You can't force lightning to strike twice.
I am a 24-year-old who was in a three-year relationship with someone I loved very much. When I was with her, I felt loved, seen, and connected. There was a breeze behind me year-round, and wonderful, life-affirming moments abounded. However, two years ago, that relationship ended as a result of miscommunication, mutual recrimination, and unhealthy codependency. I haven’t talked to my ex in a year and don’t want to get back together; we’ve both moved on and are different people now.
However, the amazing feeling of being in that relationship still haunts me. Whenever I go on dates with new people, I haven’t been able to connect with them the way I did with her. We clicked right away and very quickly developed strong feelings for one another. After we broke up, my ex said our relationship wasn’t special and discounted its intensity as a simple rush of young love. I don’t think that’s right, but am I in the wrong here? Should I try to forget the emotional connection and freedom that I felt with her (because, as she implied, it’s not something I’ll feel again)? And if not, how do I successfully put that past feeling aside and not immediately discount the possible connections with new people because those first interactions don’t feel the same way? I’ve been to therapy before and am going back soon, but is there anything else you would recommend?
—Trying to Move On