Reuniting With Your First Love…on the Net

They say that you never forget your first love. And with the exception of yours truly, who would rather stick his tongue in a bear trap than even think about his high school girlfriend, many look back on their first romances with fond feelings. Although not everyone thinks of that relationship for more than a passing moment or so, some must wonder what it would be like to rekindle the romance they had when they were teenagers or college-aged.

Suppose for a minute that you could. What would that be like?

As of 2003, Dr. Nancy Kalish had studied over 2,000 “lost love” relationships. She said that three-quarters of first loves who reunite years later decide to stay together, even when the reunion begins as an adulterous affair. Normally, most marriages that begin as affairs terminate. How are these people reconnecting and why would the relationship work at a later date?

The web, of course, is where most of these meetings begin. When Dr. Kalish was doing her research in the early 2000’s, the most popular site for finding people from the past was Classmates.com. At that time, the site found that 36 percent of respondents had used the net to look up or contact a former significant other. And Dr. Kalish stated in an interview with the Boston Globe that while many people begin their search as simple curiosity, affairs can escalate quickly *. The interviewer, Carey Goldberg, noted an anonymous respondent from Dr. Kalish’s research to highlight this point:


“It’s like you’re falling in love all over again,” she said. Her first boyfriend found her on the web, and before she knew it, she was obsessed, and then lying to her husband, and then sexually unfaithful, and then caught by her husband – who, to her continuing gratitude, stuck with her instead of divorcing her.

Dr. Kalish brings up a very interesting point: “therapists tend to underestimate the powerful nature of such old loves, especially first loves. As a result, they tend to tell such patients that their feelings for their re-found loves are based on fantasy and that they can find the same feelings in their own marriages if they only try. But that fails to take into account that reunited lovers really do know and love each other, and a first love, in particular, remains unique. This is not about sex, it is not about the spouse or the marriage, it is not a midlife crisis,” she said. “The reunion is a continuation of a love that was interrupted.”

Carey Goldberg notes some research indicates that a teenager may attach specifically to a first lover in much the same way as a baby attaches to a mother. This hypothesis was given by Dr. Linda Waud, a Psychologist who wrote her dissertation on three reunited couples.

“There is an actual neurological attachment that happens between these individuals,” she said, “and that’s why it’s enduring and it never leaves your mind. It’s there forever and ever.” Interestingly, Dr. Waud herself reconnected with a long-lost love after 35 years apart.

In her in-depth interviews of the three couples, she noted that they had unusually intense sexual connections, which made her posit that sexual attachment may work with the same kind of specificity as baby-mother attachment.

Although a dissertation with only three couples makes generalization extremely difficult, she is onto something. I’ve made the very mistake that Dr. Kalish pointed out: that the former love is simply a fantasy and that one’s current relationship can satisfy this new need. And this is coming from someone who is not only a product of divorce, but someone who also spends most of his days thinking about why marriages fail, so I obviously thought I had some weight behind my advice. After I was wrong not once but three times with clients who ultimately chose to leave their marriage for their high school sweethearts, I had to rethink my position. There’s a possibility for a permanent footprint in your brain when it comes to your first love.
What does this mean for current relationships? With Facebook now in complete control of the human race, more and more people are reconnecting. Many will get back in touch with old flames, possibly their very first romance. Depending on how those conversations go – and yes, of course many of them will be simple hello’s and good-bye’s – casual chat may turn into flirtation, then a discussion about status and availability. And when the relationship moves from Facebook to IM to text to telephone and then to personal contact, the attachment that Dr. Waud talks about has perhaps manifested itself in a true rekindling of the romance, with much more backing than any affair could produce. For some, decisions will need to be made. If married, do I leave for what might be really ‘the one?’ Or do I stay and honor what I’ve agreed to while relinquishing what my mind had perhaps bonded to years ago?

Unfortunately I don’t have the answer to that question and I’m pretty sure that we could get a 50/50 breakdown if we asked enough people. Every person in this spot will need to answer it, however. And from what I’ve seen in my practice, it’s an agonizing choice, especially when the current relationship is at least somewhat satisfying. So essentially I’m along for the ride as people decide what is in their best interests as well as the other parties involved. This can take months, perhaps years, to weigh out the pros and cons, the practical and emotional changes involved in life-altering decisions like these, the risks involved in making the ‘wrong’ choice. In other words, watching a client grapple with a problem like this is very difficult to watch. Even if you think you know the right choice, you can’t give it to the client. He or she truly has to come to it via the self. It can’t be spoon fed. Some will leave their families and begin new lives with a former love, usually with a large amount of guilt. Others will stay put and feel that permanent imprint tugging at them. Either way, it’s not a particularly envious position in which to be.

If you enjoyed this piece please consider giving your blessing to my Facebook Fan Page. Thank you.

* I’d link to this specific article, written by Carey Goldberg, but it’s archived and you have to pay to read it. Hit up Globe.com if my piece doesn’t summarize it sufficiently for you or if you don’t mind spending the fee.

Related Post: Reuniting With Your First Love…On the Net (Revisited)

Update (11/20/13): I’m not sure if this is of interest to anyone, but I received this solicitation and agreed to post it. Consider it useful until early December, 2013:

Now Casting: People Looking For Missed Love Connections!

Do you believe that your one true love is actually someone from your past? Do you often think about “what could have been” with an old flame? Or perhaps someone that you met and felt the timing was off, but could have blossomed under different circumstances? Do you dream of reuniting with a high school or college boyfriend or girlfriend, but don’t know where to find them? Was there a person that you had a steamy vacation tryst with, but have never been able to track down?

If so, we want to hear from you! A major production company is casting for people who dream of working with an expert to make a love (re)connection with someone from their past. To learn more or refer a friend, please email us at MissedConnectionsCasting@gmail.com and a Casting Producer will be in touch ASAP.

9,188 Responses to “Reuniting With Your First Love…on the Net”

  1. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @Guiltridden,
    Your FL may be psyching himself out. Convincing himself it’s just friendship. He is the one who initiated contact, and to me that speaks volumes.

  2. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @complicated,

    I can only echo what others said. Be there for him to listen, bounce his thoughts off of. If he asks for your opinion, give it. I agree with whoever said about reminding him that you have a horse in the race too. Your opinion may be biased.

    As for can you love your spouse and LL. Of course, but they are two very different loves. My love for H is as a friend/family member. My love for LL is deep and real and true.

  3. Complicated says:

    Please – thus far, he has only shared with me what he wants to do. He has not asked my opinion about anything. Think he just needs a friend and he does trust me. And rightfully so.

    A friend of mine has always said I am probably FLs BFF.

  4. To Love Without Regret says:

    As many who’ve read my comments over time will know, I usually don’t indulge anonymous trolls very gladly. But the obvious parallels with my situation mean that in this case, @Please, I have to disagree with your statement. It isn’t pathetic, I agree, but it isn’t exactly fair or responsible either. Not because of the decision, whatever that turns out to be, but because of the expectation that had been created and then reneged on (if that’s what happened). No-one has the right to play fast and loose with someone else’s emotional life – unfortunate things happen, sometimes the world intervenes and ideas we were once so certain about are fundamentally changed by time and circumstance. Sure. But when this isn’t clearly explained, as it happens, or people are left sitting on their hands, guessing, lives are bruised and relationships damaged. Which is why the best tools we have at our disposal to deal with this sort of complexity with some integrity is honesty.. and ordinary courage.

    The line about ‘honoring commitments’ is not ‘a given’ (to quote that rather unfortunate fudge/platitude/phrase). Nobody should make promises or commitments they either don’t want to or can’t keep, or even aren’t sure about when they make them, and even if someone feels so strongly about contractual probity that they feel justified in not doing what they said they would, that doesn’t ever justify leading someone on. The just say it. Sorry, but there’s no wiggle room here. It’s not about the reasons for staying in the marriage – as I’ve made clear, I understand how complicated that decision can be – but it’s about disempowering and using people, and then leaving them in limbo. As someone who’s been at the sharp end of this, I feel very strongly. Sorry.

  5. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @TLWR,
    “Not because of the decision, whatever that turns out to be, but because of the expectation that had been created and then reneged on”

    Either the LL or the spouse will have their expectation reneged on.

  6. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    My point is, in these situations, someone will get hurt.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You mean the commitments like love honor and cherish. While telling your first love how head over heals in love you are with him and how much you long to be together forever. Forever right. The commitments all ready been broken. Just lie and cover up truth. She does not have a faithful bone in her body.

  8. Jeff says:

    Please God- so you feel pretty much the same as me with my wife and my FL. Is it him that won’t leave his wife for you or is it both of you are stuck in marriages and can’t leave?

  9. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @Jeff,
    Both of us stuck. Him financially and career (they both work at the same place) me morally and financially.

  10. Jeff says:

    PG- oh ok sorry to hear, that sucks

  11. WILLIAM says:

    @Guiltridden,

    “Just after the first time I saw him and that meeting confirmed that I still love him… But my 6 page heart wrenching letter, when I was in that initial phase of feeling totally crazy, probably told him too much….and was met by just a 2 paragraph email (I couldn’t obviously give him my address) and the fact that he told me he shredded my letter soon after he had read it several times is symbolic for me of how he feels about me!!”

    I wish I had discovered this site back then and my initial reaction would have probably been more guarded with the helpful input of you guys here.. But what’s done is done and in some ways I’m glad I was honest (with him at least!) and told him everything about why I left him, made the wrong choice about H etc….in that letter. After baring my soul as I did it’s difficult to establish ‘boundaries’ as you say.”

    [W: Guiltridden, I didn’t even need to SEE my FL for the feelings to come roaring back! All I needed was to hear that her father had passed. That was when “it felt like a house fell on me” !! (As I told about in my story way back) Only SIX pages? (lol) Mine would have probably been about 15 or so (not hard for anyone who has seen me get “wordy” on here to believe, I’m sure). In fact, I had begun to write it that very first week after the reconnection…and even was gonna send her an initial “thinking about you all” follow-up from the visitation (as I wrote about on here way back). But I was fortunate, I guess, to run into that guy in the parking lot after I worked out…and fortunate enough to talk to others who helped me “cool my jets” during the first few months afterward. So I got that “helpful input” even w/o knowing of this group…

    I agree that it is hard to set boundaries now, but at least he does know exactly how you feel. Though it made more sense not to come clean in my particular case, part of me does wish that I had made it all known. And I still would like to, SOMEDAY. I hate being that person who always puts most things off until “someday” (which might never come)…but unfortunately that seems to be my destiny with the crazy, dysfunctional world that is on my plate. And, as I’ve alluded to, I really think that she (my FL) now “knows” that I love her (and maybe even that I am “in love“ with her), just w/o me actually saying it. Even w/o showing or saying the details, I think that I conveyed enough from the visitation/reconnection and afterward to relay that message, in a sense. And, as I’ve hinted at on here, ACTUALLY CONFESSING those things on a written “paper trail” might cause my deeply-religious, “born again” former Bible teacher FL (or her H) to get creeped out and think she has to cut me off from even “friendship”…which is why I’ll just try to keep things as they are for now. I truly need her in my life as a friend, even though I sincerely doubt that anything more will ever be in the cards for us. And hopefully these rollercoaster-like up/down feelings won’t kill me in the process!

    PS: Re the part about the “shredding” and how he feels…

    I agree with Complicated here:

    “I don’t believe much of what you say you believe about your FL. He is totally confused because he wants you back in his life, but it’s “wrong” so he tells you he wants you as a “friend.” Someone else on here described what you have as a relationship and it is. He can lie to himself to make it look like he’s not a bad person, but it is what it is.”

    “He wants to see you when he’s in town because he has feelings for you.”

    [W: Complicated might be referring to Don’t’s situation, or something similar on here. With either one or both FLs being married/attached, there are further complications entered into the mix. And it becomes so difficult to navigate the “boundaries” !!]

    “Try not to be so hard on yourself, GR. I don’t want you to go to the dark place I was in last year. Try to get some therapy to try to sort through your feelings.”

    [W: But if you do go this route, just be careful with therapists! That’s why I came here instead…since you all “get it”, and like TLWR says, most therapists don’t understand our somewhat rare “imprint” FL…most of them can only truly put themselves “in our shoes” if they have experienced this “imprint” themselves!]

  12. To Love Without Regret says:

    Please – that depends on what kind of expectations underpin a marriage, and what kinds of promises inform them. For example, my wife and I never made some fantasy commitment to be with each other ‘forever, regardless’.. we are committed to be with each other as long as we both want to be here, and to be transparent and honest with each other at all times whilst we are. To deal with problems as and when they arrive, to always be kind and thoughtful, and to always try and have each others’ backs, and deal with issues in the least hurtful, least damaging way possible.

    Neither of us would ever want to stay simply because we are feeling trapped or guilty, and neither would want the other to either. Some people would prefer comfortably numb, wishing they were elsewhere but too inertia-bound to do anything. Neither of us are those. In other words, we are committed to love each other, not ever to be captives of the other. Does that mean that one of us choosing to leave would be made easier – of course not. Does that mean we live in the real world where divorce is more common than it’s absence, and both understand the toxicity of marriages people don’t really want to be in, or are tolerating but feel dead in – absolutely. Our marriage is founded on love and wanting the best for ourselves and each other, not contractual obligations or good form. Also neither of us are the kind who feel they need a free pass from ‘the great beyond’ to control our own destinies.

    But there is also a huge difference between created expectations that are reneged on because they were unrealistic and formulaic at the time they are made, such as standard marriage vows (which let’s face it are a cultural ritual that most people sign up for without any proper understanding of what it really means – who understands in their 20’s or even 30’s what a 60 year relationship with one individual will entail, or how much you or the other might change in that time?) Not even touching on the uneasy fact that many on this site had a well-hidden torch for someone else at the time they made those ‘solemn’ vows, and blithely signed up to something with no legal time limit but scheduled only to be ended in death. So I think it’s fair to suggest that those expectations were created naively, with no reasonable chance of ever being met. Empty promises really.. Even house bonds, some of the longest and most odious contractual obligations we have ever invented, are limited to 20 or 25 years usually. So I’m not sure your comparison is entirely apt here.

    I’ll keep saying it – if you aren’t prepared to leave your marriage, don’t pretend that you are to your LL. It isn’t fair to your them, and it doesn’t say much for your character or trustworthiness. Make any other arrangement, choose whatever you want to do (involving the LL or not) and see if they’re agreeable – I have no issue with any of that. But what happens when you create the expectation that you are prepared to leave your marriage is that it necessarily impacts your FL’s life to the core. In my case, it set off a chain of events and responses that have ended up being a profound shock to my marriage, and for nothing ultimately. Why was I put into the situation of having to tell my wife that there was a possibility I might choose to leave? What did my LL gain from that..? And I can assure you I didn’t need it either.

    She once said to me she wasn’t interested in ‘pie in the sky’, but then ultimately sold exactly that to me in bucket loads. Sorry for the rant here, but you really don’t have the right to destroy (or try to destroy) a lost love’s marriage just because of impulsivity or poor self-control, or because you’re gargling on all the attention. If you both want to reunite and it’s real, that’s fine; if you don’t but youwant to play some part in each other’s lives, then that’s also fine. And if you choose you don’t want anything, just be honest and end it properly. But what you can’t do is manufacture a marital crisis out of a friendly contact-making email, and then run away when the sh*t hits the fan. “Got carried away” isn’t an explanation, it’s a bad excuse. So is FLAD, and so is “I was too quick to express my feelings..”

  13. Trapped No Longer says:

    @ Anonymous

    Let me assure you, that there is no way on God’s green earth that I am your FL or that YOU are my LL. You are not even from the same planet. Never in a million years would my LL launch a rebellious cyberattack, call me a liar, or selfish bitch. I really feel sorry for you and the pain you are so heartlessly displaying. If you are as hateful and uncompassionate like this towards your FL, go look in the mirror and you just may have the answer as to why she may have reneged on her willingness to reunite.

    @TLWR, Jeff, Skeptic/Sketch, GR, Still & William…

    Thank you all for your support. My LL knows everything and I have never led him on…he blindsided me with this and turned my world upside down. My story is so complex but I refuse, especially after what has transpired on this public place, to disclose anything further. From this point on, my life, relationship and future with my LL is between us two and my therapist. Jeff I will be thinking of you this week. Best of luck to you all. Peace.

  14. Tess says:

    TLWR,

    I agree whole heartedly with every word that you write. It all feels pretty pointless right about now. It certainly is not fair to turn one’s world upside down and wake up those feelings, and not stand behind your words. Not to mention what harm it does to the other person’s marriage as a result. Sometimes I wish that I had not been honest with my husband. It certainly would have spared him countless hours of needless doubt. I believe that you were probably more honest with your spouse than I was. He didn’t know all of the details, nor did he want to. The ironic part of my story is that the exact time that I was going to tell him that I fell back in love with my FL was the very day my FL disappeared!

  15. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @TLWR
    LL and I never said we would leave our current situations. It is unspoken, but we both know we will suffer where we are for fear of change and for me, also the fear that if LL and I were together, I would probably not be all that he envisions.

  16. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @TLWR,
    My husband married me knowing all about my LL baggage. And H knows LL and I are in contact.

  17. To Love Without Regret says:

    @ Trapped No More

    In the five or six years this post has been up, there have been a succession of trolls and haters drifting through, each eventually getting bored and going away. Some of the anonymous trolling posts, and this could very easily be one, are likely from my FL’s husband. Without going into too much detail, please take my word for it that we are dealing with a profoundly troubled individual with serious boundary issues, and this is just the kind of asinine stunt he would pull and probably find immensely rewarding. It not not be, but it seems a strange way to pass the time unless you have a vested interest.

    The rest of his behavior certainly points this way.. One of the things I will never properly understand is her ‘blind-eye’ to some of his more outlandish behavior (and no, it’s not the obvious reasons or even financial). As I watch him flirting dangerously close to the biggest legal slapdown of his life from my wife, I can only puzzle at why this has been tolerated for so long. But the saddest part of all, of course, is that whoever’s doing it really doesn’t understand what it ultimately says about them.. and their concept of love.

    Everybody here knows their own story, and however blunt and robust the debate might get on this site, and at times it really does, and no matter how many trolls pop up to have their delusional and sanctimonious say (and they always do it anonymously, on an anonymous site – I say spot the attention-seeker!), this always ends up being one of the best and most resilient repositories of story-sharing and emotional unloading for lost loves that I know of. So please don’t let this cluster B type behavior chase you away, just don’t post any obviously identifying info if you think it is someone you actually know.

    To @ anonymous, whether you are who I think you are or not. Why do you spend time hanging around a lost love blogsite and periodically posting inflammatory bait? And why do you get your rocks off trying to set traps for people, including the people you purport to ‘love’? The reason I ask is that this is not ‘normal’ behavior, and the people you hurt and obviously intend to hurt (and probably enjoy hurting) will never be able to fill that fetid hole in your soul. You will never feel better by making others feel bad, and you will never make yourself large by diminishing others. Interestingly enough, some recent Canadian research suggests that internet trolls commonly display the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

    And underneath it all, if you are who I think you are, you are a small, stuck, insecure little man, hanging around and surveilling known online spots and communication hubs for years on end because ultimately you know your wife refuses point blank to do the simplest thing – put an end to this. Whatever you try to make yourself believe, there’s that little part inside of you that knows that this is one thing you just can’t control, however hard you try – and you hate it. Well, keep checking dude, life has a way of confounding even the most overblown of egos…

  18. angry anonymous says:

    How is that for a name. Happy now? TLWR man don’t be paranoid. I don’t know you. My first love did exactly what I should have expected. Showed no regret for how she has hurt me. I used to be a good person. She is the one with no compassion. If I’m hateful she has made me this way but takes no responsibility. Then she does what she does best. Runs away. The best proof that she is my heartless first love. I’m her broken toy.

  19. Don't Do It says:

    Trapped, As TLWR stated, please do not leave this site because of the remarks of one person who refuses to share any of their own story and whose only motive is to tear other people down.

    Sometimes it’s hard for those of us who “hang” out here to immediately decide if a poster is someone who is legitimately reaching out or someone who is hell bent on hurting other people.

    If you or anyone who is looking here for understanding allows these people to chase them away, than they succeed in their goal.

    Please know that for every one (or maybe it is just a few people over and over again under different names) of these mean spirited posters there are dozens of genuine, caring people who will always try to help as much as they can.

  20. Don't Do It says:

    Angry Anonymous,

    I have no idea if you are “real” or not. I know I get a little worried sometimes that certain posters are my FL (even though I know he would never take the time to look for a place like this or even think he would benefit from the advice of others). Not saying that I think you are my FL but I see jumping to the conclusion that someone else posting here was your FL.

    If you are real, it seems like you need this place too and I would hate to run someone off who is in as much pain as you seem to be in.

    I, like a lot of others here, chose not to respond to negative drop in posters as a rule but I’m going to assume you are real.

    Ultimately, I think we are the only ones responsible for how we treat others and how we react to the boulders that life throws at us. It seems like your FL has given you reason to be angry at her, but PLEASE do not lash out at other people who are hurting just as much as you are.

    There are always differing opinions and viewpoints here and that is one of the things I like about this place. I do think that most of us try to express these opposing opinions in a caring manner that doesn’t make others feel attacked and I hope that if you continue to post you can be a little more understanding.

  21. Guiltridden says:

    @trapped PLEASE DON’T STOP posting here due to that one thoughtless individual who seems to be misplacing his anger onto others here. All the rest of us here (or the majority that have been communicating recently) are sympathetic in trying to understand the very complex issues that each of us face but in some cases can be similar and help us to realise we are not suffering alone. There are people her who I feel have become ‘virtual’ friends….
    @complicated and William
    I’m not actually as in such a depressed state as I may come across as in these posts… I’m getting it all off my chest here and this is as good as therapy for me! But thanks for the suggestion complicated

  22. Anonymous says:

    GR – anytime and I agree with William that you do have to be careful with therapists. And we are therapists for each other.

    The wisdom and advice I get either directed at me or others is priceless!

  23. Complicated says:

    That was me above:)

  24. Perplexed says:

    My FL has been encouraging me to seek help with doing everything I can to tryto make my marriage work and has recommended that I see a therapist to help me sort through some things. I am considering it. I just don’t want to go and be feeling like I am being judged. I’ve never needed this type of help but feel like it can’t hurt. Hopefully, when I build up the nerve, it will be a positive experience.

    However, I too, am benefiting from the exchanges on this board… Both the good and the bad post… I agree it is not nice to lash out but I’d prefer someone take a long moment to type a nasty message to a group of faceless people than hurt themselves or others due to bottled up frustrations/anger.

    I ain’t saying… I’m just saying… You never know what people are going through and what outlet they may need to step away from that ledge. So keep it coming I say… I have found that if I read a few lines I don’t like, the beauty of all this is, I can skip over it and move on to the message of potential inspiration, hope, or success. And so can you… Even if it directed at you. Keep it coming!

  25. Guiltridden says:

    I had written a really long post and unfortunately only the first quarter of it appeared!! Oh well got it off my chest anyway… But only to myself…

  26. still crazy says:

    Angry Anonymous poster
    I don’t know if you are “real” or just some one out to shake things up a little. It’s interesting that you decided that Trapped could be your FL on the basis of just a couple of short, vague, posts. If you have a story you would like to share, not just vaguely saying that you have been hurt by your FL, then please share with the board. We can’t offer any insights or advice when we don’t know the story.

  27. Trapped says:

    @TLWR, Don’t, GR…

    You are all correct, should not let one anonymous poster push me away. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement to stay around and your thoughtful posts. This is just such a difficult time for me and I’m strong but on the flip side of the coin am very fragile right now. All of your words are very kind and thoughtful. Thank you

  28. still crazy says:

    Complicated,
    To answer your question about loving both your spouse and your FL at the same time, here’s how I feel: I first met my H when we were only 13 and 14. I noticed him immediately – thought he was cute. He didn’t notice me or feel attracted to me. I met FL when we were 18 and 20. Very strong instant attraction for both of us. Physically, I have never felt the way I felt about him with anyone else. Before or after. After things went wrong with FL, I started dating H. I definitely was not “in love” with him. Eventually, after a few months, I decided I “should” love him. At the same time, I still had feelings for FL, but I was under the impression FL didn’t love me. I suppressed the feelings for FL, married H and thought I was in love. Maybe I was. However, my H has treated me in emotionally abusive ways for so long that I can no longer trust him. It’s hard to be in love with someone you can no longer trust. I still care for him, I don’t want to hurt him, but I can’t say I’m in love with him.
    I haven’t seen my FL for 25 years. Would I still feel the same physical attraction for him if we met? I don’t know, but my best guess is yes.

  29. SunnyCAGirl says:

    @PleaseGod- have you heard from your LL yet?

  30. Complicated says:

    Still Crazy, and ALL – The trust issue is very important in any relationship including a love/marriage one. Prior to my reconnection with FL, my H has cheated on me. While I still loved him, it chipped away at the love. Once I was able to get myself together, I became stronger. Although I wasn’t looking to become romantically involved with FL, it was probably easier because some of that love for my H was not all there. Something was definitely not there.

    I remember telling him years ago, when I stop being concerned about what you are doing, you will know I don’t care anymore. And basically that us what happened.

    Need your help once again. So, spoke to FL today and he was back to his confident self for which I am glad. I knew just hearing his voice that all was well (temporarily) with his marriage. He said his W goes on her crazy tangents and then she is back to normal. He said he’s giving her one more chance. I just told him he needs to protect himself and his assets (especially when your crazy W tried to call the police on you after she injured herself). Their relationship is highly dysfunctional and I’m not sure what happened in his life to make him think this is okay, but I am not a trained professional. I am just his friend.

    I want to be there for him, I really do, but now I’m thinking he might be just as crazy as she. I’m thinking about telling him I will be here for him but perhaps we should just be friends until he can sort out his life because, I’m sitting up all night looking up people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and I seem more concerned than he.

    Any advice as always is appreciated.

  31. Complicated says:

    Still Crazy, and ALL – The trust issue is very important in any relationship including a love/marriage one. Prior to my reconnection with FL, my H has cheated on me. While I still loved him, it chipped away at the love. Once I was able to get myself together, I became stronger. Although I wasn’t looking to become romantically involved with FL, it was probably easier because some of that love for my H was not all there. Something was definitely not there.

    I remember telling him years ago, when I stop being concerned about what you are doing, you will know I don’t care anymore. And basically that is what happened.

    Need your help once again. So, spoke to FL today and he was back to his confident self for which I am glad. I knew just hearing his voice that all was well (temporarily) with his marriage. He said his W goes on her crazy rants and then she is back to normal. He said he’s giving her one more chance. I just told him he needs to protect himself and his assets (especially when your crazy W tried to call the police on you after she injured herself). Their relationship is highly dysfunctional and I’m not sure what happened in his life to make him think this is okay, but I am not a trained professional. I am just his friend.

    I want to be there for him, I really do, but now I’m thinking he might be just as crazy as she. I’m thinking about telling him I will be here for him but perhaps we should just be friends until he can sort out his life because, I’m sitting up all night looking up people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and I seem more concerned than he.

    Any advice as always is appreciated.

  32. Complicated says:

    Sorry, don’t know why this is copying twice.

  33. WILLIAM says:

    @Trapped,

    [W: I’m glad that you are hanging around. I think a few people have let other posters push them away. I can relate to that strong/very fragile thing so well…I’ve alternated between both ever since these FL feelings came back. Hope you can find some answers, support and comfort here…]

    @angry anonymous,

    “My first love did exactly what I should have expected. Showed no regret for how she has hurt me. I used to be a good person. She is the one with no compassion. If I’m hateful she has made me this way but takes no responsibility. Then she does what she does best. Runs away. The best proof that she is my heartless first love. I’m her broken toy.”

    [W: Sorry to hear about your plight. I echo the sentiments of Don’t and others (re using this place as a release outlet w/o “lashing out” at other contributors). I think “calling out” someone else on here is a bad idea for several reasons (first off, it’s pretty hard to be CERTAIN that they are the one who hurt you on an anonymous board). However, I do realize there could be instances where the “anonymous” posters or others might be FLs or spouses. Oh well, while I thought that some of the recent comments by those listed as “anonymous” crossed a few lines, I’m not sure what was posted by you. And, I can identify with your pain (though obviously I can’t put myself in your EXACT situation), and I definitely understand the anger and feeling like you are “broken” inside.]

    PS: As for me, I just got “blindsided” by this FLAD thing again. I was doing a quick FB scroll (probably my first mistake), and saw a recent post by “her” (it doesn’t happen too, too often these days…with approx 500 friends and numerous feeds from sites that I’ve “liked”, I’ve built up quite a buffer zone). Anyway, there was that name again (FL). So, I did my Cindy Brady “zone” thing…then I repeated her married FB name about a half dozen times like I always do (in utter agony and disbelief that she is married to another)…then I squinted at the attached photo like I do these days (just in case her H is there)…and I seemed to deem it “safe” for viewing…but it wasn’t. As I looked more closely at the “group” in the photo, I saw her, her family, and HER looking as beautiful as ever. Ugh!

    So, badly in need of a big “virtual” hug, I came directly here (do not pass go, do not grab a bottle of bourbon, do not…). It is amazing how just reading some of the posts can help me sometimes, even if they have nothing to do with me at all. Just coming here online in a “virtual” room can sometimes make me feel like I am getting an “actual” hug in a real-life room! I think it is because it just helps knowing that there are others with our shared experiences and feelings (even though they differ somewhat in each case)…

  34. Complicated says:

    William – sending a big cyber hug to you! Sorry u r having a hard time. We’ve all been there — unfortunately:(

  35. Don't do it says:

    William

    Man, I hate that! It seems like it always happens to me about the time I think I can live with the dull ache of missing him. Then something just hits me in the gut!

    Hugs from me too!

  36. skeptic/sketch says:

    William – a big virtual hug from me, too!! We all need those sometimes! So much going on since the last time I was here.. geez….

    Tapped… I agree with the others, don’t stop posting! And I agree with – was it Perplexed? who said just skip over the “mean-spirited” comments. And Anonymous – you ARE hurting, we can all see that – so maybe we can understand your maybe mistaking Trapped for your FL… and believe me, I KNOW how it feels to have someone promise to “be there” then conveniently forget to remember that! BUT.. please try to be a little nicer if you continue to post here.. just remember, we’re all hurting in some way.. That’s one thing we all have in common here for the most part.. and we ARE our own “therapists” and cheering section in one! As Don’t (?not positive it was her?) said – we all do disagree at times, but we’re all supportive of each other’s opinions. which leads me to….. To Love – I think you and I think of FLAD in two separate ways.. YOU think of it as an “excuse” while I just think of it as an easy way to describe the feelings that come from reconnecting with your FL/LL!!?? I don’t use that as an excuse for anything I did! I’m just saying when you reconnect with someone you feel so connected to, your emotions just run wild – exactly like being a teen again!! (or like a “dog in heat” – as I sadly said us trying to meet up made me feel like once.. a totally miscommunication which I totally regret now! LOL!) Anyway, I don’t think EVERYONE on here uses that as an excuse – simply a way to describe those emotions! Am I right, people? Let me say, too, To Love – that my situation is most likely a lot like yours, so I do agree with most of what you say! I do try to understand, though, that sometimes these feelings take over your behavior – not everyone is a “strong” person – so I just figure that my FL THOUGHT he really wanted to be with me.. but when it came down to it, he was more enthralled with the “illusion of us” from all those years ago.. and he simply wasn’t sure enough of ME and my feelings to make a move, so he took the coward’s way out and just disappeared so he wouldn’t have to be constantly reminded that I AM here.. know what I mean? (I do try to look at both sides, really.. though I do agree with you that just choosing NC IS the coward’s way out!)

  37. Jeff says:

    Skeptic- yes, I’d agree that he is a coward for doing that to you! Even if his wife told him to do that, it’s still no excuse just to leave somebody hanging like that. I’m thinking that he didn’t have the guts to leave and take the risk, he let fear control him. He took the easy way out and settled for semi happy I’d bet, I could do that too if I wanted but, it’d haunt me forever and I’d be missing out I know. Sometimes I think you just have to go for it and see what happens, and I am.

  38. Guiltridden says:

    think it’s problems with my internet that somehow not all of my messages get posted… So here goes again and hope it does this time.
    @William …you made me laugh with your response to my post a couple of days ago saying your letter would have been at least 15 pages long! Since my confessional letter I’ve been tempted to write so many more to LL as a way of communicating as I’m not ‘allowed’ anything else between our sporadic face to face ‘sessions’. For me, strangely, this is like therapy as ,each time we meet, he peels off some of those outer layers and gives me some glimpses into what he feels about all this and me, which helps tremendously. I was in a very dark place in my marriage when we first met and was so desperate to have some positive sort of feedback…. i hadn’t even really thought through what exactly I wanted and was curious to see him again after so long but I think I really wanted him to feel the same way about me as I did for him. Unfortunately this didn’t really happen and he said after what he had wanted from our get together was to know WHY I’d left him all those years ago and how I was doing, assuming I was happily married, like him.
    So I felt awful thinking… He’s heard what he wanted… Now end of story….
    Since then with him saying recently (i’m sure I’m repeating myself here again!!) he’d LOVE to continue meeting up when we can, when he’s in town….seems like some sort of bonus to me, compared to the prospect of never seeing him again which I assume, due to his aversion to other forms of contact, would mean him removing himself totally from my life.
    Yes I’m a doormat, as I think it was TWLR who said, as I opened up my heart to him in that letter, but he does seem to be making the effort to see me when he can…. So I am more fortunate than many of us here. It seems in your case for example you never have such an ‘opportunity’ to have a face to face with your LL?
    With unconditional love it’s very difficult to establish ‘boundaries’ – especially when we live so far apart and it’s up to him who travels here to ‘set’ the dates!!
    I think my letter did ‘freak him out’ probably and I understand that he had to shred it to not leave any paper trail as you and complicated said…we are accomplices in crime here as I too am treading very carefully to hide my tracks (so deceitful I know but I think I need these ‘session’ with him now to really out more about where I stand… And also to get to know him again after all these years apart)
    However whereas I feel guilty and have told him so… He says he doesn’t …. And I don’t really get that as I’m sure if his W knew she wouldn’t be happy to say the least… Not that I can criticise as I am in the same situation but consider it ‘cheating’ due to the strong feelings I have. Perhaps he justifies his lack of guilt by saying he doesn’t have these strong feelings for me? But having confessed last time that if we were free his love could be rekindled for me…. Means it is more than a simple friendship… Or am I completely deranged and deluded???

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