He says another woman is ‘the one who got away’
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My fiancé and I have a relationship that is fun and comfortable but has never been passionate. We share many common interests and have been a part of the same social circle for a long time. Our families have been supportive of the relationship since day one.
Before we got together, he was in love with a mutual friend for years. She's married now, and they never dated, but he says it was "love at first sight." He calls her "the one who got away." Whenever he sees her or her name comes up, his face lights up.
Our relationship has always been more of a flirty friendship than a torrid love affair. When I asked him if he'd regret not being married to someone he felt more passionately about, his response is that it's too late for that. I love him, but I wonder if he will always think of me as an also-ran.
- Not the One Who Got Away
"It's too late for that."
I ... I just don't know that you want to marry someone who's telling you your relationship is the result of settling.
Is that what he's saying? That it's too late to for him to find someone he's excited about, but you’re good enough? If so, yeah, this is an issue.
It's different – and more understandable – if he tells you that the kind of love he's looking for is more about partnership and deep connection than the sparks that sometimes take over when you meet first someone, especially when you have an unrequited crush. But it doesn't sound like he understands his own giddy feelings about this other woman at all.
Tell your fiancé that you don't want to be with someone who's with you but longing for someone else. You can't stay excited about getting married if you feel like a second choice.
By the way, I do think you're the first choice, and that this other woman is something other than the one who got away. She's the one he'll always wonder about, but that's something else. I don't know that the experience of being with her would have met his expectations. And if this woman felt the same about him – if those sparks were real and shared – she would have shown up to be with him.
But it's important he figure that out before you get married. Talk to him about why you want to be with him and how you hope he feels about you in return. Give him time to process what you've said. It might help him rethink what this other woman represents.
Readers? Could you marry someone who's stuck on the one who got away?
"Can you live with feeling like a consolation prize? It doesn't sound like it." – phatalistic