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 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.

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* 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 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 and a Casting Producer will be in touch ASAP.

7,178 Responses to “Reuniting With Your First Love…on the Net”

  1. Been There says:

    Pragmatic Dreamer -

    “There comes a time when the only answers that matter are the ones you find within yourself and they’re the hardest ones to find.” Don’t said it well. Sometimes it is very hard to find the answers when the question is put out there, when no answer is forth coming.

    But, this can cut both ways. There are some answers that are obvious, but not seen or understood until that “wow” moment. Then there are the answers that we try to fit in, like puzzle pieces, that just don’t seem to go into the puzzle. Some may not fit, others do but we just have not found the way to place them. The later are the pieces that I try to keep reminding myself to not guess at. It is so hard to not want to find the answers and fill in the missing pieces. Doing this can lead to heart ache when the worst case scenario is not the correct piece.

    My “wow” moment occurred and I was so impressed that any identity issues seemed to have been confronted. It takes a big person to go against the norms of society. Friend may need time to get to that point, if this is an issue. He may only be at the beginning of that growth stage in his interpersonal relationships. I still cannot believe that your friendship means nothing to him when he cried at your wedding. I use to hear the word “confused” a lot in the past. Friend may show hostility, but be very confused. I never saw any hostility from the confusion, but is this something that could be a part of Friend’s makeup?

    I do think that there is a chance that Friend can rise from the ashes. I never appreciated the struggle in my situation and now actually find myself amazed. Friend may just need to work through his self-identity. With time he may get to the “who cares” moment when he needs that comfort of his childhood past to pull him through. We all have dark times in our lives. We also look to the good memories to carry us through. I’m trying not to fill in those blank pieces, but I have had another funeral visitation at the same grave site recently. It is so easy to let the mind wander. I don’t really want to be the beloved enemy, the second word of the term never seemed to fit. So I am trying not to let my mind run away with crazy thoughts. Concern and worry are another thing. Those thoughts at least are based on concrete facts.

    Try to let your mind see the light, not the dark. Do you know Friend’s birthday? You could always send a card with something like, “sorry if I annoyed you…” That lead in always got a laugh from me when I received it, and the words say so much in themselves. Or, you can wait and then pretend that nothing happened and just move on when Friend comes around. I have seen the word sorry so many times in my life after disagreements. You may find that with time, you will also hear “I’m very sorry” from Friend. Was that your first contact in years? You probably caught him by surprise at a very confusing time in his life.

  2. Don't Do It says:

    Pragmatic Dreamer –

    I would love to hear from you via email if you are interested. My email is

  3. Bob says:

    Skeptic/Sketch – Your experience was good to share, so thank you!
    Prag. Dr – I agree with what you wrote, and I am hoping that she was genuine with her words (so many years ago when we were together) – this would explain why she had a hard time looking at me when we all had lunch together years ago.
    This site has been helpful in that it provides an outlet for me. At one time I shared this information with another friend, but I believe the reason this friend distanced themselves from me was because I would bring up my fl approx 40 % of the times we talked.
    On the way home from a long drive tonight I found myself creating a love song about my fl. I do not even remember the tune now; now that it’s 5 hours later. After singing I spoke to whoever would listen to me in my vehicle (that would be nobody but me – unless…..). I thought to myself, “maybe this is my burden to bear”. I have always heard that every person has a burden to bear in or throughout their life. I thought is this the burden or is this the sacrifice I have been given? If it is, I suppose my sacrifice would be “not to rock the boat” (& not “to tip the boat over” – like the old song communicated). Am I relegated to live with this ache of longing for my fl? If this is my burden to bear, then the answer is “yes”. Yet part of me still desires to know if my fl still has feelings for me. I will always want to know. Maybe this should be the epithat (unsure of spelling) put upon my tombstone when I die – “He always wanted to know”

  4. STACEY ALLAM says:

    Bob does your wife have any idea how you feel?

  5. gonecrazy says:

    I have also tried to talk to a few people in my life about this, and they didn’t understand. I believe this is something you have to go through yourself before you can understand it. Most people just make the assumption that you are bored with your marriage or that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. After listening to people’s stories, and reading up on this topic, I don’t think that is the case most of the time. I think for some of us we have a connection with someone that cannot be broken by time or distance.

    My own experience of finding my old friend, through unusual circumstances, 25 years after last seeing him, seems to confirm that type of connection does exist. You wonder if your FL still has feelings for you. I think you should just assume she does have feelings. Hearing directly from her that she does will not make you feel any better. At least that has been the case for me.

    I wonder why you are suddenly interested in getting in touch with her now. Has something in your life recently changed? Sometimes I think as our kids grow up and leave we realize we not satisfied with our partners, or perhaps we realize we stayed in a marriage for the wrong reasons.

  6. Bob says:

    Gonecrazy, the thoughts of my fl and always wanting to reunite with her are not thoughts they just began to resonate recently. On the contrary, it has always been the case. The problem was that she married another man (a guy I knew as a boy) while I was still single. Because of my loneliness I could not remain single, so this drove me to begin dating. Eventually I encountered my wife who I ended up marrying. I am in a good relationship (for almost 30 years), but I know my heart belongs to my first love. There you have it —– there are other details, but that’s the big picture. My wife does know although I don’t think she realizes that the ache I have is ongoing. From time-to-time she even mention to others (when someone will ask if they have ever had their heart broken) “oh yes my husband’s heart was broken big time by ” “!

  7. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Adam: How are you doing?

    I know that our circumstances are very different, but I just wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to take my own advice (that I’d given to you). I’d been trying to decide if I was ready to start dating again, and I remembered that I’d encouraged you to give yourself time to fully heal so that you wouldn’t make a rash decision that could lead you back to “miserable.”

    I tried to picture saying “yes” to this man who asked me out, but each time I tried to imagine what the date would be like, I’d find my anxiety level rising. I remembered also telling you something about knowing when you’d be ready to communicate with C by the strong, peaceful feeling you’d have in your heart and realized that my heart was SO not there yet! Figuring that if the time was truly right, I’d be happy and excited about dating again –rather than excited but sick-to-my-stomach …lol. I know that I’ll be nervous when the time comes, but it should be a “good” nervous!

    So I “politely declined his kind invitation” (don’t worry; I didn’t use those EXACT words). :-) I was a little nervous that it might be an awkward conversation, but it went well. He just gave me a really big grin, and said, “Yeah, I can’t be too surprised that you’re not ready …considering the deer-in-the-headlights look you gave me when I asked” (have I mentioned that my FACE is an open book?)! This guy managed to be so charming about it, that when he asked if I’d let him know when I AM ready, I said that I would (he obviously knows all about my unusual circumstances). And NOW my heart feels peaceful, so I know that it’s the right decision for me.

    But my peaceful heart is also still my bruised and battered heart (from many hurts –Friend’s just being the most gaping wound right now) so now is the time to let myself continue to heal.

    We have completely different life situations, Adam, but we have wounded hearts in common. Hang in and heal, okay?

  8. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Been There– RE: “I don’t know too many men that would tell someone they are gay!!!”

    Actually, where I live, the social pressures can be completely opposite from many parts of the country; here, being gay is downright trendy!

    RE: “ Friend may show hostility, but be very confused. I never saw any hostility from the confusion, but is this something that could be a part of Friend’s makeup?”

    Yes, when Friend was upset, it often looked like anger. It took me awhile back then to figure out that it usually wasn’t directed at me so much as at himself or at a situation. Maybe it’s my own limitations that make it difficult for me to figure out what he’d be confused about. When you’re involved in a gay relationship and you’re contacted by someone from your past –who only knew you as a straight man– it all comes down to whether you’re happy to hear from that person or not. If you really don’t care about them, you give the polite excuses (sometimes, lies) and wish them well. If you are happy to have the chance to reconnect with someone, you tell them at least some basic truths about yourself! Sadly, it seems pretty obvious what Friend thinks of me.

    RE: “ Do you know Friend’s birthday? You could always send a card…”

    I’m positive that that would be the LAST thing he’d want on his birthday: a card from ME! No, I honored his wishes and promised not to communicate with him again –and even went so far as to delete his contact info so that I’d never even be tempted. :-(

    RE: “ I don’t really want to be the beloved enemy, the second word of the term never seemed to fit.”

    Unfortunately, as far as Friend is concerned, only one of the words seems to apply to me …and it’s NOT “beloved.” I can’t help but wonder when my status changed from “Friend” to “Enemy.” Was it 30 years ago? –When I found him and tried to reconnect? –Or somewhere in between?

    The only clue I have is that I really THOUGHT that Friend’s first reaction was a happy-surprised –and if that is true, then he somehow changed my status after I contacted him. I haven’t any idea, however, what I could have possibly written that would illicit such a reversal.

    I’m very sorry to be sounding so negative. I’ve had another hard week. It’s kind of funny, though, that I realized at one point that I’d been listening to a lot of Shannon Hurley’s music. –I think she’s good; don’t get me wrong (she’s also a fan of Elizaveta, so she obviously has wonderful taste)! But she does seem to write a lot of songs about love & loss, so no wonder I kept struggling to get out of my melancholy mood.

    I ended up switching to Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat for awhile. They are two of my “go-to’s” for a pick-me-up, so that helped some. Their music can be quite moody, though, –especially Colbie Caillat’s– where I’d find my spirits matching her range from devastated (“Breaking at the Cracks”) to empowering (“Fearless”). But even “Fearless” was getting me down this week. [When I went through my cancer scare, I turned to some of the music of my past to help soothe me ...but without a lot of success. When you're already sad, DON'T listen to Dan Fogelberg, whatever you do! Friend & I used to like Pat Benatar, and I hadn't listened to her for a really long time, so I found some of her music. I'd remembered her songs as feeling very empowering and thought that that would be good for me; instead, I was startled to discover that it felt more like she was yelling at me --which is SO not soothing!! I like to say that God and Jason Mraz ended up getting me through my scary September; the only sleep I got that whole month was usually after praying hard and then listening to Jason Mraz's happily mellow voice.]

    Luckily, I have an even more dependable “go-to” that I discovered this past winter –and since you seem to also have a penchant for classical music (or as I like to characterize it: Classical Lite), I thought you might like this too, Been There. Have you heard of The Piano Guys? YouTube has their music videos –and I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen them ALL (some of them multiple times)! Every single one is either breathtakingly beautiful (like their version of “Let it Go”) or gently humorous (like Steven’s “Me and My Cello: Happy Together”), and they definitely inject some international styles, as well. Many times, they like to combine true classical pieces with more modern-day hits to highlight an upbeat style that is just their own. (They do have one very touching song that makes me cry, so I have to avoid that one right now.)

    I just love these guys!! They even have behind-the-scenes videos that explain more about who they are: basically, very talented Mormon men (so they joke that they “collect kids” :-) ) who credit God with giving them their joy (I’m not Mormon, so I’m definitely not trying to proselytize here). And they give me just what I need right now: UNBRIDLED JOYFULNESS; they’re like medicine for my soul! My son & I got to see them in concert fairly recently (they’re on a world tour) and enjoyed them IMMENSELY (…okay, my son liked them a lot; I LOVED them)! They make me smile on the outside and dance on the inside; I have no praise that’s any higher! And even just writing about them, cheers me up so much. :-) :-) :-)

  9. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Don’t Do It– RE: “ Is there anyone else who you were close to that remembers you from your younger days?” and “ I said to my FL in the first letter I sent him “If I can’t say ‘remember when’ to someone, is the memory real? Does it take at least two people to remember when?”… If no one else remembers, does (or did) it matter? It does matter. As long as one person remembers it, it matters and it happened and nothing can change that.”

    My college years were definitely my most social-butterfly-ish. Unfortunately, this means that individuals –and even groups of people– tended to rotate in & out of my life at that time. Even my best friend from high school –who is still one of my closest friends today (the wise & loving one I’ve mentioned before)– was going through a real “party-girl” stage, so we didn’t hang out together nearly as often as we had before or since that time. I didn’t even spend time with my family as much back then (I was hardly ever home)! Friend was my constant during that period of my life. And I hadn’t even realized until my health-scare (with my life flashing before my eyes) that HE was the one that even made that whole section of my past into one that stood out among the other eras for being packed-full of wonderful memories.

    I sure wish that I could hang on to my store of impressions, but I’m afraid that they’re feeling less real every day. I thought that I could cling to my treasure-trove of reminiscences from that (mostly) happy time, but I must not be as strong as I thought I was. It feels as if Friend poured a can of black paint into my treasure chest; my memories are all tainted now. Being forced to take each one out and clean it off is downright draining. Plus, I now find myself second-guessing my little memory pieces –that used to be so clear and intact. For instance, now that I understand that Friend wanted more than friendship from me from the beginning, I can’t look at my recollections of his comforting me after my Love #2 in the same way anymore. Was he just thinking, “Hmm… how can I use this to my advantage?” :-( I think, right now, that I’ll be lucky if I can salvage half of my “treasure.”

    RE: “ I would love to hear from you via email if you are interested.”

    Thanks, Don’t! I am.

  10. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Bob– RE: “Maybe this should be the epithat (unsure of spelling) put upon my tombstone when I die – “He always wanted to know”

    THAT is beyond sad, Bob. After what I’ve gone through in my life –and especially this past year– I’m most definitely in the camp of: If you’ve got something to say, say it! We have no idea how many “laters” we actually have ahead of us.

    But others here have wiser insights on the subject. That’s what keeps bringing me back here –that, and the incredible support of knowing that you’re not alone.

  11. Adam says:

    PD, I’ve been offshore since Tuesday night. On the way to work my wife called and we talked.. She asked if she should wait on me or just accept it and move on. I said that I am going to miss her and always love her but it’s not fair to her for me to be with her while still in love with someone else. That I know it hurts her, but it would be selfish of me to work things out with her only to break her heart again a few months down the road.. She asked if I wanted her to file for divorce.. I said I don’t want you to, but we have to.. And that I love her and have to set her free.. She was upset and we got off the phone.
    Well, that was right before I picked up my helper who is 2 years older than me lol. He said he was having problems with his wife and I told him what happened with my wife.. And I told him the basic story of what was going on. We’ve been working a few days and finished up yesterday morning around 2am then went to bed for the day. Got up around 3pm and and he talked to his wife and said she wanted a break.. Well we got to talking about both our problems and I told him the whole story but first I asked if he knew her because he’s from the same area as her. He said he doesn’t know her but he might if he saw her.. I told him to look up her Facebook and he doesn’t know her. Anyway, I said I didn’t want to see her picture because I wouldn’t be able to handle seeing her pregnant.. I couldn’t help myself and looked….. I felt sick when I saw her and said I had to go to bed because I couldn’t handle it… I still am really upset from seeing that picture of her very pregnant..
    Going home today.. I’m really messed up.. Even though I knew she was pregnant, seeing her so beautiful and even more so now that she is going to be a mother.. For someone else’s child…. Destroyed me all over again! I get that knot in my throat and my eyes water up thinking about it and I can’t stop picturing it…

  12. Been There says:

    Pragmatic Dreamer -

    I had forgotten that Friend told you never to contact him again. Have to point out though, I did say the SAME THING once and it took me 14 years to finally give it up. I felt like I was missing apart of myself, but anger mode worked so well. My directive caused a lot of hurt and depression for myself; the feeling of missing a part of yourself. I also realized that I was getting older and it would be better to resolve issues with myself and others before it is too late. 53 is not incredibility old, but anything can happen. I don’t think Friend will take as long to come to this realization. I had plenty of years to remain in anger mode. Much of the NC was to avoid a cycle that never seemed to end. Between the two, I had no choice. Friend does not have to worry about the second part. He only has to figure out who he is and then realize that he too has limited time. Due to the feelings expressed at your wedding, there will come a time he will crack. Friend now has your e-mail. He can contact you when the time is right. As long as he knows that you are open to the contact, he probably will do it when he is ready.

    “Yes, when Friend was upset, it often looked like anger.” I do this too. The anger is really hurt. Being gay may be “trendy” where you live, but for Friend it may be something that he got into without knowing all of the ramifications. How long has he been gay? The Facebook pictures make it seem like this could be a new adventure.

    Is there a way that you can check his Facebook page for updates on his life?

    “It took me awhile back then to figure out that it usually wasn’t directed at me so much as at himself or at a situation.” This point actually made me reflect back to a period where the same type of behavior could not be explained by either of us. I’m glad you pointed this out. Having been told that things were going badly and that it wasn’t me, your comment seems to fit one of my prior experiences.

    Negative? I think you are down right hilarious!! Can’t tell you how much I have been laughing at the comments. I definitely relate.

    I will have to check out your song suggestions, when I get the time. I heard Pat Benatar the other day, her song “Running with the Shadows.” Love it. Beware, it fits better with the older more positive memories.

    Did you ever contact Don’t?

  13. Been There says:

    Adam -

    Did you ever speak with a psychologist about the feelings connected with C being pregnant? A friend of mine (male) said that having a child usually will turn a guy off, when it comes to feelings for a woman.

    You really need to get to the root of these emotions.

    Good to hear that you have another guy at work to talk to. It will help you pass the time.

  14. Adam says:

    No my therapist doesn’t understand the fl thing and told me the standard response to affairs.. But like dr rob and kalish said, this is not the same as a regular affair.. This was unresolved before I met my wife. I’m tired of explaining the story and there’s no way I could do it in one hr sessions every week or so..
    But as for pregnancy making a guy lose interest.. It doesn’t.. It actually makes me more attracted to her because she’s the only girl I ever saw myself even considering a family with and I know she will be an amazing mother.. Then the indescribable pain hits that I can’t and don’t have anything to do with her and her baby.. If she would give me the chance, I’d be there for her through everything and be so happy about it.. But that is impossible and it kills me.. It’s also hard because I knew she wanted children and they’ve been together since spring of 07 without children, so I kind of always hoped either he didn’t want or couldn’t give her kids..(I know that’s wrong but the truth) and that she always knew that if we were together she would have at least a couple children..
    Also them being married is nothing compared to the bond of having a child together so now they will share that together..
    I thought she was so gorgeous (pregnant) but instantly that same feeling of seeing how beautiful she is crashes down because it’s for him.. I’m so angry! I know she misses me too and it’s not fair how things turned out! It’s like I’ve said before.. We were just 19year old kids who both really liked eachother but didn’t want to scare the other away or was scared to get hurt and didn’t realize the others feelings until it was too late.. Then this 29 year old (I don’t see what a 29 YO wanted with a 19YO..) and overnight she’s gone.. I don’t think either of us realized they would stay together.. I know she just settled for him and didn’t want to “rock the boat” so just went with it and is now in way too deep to ever leave even if she isn’t happy..

  15. ToDo/Not says:

    I am in such an emotional turmoil. I am 35, with children and have been for almost 3 years none of my children are his, as my youngest is 9. I fall head over heels for my husband and we married within first year. I couldn’t remember being so in love since I was 14 with my first love. For the last year or so things have been getting worse then ever. He is not a cheater he’s a good man but he doesn’t connect with me on my level of needs. Well in April I typed my first loves name on Facebook and it was him he had only had it for a few months because I had looked him up here and there. Without hestitation I hit request and almost instantly he accepted, what needs to be known is back when we were together we had such a strong connection that we ended up taking off in a stolen car to parts unknown as long as we were together it was ok. Well about a week or so later we were arrested and I was 14 he was 18. That day there was no goodbye or break up he was sent to prison for the car and I moved on after my whole world crashed and burned around me. We have not talked since. So we messaged back and forth here and there nothing wrong just him telling me he how I was once his world now he would have to settle for playing a small role in !y life as he lived over 500 miles away and was recently married. Then in the end of June I was no longer his friend on Facebook. I was a little hurt then in the middle of July he requested me and wrote me saying sorry his wife took me off and he was coming home and wanted to catch up. He did come back and last week I met up with him for about a half hour instantly I felt this overwhelming feeling hit me and in that moment I saw me and him 21 years ago. Our visit was innocent I did give him a hug when I seen him and when i left he asked to hug me. Since that we are messaging and I know he is my forever. He is getting divorced and its because he still has too much love for me, he is willing to do whatever to keep me in his life even if it’s just friends, He wants me to do what is best for me. I am so confused but in 10: years from now I see him and me together. Help!!! Going crazy

  16. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Been There & Adam– RE: Facebook & pictures

    Aww, Adam. I’m so sorry that you are hurting so much right now. When a man thinks that a particular woman is even more beautiful pregnant, the woman knows that she is really, really loved (and it perfectly illustrates the difference between a “player” and a mature man in love)!

    Your sad descriptions of your feelings really do remind me of how it SEEMED like Friend felt 30 years ago. And it breaks my heart all over again just to imagine the POSSIBILITY that I might have caused him even close to that amount of pain –because that’s the last thing that I’d ever wanted to do. Between him hurting me or me hurting him, I’d have chosen him hurting me every time (which means that I should be ecstatic right now :-( ), because it always hurt me so much to see him in pain. So if you can imagine C feeling the same way if she knew how much pain you’re in, then take some comfort from that, Adam.

    Been There, this is why, when you wrote, “Due to the feelings expressed at your wedding, there will come a time he will crack,” my first thought was, “Oh, no, no!” I never want Friend to be hurt like that just so he’ll want to let me back into his life! I’m okay with never hearing from him again if I can know that he’s completely happy (and reading between the lines of his emails, I just have to assume that that’s the case). So, I guess the lesson for me in this is that I should trust his instincts. Friend must have felt that denying/lying about our relationship in order to shove me away was in his best interest. Not having me in his life must make him happier than it felt to have me in it; so be it. I’ll take the fall.

    Adam’s experience is exactly why, Been There, that I’m SOOO not going the Facebook route (or social media, in general). All it holds, I’m sure, is more pain –and I really don’t need that (I have quite enough already, thank you)! It was so very tempting when my “photo informant” tried to get me to peek– and every day, I know that all I’d have to do is ask her for her info and I could spy around to my heart’s content. But I am not going to go there. (I stopped trying to memorize Friend’s face from the couple of photos I’d seen of him online when I wasn’t able to figure out if any of the men I’d seen were actually him or not back in April!) I think that what makes it especially difficult to resist is that she described the women in the photos with Friend as all looking incredibly young, so I had to ask, “Er… how young?” And she said that they looked about the ages of my older kids (twenties to early thirties). EEK, that’s disturbingly young! But she tried to quickly assert that some of them were certainly co-workers or something. –Don’t think that I wasn’t really, really curious! I’ve decided, though, that I’ll just assume that they are all relatives or work-related women …and leave it at that. A picture can only say so much anyway; I wouldn’t get the whole story from a photo. And, as Adam’s example has illustrated, there’s just too much suffering down that path. Ignorance CAN be …if not BLISS –at least, less painful.

    Adam, “H” is seven years older than I am. I think that it’s pretty obvious what an older guy would see in a younger woman. :-( On the woman’s side, someone who is older is more established in their career and is often more ready to be in a committed relationship –which can be appealing when so many young men her own age might seem pretty immature, being more interested in partying and/or playing the field. C may or may not have been in love with her husband when she married him, but she must have seen something in him that she thought would make her happy. She may have had a rude awakening (like I did) but decided to make the best of a bad situation. She may be very happy with her choice, though (I’m sorry; I know that it’s painful for you to contemplate).

    One thing that I remember vividly when I was newly-married and pregnant with my first baby was how very vulnerable I felt. During the pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy stages, I, personally, would’ve had to have been in an extremely abusive situation to have been able to make the decision to leave (which is why I recommended getting yourself set up in some kind of “home” environment before even thinking about talking to her; you can’t expect a woman at that stage of life to leap without a net)! And if the husband is acting at all in a caring, supportive kind of way, it can be very difficult for the wife to contemplate doing something so hurtful as to (basically) take his child away from him. But couples quite often have children, thinking that it will help shore up a failing marriage –only to find that having a child has only brought more pressures into the relationship. So, I’m definitely not trying to discourage you further, Adam; I just wanted to give you a “big picture” from the perspective of my memories. –And to point out that even if her first response was negative during this period of her life, it may not stay that way given some time. This would present you with 2 huge tests: 1) your reaction to a negative response would need to be a soft-hearted one in order to keep that door open; 2) you would have to be super committed and incredibly patient in order to wait it out. …Because one thing I know for sure: if someone I cared about said to me all that you want to say to C during that chapter of my life and I didn’t feel able to jump at the offer, if the man got all “huffy” and stormed out of my life, it would only reinforce the fact that I made the right decision in the first place. :-(

    When I posted the last part of my story, I copied & pasted the last email I sent to Friend. I can’t say that it was a gentle response, but I’m very sure that it’s the answer he wanted (the evidence that he’d succeeded in his mission of pushing me away). Been There, you wrote: “Friend now has your e-mail. He can contact you when the time is right. As long as he knows that you are open to the contact, he probably will do it when he is ready.” Although I believe in miracles (having had quite a few myself) and that anything CAN happen, I still find it impossible to imagine Friend doing a complete 180 degree turn-around anytime soon, so I’d better not hold my breath …especially not for 14 years! :-0 Been There, if Friend ever does reach out to me, you have my permission to give me a really big “I TOLD YOU SO!”

    And yes, I did email Don’t, and I look forward to hearing from her. :-)

    Adam, I think that it was ROAR who suggested that you try contacting Dr. Kalish. I think it’s an excellent idea. She may at least know of someone local to you who is familiar with dealing with pain caused by a former love.

  17. Been There says:

    Pragmatic Dreamer -

    “Been There, this is why, when you wrote, ‘Due to the feelings expressed at your wedding, there will come a time he will crack,’ my first thought was, ‘Oh, no, no!’ I never want Friend to be hurt like that just so he’ll want to let me back into his life!”

    I didn’t mean crack as in falling apart and getting hurt. I meant that he will calm down and realize that your friendship was always important to him. Which I can’t believe it isn’t. When he does, he may take the next step and contact you. I do remember the things you said in your e-mail in response to him. That is where the difference lies. Without your response, he may have come to see that he was a jerk. At some point, you may want to be the bigger person and say you are sorry. Not having been the bigger person myself, I have come to have more respect when I do see that from someone else. I now realize that my lashing out was not so kind when the behavior was most likely anger directed at himself and his situation. That would fit perfectly with why he could never explain it. I cannot thank you enough for giving me closure when it comes to not understanding this and the hurt it has caused.

    Perhaps there are issues that Friend needs to first address. If you open the door, you may get your friend back. It is funny that Friend thought you planned a hot and heavy relationship with him. He may calm down and remember that this was not the type relationship you had in the past. He may also open up where you can perhaps help him as you did in the past.

  18. Adam says:

    PD, at all costs, don’t look at pictures!!! It will destroy you!
    Thank you for the long reply, I agree about being patient and I think I’m doing exactly that now and I know I could in the future too.. I would not get all “huffy” lol and I don’t expect her to leave.. So I’m going to leave her alone.. I’m just sad that she doesn’t realize how strongly I feel….
    As far as the older thing.. 10 years might not be much difference between say 25 and 35 but at 19 a 29yo is a third of ones life older! Although I do see why she thought he could make her happy, what was the reason he was even consider someone so young.. I wouldn’t even date anyone below 21 and that’s even a stretch so I just find it strange of him..
    I’m not even considering contacting her and I don’t want my friend too either because I don’t want to add any complication to her life.. Especially since I know she wouldn’t consider leaving anyway..
    I will have my house back in a couple months because my wife has been wanting to move anyway so I’m going to buy her a new house and I’ll keep ours..

  19. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Been There– RE: “Without your response, he may have come to see that he was a jerk. At some point, you may want to be the bigger person and say you are sorry.”

    Well, I’m kind of hoping that someday he’ll figure out that he was a jerk –even WITH my response. :-)

    Considering that I’d promised NC, I’m pretty sure that emailing him for ANY reason would be wildly inappropriate. And considering that I don’t feel that I did anything wrong (beyond annoying him), an apology to Friend would be fairly insincere. So I can’t imagine annoying him again with an email apologizing for annoying him would do a whole lot of good! ;-) Also, don’t forget the minor technicality of having deleted his contact info…

    I am going to give the topic some more thought, though, and get back to you later–

  20. Adam says:

    Yeah PD, you will probably feel so much worse if you feel like you are annoying him and you send him anything.. I know how you feel.. Wondering how we care so much and the other person can just go on with their life knowing how much they hurt us.. I mean I am having to leave my wife for both our sakes but I give her answers so she can understand and heal..

  21. Pragmatic Dreamer says:

    Adam: Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, I’m determined not to make my life any harder than it has to be. And I have enough internal drama going on right now; I certainly don’t need to go out looking for it.

    RE: “I wouldn’t even date anyone below 21 and that’s even a stretch so I just find it strange of him..”

    You’re a good guy, Adam. I wish all men had your scruples.

    I sure wish that C COULD know how you’re feeling about her right now. Trust me, whether she’s completely happy or not, the feeling that she is that cherished would be something that she would tuck into her heart and treasure always.

  22. Adam says:

    Thanks and I wish she could know also but I don’t want to complicate her life.. It would be nice if there was a way for her to know without being bothered but there’s not..
    I’m sure she is at least content but I’m pretty sure she’s not increadibly happy.. She told me her husband drinks too much and from the pics I’ve seen on Facebook he still does.. I know from my first child how drinking can affect a marriage with a new baby especially if it was a problem before..

  23. Been There says:

    Pragmatic Dreamer and Adam -

    I think C does know, even with that drunken call. She knows Adam is over the top about her, but she also has a life and has moved on.

    Adam – When you are ready, you will find someone. You should also realize that even if something happened to her husband, it does not mean that she will be coming back to you, even if she knows that you are totally CRAZY about her. Then again, age has no bearing on how long someone lives. He could outlast all of you.

    Pragmatic Dreamer –

    I didn’t say to e-mail him any time soon. There may come a time that there is something you want to share, which would be a genuine reason to make contact. Because of your last e-mail, I thought you may have to smooth things over then. The tone would be more like recognizing that he could be going through a very bad time in his life which made him lash out. Remember, you said that is was common earlier, and you made it clear to me that I too have been in that situation. Even though I heard the words sorry more times than I can count, never once did I even acknowledge stress factors that most likely brought it on.

    I have also come to see, only recently, that our days are numbered. There will come a point where it will no longer be possible to clear the air and say I’m sorry. I think he owes that to you, for your own piece of mind. As you said, you feel like there is a gaping hole and that a piece of yourself is missing. Over time a scab can develope over the wound, but if it is possible to gain closure, the scab will fall off and the wound will be gone.

    You knew him as a friend. I don’t know if he knew who he was then or now. I think you will find contact information when you are ready.

  24. Adam says:

    Been there, I understand if they would split up she wouldn’t “come running to me” but I would think she would at least contact me so we could talk about some of the things we both have wanted to for so long, and get rid of some of the unresolved issues.. Like you hope to do with your fl..
    I also just posted on the blog if you feel like checking..
    And how have you been lately??

  25. Been There says:

    Adam -

    Very busy with work.

  26. Adam says:

    Ok I don’t want to bother you. Thanks for replying though.

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