I try not to think about
What might have been
‘Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can’t go back again
There’s no use giving in
And there’s no way to know
What might have been
(What Might Have Been, as sung by Little Texas)
This song has been going through my head a lot lately, and I finally broke down and bought it from iTunes. It’s already been played several times. Okay, a lot of times.
With my birthday a few days away, and a lot of meaningful dates floating on either side of them (anniversaries, birthdays, milestones, etc.) it’s easy to reflect about people in your past and how the roles have changed from then to now.
In the past few weeks, I’ve had several encounters with ex-boyfriends and even my ex-husband. I’ve learned about changes in their lives and experienced some of my own.
When I became single again last fall, I was able to find comfort in the arms of my friend Rocker. Five years ago, he and I had dated briefly but it soon became clear that we were in different places in our lives. When I moved on to other dating opportunities, he understood and wished me well. Our friendship continued, but he always flattered me by telling me that under different circumstances, he would have never let me go.
This time, he was there at a time when I really needed a friend, and helped repair my bruised heart. But once again, time and distance played against us and I found myself moving on. He understood and wished me well.
I met a new friend – Radio – and upon first meeting I knew he was not yet ready for a relationship with someone like me. We walked in to our friendship with wide-open eyes. Radio was newly out of a marriage and it was easy for us to talk openly and candidly about things. I felt like, in many ways, I could help repair his bruised soul much the way that Rocker had healed mine.
After several enjoyable weeks, I could feel myself on the cusp – either moving forward, or moving on. Dating stinks, and not having to date and yet still having the comforts of a Platonic Plus relationship (aka FWB) was an attractive distraction. But I also knew that there were a lot of things that still didn’t work, and the fact that I was willing to ignore them and move forward was not healthy.
I forced myself back to POF and OKCupid, and stumbled across a photo of a man that immediately caught my eye. I waited to contact him, suddenly shy, but Hiram responded back and after several days of great conversation, we met and it has now blossomed in to something with great potential.
As soon as Hiram and I had started chatting, I let Radio know that I was going to have to downgrade our relationship to just friends – and he took it somewhat in stride. I knew he was struggling through his own personal issues, and I knew the timing was not ideal. But because we had been open from the beginning, he respected my wishes.
Radio and I still chat – and I hate all that he is going through. Knowing that he has to deal with so much alone, while I am moving in a more positive direction, makes me feel guilty. I know I don’t need to feel guilty, it’s just a side effect of who I am.
And that’s what has happened. I’ve looked back at past loves, past relationships, and thought about what might have been. Most are in better places, some are in worse, but all have moved in different directions. And I wish them all well.
In these days of no regrets
I keep mine to myself
And all the things we never said
I can say for someone else
And nothing last forever but we always try
And I just can’t help but wonder why
We let it pass us by
When I see you now I wonder how
I could’ve watched you walk away
If I let you down please forgive me now
For that beautiful goodbye
(Beautiful Goodbye, as sung by Amanda Marshall)