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.

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 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.

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12,867 Responses to “Reuniting With Your First Love…on the Net”

  1. Hot Mess Nest says:

    Love and War: Wow, his wife tried to friend you on FB? That sounds really forward. Did you friend her? Maybe it’s the opposite and she doesn’t know anything that you don’t at all–she sounds like she’s extremely curious about you. If your FL is that smitten she may be trying to assess the situation. So now you’re in contact with his wife AND you’re sitting on his cell phone number! Wow! My opinion… fond memories don’t make people write love notes on their cars, and fond memories aren’t what make you open up to your spouse that often about another woman. My hunch is that if you get in contact with him, you’re likely to find he still feels the same. But if you read some of the other experiences on here, you’ll see that opens a big can of worms, too. It can bring a lot of emotions, complication, and frustration (especially since you’re both married) and it’s almost impossible to be prepared for that. If you feel like you simply must know if he still loves you, that might be what is going to drive your decision. That’s what it came down to for me, anyhow. When I was in the dark about my FL’s feelings, I had felt like I’d suffered from the emotional equivalent of tinnitus for 15+ years. The best I can describe it is like an unrelenting tone of regret that colored my day-to-day. Sometimes it would be imperceptible, at rare times deafening. Most days it was somewhere in the middle, but I always knew it was there. When I told my FL how I felt, it went away. You might relate to that, or not. You might feel like you can live with the question mark, or not. Only you can decide if it’s worth the risk.

    My current status? Very complicated.

    My spouse and I are in the very beginning stages of discussing a separation. We’ve had plenty of other significant issues in our marriage, and were probably always headed in this direction. It will be a long road, as I try to pick up the pieces of my life, and grieve for my marriage. FL is also married, but has been separated for 2 years, and is at the tail end of a divorce. We’re both kind of walking through fire right now, and agree that it’s important that we prioritize healthy healing. We won’t move to be together until we’re ready. We won’t let things get physical until it’s time. But we’ll see eachother often (we had an awesome time this weekend, actually!), and keep the wheels in motion. As much as I want to rush to the top of the mountain so I have longer to enjoy the view, it’s the right thing to do.

    I’m feeling relieved in some ways, because there’s been so much pain associated with my marriage that just the very idea that I have permission to let it go is… well, it’s huge. It’s a long, long exhale.

    And that I will be with FL again is nothing short of a miracle.

  2. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    @Love and War
    Sorry, that anonymous post above was me…forgot to fill in my name. The fact that your LL never told his wife the truth about you speaks volumes. If you were no big deal to him and were no threat to his wife, why would he hide it?

  3. Love and war says:

    Hot mess nest- I’m excited for you. It’s helpful to hear that it does work out sometimes. I hadn’t considered that maybe she is curious about me. I figured since she’s his wife she knows everything but from what my friend has told me she doesn’t even know we were ever a couple. I spoke with my best friend last night and she told me to just accept the friend request. I’m thinking about it but haven’t decided yet. As my friend told me maybe his wife is trying to paint a happier picture of them then is real. She said if someone is teasing someone about being in love with someone else, the person being teased probably isn’t too happy about it and the person teasing is probably doing so because they are bothered by it. I guess as I get through this time will tell. I think your doing it right though. Going slow and not rushing it. You’ve been in love with each other this long. It’s not going to go away any time soon.

  4. Mr. Goulet says:

    I found this site recently and just finished reading the last few months of posts. There was a lady named Michelle who posted here a few weeks ago. I wonder if she is still reading here and how she is doing.

  5. Love and war says:

    PleaseGodcanibewithLL- I hope your right. I’ve been trying to figure out if he didn’t tell her cause it was a hard and painful time for him or if it’s because he is still in love with me. My best friend said that maybe they arnt as happy as she wants everyone to thin. She relies on pics of me to put him in a good mood and get him to be talkitive. Maybe she is trying to friend me because she thinks I could be a threat. Hoping your right and he didn’t say anything because he still may be in love with me too. From what I found out she has no idea me and him ever dated. She only thinks he had a crush on me in high school. So it looks like he has hidden all kinds of info about me.

  6. Aretha says:

    My second love from long ago and I were in touch through social media back in 2008 we just made small talk about the past and present – that site wasn’t very private and he asked to be a friend on it and then all of a sudden his profile was gone. I think his wife made him delete it or, he wasn’t very into computing and I think she saw all that we were saying and wasn’t happy. To be honest she need not have worried for I don’t think he every really fancied me like I did him. Then out of the blue he phoned a few years ago and my husband answered the phone and had a chat for he knew him as well. I never phoned back – sometimes the past is best left in the past if it is someone that didn’t treat a person right. I gave up my LL for him and shouldn’t have all those decades ago. The lyrics of the Garth Brooks song says it all.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s all so complicated…Love and War, your story is truly touching. Sometimes fond memories are better than the reality of what could be in the present. I’m happy to see that you are taking your time to really think things through. So much is at stake. Not just for you both but for everyone around you. I gave up my marriage after reconnecting with my FL. I don’t regret it as I was already checked out of my marriage when the flood gates opened but this ride has been anything but easy. My FL and I are in each other’s lives but we are not together. There truly is a very unique and special bond there but that doesn’t mean we were meant to be together…I’m happy to have him as my friend and that is all it can be even though we are both now single.

  8. Love and war says:

    Anonymous- your right. It is all so very complicated. I find myself going back and forth. One day I feel like I have to let him know the truth and see if anything good comes of it and then the next day I think maybe he’s better off not knowing. From what I’ve been told he is happy. I don’t want to mess up his happiness. It’s just so hard. I know if things had gone the way they should have that night we would have been so very happy together but they didn’t. Besides it Was said that he, “had such a huge crush on me in high school”, “she’s the only one he still talks about from his past”. These things are all past tense. Most likely he got over us a long time ago because he had the luxury of being able to be angry at me for a while thinking there was someone else. I knew the truth that there wasn’t and he was the only man in the world to me then. So for him, he got past it and is able to be happy now. I pushed him away once to better his life no matter how bad that hurt me. I should probably just stay away. What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you right?

  9. Anony says:

    @Love and War, yes this is a very difficult situation, but he does deserve to know the truth. Life is too short for regret, and if you don’t tell him you’ll regret it.

  10. cas says:

    Romans 7:2-3 ESV / 44 helpful votes
    For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

  11. anon says:

    NEVER judge another until you have walked in their shoes. One can never know all the history between two people and the bond they may have.

    We all live with our truth

    Never judge

  12. Have Faith says:

    Re. Cas
    Oh for crying out loud! I can’t believe there is anyone who actually believes that. So, No one is able to divorce? Or if they do they must spend the rest of their life alone because a book written thousands of years ago says so? Lol.

  13. Love and war says:

    Your probably right. I think about it and I do believe he does deserve to know the truth. If for no other reason than he left that night confused not understanding what happened. The time I had seen him before that night we had talked about things and I had told him how much I loved him. 2 weeks later he got a break to come home and proposed. He felt the same way and wanted a life together. So for me to suddenly tell him I didn’t live him anymore because I met someone else confused the hell out of him, made him angry and he took off. For years he left live notes on my car when he was back in town so I know he still loves me too but the notes were never signed so until recently I didn’t know it was him. He had one marriage that didn’t work out and I wonder if it’s because maybe, hopefully deep down it hasn’t worked for him because he is still in love with me. At some point I think I will have to tell him the truth. I guess the worst thing that can happen would be we don’t get back together but I’ve already spent 26 years without him so I already know how to do that.
    Cas- as far as the Bible goes just wanting to be with someone other than your spouse is considered adultry. So anyone who has ever found someone other than their spouse attractive is in the wrong. I do believe however that there are worse sins than to love someone. My boyfriend after my FL used to beat the living crap out of me. That I think is much worse to hurt someone. And though I understand where your coming from I wonder sometimes if God intended for two people to be together but we with our free will screwed it up. Maybe people going through this is just God trying to put things back the way he intended them to be. Besides, is it fair to the spouse someone is with if they are not in love with them but stay tied to them out obligation? Shouldn’t the spouse get a chance to be with someone they were meant to be with too? I’m not sure what you were trying to accomplish by your comment. It seems you are not going through the struggle others are on this forum so the only thing I can think your are contributing too would be added grief and turmoil of others. Since I don’t know you or what you may be going through I will thank you for your input, and I will not judge you for adding grief to those who are already struggling with what they are going through. Maybe since you don’t have these problems you should look for a forum that is better suited to you. Or you could simply pray for those you see struggling.

  14. Hot Mess Nest says:

    One of the things I like most about discussion here is that people typically don’t post scripture or bring their religious beliefs into the dialogue. I mean, I know we all have our own beliefs, but keeping it secular and not bringing that judgement into things is kind of awesome. So thanks for being awesome, almost everyone here!

    @Love and War I’m excited for me too, also terrified. Your comment made me want to clarify… there’s no guarantees here. I’m equally as terrified of staying in a loveless marriage as I am of getting together with FL and having what I believed was a forever love dissolve in my hands. Right now we’re deciding who lives where. I’m unpinning my entire life from a marriage. It’s sometimes fun, but mostly depressing. Not to mention, I’m becoming a very disliked women by my in-laws, perhaps some friends, my own family. I may have made a decision, but there are very severe consequences that I’m having to own. I weighed it, and this somehow feels better than staying in an unhappy marriage for the rest of my life, but it’s no walk in the park. Even with a light at the end of the tunnel, this sucks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hot Mess Nest and Love and War…

    I have been on and off of this site for about 4 years now. I am no longer in the throes of the reconnection so I have the benefit of hindsight. Love and War, your story is one that is so awe inspiring in terms of your willingness to put the well being of your FL ahead of your own desires and I think we can all admire that…truly! I can only imagine your desire to let him know the truth and while it seems innocuous enough at this point, I promise you, once you open that door, all hell will break loose. Emotionally, both of you will be put into a tailspin that neither of you can even fathom at this moment in time. If you love him, keep in mind that with just a few words, you can blow up his whole life. You seem like a selfless lady and I just want you to be aware of the impact of what you might say could have in your FL’s life. Should you both decide to move forward… Your families will be affected. Your friends, largely will have trouble understanding. Your life as you know it now will cease to exist. While I am enjoying having my FL in my life, there was a very steep price that was paid (financially and emotionally for many people in my life as I was still married at the time of the reconnection) and while it’s easy to justify in your mind, right now, all of the reasons why you feel you need to go down this path, IF it doesn’t work out for whatever reason (and there are many reasons why it might not)….you will be left questioning whether or not you should have ever undertaken this reconnection. My FL and I were apart for 34 years and yes, like you, I knew how to be without him during that time but TRUST ME WHEN I SAY, if you open this door, you will very quickly come to believe that you cannot live without him again. Hot Mess Nest, I know you are just beginning this process and I can only say, I feel for you. Been there, done that. I’m very fortunate in that I have managed to maintain a nice relationship with my kids and my ex but I am the exception, not the rule. I come here now from time to time not to talk about my FL but to support those going through this crazy making time. I just want to provide the wisdom of my experience. Having read the posts here for several years, I think we all believe that our story will be the one that’s different but in the end, very few here have found long term bliss with their FL. I don’t want to be the naysayer here, I just want you all to see another perspective having lived it. Good luck to you all…

  16. Love and war says:

    Hot mess nest- I agree, this is no place for a religious discussion. Hopefully though I didn’t comeoff too rude to that other person, I’m just not a fan of people judging others or trying to make others feel bad.
    I know it has to be crazy hard what your going through and everyone wants to blame someone for things not working out. I think it takes a lot of courage to go after what you want. I admire you for being able to do that. I know it has to be hard with friends and family. Your right that it’s better than staying in a bad marriage. At least you have started the process and you do have a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m still wavering on telling my FL the truth. He’s in California and I’m on the other side of the country so that is also a big obstacle even if I tell him and he wants to get back together. Plus from what I know if his wife he married someone exactly like me, even very similar in looks. With that I don’t know if he would want to get back. He already replaced me with almost a carbon copy. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing for me.
    I’m still excited for you. I know it’s hard but your courage to go for it is inspiring.

  17. All is not fair says:

    I used to post here about 4 years ago too. What name were you using then and are you together with your FL now?

    Love and war, I dont think people are replaceable, or that they can ever be considered “carbon copies “. Everyone is unique.

  18. Me too says:

    Its been a long time since I have checked this site, alot goin on here. I just read Anonymous’s post and I will agree 100%.

    My Fl made that first contact, I was walking on air. It’s been a long road, we are both married so it was probably not the best idea but I think we all look back and wonder.
    I had the same feelings on the day I met him, and they were back in a moment.

    It has been hard, we are not much further years later due to the fact we both are committed to our spouses. We love each other, that is what came of all this and we are married to other’s.

    Painful I hope some of you find happiness in all this, it did turn me and my life upside down.

  19. Love and war says:

    Anonymous- thank you for your input in this. Sorry if I came off cranky earlier, just stressing over this whole thing right now. I am glad you and your FL have gotten back together and you kept a good relationship with your kids and ex. I can only imagine how difficult it had to be when you guys decided to try to be together. I go back and forth trying to decide whether to tell him or not. My marriage and his marriage from what I understand are both good so like you said- do I open that flood gate? I was the one who had it the worst when it all happened because I knew the truth. If it comes out then how many people get hurt?
    All is not fair- from what I know he married someone who has some similiar features and they have been together for like 8 years now. I’m sure living with her for 8 years he probably has replaced me

  20. Love and war says:

    Anonymous- sorry about that first part. For some reason I thought you posted the religious comment. My bad. That was from CAS. Hopefully I wasn’t cranky at you either- lol

  21. Anonymous says:

    All is not fair…I’d rather not share my previous posting name as there was some craziness on here that has made me quite gun shy about revealing anything about myself anymore and that is truly a shame. To answer your question, no I’m not with my FL. We speak just about every day. We see each other usually once or twice a week. I am exceptionally close to his sons and even when my relationship with FL has been in NC (which has been alot), I’ve maintained the relationships with those boys. They are wonderful guys. I socialize with them quite a bit and his sons have developed relationships with my daughters as well which I can tell you is very surreal. One of the boys in particular calls me mom and tells me he loves me constantly and that is very bittersweet for me. There was once a time when I could truly envision a life with FL but now, after so much back and forth, so many stops and starts, so many mixed messages and nonsense, that I just don’t see him the same way anymore. Yes, there is still a connection and yes, we still do flirt with the line between friends and more than friends but in my mind, this relationship is all that it can ever be. I know presently, he is angling to work his way back into a more intimate relationship with me but as I sit here today, I can’t imagine letting myself go back to that place. He is the one I’ve always loved more than anyone else in my life but he’s also the one that has hurt me more deeply and more frequently than anyone else in my life. That is the downside to these relationships. What once was an innocent, loving relationship without complications is now a difficult, convoluted relationship that brings more heartache than anything else. At this age, this relationship is not just about two people reconnecting. It’s so much more all encompassing than that. My FL and I are very fortunate in that my kids (while they aren’t crazy about the relationship with FL) are at least accepting of it. His kids, as I’ve said, love me and enjoy spending time with me. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy for them as I’m sure given their druthers, their parents would be together. His ex, HATES that I’m back in the picture and makes it VERY difficult for us. My ex has now happily moved on and is living with someone else but I had some pretty hefty guilt over blowing up his life when this all began. I was married for 23 years almost to the day when my FL opened Pandora’s box with me. From there, it was less than a year before I made the decision to end my marriage and move closer to my FL and here we are over three years later, both divorced and we still can’t make it work. So I am the voice of caution here. You can’t just think about yourself though I completely understand the tendency to do so. The decisions being made by the people here are life changing for those you love most and they are blissfully unaware that your wishes, desires and intentions can, at any moment, destroy the lives they know. So just be careful. Very, very careful…

  22. Hot Mess Nest says:

    @Anonymous — Wow. What perspective you’ve shared. Very true words about having the power to destroy others’ lives with our decisions. I tried hard to think about what this would look like, and I’ve found now that I’m in it, there’s nothing I really could have done to anticipate just how bad it would be. It’s practically impossible to anticipate your world being blown to pieces until it is actually happening.

    Do you feel like, even with the current situation with your FL, that leaving your marriage was ultimately the right call?

    I ask because what made my mind up was realizing that I was prepared to give up my husband while also understanding that it might not work out with FL.

  23. All is not fair says:

    I will just jump in and say it …I have every reason to believe you are impersonating another poster who no longer posts here. Sad to say the craziness on this board continues, on and off this forum. However, anonymous , (whoever you really are) you are not the one affected by the so called craziness and you never were. I’m the only one who has been affected (though others have been who don’t speak out here)

    If you were smart Anonymous, you would distance yourself from the criminal activities that are connected to users of this forum.

  24. Love and war says:

    Anonymous- hearing what you have gone through is so sad. I’m sorry that you guys arnt together now. I hope in time maybe you guys are able to get past all the painful stuff and maybe finally be able to be together. I see why you say to be very careful. Part of me thinks I should tell my FL the truth and part thinks I should let it go in case he did feel the same for me. I know he still talks about me and that he left me notes for years after we broke up but he is with someone else now. I’m sure if he didn’t love her he wouldn’t have married her so I’m pretty sure thinking about it that he has probably just moved on but if there was that chance he felt the same it would blow up everyone’s life.

  25. Anonymous says:

    That is why I am still married. I made a promise, knowing full well I still loved LL, I married H. I was running from LL and it didn’t ever make it go away. But as the saying goes, I made my bed, now I have to lay in it.

  26. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    The above message to CAS was from me. Forgot to fill in my name.

    I wanted to add

    @Have Faith,
    Yes, people still believe “that stuff”. I am one of them.

    In my heart, I am an adulterer by wishing to be with LL. The struggle is real.

    LL and I are NC now.

  27. Flowerlady says:


    Sorry to hear things did not work out between you and your FL. I believe I remember you and your story from a few years ago. I used to post here back then (but mainly I just read the posts and did not write much) I can’t recall the name I used back then, but I’m curious what you mean when you refer to “craziness” on this forum back then, and how that would impact revealing our old posting names. (I suppose I could find my old name if i scrolled back far enough, but that seems like a slow process! )
    I hope there wasn’t any type of security risk involved, as i dont remember seeing any warning about that)

  28. Marathoner says:

    I too was here under another name.
    I still follow along from time to time. Today seems interesting enough to post about.
    I don’t believe there is anything nefarious about posting here. I don’t think there is a leak or security risk and I don’t think people are infiltrating the site to find out information or sabotage. I do think some people are paranoid given the subject matter of this site.
    I believe anonymous is who she says she is. Not impersonating anyone else. Only she knows the truth of her story and how it all played out and is still playing out. Thanks for catching us up on your story anonymous.
    I can see why someone posts a bible verse, we all struggle with the morality of our actions from time to time and especially in this situation, many of us are faced with infidelity or a LL/FL that is cheating or wanting to cheat or whatever. Many situations, many outcomes and lots of things that pull us in different directions.
    Anonymous is correct in that you need to be prepared when venturing into these waters. They can turn your world upside down and it will never be the same. But I can attest that when I felt like it was impossible or that I would ever start breathing normal again, that you do and you will and that the longer these relationships continue this 2nd time around, they will continue to be there in the back of your heart and mind.
    It does get easier and it doesn’t always feel so desperate. Now it’s just a part of my life like anything else. We talk every day and see each other regularly. There is much that has ‘settled’ but nothing that is resolved. It will always be upended and I think just like anonymous, even if we are both in a position to be together, whose to say we would be? I ask the question regularly.
    Maybe these relationships didn’t work out the first time with purpose. In my case, I am thankful it didn’t even though it broke my heart for a lot of years in between. I understand now why it didn’t work out then. But I also wonder now if maybe it’s not working out for a reason too.
    As it goes, I am thankful he is in my life and we are still best friends and I’m thankful that I understand and am understood more than I ever was in the 30 years in between.
    There was a time when this site was vital to my existence as much as he has been but both now are not as vital. They are still a curiosity and I still come here to read about the struggle others are going through and I wish I could help you skip ahead to be in the place of knowing you can’t maintain that desperate thing forever, it just some how levels out and you still love and still wonder and still long for and still wish for but somehow it’s okay and you just move on.
    I think this site is important and I am here to tell you that the comments about illegal activity are not true.
    Stay the course, ask questions, seek answers and listen to those who have been in your shoes. It is a rough course for a time but as anonymous says, be careful because you can’t go back and you can’t change the course of your life based on them being in it. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t happen all over again. Hold on to your heart.
    There have been success stories here. They haven’t been back much to revisit their success. There are those that take the ball and run with it and don’t look back and there are those who will never have it and have never even contacted their FL/LL – wishes. Dreams. Could haves.
    Just like anonymous did, don’t leave your marriage based on the idea of being with your FL. Do it for yourself and your own happiness apart from that.
    I did that as well and it was the absolute best thing I ever did for myself. I am thankful everyday for the courage it took to do it and I wouldn’t go back if you paid me. Do that first then everything else will fall into place.

  29. All is not fair says:

    I’m a bit confused by your post. It sounds as though you regret ending your marriage. Do you mean your life was destroyed?…., as your last few comments make it seem that way. You mention that your ex is happy and has moved on into a new relationship, and your FL was already divorced prior to you both reconnecting, so whose life was destroyed?

  30. Have Faith says:

    I could comment on many things; but won’t bother (for good reason) except to ask *Marathoner* how she is so sure there is or isn’t any illegal or nefarious activity connected to this board? Considering the number of threats I’ve received (clearly related to people who have posted here) I beg to differ. And threats are only a small part of the stuff I have experienced in the last few years… .

    My point is that Marathoner (or anyone for that matter) has no idea what goes on in some else’s life. You have no possible way to discredit someone else’s experience. Just because you didnt experience something yourself doesn’t make it untrue. Correct?

  31. Marathoner says:

    Anonymous, I understand what you meant by destroy. If you have been in these relationships long enough, then you understand that statement. It doesn’t matter if both of you are out of your marriages or not. The outcome is typically the same. You discover no matter what the circumstances, you can’t be together. It’s devastating.

  32. Rob Dobrenski says:

    I’ve been away from the board for several months, but the person I put in charge of moderating the site has informed me of a few issues that require my attention. To whomever is accusing me of wrongdoing, I sincerely apologize for your distress, but you have the wrong person to direct your anger toward. Other than editing/deleting posts based on bullying or irrelevance to the topic at hand, I have not altered any time stamps or anything else that might impact one’s personal life. If you have been told or believe otherwise, please reconsider your position, as it is factually incorrect.

    I’m giving thought to shutting down the comments thread altogether. I won’t do it without notice, but what was a simple blog post turned into a massive community board that has been sullied by a few bad apples. This is truly unfortunate, but it cannot continue. In the meantime, my moderator will ONLY be approving posts that are relevant, insightful, and most of all, not mean. He has been instructed that, when in doubt, delete the post, so please don’t waste your time writing a comment unless it meets the above criteria. And if the comments thread is proving to be too upsetting for you right now, simply stop reading.

  33. Carla says:

    I thought time was going to heal me, it did for a while and I was living a somewhat peaceful life. Until it hit me again. As always does, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, there he is in my head, my thoughts, my heart, my soul again. It is just like a curse. I can’t get rid of him. It is impossible. Once I opened that door called social media, he got in to stay. I so much regret it. If I can only go back in time, but it is too late. I hate this.

  34. Anony says:

    I’m right there with you Carla. Some days are fine, but I’ll see a car like his, or hear a song, and it starts all over again. This must be what hell feels like. I’m still so broken, but still so in love with him.

  35. Anony says:

    Hi fellow FL/LL peeps…I know I’m grasping at straws here, but my ex FL hasn’t blocked me on Facebook. We are n/c, but I just find it odd that he just stopped talking to me but yet won’t block me. We talked via text/phone for months, he’s married I’m divorced. We had some intense convo’s, exchanged pics, I love you’s , he says I wish I wasn’t married, I wish I was with you, I think about you a lot, etc, then next day -gone. He unfriended me, but won’t block me. I’m guessing wifey found out, but I should at least get told goodbye or something.

  36. Blocked says:

    Dear Anony
    One of 2 things. She made him unfriend you and he’s leaving you unblocked so he can still see your account or she unfriended you and wants to keep an eye on you just in case.
    Your situation is typical. These relationships are a threat to marriage but from what I’ve seen, they really aren’t. Most stay in their marriage and leave the other person hanging yet again.
    They can be all in. But once the spouse finds out, they unfriend and back up and leave their FL in purgatory just like the first time around.

  37. Love and war says:

    Carla and Anony- I get what you mean. I’m still debating whether or not to tell my FL the truth about the night we split up. I remember telling him then he was going to meet someone that he was going to love a lot more than me and I was just going to be a crush he had back in the day. He told me that would never happen but today he is married to someone else and I think he’s happy. If I told him the truth would it change anything or is it just too far gone? So many things remind me of him. If I knew he did still have feelings for me I would probably tell him but how do you start that conversation when you haven’t spoken to him in 26 years?
    Anony- how long since you talked with him? His wife probably found out and he’s probably dealing with that. He didn’t block you so that’s good. Has he texted or emailed you?

  38. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Anony: just a hunch, perhaps FL can’t bring himself to say goodbye. It is so final.

  39. Love and war says:

    Anony- I think this could be kind of a push pull thing. I’ve heard that sometimes when an ex is contacting you and wants to be with you one minute and then trying to stay away from you the next that it means they are definitely thinking of you. It’s a kind of struggle between what the heart wants and then listening to their head about maybe it’s better to stay away. It’s a kind of sorting out process. Hopefully after a little time and him missing you he will come around.

  40. Olivia says:

    OMG, its been 4 years since I have been on this site. I recognize a few names from my old “FLAD Family”… But I also see a lot of new ones…awwww… hopeless romatics…I feel for you, holding on that image of your FL…. That UNREQUITED LOVE… ahhhhh…. That was ME 4 years ago…I posted here regularly. I was completely OBSESSED with my FL Dave. We reconnected after 25 years on FB… I was in a miserable marriage and believed my FL Dave was what I needed to be happy. I thought he was the answer, I thought he was sent from God!! Well, he wasn’t!! I did solve the miserable marriage (divorce). But the DREAM of happily running off into the sunset with FL Dave was not reality! He is now in process of divorce but I am no longer interested in him! I realize now that I over glamorized him, and FL… I romanticized an unrealistic future with him! — Once reality set in I saw him for who he really is today. He was NOT the 18-20 year old full of hope and promise I first fell in love with… He is a 49 year old, broke, unmotivated, irresponsible grown man that I am sadly not as attracted to as I once was. It was heart breaking…but true. I guess I just stopped in here today to say to you all, heed my words, don’t OVER-romanticize your FL! Open your eyes and see who he/she REALLY is….Don’t make major life changes based on FL fantasy!! I wish everyone the best on their quest for love!! I am still a romantic at heart….I am still searching for LOVE and won’t give up… it just won’t be with FL 🙁

  41. Have Faith says:

    If that’s really you (I know it probably isnt) then please contact me thru my Facebook page. …gonecrazy. You are still on my friend list.

  42. Aretha says:

    So really sometimes by the sound of it, it is better left in the past for it is a second time round disappointment for one or the other or both.

  43. FLADDIE says:

    So good to hear from you again. I remember when you were struggling through coming to terms with your marriage ending and trying to figure out everything with Dave. Thank you for the update and I know it’s really you. I hope you find your new true love!
    I agree with you that that initial reconnection is so powerful, we overlook the obvious. I’ve had a bit of that reality myself lately and it’s hard reconciling that in my head. Your post helps.

  44. FLADDIE says:

    Hi Bob
    My FL is still married and probably always will be. He loves his wife for the 35+ years they’ve been together. He doesn’t want to upset the apple cart. He says it’s not the same way he feels about me but he has a responsibility to his marriage and family.
    It’s something I’ve come to understand even if I don’t like it. He’s not willing to leave for many reasons. If you love someone unconditionally, this is the ultimate unconditional love.

  45. Down the Rabbit Hole says:


    Do we have the same FL? Describes my situation exactly minus a few years on his marriage. But we have been apart for more than 35 years. He loves me dearly, like he did then but cannot fathom leaving his wife. So I love…from a distance. And so does he.

    I too have accepted this reality even though it changes nothing in terms of how I feel.

    I don’t have many of the other issues with FL as others do. We are very compatible, love just being together, and have many of the same interests and values. We respect each other. I don’t think either of us have any doubt our relationship would be very good over the long haul. Not idealizing, just experiencing an epiphany based on what really matters.

  46. Sue says:

    I am presently wrestling with this exact situation. My FL found me on FB and both of us have been divorced for some time.. We are both single and not dating any one currently.. Your right our relationship moved so fast..It’s like we never missed a step with each other.. It’s kinda scary because he knows everything about me and my family.. We have been apart for 39 years..

    We have a unique situation.. What split us up all those years ago was me coming out to my parents that I was pregnant (but not his child).. He kept my secret while we were dating.. He knew the guy that I was pregnant by, but never told. We acted like this baby I was carrying was ours.. When life happened and everyone found out I was pregnant, we walked away from each other.. We were 17 & 18 years old (I’m older by 9 months) at that time we had no life experience to help us out on how to work through this..

    Ultimately, I gave birth to a boy and used my FL’s middle name as my son’s first name. Yes, we had talked about this and I was the one that wanted to name my son after him.

    Fast forward 39 years and we had a very honest conversation (both of us) all the things we had been holding for the past 39 years.. The hurt we each went through, the betrayal he felt that I was not aware of (from me). The hardships we each endured, because we were not mature enough to know what to do with all these emotions and choices to make as a couple or family.. Would we have stayed together (probably yes for both him and I) He never wanted to leave or be left out.. I had to be a single mother, work, take on my family, take on the birth father & his family.. We were both over whelmed..

    Presently, we are working at this relationship.. I found that I need to get professional counseling to deal with all these emotions I have been keeping hid.. And he is waiting for me to get through it..

    The other unique part to this relationship is that we have not had sex. Which we both felt was too soon, in the relationship.. Please be aware, I have 2 grown boys and have been married and divorced and he has 1 grown boy, and also been married and divorced.. So, we wanted to be respectful of each other and decided to hold off till we are both ready.. Not that we haven’t had the sexual urges that’s for sure.

  47. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Sue: what are you both waiting for? Life zips by so quickly.

  48. Love and war says:

    Down the rabbit hole is right! Why wait

  49. Love and war says:

    Down the rabbit hole and hot mess nest-
    I’ve thought so much about what to do in my situation and have made no attempts to contact my FL. After hearing everyone’s stories on here and the fact that my FL is married and a few other reasons, locations, not knowing if I can trust any information I hear and not even sure if any of his reactions if he really reacted as he did means anything at all I think I have no other option but to just let this go. The fact is back so long ago when he asked me to marry him I knew then that him not going back would get him in a lot of trouble and that would be my fault. No matter how I thought about it then there was no other way and I told him that one day he was going to meet someone that he loved way more than he ever loved me and he would probably forget all about me. He told me that would never happen because it wasn’t a crush but rather he was in love with me and that love would fix it and somehow make things work out. I wanted so bad to believe him but knew I had to get out of his way then for him to be ok and from there life would get in the way and he would forget me. Until recently I thought he never looked back and though I have been told he did, without talking to him it’s all second hand info. I have no way of knowing if what his wife said is true or if she knows a lot more than she lets on and everything she has told my friend could be lies. Either way I was referred to as his high school crush, nothing more. If he never told her I was something more than he doesn’t believe I was. She has no worry of losing him what so ever. Most likely she is the one who I told him he was going to meet one day. I know this is his second wife in 8 years but that doesn’t mean she’s not his best love. In the entire time me and him have been apart even if he was the one leaving notes, he never knocked on the door most likely because he resolved then that it was over and he eventually married someone else. Me hearing that he’s excited to see my pictures and lights up after if it’s true is most likely nothing more than fond memories. Me wanting it to be anything more wont make it so. And if I have been given true info and even if he was still in love with me it still wouldn’t explain why the second time he got married it was to a different woman. He didn’t look for me after his first marriage ended he found someone he loved more or he would have made an attempt to contact me. It’s not like I was hiding. It sucks cause I wanted so bad to believe that what he told me that night about love making it work out was true. I wanted to believe that somehow in the future we would be back together but the common thing our relationship seem to have repeating was that he was always leaving me. Whether it was to go back to Iraq or because he thought I betrayed him, even if I hadn’t lied he would have wound up leaving me to go to army prison so I guess if I’m looking for a sign from the universe that’s probably the most obvious. Love doesn’t fix anything. Getting out of his way got him to her and from what I hear they are happy together. I think I would have been better off to not have met him. I think my new goal is to just to be indifferent to him and to just stop when it comes to love. It really never has fixed anything but will just cause more problems and heartache than what it is probably worth. And if I can’t do that then I need to get good at faking it and learn to just push it down. I guess if I feel the need to have love in my life then I’ll get a dog.

  50. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Love and War, I am at a loss for words in your situation. If you are hearing this third hand, I wonder what the intentions are for the third party. They are giving you information for what purpose? To encourage you to contact him? To facilitate the end of his marriage? Are they confiding in him at all?

    I can relate on the pushing it down and faking it comment. After going to therapy, I realize that is not healthy either.

    If your FL knows the real story and hasn’t reconnected, he could be in shock and trying to come to grips with it. If he doesn’t have all the information then he cannot be expected to reach out. The million $ question is, should he be told?