The Ones That Got Away

I’ve dated them all. The only kind I haven’t, fortunately, is the kind who would hit me. Probably because that kind would know to give me a very wide berth.

However, for years, the only kind of guy who would turn my head is the kind who would ignore me, and remind me they were too good for me, chipping away at happiness and self worth. Yep. I couldn’t get signed up fast enough.

It wasn’t always that way, however. In high school, while I was concentrating on trying to be good at team sports, I met a guy who would turn my life upside down, in the way only teenage love can.

I was boy crazy, like most girls my age, but I never thought I’d actually be “in a couple”. I was never going to be one of those girls, living a high-school love story; I knew it deep down. Didn’t stop me from chasing them. Just FYI, that never works – live and learn.

When we were in elementary school, my friend and I would hide in my mom’s sewing room and take turns calling the boys we liked, long before the days of call-display and they could know better than to pick up the phone after seeing it was us. Remember? When everyone’s phone number was listed in the phone book? With address? Those were the days! We wouldn’t just call them, we’d tape record our conversations, with good old fashioned cassette tapes. It was a highly involved process. We’d unscrew the earpiece from the receiver and put it on the tape recorder (if you were born in the 80s or later, you won’t know what kind of phone I’m talking about, just go with it), have our conversations with the second phone, script in hand, then play them back to relive the magical moment forever and ever. If you’re one of the boys we chased, now you know. P.S. I don’t have those tapes anymore, relax. We played them til they were rendered useless from so much rewinding. But we did our best with what we had.

Chasing never works? But wait, in high-school, it finally did. When my crush finally realized that he liked me back, after I pursued him shamelessly, making him mixed tapes, recommending and lending books, riding my bike to his house every day during the summer, etc., etc., etc., he finally gave in, and we were done like dinner. We fell madly in love, were inseparable, and he actually unconditionally loved me, proverbial warts (including, obviously, INSANITY), weird family, my mistrustful (to say the least) and controlling father (who, by the way, was soooo right not to trust us), and all. It was intense, this obsessive, all-empowering teenage love. He was my first boyfriend, the first guy who ever thought I was special.

We actually never broke up. What separated us was my family moving thousands of miles away to Chile. It was the hardest thing I’d ever have to do in my life until that point. We stayed in love for years after that, in the days before the Internet, writing each other 10-page letters (on paper, and in the mail) DAILY. We eventually and inevitably dated other people, but remained in contact. He and his mother came to Chile on a holiday, seven years after I left Canada. I adore his mom, and the trip to Chile was her gift to him after he got his bachelor’s degree. I loved him still.

But I was mixed up with that idiotic diplomat, and I was too confused and jumbled up to make a choice, and too many years had gone by. The following year I moved back to Canada, with the diplomat, and upon leaving him, went to spend Christmas with my old boyfriend’s family. But after the holiday I kept going, moving to Vancouver. I often wonder what would have happened if I’d been smarter and paid better attention to the happiness that was right under my nose. One of the ones who got away. I’m still in touch with his mom and sister and love them dearly (they actually came to my wedding!), and I know he is happily married with 3 kids now.

In between, there was another guy. This guy was positively hilarious, could always make me laugh til I cried, and was such a chivalrous, kind, wonderful guy. This was in Chile too. He didn’t live in Santiago where I did, but after we met, he made the 3-hour drive every weekend to come hang out with me. My roommates told me he was in love with me, but he never tried anything so of course I thought they were dreaming. Why would I think this guy who went out of his way to come see me, then drive me another 2 hours to visit my parents (because I didn’t own a car), drop everything to chauffeur me around, take me out for dinner and dancing and never let me pay, and never ask for anything in return would like me? Well, one night, after taking me to a romantic dinner at a piano lounge, he did tell me. And he laid it on the line. He loved me, and would move to Santiago for me. And what did I do? Why, I rejected him, of course. I had my eye on this particular fella who treated me like garbage and denied my very existence. I know, right, the choice was obvious. I saw him again a lot after that, after I’d snagged the prize of that other guy who made me miserable for 2 years. And he was dating someone else. A lucky girl he went on to marry. What’s my problem? Topic for another post.

It’s not all bad. I had the strength to leave the guy who made me miserable, moved to Vancouver to get away from him (and only didn’t move farther because it was as far away as I could get while remaining in Canada and not falling into the Pacific – and didn’t get lured back by him after he realized what he’d lost and pulled out all the stops to get me back), and got married in Vancouver, to a nice enough guy with whom I have 2 amazing kids.

Obviously the marriage didn’t last, but I have now learned to not be unhappy if I don’t have to be. And I lead an awesome, fortunate existence now. And have the wisdom that came from painful experience to not, if it presents itself, let an opportunity for happiness get away. It’s never too late, right?

Ladies – don’t let the good ones get away.



  1. Why is my wordpress avatar some crazy purple design? AHHHH, must have signed in incorrectly. But how many kuyaz do you know? Squish.


  2. Ready Freddy says:

    Hey Frederika,

    Enjoyed reading your words. Made me sad and happy all at once. May your prince arrive soon.



  3. Albert Banerjee says:

    Okay, so I’ve got a question for you. This other guy who went to the ends of the earth for you, the one you say you rejected. You say he was the obvious choice…but was he? Sounds like he was a good guy that you were not interested in. Simple as that…And perhaps he should have taken the hint much earlier?? Unless I’m mis reading this – because it sounds like you were never dating in the first place??

    See I raise this because I recently encountered a women (on line) who’s profile speaks of wanting to be courted…and my first thought was “Forget That!”

    I realize that at this point, I’ve got no interest in putting energy into a relationship that is not immediately or very quickly mutual. And I”m not talking about sex. I’m talking a recognition of mutual interest. In which case it is more of a celebration than a courtship…it’s not trying to win favour in other words.

    I don’t know…too much effort without a clear relationship sounds like the kind of foolishness that book/movie “he’s [she’s] not that into you” was trying to address….


    • Hey, Albert. I totally see what you’re trying to say! No, this guy, I always wished I could have seen past the absolutely wrong guy for me to be able to see the right guy. Has always been my problem. Had I not already had a thing for the wrong guy, I would have, even for all my obtuseness, done the right thing. I loved being with him. But I didn’t want to hurt him. I would have been all kinds of into him! Very soon after I turned him down, I regretted it. He found me on FB and we’re in touch, and when he writes me, my heart sings. Oh well.


  4. It is never too late. I have to believe that. There is someone for everyone. You have to decide what you want in a relationship, and that can change over time, too, so live without regrets: every decision you ever made was in fact the right one for you at that time in your life, even if later on you realize it could have been better, had you known better, yada yada. You cannot achieve happiness by dwelling on life’s “could have beens”. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders, so just keep doing what you’re doing.

    BTW, I have plenty of regrets, plenty of stories like that, mostly because I was dumb & inexperienced at the game of love, but then I have my own blog for that! πŸ™‚


    • It’s true, all paths led to where I am now πŸ™‚ I know I’ve made bad choices but I don’t have regrets. Also…you have a blog?! Care to share?


  5. Great post V… I absolutely love reading your blog. So glad you didn’t fall into the Pacific, but if you did, I would fly 3354.71 kms to save you.


  6. Great blog article Veronica.

    Really enjoyed it…. reading a woman’s perspective on this stuff… interesting… and helpful.

    Hope all is well with you!


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