We have this idea that a soulmate is someone we meet, grab onto and never let go. Sometimes, however, that’s not what happens. Some people don’t end up with their alleged soulmate for any number of reasons. And whether it’s your own fault, poor timing or just that the universe had different plans for you, losing someone who you believed was “perfect” for you is always heartbreaking.

If you don’t believe me, check out these 15 people’s stories of how it happened to them.

#15. A drink in his memory

“He died in his sleep from a congenital brain malformation 2 months before our wedding.

I am now happily married with children, but I still miss my first love and imagine what might have been. My current husband knows of him and asks to hear stories of him sometimes. We both have a drink in his memory on his birthday every year.”

#14. Too young and stupid

“She was my high school sweetheart, but I was too young and stupid to realise how amazing she was and I broke up with her. My family moved away to another state and I lost contact with her and any mutual friends, but I never stopped thinking of her.

30 years and two divorces later, she shows up as a “person you may know” on Facebook. I sent a friend request and went to bed. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my friend request came up on her phone at the same moment that her husband of 20 years was telling her that he wants a divorce.

We started talking and reconnecting, I flew to meet her a few times, then moved back to be with her. That was 2 1/2 years ago and now I can’t imagine life without her…”

#13. Like seeing a ghost

“The year before I met her I was doing some journaling under the influence and wrote about my “dream girl.” The second I saw her our eyes met and I felt this overwhelming feeling that I already knew her. Luckily she felt the same and we quickly became inseparable.

The more I got to know her, the more stuff the checked off my list. We spent day and night together for 4 months. I met her dad, Mom, and grandma and she met my family as well. I realized I loved her when we were sitting outside smoking around sunset and listening to music and she was dancing and smiling and so carefree that I couldn’t help but let loose and join her.

I moved across the world and we tried to make it work. We’d talk at midnight or lunchtime on the phone and text all the time. After a couple months, I was so sure that I was going to marry her once I moved back but out of the blue she cut all contact. A month later she got back in touch and was confused why I was so mad and thought that she’d ghosted me. Instead of taking the high road, I said some pretty mean stuff to her.

Once I got back to the country, I drove up to see her. We had lunch with her brother and her best friend and there were glimpses that things weren’t done with us but it still felt off… it was like seeing a ghost.

I moved again and now we’re a lot closer as far as distance and we’ve reconnected on social media (we follow each other) but I’m hesitating teaching out again. After she disappeared on me I went into a deep depression and I still haven’t fully recovered. I still think about her every day and maybe one of these days I’ll finally get up the courage to talk to her.

I think about her every day.”

#12. Bittersweet

“He was special from our very first conversation, and he felt the same about me. But we were both just too emotionally immature and at the wrong place in our lives. None of us knew what we wanted, nor were we ready for a committed relationship, so we ended up fighting, having a fallout and going our separate ways.

It’s been about 7 years now, and I still feel bittersweet everytime I talk to him. He just recently told me he still dreams of me at night. And we still have just as much in common. We’ve also both managed to become severely depressed, which sucks, but it’s a very special feeling to be able to remain close, talk and support each other. It means the world. Still, we’ve both accepted that we as a couple are over and we know that picking things up never would be the same anyway. But I’ll always wonder what could’ve been.”

#11. The most romantic summer

“When I met him, we had the most romantic summer of love. We were both living in different states but spending the summer working at the same amusement park (big park, had employee dorms and is partially named after a tree, also featured in the 1998 film “Edge of Seventeen”). We worked together and immediately had a strong connection that evolved from friends into a full on romance. The kicker was, he was still in the closet (coming from the bible belt) and his high school sweetheart/ long time girlfriend was working at the park with him. He hadn’t fully accepted he was gay, but was more “bi curious” and became one of those where I (the fully open and confident gay guy) had helped him experience affection and intimacy for another man; all behind his girlfriend’s back. He was “waiting for marriage” with his girlfriend so he was also a bona fide virgin.

While we both knew it was just for the summer, I had fallen hard for him. We had shared our most intimate secrets, even things he has never shared with his girlfriend or anybody else. My young heart was hoping that one day, him and I would be together. After the summer was over when we went back home, we texted and sexted almost every day. He went through periods of guilt and such that any closeted gay guy from a conservative religious background goes through and tried to just be friends which I respected. However, it still always came back to us talking to each other as lovers, usually at his behest.

A year later, he came to visit me and we spent a week together catching up on a lot of things and spent the week essentially making love. He went back home and we continued our long distance “friendship” until a year or two later. He seemed to start to lose interest as he went back to work at the amusement park and met knew friends (one that he said he fell in love with but who was legitimately straight). Slowly our “friendship” withered away until I, feeling depressed about the whole thing, sent him a scathing email that evolved into a huge fight that changed everything between us. We lost touch for a couple years. (I regret what I said in that email today, but then I was driven solely on a broken heart and frustration that he wanted to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend when it was so clear that it wouldn’t last).

A few years later, he gets back in touch and announces that he is marrying his GF (same one). Brought back some old feelings of love but I kept them to myself and went to attend his wedding, I brought my own date (a dude). My date and I were the only male-male couple in attendance at a wedding in a small town in the bible belt, so it was a bit scary but we didn’t have a problem. I am also a wicked line dancer, so at the reception when all the white people wedding songs came on, I made their jaws drop by showing off that at least one person there could actually dance. Since it was his wedding day and he was focused on the event, we didn’t get to spend much time chatting or catching up, which I was okay with. It was his day, I was happy for him and I wanted him to enjoy it.

After the wedding, we chat online some more and he tells me for his honey moon, they are planning a road trip through my state and asked if they could stay the night at my place 1 or 2 nights to save money. Of course its okay. I also give them some suggestions of cool landmarks they can visit during their trip. The first night they are in town, they got a hotel room but him, his (now) wife, my bf (same date from the wedding) and I meet up for dinner at a local restaurant. His wife and my BF are bored as hell as him and I catch up, like old friends who never lost touch we just talked for hours and hours. However, the sexual tension between the two of us needed quite a sharp knife to cut. The next day, when they did spend the night. Him and his wife were sleeping in their own bed and I was in mine. He told me later on that he was tempted to sneak out of his bed and join me in mine for an hour or two. I wish he had, but wisely, he did not.

When they left, I bid them good bye and we fell out of touch again. 3 years later, he gets back in touch with the same ole “why haven’t we talked in so long” to which I respond that he never responded to any of my messages to I figured he didn’t want to be friends and I wanted to move on. To which he finally drops the bomb…

“So I am going to come out as gay, and divorce my wife.” I mean, shocker right? (Sarcasm) but he needed a friend for advice and moral support so I was happy to provide. I thought “wow, now is the time I can finally tell him that I have been in love with him for all these years and be with him.” But before I could do that, he tells me the story of how he met a guy last year and they’ve been secretly “dating” behind his wife’s back. I end up with a broken heart yet again and didn’t tell him. But I was there for him through all the emotions and fear he was going through as he prepared to embark on this big change and the uncertainty of coming out as gay while married to a woman in the bible belt. Of course my first question was “did you have any kids?” Thankfully, no. Second question, I asked him how his first sexual experience with his wife (and first woman) went, and it quickly explained why they never had any possibility for kids. (Shocker, I know.)

After that summer, we didn’t talk much until a few months later when he packed his whole life, left the bible belt and moved to Chicago. He had broken up with his “boyfriend” and again, I was there for emotional support. I was ready to drop my “L” bomb when before I could, he told me he had met someone there he was now living with. Again, broken heart, but it was clear we still both harbored feelings for each other and occasional exchanged hot pictures and sexted, me holding out hope that maybe I would finally get what I have been longing for. This emotional experience for me, at this point, had killed at least 2 different relationships (over different time periods) with guys I was dating because it stopped me from developing feelings for them. I feel really bad now, because I was a completely jerk to them and no doubt left them with a broken heart.

Finally, I just said fuck it and in my own emotional puke, I told him I was in love with him and wanted to be with him. I just let it all out there. He essentially responded with “I love you to” but at the same time, put me right into the friendzone, (Click here for a visual representation of how that made me feel). I stayed “friends” with him on FB but distanced myself a bit from him and unfollowed him when the posts with him and his Chicago BF became too emotional for me in the vain hope of moving on.

About 6 months later, I still hadn’t gotten over him and every time we chatted (a few times a month) my heart would flutter. So I told him I wanted to come visit him for a few days in Chicago. It was during the travel off season, so I booked a cheap flight and a nice hotel room for cheap in the Boystown area. I was looking forward to a few days of us catching up on some intimacy, adventures, and just spending time together. What he didn’t know was that after years of toiling in emotional turmoil over him, this trip was going to be the decisive moment that I would decide whether or not to continue to pursue him, or move on with my life. At this point, it had been 10 years since we first met, I was at the end of my 20s and contemplating other life changing things as well.

Well, during my visit to Chicago, we had some sexy and non-sexy fun times. However, I had realized that while it had been 10 years since we met, he didn’t really seem to change that much from the person that I met, not much personal growth or maturity at all. I had left Chicago with the answer I was seeking when I arrived. I got on the plane, with a sense of closure and happiness that at this point, we are different enough people, in different directions in our life that a relationship is simply not going to happen. I felt like a huge emotional burden was lifted off my shoulders and ready to pursue new things in my life. It was truly freeing. While we’re still FB friends today, we hardly ever talk and you know what? I’m okay with that!

TL;DR- A gay version of Ross and Rachel from Friends, but with a different series finale. Also, a true story, reminiscent of the 1998 film “Edge of Seventeen”

Edits: Proofreading. Edits Part II: Thank you Reddit Gold fairy! :)”

#10. We clicked big time

“Met a girl on an early era Internet date, before OkCupid and stuff was around.

We met at a restaurant around 6pm and had talked all night til they told us they were closing.

We clicked big time.

She up and vanished on me after that. Found out several years later she’d been killed in an accident.”

#9. Never since

“She died of Cancer 24 years ago. I’ve never loved like that since.”

#8. I just felt empty

“We met 4 years ago through a mutual friend. He was very much into the same stuff I was. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Sci-Fi literature, heavy metal and musicals, etc.

My proudest moment with him was showing him the recording of Ian Gillan singing Gethsemane and watching his jaw drop. I loved him so much then.

I introduced him to Monty Python and he showed me The Fall, which became one of my fave TV series. We just.. taught each-other stuff. I taught him some Swedish, he taught me some rudimentary SQL.

We just clicked in everything. Went to concerts, movies, parks, museums and stuff. I took him to my favourite city here and showed him the historical buildings and so on. We went to the castle near the city I’d go for summer vacations and it was like a fairytale. They had a medieval festival there, with minstrels and stuff. We sat and listened until the dead of night.

Nothing ever happened, not even a kiss, but we never stopped smiling when we were together, and of course I cared so much for him.

… and then his GF came back from her year abroad for school. They had decided before to put their relationship on pause for the year, but when she came back they started over. We’re still friends. I became friends with her too, because I genuinely like her. I never felt any resentment towards either of them. I just .. felt empty. I still do.

I’m invited to his wedding next Saturday.”

#7. He didn’t know who he was

“7 years. He proposed, I thought he was mine, and I believed he felt the same. We grew up from college all the way to supporting one another till the working world. My love for him only got stronger and I felt like the TOP of the world knowing I’ll be able to spend forever with the man I trust and love and build our own little home together.

Just a month back he bailed. Just bailed. Spark was gone for him. He didn’t know who he was he said. Things are routine. He doesn’t know what he want. I thought of him in forever, he thought of me in days. Maybe I painted a life full of routines for him, so he never envisioned it with me. But it was hard to swallow because that’s all we talk about. My greatest wish was being able to say goodnight and good morning to him in person Everyday. And I was abandoned like these years didn’t happen and didn’t mean a thing. Like I’m not worth it.

Maybe it’s fate. I thought he’ll be my last. Guess not. I’m still getting over not blaming myself..wondering what went wrong. I thought I was good enough.

Somewhere deep down I still hope it’ll be him and me in the end.”

#6. Couldn’t recover

“We were married but lost a baby and couldn’t recover. I still held out hope but he married someone else. I still held out hope for years of staying in touch, and a couple divorces on his end, but after too many years I realized “ he just wasn’t into me.”

#5. Like I had won the lottery

“She passed away : (. While we were together I felt like I had won the lottery. I was walking on sunshine. She had a heart condition and we laid down for a nap and she passed away asleep in my arms. That was 4 years ago. It broke me.

Edit: this is my top rated comment now. I do care if I live or die these days and I have a lot of good people in my life. I just feel like the best days are behind me and I’m sort of finishing out my life. I’ve been in several relationships since then and never feel nearly as close.”

#4. Pieces of me

“He killed himself.

It was a little over 7 years ago. I still miss him, and the pieces of me he took with him when he left.”

#3. The moment we met

“I knew the moment we met. As soon is I shook his hand and look into his eyes I felt the ground shake, a jolt went through my body and a ringing in my ears. I looked around to see if anyone was experiencing it too but it was just us.

About a week later, he messages me. He had gotten my number from a mutual friend. He had felt it too. The next few years with him were the best. Sure, we had our ups and downs but we had each other and our baby.

Then he died. It’s been years but I know I’ll never love anyone like I loved him. I have our child getting me through life now.”

#2. A case of bad timing

“We were both quite young and too emotionally immature in our own different ways, but he at least was mature enough to know we weren’t suited for a relationship at the time. Since then it’s been a case of bad timing. He was in a relationship when I was single, and then when I got into a relationship later on he became single shortly after. I love my partner too much to ever consider leaving them for this guy, especially since I hardly know him anymore and still feel a bit of residual shame over things I said and did, but I always wonder what might have been had things gone differently.”

#1. I have no idea

“To this day, I have no idea.

I was home schooled through high school, but I took dual-enrollment classes at my local community college. In English class I met this girl, I’ll call her Ash, who was doing the dual-enrollment program with her school too. We were both in our senior year of high school and had both just recently gotten out of negative relationships. We started doing homework together and spending time together outside of class. We had really great chemistry and started dating within a few weeks. We dated the whole school year, and as we were both graduating we were thinking about going to two different colleges but in the same city so we could keep seeing each other. It was some of the happiest times I’ve ever had.​

Then one day, we met up and went on a walk through one of the hiking trails at the park. We took the trail up to the overlook, and we sat down and enjoyed the view. It was just that time of day in early summer where the sky was turning orange and doing weird stuff with the clouds. I looked over at her, and after a moment of taking in her beauty–and she seemed like the most beautiful person I had ever seen–almost simultaneously we frowned at each other. After another second of making sure it was truly what I wanted to say, I told her, “This…isn’t going to work out, is it?” And she shook her head and said, “No, I don’t think it is.” We both started tearing up, and I told her, “I think I’ve loved you,” and she told me that she loved me too. Then we walked back to the beginning of the park holding hands, hugged each other in the parking lot, and got in our respective cars and drove away. School had let out at that point, so I never saw her again.

To this day I still think about her. She’s married now with a kid on the way, and I’m in a very happy relationship with my SO. But to this day I just can’t pinpoint what it was that told both of us it wasn’t meant to be. And I always wonder what would’ve happened if we had just ignored it and stayed together.”