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.

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13,089 Responses to “Reuniting With Your First Love…on the Net”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t do it
    If this guy is a cheater do you really thinks he loves you? Don’t you think he’s just a player?

  2. Don't Do It says:

    Anonymous,

    He is a cheater and I do believe once a cheater always a cheater. (I guess I do because I cheated with him and know that I wouldn’t cheat with anyone else but that is another discussion).

    Part of the journey over the past three years has been for me to accept that he is what he is. I don’t think that him being a cheater is relative to our relationship. He’s never lied to me or tried to hide any of it. As a matter of fact, our first phone conversation included a discussion about his inability to stay faithful to his wife.

    I did have a problem for a while thinking that I could change him or that I would be the exception to the cheating rule. However, as I mentioned, I’m no longer holding out any kind of fantasy about a romantic future with him.

    I really don’t know how to explain the relationship we have. I think the people here can best understand it but maybe no one can. I don’t really care what he does regarding his sex life (anymore than I care what my best girl friend does regarding hers) except for the damage that I know he is causing to his own personal values and the affect it has on his happiness. I want to try to help him see a way to live life without the guilt of cheating. I think he is perfectly within his rights now as a divorced man to see what dating multiple women is like without the guilt of cheating.

    I think it’s part of the unconditional love and the time in life we are at now. I would love to be able to mold all of the people in my life into my perfect version of them (husband, kids, FL, etc). But, that’s not realistic. So, I choose to love him even with the flaws. Just like I still loved my mom in spite of her alcoholism and my son in spite of his drug addiction (thank God he’s clean for over a year now).

  3. Don't Do It says:

    Sorry, anonymous, I just realized I didn’t answer your first question. Yes, I know he loves me. If he didn’t love me, I would be oblivious to his cheating ways. He’s never been truthful about that with anyone else. We waited two years to begin a sexual relationship. That was mostly because he wanted me to be sure I knew what I was getting in to. He’s happy and content with a continued relationship without sex because he loves me enough to believe I’m better off with my faithful husband.

    Faith,

    I actually think it has worked out. We are still very much in contact and love each other. It’s actually the best outcome because I have both of the only two men I’ve ever loved in my life.

    G

  4. Have Faith says:

    Don’t do it (or G?)

    It’s nice to hear of a success story on here. Not a success in terms of your FL relationship working out, but in terms of you feeling that you’ve had the best possible outcome, your story could be called a success.

    Its amazing that your husband doesn’t mind you communicating with someone that you had an affair with. I’m positive most people would not be that understanding, mature, or trusting. I know for sure my husband would not have been so understanding in that type of situation. In fact he used to check my phone and my computer history behind my back because he suspected me of cheating (I never did cheat on him though)….he would also do crazy things such as rage at me and throw furniture at me, all because of suspected cheating. So consider yourself lucky in that regard.

    I’m a bit puzzled over your comment that your FL must love you because he told you all about his “cheating ways”. In all due respect, an admission such as that could also be used as a way to deter you from wanting something serious with you. He might be using that to push you away because he doesn’t want to commit to you (or to anyone ). Unfortunately there are people who play those kinds of mind games with others. Sadly, I’ve even met a few myself.

  5. Don't Do It says:

    Faith, not sure what G? means. I’m pretty sure that FLs admission of his flaws is not a way to push me away. Maybe I could see your point if we were a few months into this but we are over three years into it and it’s not a new line he’s feeding me. It’s been there from the beginning. Someone trying to push you away doesn’t contact you daily or travel a thousand miles to see you. Someone who only wants sex doesn’t wait two years and then try to maintain a relationship after the sex has been removed from the equation.

    I’m off on vacation for Christmas tomorrow morning. I hope you all have a great holiday and I’ll check in after the new year.

  6. Have Faith says:

    Sorry Don’t do it, I thought the G on the bottom of your post was an initial.

    I have to agree with you, from your description of the situation it sounds as though your FL does truly care about you. I think both the men in your life are unusual in a way.

    Your FL is able to recognize that he’s unable to be in a relationship without cheating on his partner (trust me- that is a highly unusual trait). In my own experience my husband couldn’t even admit to cheating, and when I asked him to explain his suspicious behaviour, he only became angry at me, and then lied in an attempt to get away with it. Currently he’s moved on to a new GF, who I’m sure is unaware of his cheating history or his abuse towards me.

    Then your husband is also unusually mature and forgiving. I remember reading your description of him; drinking and getting into trouble when he was younger; and i had thought he had sounded like he was cut from the same cloth as my exhusband. Unfortunately, in my husbands case, his behaviour didn’t really change much over the years. He became more aware of his own bad behaviour, and is more covert, but in essence, he’s really the same guy at 50 as he was at 20. Of course time slows everyone down, so he’s not as wild as he used to be, but still as inconsiderate and self centered as he’s always been.

    I wish you, and everyone else reading this, a very Merry Christmas.

  7. anonymous says:

    are you fully aware of what you are saying? You are willing to accept that he is a cheater and has actually covered his ass by telling you he is a cheater and then acting as if hes a boy scout for being “honest” with you. Am I missing something here?

  8. Have Faith says:

    Anonymous
    If someone can at least admit to cheating, I guess that means they recognize that they have a problem, and they therefore have the potential to change. But, with most people I know, they won’t even recognize that they have a problem They usually try and blame someone or something else for their cheating, either their spouse doesn’t like sex, or they suffer from sex adiction, or whatever excuse. I find it amazing that this guy actually admits to being a cheater who believes he will always be a cheater…he has no intention of ever changing his ways. I think if someone is unhappy with something they are doing, they would get the help they need to change.

  9. Don't Do It says:

    Anonymous,

    Just the fact that we are not in a committed relationship.

  10. Heart of Glass says:

    Don’t Do It
    You have my sympathy. You left your husband for this guy and he didn”t even care enough about you to try and change. He didn’t even make an attempt to fix the problem, did he? If he really wanted to be in a committed relationship with you, i would think he would try counseling to try and fix his problems with lying and cheating. It’s a good thing you found out what he was really like before it was too late, and a good thing your husband was willing to take you back.

  11. Hoping.... says:

    To everyone on here – how long a period of time have people gone no contact?

  12. NC Sucks says:

    We’ve gone several months with NC and it’s horrible. We both agree that having contact is better than none.
    There are others here who have gone a year or more. It seems they always come back to having contact eventually.

  13. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    We have gone NC for 6 months, the longest. And then he broke it. We have tried many times to disengage emotionally, but it never lasts. Our contact has been less intense than it was, but we still talk almost daily, at least once a week. We both know this is a long haul situation, something that has endured 35 plus years isn’t going away. Still very very hard.

  14. Revelations says:

    We talk (text) every single day and we talk on the phone several times a week. We see each other a few times each month. We have had periods of no contact but it doesn’t last very long and one or both of us can’t hold out and we start talking again.
    We have not had a period of no contact for close to a year now and we’ve been back together for 6 years.
    This past year we both decided that it was better to talk than not talk and I let him know that I am not doing no contact ever again. He said he would not put us through that again.
    I am positive that this year will bring a lot of changes. I have seen it in the way our relationship has evolved. He has revealed some things to me that I didn’t know and it shows me that he has resolved some things within himself.
    No contact is the worst. If you know that the person is your best friend, why would you keep yourself from your best friend?

  15. twice shy says:

    It seems like for the past couple of years all me and my FL do is NC, and one of just fails every few months. The longest was 6 months. Neither one of us reached out over the holidays.

  16. william says:

    Hi folks!! It has been several months since I’ve been on here, and I’m happy to report that I seem to be functioning and w/o “FLAD” for the first time in nearly 4 years!! [since before the reconnection] MIRACULOUSLY, I haven’t felt the need to follow this site since I don’t know when (Spring, maybe?) And after building up a file of 700+ MB on “her” (my first love), and not being able to scroll past one of her posts on Facebook w/o saving EVERY PICTURE posted…and feeling deep, painful “daggers” inside each and every time…well, I just FINALLY became able to move on, my heart finally was able to let go ENOUGH to put her behind me in a healthy way. Yes, I no longer feel such excruciating pain when I see her, and I no longer save ANYTHING to that lost love file. I truly believe that it was probably an ACT OF GOD that enabled me to do this. And it seemed to be a combination of several painful “shots to the heart” in my life which did the trick: (1) tragic, unexpected passing of brother-like cousin, (2) my mother’s passing from cancer after being in my care, (3) my underlying feelings resurfacing for another girl that I’ve had a close, nearly lifelong connection with…then experiencing a drama-filled rollercoaster of emotions with her!!! Put them all together, and all that heartbreak seemed to do something to my FLAD. So while I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wipe her (FL) completely away, I do think that I can “restart” in a healthy way (something that I never thought possible from June 2013 until mid to late 2016, during which time I seemed to be cast under a “spell” by my formerly-repressed feelings of my FL). So I just wanted to check in and share my story with all of you…and to say “hi” and Happy New Year to all of you, especially some of my friends on here like PG (Please God) and Bob…

  17. william says:

    Joel says:
    December 13, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve also had this kind of experience. I haven’t contacted my old HS gf but I find myself having overwhelming feelings for her. This also seemed to start after seeing an obituary. But It wasn’t her husband that died, it was her father.

    “Anyways, that is what I am struggling with right now, the constant thoughts of her.”

    Joel, that was my exact story! [From June, 2013 when I found out that my FL’s father had passed (actually notified by phone from a mutual friend), until about mid to late 2016 (when a series of similarly painful shots to my heart seemed to “wipe it clean” of most of those FL “lost love” feelings).]

    I think that learning that your FL’s father has passed can often be “the trigger” for these feelings for a number of reasons. In my case, she was especially close to him, and I had imagined him “walking her down the aisle” (at our “dream” wedding) in my youth. Plus, he was a pillar of the community in the hometown where I still reside. So his passing ended any possibility of him walking her down for me…and seemed to register the fact that I didn’t “get” her (as my wife) in my heart!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Interesting update William. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bob the 8th suddenly reappeared , and Pragmatic Dreamer, too.

    William, are you now involved with this other “lost love”? How did you reconnect with her?

  19. achtungbarb says:

    I used to post in this group a few years back. I broke all the rules to be with my FL. We reunited after 38 years apart and got 5 years together. I would not trade that 5 for a million of any other. He was the love of my life. Then he died 11 months ago. I think my love life is over now, but thank goodness for family and friends who understood why I did what I did to be with him and stood by me.

  20. Have Faith says:

    Barb
    My condolences over your loss. It’s good to know that you were able to finally be with the love of your life, even if that time was cut short.

    Were your previous posts here under the same name you’ve just used? I would like to go back and read your story.

  21. achtungbarb says:

    Have Faith, I believe so. I can’t remember and I don’t know how to go about searching to check.

  22. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Actungbarb: so sorry for your loss. More than once I have felt the urge to ask my FL why he can’t let go of a very unsatisfying marriage when time is ticking. Very hard and scary, but which is worse? I think that is at the root of the regret. Fear of running out of time.

  23. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    Hi William! Good to see you here. Thanks for giving us an update. So sorry for your losses, but glad to hear you have put FLAD behind you. So tell us more about your new LL.

    LL and I haven’t online chatted in real time in almost a year. Messages have been few and far between from him. My OCD and anxiety have gotten really bad this past year and have taken much of my energy, making it easier to push LL to the back of my mind. Of course I still think of him every day, but the thoughts don’t consume me. Maybe being in less contact allowed my OCD to focus on more other things lol. My H has been my rock this year and I am grateful for him. Doc has increased my meds, and it has helped somewhat.

  24. Have Faith says:

    Achtungbarb
    There isn’t any good way to search this site for old posts, as far as I can see. I once tried putting in the name posted under
    on a google search and some of their old posts showed up, but that method didnt really work well. As a reminder to anyone who wants to keep their identity anonymous, be careful not to use a name you’ve used on other sites. A search may bring up your info and photos from elsewhere, which happened when I searched with Google. I’m not sure if this was in fact the same person, but it looked possible.

  25. I find myself in very much the above situation with reuniting with a lost love. I’m in the process of divorcing bc of it. Mainly bc I entered a marriage I could never fully satisfy me. Instead of living out my entire life knowing this, I just don’t want to waste our precious time on earth living only half a happy life. My soon to be ex husband is also very different from and obviously a former lover doesn’t end a marriage there were other things, but the clarity I got from him coming back to me was that I truly was just going through motions and unsatisfied and knew it before I married.

    On the other side, my first love has and does fulfill me in ways that no one ever could. We had a very deep relationship, intimate in all ways. We are so open with each other and therefore let each other into places within ourselves we normally don’t let others in.

    So it began with a simple Facebook contact requesting a drink. That innocent drink led to dinner which led to a year long affair. Hence my predicament. We have lots of challenges including both having children and also living half way across the country. Despite all these challenges we still made time for each other everyday and he’d come to see me when I made myself available for him. We both know we are wrong for what we have done. We talked about all this and still moved forward with our “wrongness.”

    Despite all this we both love each other very much. He has left his marriage emotionally long before he asked me for a drink. I believe I recognized that bc he contacted me, but I also gave the benefit of the doubt thinking he just always liked me and respected me and truly wanted to know about my life and where I was. I remember even saying that if there were other “intentions” to be please forget our meeting and of course he assured me that there weren’t. I don’t even know why I said that to him, but I guess that was a bit of foreshadowing on my part.

    I fully believe he is stays in his marriage for his children. I understand that for me it’s easier to walk away bc I know I get my children to come with me, but he is a man and therefore, not as simple for him. I am at the point where his wife found out about us. He told her that he’s in love with me and after revealing all this she asked him for one last true honest chance to become someone he can truly be himself with and she wants to have the opportunity to change for the sake of their marriage. She is also unhappy in their marriage, but doesn’t fully want to take ownership bc she lives in a state of “I don’t want to be divorced bc she grew up on a one parent home.” I totally get all that. I told him to go and work out his home situation and come back to me if and when things come to an end.

    I’m absolutely miserable without him. He is absolutely miserable without me. We were each other’s first loves. First everything. I broke up with him when I was 16 bc he left for college. He came back a year later knocking at my door just to see how I was. Over the years he contacted me once or twice to just to check in. The last request for a drink left us here.

    I have no idea how things will turn out, but I miss him so much and he still believes that his efforts at home are very unlikely to change, but is willing to give this a chance so that when he looks at his children and tells them, daddy did everything to try to make the marriage work he would feel less guilty. I know this is the right thing for all of us, but it just sucks and I’m missing him immensely and he is me.

  26. Have Faith says:

    Mia
    Sorry to hear you are so miserable right now. If it’s any consolation I think many here can identify with you.

    Are you still hoping that your FL will leave his wife? Is this the way you hope the situation will be resolved?

    One thing to consider ,(and I don’t mention this as a judgement call, but rather as someone who had experienced it,) is how trustworthy and honest your FL actually is. Consider the fact that he has lied to his wife for over a year now, and would still be lying to her if he hadn’t been caught. From my own experience people who find it easy to lie and deceive others, will continue this behaviour with other people. It’s one thing to have existing feelings for your FL, but when you take it to the next level and engage in an affair, you are making a deliberate choice to repeatedly lie. He shows a total lack of regard for his wife’s feelings.

    I mention this because having had a husband who was deceptive (and was most cheating on me) I can look back and see that this was a pattern of behaviour he displayed even before I began a relationship with him. Of course this pattern of behaviour may not be true with your FL, and possibly his wife was so abusive that he lost all respect for her. It’s pretty hard to know what the truth really is because you can only base your perceptions on what he tells you.

    Another thing to consider- if he’s staying in a marriage where he’s miserable, he’s still not being honest. He’s not being honest with his wife or with himself.

  27. I'm Stuck!! says:

    Hi guys, I’m really hoping for some help and advice. I’ve only ever been in 2 relationships. One with my FL and the second with my now husband. The on with my FL was difficult from the on-set. He didn’t want a relationship, I did. He lied about being single when he met me, he wouldn’t introduce me to his family, he didn’t want to know my friends but we slowly fell in love with each other and for a brief time it was beautiful. I built so many dreams around this relationship. I had out futures all set out. But just as it was beautiful it reduced itself to rubble. He told me he didn’t ever want to get married and I should rethink the relationship. I did and I left. He wanted me back after that and we were in the process of trying again when it all went silent.

    A few months later I found out he had gotten married. He said it was forced on him and he was still in love with me. I decided it was against my morals to keep in contact with a married man who claimed he loved me so once I’d had it out with him I stopped talking to him and spent a year grieving.

    After I’d finally gotten over him I met my husband and he was everything my ex wasn’t. The relationship was perfect, right, but I still kept thinking about my ex. I kept telling myself I just needed to see him and his wife to get closure. I never saw them.

    8 years later, Ive now been married for 6 months and it had become a habit to search social media and google to find a picture of my ex and his wife. I still hadn’t managed to! Still think about him every single day and the inevitable day I’ll bump into him. Then out of nowhere i one day received a Facebook friend request – he was back on Facebook and I was intrigued. There must be a picture, I just get my closure. I accepted. There was a picture, they looked really happy but I didn’t get my closure. I still didn’t talk to him but I found myself checking Facebook everyday. Slowly I made some small talk but never got into a conversation with him persay. Then one day he posted a picture of himself from the days when we were dating and I felt my stomach drop. That’s when I knew this was getting dangerous. I had felt something.

    I don’t like people hating on me, that’s the kind of person I am, so messaged him to say we should cease the little contact we had made. He must have misunderstood and told me that he still had feelings for me and that we should leave our other halfs and be together again. I told him I didn’t feel the same and deleted him off Facebook.

    The problem is now I can’t stop thinking about him even more. The dreams I had have all of a sudden reawakened in me. My husband is amazing and I love him and I’m going crazy. I keep imagining the life I could have with my FL. HELP!!! The fact that I’ve never stopped thinking about him, does that mean I’m still in love with him?? My husband is 20 times a better man but there’s something about this guy that just won’t leave me alone and the chance at the life I missed out on which should have been mine 🙁

  28. Anonymous says:

    Stuck
    You say he went back on Facebook. Do you mean he used to be on Facebook and then deleted his account? Do you think he went back on just for the purpose of finding you? Maybe he wanted to see how you would react to his messages before he revealed his feelings.
    When you say your husband is 20 times a better man, in what ways is he better? Better job, better looking? Better in bed…lol? You keep imaging the life you could have had with your FL; but what is wrong with the life you currently have with your husband?

    I would think if he’s “better” in at least 20 areas your decision should be fairly easy .
    The decision is difficult when you are not happy with your husband.

  29. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    To I’m Stuck: I think a lot of us deluded ourselves on ‘closure’. That’s what my FL said, he just wanted to know I was happy. Closure sounds better than admitting we still have feelings for someone when we’re married. At the time he reached out I was very unhappy and ready to leave my husband. Unfortunately, FL wasn’t when he initiated contact. I wonder if your FL is where I was, only situation is reversed?

    The exception here is that you have 2 bad prior experiences with your FL and you are happily married to someone you describe as wonderful. Do you really want to risk a great marriage for a guy with whom it didn’t work out with twice?

    I hope this doesnt sound hypocritical coming from someone also stuck in limbo. Our situations are similar yet different in the relationships with current spouses.

    If your marriage is wonderful, cherish it. In time you will let go of FL. Follow your gut and maintain the no contact.

  30. I'm Stuck! says:

    Thanks guys, @Anonymous, he was on Facebook before, yes, but he deleted his account a few years ago. I’m not totally sure why he’s decided to join again, but its a possibility. My husband is most definitely better looking, lol, but I meant more in terms of character – for one he never let me go! He’s also supportive and caring. We argue like most couples, but we’ve had far more good times together. That’s what’s so confusing – there’s nothing at all wrong with the life I currently have. Hence I don’t understand why it is that I keep thinking of what life would be like with him 🙁

    @Down the Rabbit Hole, from the little interaction we’ve had I’ve figured that he’s not very happy in his marriage but doesn’t have the courage to leave. I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t want to be alone or he feels pressured to stay with her. I don’t think they have any children. I’d never thought of it as not working out TWICE. That really, really helps. I always saw it as not working out once and then me not giving it another chance, but you’re right – it failed twice. Just because we didn’t have the official label the second time round didn’t mean I didn’t try to make it work.

    This has really really helped guys, thanks so much! You’ve all really provided some clarity.

  31. twice shy says:

    I’m Stuck,

    If your relationship with your FL was perfect and loving and was just broken up by some extenuating circumstance, I would think that maybe it would be worth looking into deeper. But that is not your story. You had a tumultuous relationship with this guy from the get-go, it’s your heart that is confusing you, the facts are clear.

    Your husband is an awesome guy and it’s absolutely NOT worth screwing up your marriage on a guy who was never the right guy in the first place, you have just idealized him over time, it doesn’t change who he was and is probably still.

    My FL and I’s relationship was amazing, together for 3 years, never had a fight, we only broke up because he went to University 5 hours away and I was still in HS. We tried a long-distance relationship and lasted a year before I think distance, family problems which made him not want to come home anymore and his friends made him forget what we had.

    He broke up with me 2 days after taking me to my prom. He went back to school and I never really ever saw him again. I was devastated, never really got over it, just tried to move on. I had no choice.

  32. anonymous says:

    dear stuck your just idealizing the past , which is normal don’t fight it. The longer you do, the longer it will keep you hooked . Eventually something will happen in your life for good or bad and you will turn to your husband and realize that there are no mistakes you are with the one you are supposed to be with. Anyone who would pursue a lost love for whatever reason while married is not the guy for the one being pursued. He was just showing you his true colors. Once a cheater and a liar always a more stealth cheater and liar.

  33. FRC DOC says:

    Stuck, the thing that struck me as interesting is that you don’t really know anything about your FL. These relationships typically quickly become very personal to the point that you do know everything about each other and your lives in between then and now. You don’t even know if he has kids? How is that possible?
    If he were interested in you, truly interested, you would know everything there is to know about each other from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed and everything in between.
    The genesis of your relationship also sounds like you had a relationship with a very self absorbed person and that he ditched you and now he’s back to wreck havoc with your life. It was a first love for you, but it doesn’t sound like for him.
    Him being forced into marriage is curious too.
    Your husband sounds like a great man and I would really think 10 times about throwing your marriage away for that lump of coal. You already have a diamond in your life, why would you give that away for someone who treated you so carelessly before? He probably hasn’t changed much and he’s just in it for the chase and then he’ll throw you away again and leave you reeling.
    I don’t usually try to push someone away from their FL because I understand how we gravitate towards these people but in this instance, I think a huge red flag is raised and you need to see it as a warning before it is too late. Run, don’t walk, to your husband and put up the blinders and cut off all contact with this other guy. He is a user. You deserve better.

  34. Have Faith says:

    Stuck
    If you are happy with your husband then why are you considering putting your marriage at risk . Those who are satisfied don’t go searching for something else.

    FRC
    You make a lot of presumptions as to her FL and his character. The fact is these are only presumptions. He hasn’t cheated, and yet you call him a cheater. Perhaps he is a man who is unhappy with his marriage and is still in love with her …..I don’t know and neither do you.
    You make presumptions as to how he feels about her and what he should tell her about his life. These are all things you can’t possibly know.
    I don’t know about you FRC, but I really hate when people make presumptions about me. Most of the time they end up being incorrect.

  35. Susan says:

    This article never gets old. I too have connected with my first love online and even though the chemistry is strong, it doesn’t seem to work out. My dreams are us being a great couple but in actuality it never works out. Thanks for sharing your story and letting us share ours!

  36. william says:

    PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:
    January 5, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Hi William! Good to see you here. Thanks for giving us an update. So sorry for your losses, but glad to hear you have put FLAD behind you. So tell us more about your new LL.

    [W: It’s great to hear from you, PG! Thanks for your condolences, I appreciate it. While I don’t think I’ll ever truly be able to erase ALL of the pain that I carry from my FL & FLAD, it is good to finally be able to leave most of it behind. Of course, while I wish that others could be able to do the same, I sure wouldn’t wish THE PROCESS that enabled me to do so on anyone! Although it is a part of life, such tragedies like a few of my recent ones were extremely difficult to endure. And hence a certain “numbness” seemed to change & even “reconfigure” my heart in some ways…

    Now as for the “new” LL, I don’t know if I had ever mentioned her before on here (I’d need to check my folders & notes on my older computer that is barely functioning now). Before I tell you more about her, let me repost my quote from my first Jan.4 post (above):

    “(3) my underlying feelings resurfacing for another girl that I’ve had a close, nearly lifelong connection with…then experiencing a drama-filled rollercoaster of emotions with her!!!”

    OK, where do I begin?

    Months (and a few years) back, when I had first told my story of my FL, I had spoken of another “kind of” love of mine…a girl who was my “unattainable” varsity cheerleader crush when I was a lowly junior high student. And then I spoke of how I eventually met and hit it off with said cheerleader, about a decade later, when the age difference didn’t mean quite as much. Well, that girl (now woman) has recently relocated back to my part of the country, and is back in the picture for me (we’ve been in touch for years long-distance). However, she isn’t the LL that I’m talking about above. Neither is a married friend that has recently tried to cross the line with me (I refused). In fact, maybe I might be a FL for her? (who knows?) While those 2 ladies are from way back in my life, it is another whose role is still as yet undefined that I am talking about as the new LL…

    This other girl is one of 2 sisters that are both somewhat younger than me (but not that much younger anymore, as we are all “middle-aged” now). And while my FL probably never would’ve been a great match due to differences in our heritage and religion, these 2 sisters would’ve matched up well on both counts. And at times in my life, I had serious crushes on each one of them, but stayed away because of age and the fact that we were practically related! [I’ve known them both since they were young kids, and we see each other yearly at an event that celebrates our shared heritage.] Well, fast forward to 2013 and the onset of my FLAD. I was in such a funk that year (as you all can relate to), and as such I barely noticed when one of the sisters appeared to show blatant interest in me (at our yearly event). Both were recently divorced, and I normally would have acted on it (albeit with caution) in a more “normal” manner. But instead I just kind of let it pass… And then things just kind of got extra busy and worse at home (as my mother’s cancer returned, etc), and I needed to shift my focus even more. But I never could get it out of mind that the one sister initiated something, so when I felt that I might actually be able to find time for a relationship, well…this time I INITIATED CONTACT with her, but it might have been too late (I still don’t know where it’s headed, to tell the truth). She had just gotten out of another relationship, but appeared to be in her own “mid-life crisis”. She had lost a great deal of weight (I wouldn’t have cared either way, as we’ve talked about on here), and was loving the newfound attention. And she seems to have other things going on right now (she won’t open up completely about these), so… Who knows?

    What I DO KNOW is that she seemed to have “jostled” my underlying feelings for her (which were pretty deep all along). Feelings that I first felt really deeply 2 decades ago when this little girl that I had known “grew up” and reached adulthood! And, even if we aren’t supposed to be more than friends (still up in the air at this point), I feel that maybe she was supposed to be the one to show me that I COULD get over my FL and find love with someone else!]

    “LL and I haven’t online chatted in real time in almost a year. Messages have been few and far between from him. My OCD and anxiety have gotten really bad this past year and have taken much of my energy, making it easier to push LL to the back of my mind. Of course I still think of him every day, but the thoughts don’t consume me. Maybe being in less contact allowed my OCD to focus on more other things lol. My H has been my rock this year and I am grateful for him. Doc has increased my meds, and it has helped somewhat.”

    [W: Thanks for the update, PG! We also have anxiety issues and OCD in our family (myself included). Wishing you the best as always!]

  37. Maria says:

    I hope everyone to be happy with their first love because this kind of love does not happened twice in life.

  38. For you a thousand times over says:

    I’ve been colletting some quotes over the past year.. this is one that some might like…

    “True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring — once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.
        And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.
    Stephen King, Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)

  39. Anonymous says:

    I like Stephen King, but I don’t think I can agree that love is an addiction. Lust could probably be described as an addiction, and we definitely feel more lust when we are younger, so I guess that could be his reason for describing a first love as an addiction.
    But I don’t think true love is about lust, although we often get the two, love and lust, confused. Love can exist without lust (the love we have for family and children) and lust can exist without love. If we have both together, as well as comittment, does that relationship eventually grow stale?

    I’m sure we all have known couples who married their first loves and who stayed together until one of them passed on. I bet the passion died down over time, but passion wasn’t what kept them together, though it may have drawn them together initially. However, I’ve also known a few couples who should have parted ways long ago, but who stayed together, apparently just to torment each other… lol.

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