I'm not qualified to talk about "lost loves," I'm afraid.
I consider love an energy, and to my way of thinking, energy can be diverted, but not lost.
Every time I've loved, I have weighed the checks and balances, and I like to think I've always come out "in the black" for the experience.
Loves are never lost--they are transformed.
I don't consider any investment of love as a lost cause, and no regrets either. I just figured if it didn't work out, then it was meant to work out the way that it is NOW---it took me a long time for me to understand that I didn't have to express my love in a sexual capacity--that love can be and is expressed in many ways.
* * *
As for romance?
Maybe it's like a puppy. Love comes to you all fresh and new and full of bounce and energy, but so new, so wonderful, the inconveniences are endearing.
New love can be very unruly, but it's that very unpredictable quality that we call "fresh" and new.
A matter of perspective, I suppose.
I read somewhere that the glow of love, the tolerance and discovery that this particular author described as insanity, tends to wear off--and she even gave an estimated time allotment of three years.
Wear off? I shake my head. I don't think that's accurate.
Naw. Puppies grow--they change--and love does too.
After a few years, there is a more familiar dance between the two--not always easy-- and a look conveys the all of the words, but even just the vibe is enough to convey the tone. A simple "sense of air" is enough to ruin an evening. I can judge by the angle of my husband's shoulders when he walks in the door if he's going to be "present" during our evenings, or add my voice to the nastier list of "things to do" in his mind--and add me to the list of things he'd rather not have in his life.
Now that hurts.
There's an adjustment period, and a bit of emotional trade off, I think.
* * *
"Where the hell have you been?"
as she thinks
"Thank God/dess You're HOME."
as he defends
"I'm gone so I can care for YOU."
(okay, she thinks, "yeah sure, so where's my side of buffalo?)
but she optimistically hopes, that somewhere inside he is also thinking:
"Thank God/dess You're HERE."
but then there's the dishes in the sink and the towels on the floor, the mail is a pile of bills and the water heater is busted, and they're distracted by the annoyances yet again, sometimes amplified by the attempt to find the middleground.
* * *
It gets even more complicated too. Add marriage to the relationship and you get more questions, of vows and character, and the "do you love me's?" multiply as you yourself grow and change, and the definition of love changes (or expands), so that even that simple question changes to voice the insecurity of "do you really love me?"
Then there's just agreeing on what constitutes good sex.
Which brings me to this--
Add children to the equation and you get a bag of tricks, filled with the ghosts of childhoods. One is bad enough. Now there are two. And they have to be blended and synchronized. Traditions are challenged and re-arranged, and the hauntings of bad experiences keep mucking about. Things you thought you'd forgotten are resurrected as you live through the moments of your own childbeing inside, while you learn parenting, challenging the memories of your own, and understanding the why's of your own upbringing, and re-living the pain of loss for something you can never replace. You find yourself overcompensating in some areas, and under estimating signifigance in others. And you make up the applications of all you know as you go along too, because just like "they" always said, you truly don't understand until you have your own.
And as for regrets of dreams--think about it. You had expectations and dreams about you and this person, and you've had to let go of that. Those dreams made you happy for awhile, so naturally, you feel bad knowing that those dreams will not be realized.
It's grief, sweetie. (or withdrawals)
Feel it, understand it, and let it pass.
All will be well.
* * *
But if I may paraphrase a favorite comedian, Steven Wright--
"You can't have everybody--where you would put 'em?"