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My love was the best thing that I have ever had but I knew from the beginning it could not last long.

My love is finished but I still think it is the best thing in my life.

My love has been the best thing that I have ever had but I knew from the beginning it could not last long.

My love has recently finished or is finishing and I still think it is the best thing in my life.

My love was the best thing I had ever had but I knew from the beginning it could not last long.

My love is finished for a long time and I don't consider now that it was my best thing of my life or I thought that a long time ago.

So am I right with all these meanings?

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Your interpretations of was/has been are all correct

had ever had (past perfect simple) implies that this love was better than anything you had experienced before this love, but it does not imply anything about your experiences or opinions since then. A sentence like this might set the context for a description of an even greater experience: without that, the sentence sounds unfinished.

Nothing in the last sentence implies "...I don't consider now that it was my best thing of my life..".

"but I knew from the beginning it could not last long" does not feature in any of your explanations. Could it be removed from the question altogether, or do you think it has some bearing on the meaning of the first part of the sentence?

  • When I mean I thought this a long time ago that's because something greater than this love happened since the end of it – user5577 Apr 1 '16 at 9:44
  • To indicate that this is something you thought in the past, you would have to add "I thought that..", otherwise, you are simply expressing your current opinion. – JavaLatte Apr 1 '16 at 12:21

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