being FWB for 2.5 years. The sex was good and he treated me really well, but those romantic feelings just never appeared. Now when I occasionally hooked up with him and kissed him, literally felt nothing. Felt like kissing the back of my hand lol

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Regrets suck because we think we cannot undo our mistake. With this guy that you let get away the mistake cannot be undone but you can use this mistake as a huge lesson and never allow it to happen again.

 

I have dated women that have done what you did. Dating is dating and choices are made and more than a few times I was beat out by some jerk. I am a pretty understanding guy but when I see these women around and they come by and chat me up and tell me how they wished they had chosen me instead because the other guy was a total jerk I don't bite at the bait. Sometimes I wonder why because everyone makes mistakes and chooses wrong but in the back of my head I think of how long before the next shiny object (jerk) comes along and it ends.

 

Online dating has amplified the "I think I can do better" syndrome. People get a lot of attention so their criteria gets very specific or critical and many times they miss out on something special.

 

I could tell you things like it wasn't meant to be since you didn't reciprocate his feelings or if he was the right guy you would have known it then but those are just platitudes to make you feel better. Use this as a catalyst for a mind change on how you approach dating and finding the man that is right for you. There is not an unlimited supply of men of his character and quality as you have discovered but I am sure there is a guy that has been someones plan B just looking for a woman that knows what she wants AND can see it when she see it.

 

You very well may profit from the mistake of someone else. Don't give up and don't be to hard on yourself, we have all made choices we regret...

 

There is a good news in all this. A great guy you admired and really like met and fell in love with someone. That is something to be celebrated and to be hopeful about.

 

Lost

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I think it's life's way of telling you that it's time to let go of the ghosts of the past and move forward on a clean slate. You've learned some good lessons, you've grown a lot as a person. You've learned what you do and don't want in a man. Having that plan B lingering in the back of your mind holds you back in many ways and leaves you somewhat closed off to new opportunities in life. Now that the option is gone, you have to open your eyes fully and give the present life your all. Now you are well equipped to find one who is fully right for you.

 

Finding yourself without this perceived safety net is scary, but it can also be thrilling. A bit like opening the windows and letting in fresh air. You never noticed how stale the air inside was until you breathed in that fresh air.

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Anyway, has anyone else had a similar experience? Did you manage to find another great person out there?

 

The short answer is yes.

 

There are always good people out there.

 

You just have to have faith in yourself and keep your integrity intact. What you think is important to you, what you value, what matters to you and all the other lovely details that make you delightfully you.

 

You keep on going and keep learning.

 

I also wanted to comment on your impression of this person. You seemed absorbed with yourself at the time (we all go through this) so how could you have known or seen any of his flaws? I doubt either of you would have gotten along perfectly. No relationship or person is ever perfect.

 

Surround yourself with goodness and be patient, kind, tolerant and cautious about your company going forward.

 

There's no reason not to find time for play and dating, meeting new people, making new friends.

 

You may also find that you're surrounded by good people but none of them are a match. That is ok too.

 

It takes more than goodness to be compatible on a romantic, sexual and intellectual level.

 

Take your time and enjoy the ride. I agree with DancingFool about letting the fresh air in.

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Love what Dancing Fool wrote.

 

I did let a good guy go in favor of a bad boy when I was 23. Turned out bad boy -meaning cold/distant/unavailable for a couple of years -and when he finally proposed I realized it would be a lonely life - anyway 5 years after we broke up -after he proposed-he met his spouse. A man. That is why he was so unavailable -he was internally struggling. The good guy got married.

 

I am married to a man who was not right for me -I wasn't into him enough -the first time we dated in our early 30s -yes we were engaged. No I did not keep in significant contact with him. Yes I dated some wrong guys again. But almost 8 years later when we were both unattached and I became the right person to find the right person -we were both 38 - we reconnected. Got my second chance thank goodness. Yesterday we celebrated our 11th father's day together. We got married in our early 40s. Yes I was more than into him that second time around - we both changed while we were apart and then we were right together.

 

I wish you all the best and I'm sorry you feel regret!

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Best to leave him alone he's a married man. I agree you don't really feel that much for him or you would not have dumped him for no good reason. I think you feel as if you missed out that's all. Regret will pass.

 

 

Agree with Wiseman. You need more going on in your life if these kind of thoughts are surfacing. Glad you realised you have maturing to do. That's the first step in finding a good man. Good luck.

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I think this kind of thing only highlights maybe what you would like to have with a man in your life.

 

But be confident that he is not that guy. You did not make a mistake. Have faith... what and who is meant for you, will find you.

 

You cannot lose someone that is truly yours. Even when/ if we completely mess ourselves or someone else up. It is all about the lesson or the redirecting of you path.

 

The cure to fear and doubt is faith. keep the faith. God bless and good luck to that guy.... but you have someone better to find.

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Your story is reminiscent of what my cousin told me. She said that she let a good one get away. She ended up marrying husband #2, the wrong guy, saddled with two kids and a miserable ever after. :upset:

 

I agree a catch is extremely difficult to find and some people say all the good ones are taken.

 

My sister rushed to the altar and divorced within a year. Then she married another dud and she's stuck with him, three kids and resigned to a unhappily ever after. :upset: Some people never get it right.

 

Fortunately, I vowed never to repeat my mother's mistake and married a great man. (My late father was an alcoholic wife beater.) We have two sons and my husband gave me a stable, content life.

 

As for you, try not to have regrets. There is a right man out there for you. Perhaps you are looking at all the wrong places. Whittle down your search. Know where all the great guys are. They're not at singles bars nor clubs. They're working hard, some are in church, volunteer, do charitable good works, into sports and fitness, some are into intellectual pursuits or ask your friends and family as they've done their homework for you. If you want a moral, empathetic man, you need to go where they are.

 

Pray and you will be blessed with the right man coming along in your life. It's not the end of the world. As my mother used to say: "Good things happen to those who wait." She said this quote after I had complained to her that I never had a date in my life throughout high school, college nor young adulthood. I was a late bloomer. Then my husband waltzed into my life and the rest his history. He gave me a great life in the suburbs, the white picket fence and two amazing sons.

 

Your day in the sun will come. Patience is key and you are wise now. You can afford to become very picky and choosy. Shop around!

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The important thing is what is going on or not going on in your life right now that is making you backtrack? This is not about him, it's about your present situation.

 

Hi, thanks for your reply. That's the part that I'm rather surprised about. Before seeing the post, I had just had a great trip to the city I am planning to move to, and was feeling so positive/hopeful about my future for the first time in a really long time. The weather was wonderful, I have some family and friends there, it's a beautiful city and even the men/potential prospects seemed better/more compatible with me in my mind. I was feeling really good about things.

 

However, when I saw that picture and was reminded of him, my past and my mistakes, missed opportunities and potentially a happy coupled life I could have had the past 3 years, I completely fell apart. My hope and optimism about my move and future life seemed to dissipate. Today I'm feeling a little better, but still not as confident as I did a couple days ago. I feel shaken, confused, sad and scared. I'm hoping it will pass.

 

Try not to glamorize and romanticize the past. Events are never recalled that accurately, so much of this is colored by nostalgia for youth with some present day disappointment . The truth may lie somewhere in between.

 

I'm thinking nostalgia does have a lot to do with this. I miss those years, 2015-2017 where I felt so free and alive. I'm not sure what was so much different about that period of time in my life, but he is associated with it and I miss those carefree and enjoyable times. I wish I had valued that period of time and my time with him more. I just can't really fully remember why I didn't feel excited to pursue a relationship with him, other than he was making it too easy and perhaps I craved the challenge of the jerky guys. I'm not sure anymore.

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I hear you, it's definitely not good to be shallow and reject people based on little things. However I have to disagree with you in the sense that just because someone is really nice and has a good job, etc. doesn't mean that it's possible to fall in love with them if you're just not. When people are talking about "spark or "chemistry (or lack thereof), they are talking about that special something that ignites inside them. It's not possible to force yourself to feel it if you just don't. When someone gets friend zoned, it's not because they're a "nice guy" or "good girl". It's because the other person is just not attracted to them and/or just not feeling it.

 

Sometimes we can't even explain why we do or don't feel something. Five years ago I was dating this guy. My Mother was really pushing me to him because she thought he sounded great. He's still my good friend and my Mum keeps asking after him even now! He's very handsome, 6 feet tall, intelligent with a master's degree and he's a teacher. And on top of that he's also really nice. I am actually overweight/chubby. But when we were dating, I just wasn't feeling it. I was attracted to him and ended up being FWB for 2.5 years. The sex was good and he treated me really well, but those romantic feelings just never appeared. Now when I occasionally hooked up with him and kissed him, literally felt nothing. Felt like kissing the back of my hand lol

 

Thanks for your reply! I agree, you cannot force yourself to feel something you don't. I guess I'm confused with myself (and maybe I don't fully remember) if that was the case with me, or if I simply was too scared/didn't believe I deserved such a man in my life that I didn't feel fireworks with him. That being said, there was chemistry and when we were intimate, it was good. I never felt like I didn't want to kiss him or make love or anything like that. I guess I just felt I had enjoyed it more with the less available/quality men... which doesn't seem to make much sense at all.

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Regrets suck because we think we cannot undo our mistake. With this guy that you let get away the mistake cannot be undone but you can use this mistake as a huge lesson and never allow it to happen again.

 

I have dated women that have done what you did. Dating is dating and choices are made and more than a few times I was beat out by some jerk. I am a pretty understanding guy but when I see these women around and they come by and chat me up and tell me how they wished they had chosen me instead because the other guy was a total jerk I don't bite at the bait. Sometimes I wonder why because everyone makes mistakes and chooses wrong but in the back of my head I think of how long before the next shiny object (jerk) comes along and it ends.

 

Online dating has amplified the "I think I can do better" syndrome. People get a lot of attention so their criteria gets very specific or critical and many times they miss out on something special.

 

I could tell you things like it wasn't meant to be since you didn't reciprocate his feelings or if he was the right guy you would have known it then but those are just platitudes to make you feel better. Use this as a catalyst for a mind change on how you approach dating and finding the man that is right for you. There is not an unlimited supply of men of his character and quality as you have discovered but I am sure there is a guy that has been someones plan B just looking for a woman that knows what she wants AND can see it when she see it.

 

You very well may profit from the mistake of someone else. Don't give up and don't be to hard on yourself, we have all made choices we regret...

 

There is a good news in all this. A great guy you admired and really like met and fell in love with someone. That is something to be celebrated and to be hopeful about.

 

Lost

 

Thank you for your reply. You're 100% right, this is exactly why I despise regrets, I can't change it. I have a particular reoccurring theme in my life of regrets and rumination, and I think it is very unhelpful to me, yet I find my mind wanders there often. Regrets and nostalgia plague me often, but usually for this small period of time, between 2014-2017. Perhaps because it was a transitionary period in my life that was marked with enjoyable/new/exciting experiences that I often long for.

 

I totally understand this line of thinking. I thoroughly regret the comments I made to him, because he indicated several times that he didn't want to hear me vent with other men while he and I were intimate, even though our relationship was not "official". When I pointed this out as strange because he (at that time) didn't want a relationship with me so why did it matter? He elaborated that had I not been having so many guys "in the background" or "on call" he could see himself with me long term in a serious relationship. Rather than take that leap of faith and ditch the background individuals that were not serving me, I decided to do the opposite and I deeply regret this. Who knows where I and/or he would be at this point if I had done what he asked.

 

By not saying those things, do you think it is possible that he was the right guy and that I didn't know it because of my own immaturity/lack of readiness for a serious relationship at the time? Either way, I will head your advice and I will find a way to learn from this and keep looking for my Mr. Right.

 

Yes, you are completely right about his point and I am happy for him. He seemed very happy in the photos I saw. Ironically, I felt like his new wife did not. But I suppose that could be due to a number of things, and I should not read into this nor assume or even hypothesize.

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I think it's life's way of telling you that it's time to let go of the ghosts of the past and move forward on a clean slate. You've learned some good lessons, you've grown a lot as a person. You've learned what you do and don't want in a man. Having that plan B lingering in the back of your mind holds you back in many ways and leaves you somewhat closed off to new opportunities in life. Now that the option is gone, you have to open your eyes fully and give the present life your all. Now you are well equipped to find one who is fully right for you.

 

Finding yourself without this perceived safety net is scary, but it can also be thrilling. A bit like opening the windows and letting in fresh air. You never noticed how stale the air inside was until you breathed in that fresh air.

 

I never looked at the situation this way, but you are right. I looked at losing all my Plan B's (and C's and D's...) over the last few years as a bad and sad thing, rather than what you describe as letting fresh air in. I find this a scary and somewhat daunting situation, but I will try and see it is thrilling as you say. I have lived in the past for many years, and occasionally the future as well. I have not lived in the present moment for some time, and perhaps this will force me to do so. Thank you for your comment!

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