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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13,364 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.

  40. Lost First Love says:

    38 years apart. Marriages, children. Divorces. College years kept in touch even visited him there. He graduated and moved to NYC, I visited him there. I got married and lost touch for approx. 15 years. We grew up together in the same town. So I always looked forward to summers because that is when we would see eachother, just to say hi. He married late in life and then divorced after 2 children. We have always remembered eachothers birthdays and have always sent out an email of birthday wishes. Last summer we really reunited both being divorced and seeing eachother it was pretty intense. He lives on the west coast, and I on the east coast. I told him how I felt about him and us possibly trying to make this work, and he hesitates because of the distance. He would reach out to tell me a song came on the radio that made him think of me, and the words of the song drew me in, and my feelings from long ago are creeping in and its almost obsessive. We have kept in touch for about 6 mos. weekly, but he is very vague in any responses and thanks me a lot when I say things like, “I’m thinking of you” I get a “thank you” response. I feel a little jerked around although he would keep in touch. I want to reach out but feel he needs to make the first move. Help.

  41. Anonymousme says:

    Please read this if you like giving advice. 😉 OK, here I am late night, during my precious alone time, and all I can do is sit here in my feelings. Of course I googled the question ‘married but in touch with my ex’. Then I found this site so I’m commenting in hopes that I could get opinions and not judgments as I hate feeling like this already. I’ve been married for 8 years and with my husband 11 year’s total. A few years before ever meeting my husband I experienced my first real true love. I was 21. We both had a lot of family issues at the time as both of our families are dysfunctional, but there was a real mental, spiritual, and physical connection there. He felt a responsibility to help his father take care of his two younger siblings and so when they moved out of state my first love felt obligated to move with them. This long distance broke us up and broke my heart. When I say I was crying for months I’m not exaggerating. I met my husband a couple of years later and we got married and have a ten month old. My marriage is just downright sad. There is no real physical connection there and has not been for a long while, no spiritual connection what so ever, and our personalities clash like crazy. He is high strung, complains constantly about EVERYTHING, and is just all over a negative person. I would like to mention that my husband always embodied these qualities BUT, they are extreme now. Before they were tolerable. I have dealt with him having internet affairs for the good half of our marriage, and let’s not talk about his gambling habit. I have talked to him about my feelings on ALL of these issues and he tells me everything I wanna hear but he never changes. I was once in love with him, but his behavior and attitude made me fall out of love with him. A couple of years ago I wanted to try for a baby because I’m in my mid thirties and felt pressured by the ticking clock, and wanted so much to be a mother, and I was blessed enough to have one and no matter what, my baby is number one in my world. Of course when I think about divorcing my husband I think about our baby, and you could imagine the conflicting feelings I have about it. Well, a couple years ago, my ex boyfriend, my first true love, or as I think of it, the REAL love of my life, found me. There has not been all that much communication there, but there has been some here and there. Nothing inappropriate as my ex is a very respectful person. However, we go for months without chatting, and then he pops up and asks me if I’m still married etc. Lol we have conversations about past memories and all the fun we had. I know he is just waiting for that day I say I’m divorced. But I know ‘they’ say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It just makes me sad to think I’ll never experience that type of connection again. I spoke to him on the phone twice and it was so refreshing to hear his voice and humor. Sigh.

  42. Real Life says:

    Anonymousme,

    The best thing you can do for your child is what you need to do. You are secondary, but that being said, I don’t think showing your child your internal unhappiness is the right thing. He/She will eventually anticipate or pick up on your internal conflict in your marriage. No matter how hard you try to pretend (for them) that everything is okay, they will learn to know that it is not okay and feel guilt for it.
    The worst possible thing you can do is stay in your marriage for your child. You are putting a huge burden on them to be responsible for your unhappiness.
    No judgement here, but everything you said about your husband are things that don’t just go away. If he’s cheating online then he’s cheating period. He’s unhappy too so why are you both dragging it out?
    Your child will be fine if you maintain a consistency in their life and be the rock that they can count on. If both you and husband put the child first, it can be a great thing and you will eventually find friendship with each other which is a far healthier thing for your child to see than 2 people unhappy. Take this advice from me, if your child is 10 months old and you leave your marriage now, they will have no memory of the events that took place. Wait 10 years and the heartache and gut-wrenching changes are harder to witness.
    I vote for divorce but then again that is easy for me to say not knowing you or your situation financial or otherwise. If you are this unhappy now, how unhappy will you be in 2, 3 5 or 10 years? You are young enough to reach out and find love again. It isn’t over. You have a lot of life left to live.
    Good luck.

  43. Anonymousme says:

    Real life,

    First off, I really appreciate and value your in depth response. You really opened my eyes and made such a valid point when it comes to my son and how divorce would effect him so much more when he is older opposed to now, that really helps me out and gives me a different perspective. And your right, my son comes before any and everything, I prayed to have him, being a mother is everything to me, and I certainly don’t want him to witness some of my unhappiness. I always put on a happy face for him, but your right when you say that I can’t put that burden on him, it’s totally not fair. As far as my husband changing I have learned that that is just not really gonna happen. Its sad that he does not realize that an adjustment in attitude would go so far, and even though he says he loves me and wants to change, his actions say otherwise. I never in my life thought that I would accept a man that cheated, and even though for the past five years I have not caught him in any online affairs, (because I have his passwords to everything and i became like a master snoop because of his crap) I guess I never really considered it cheating because it was online. Of course it upset me greatly, but I somehow accepted it because of the online factor. Dumb huh? I have a lot of thinking to do, but I know deep deep down what I should do. I can honestly say that the thought of my ex being back in my life excites me, but realistically I know he is not the solution here. Thanks so much your time and your above response, that’s really kind.

  44. Have Faith says:

    Anonymousme
    I think the only thing you should concentrate on right now is understanding what YOU want. That’s the most important thing, because if you are unhappy in your marriage, your unhappiness will also affect your child.

    If your husband is involved in some type of online affairs and gambling, those are serious issues. While it’s possible to be treated for gambling addiction, if hes willing, it sounds as if you two are not compatible anyways. If you are miserable with him now, I can’t see it getting any better over time.

    I don’t think your ex boyfriend should affect the choices you make regarding your marriage. The bottom line is if you are unhappy you either fix it, or if that’s not possible, then you need to leave, otherwise you will spend many years feeling miserable.

  45. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Anonymousme,

    I agree with Real Life and would add that you are relatively young compared to some of us here. If you wait, soon you will be looking at 25, 35 or more years between your first real love and the ticking clock. So many years lost. Your husband has issues he can’t or won’t address. Enough said.

  46. Anonymousme says:

    Have Faith,

    Thank you for your response. Yes, my husband’s issues certainly are serious and they exhaust me. I certainly can’t see enduring another decade of this. And I agree with you when you say that my ex boyfriend should not effect my decision, in reality he is not the answer, just the idea of me and him together seems so enticing right now, but that’s probably because I’m just not happy in my marriage.

    Down the Rabbit hole,

    Yes, the idea of all that potential lost time is too scary to turn it into a reality! Thank you for your perspective, these responses are really helpful.

  47. Have Faith says:

    Anonymouseme
    I wanted to add that leaving a marriage is not an event, it’s a process. By that I mean it isn’t something that happens on a whim, it’s something that happens after much soul searching , thought, consideration and a hell of a lot of pain.

    Generally we will make every attempt to fix the problem before we decide to leave. Like most people who have marriage problems, I tried marriage counseling, only to find that counseling actually highlighted some of the “unfixable” issues my husband had. While I would like to think everyone is capable of change, the truth is that some people are unwilling to change. They are unwilling because they lack the empathy to understand how their actions affect other people.

    Many people believe that all marriage problems are caused by issues of incompatibility, but the truth is that compromise and communication can’t fix lack of empathy and abuse. It can’t fix mental health issues or addiction either. We have to evaluate what the real issues are and then determine how to proceed.

    When you say you no longer love your husband, I think you realize that the reason you stopped loving him is because his actions are abusive. Ask yourself if you really want to spend your life in this situation. Do you think he will ever change? Do you think you will fall back in love with him? And if his behaviour towards you is emotionally abusive, did you ever consider that he may be abusive towards your son as well?

    A good book to read on the topic of abusive men is “Why does he do that?” by Lundy Bancroft. It was recommended to me, and I found it helpful in understanding what abuse really is, as most people only think of abuse as physical. The book will also help you determine if your husband is likely to change.
    Good luck.

  48. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Anonymousme: one other consideration is that children learn to model the dysfunction they see. I grew up in a home where my parents stayed together in spite of their incompatibility, addictions, abuse and loveless relationship. It has taken a long time to grasp the profound effect this had on my self esteem, ability to trust and love, and be a loving person.

    No family is perfect and must learn to adapt and overcome. However, addictions and abuse have effects on children that aren’t always obvious until much later.

  49. Anonymousme says:

    Have Faith,

    Oh my goodness you are seriously amazing in your insight!! The long process of divorce is not something I want to endure but I also don’t wanna continue a marriage like this. I think the reason that I have stayed so long is because of course there are a few positives when it comes to my husband too. I mentioned the negatives because his negatives effect me so much more than his positives. I must admit that my husband would do almost anything for me and he makes sure all my needs and the babies needs are met in the material sense. I know it sounds crazy because of his past online infidelities, but I know he is in love with me. My family members and friends have voiced that they can just see his love for me. BUT, he is incapable of changing. Yes, the online affairs have stopped five years ago, to my knowledge, but it’s really his personality that turns me off. He loves talking negatively about others, he harps on all the issues surrounding my family members, he is down right rude to people to their faces, he has ZERO patience, he is addicted to lotto and scratch offs, we are intimate maybe ten times a year if that, etc. He never called me names and always accepted me with my roller coaster weight issues, always tells me he loves me and that I’m beautiful. It’s such an odd dynamic. But even that being said, he complains A LOT. I keep a clean house, very tidy, I cook n clean. When something is outta place, there his is complaining. The phone rings, he complains about that, I’m not kidding you, there was a leaf tracked on my kitchen floor from someone’s shoe and he complained lol. It feels like I’m living with a supervisor, he’s always on my back, do this this way, what are you doing etc etc. My goodness!! I have spoken to him about his behavior on so many occasions I can’t count, he makes me hopeful that he will change, then boom, no change at all. That’s why when you say the lack of empathy is the reason a person can’t change hit the nail on the head! It’s so true, a sad truth. He lacks sympathy and empathy, two qualities that are so important in life. Your also right that this type of situation requires a lot of soul searching and thinking. Thanks again for your time and insight, you have obviously been through something similar and I appreciate your thoughts.

    Down the Rabbit hole,

    You make such a valid point. Children are like sponges and they absorb and are affected by everything around them. It must have been tough growing up in your childhood environment, I too grew up around some chaos and I do not plan on raising my child in a uncomfortable environment as I know how it feels. Thanks again for your insight!

  50. John says:

    I have had the extreme pleasure of recently reuniting with my first serious love after 37 years apart. We first met at a school social between Year 9 boys – 15 year olds, and Year 8 girls 14 year olds. We first laid eyes on each other from across the room. I felt absolutely drawn to her. She was 5 foot 10 (and still is) I was 5 foot 8 ( am now 5 foot 9). She was absolutely beautiful. Shoulder length dark hair, blue eyes, long legs, great figure, about 135 lbs. I had blonde hair, some facial hair and was about 130 lbs. As soon as we were within touching distance of each other, we put our arms around each other and started to kiss passionately, much to the chagrin of the Teachers. We introduced ourselves and exchanged land line phone numbers, she didn’t have a phone, but after the Social broke up and we returned to school, as soon as I was home, our phone rang and she was on the other end. We started ‘going out together’ and were inseparable for close to a year. Our relationship was based on complete honesty, passionate kissing and other non penerative sexual acts (no oral sex either), and talking. We would spend an entire 12 hour day together, and then she would go around the corner of her house and we would talk on the phone for another 2 hours. We experienced a serious illness for her Mother, who was living with a chap that she would later marry, but during her time in hospital and her time recovering at home, her mother allowed her to live with my family until the Mother was well enough for her daughter to return home. We later found out that this was because the Mother feared leaving her 14 year old daughter, who due to her height and looks could pass for her early 20’s, with her potential future husband would not be a good thing. My girlfriend naturally became very close to my family, and upon our reconciliation she mentioned that my Mother was her favourite ‘Mother in Law’ that she ever had.

    As with all first loves, ours was broken when my girl met an older boy who had a car. I was only 16 and still rode a bike. Luckily, after about 5 months, she broke up with the car guy, and we again made plans to get back together. Fate once again stepped in this time. I introduced my girl to one of my best mates, who had just turned 18. They made a great couple, and I was lucky enough to keep my girl in my life for another year.

    I had several girlfriend’s after my first, but the love that i felt for them never even came close to what I felt for my first love. I used to use my feelings for my first love as a barometer for future relationships.

    Life went on for both of us. Shortly before my 19th birthday, she and her nearly one year old son moved away from my home town, and although I thought about her often, I never thought that we would ever see each other again.

    Roll on 37 years, and for me 2 failed marriages, and on one day in March 2016, i decided to look her up on Facebook. I found an account but it hardly had any posts, so i sent a personal message, and after hearing nothing, decided to let things rest. Then in October 2016, I got a phone call from her. She had found my message when she had bought a new phone and it had updated all the apps. We started talking, and it was although all those years had just melted away. The only issue was that we lived 2,750 kms apart. But she wS returning to my home town for Christmas and we could spend some time together then. From the first day that we talked, we talked virtually every day until she arrived down for Christmas. Our first date was a nice dinner for 2, followed by 4 hours back at my place, where I was too scared to kiss her! Then 4 nights later, we shared Boxing day tea at my place, and after chatting for a few hours, I, who was a larger 160 lbs, and she was about 140 lbs, decided to take control and I started by kissing her neck and ears and I eventually worked my way around to her lips, and we had forgotten nothing. All the passion and love from 37 years prior was back again, and despite her having to take a few ‘over heating’ breaks, we kissed for over 2 hours with the passion of teenagers, but with the experience of seasoned lovers, albeit first time lovers. When it became time to move things into the bedroom, it was all very easy and familiar. Her body for a 51 year old woman was absolutely stunning. I have seen very few 25 year olds who could compete. My own body is very athletic with a very flat stomach and muscles where they should be, so we were both physically attracted to each other, although that was not the point, the point was that after 37 years, we were given the extraordinary gift of being able to finally consumate our love, which we did several times over the next 24 to 36 hours. She has led a life of enlightenment and i have read some David Deida, and when we made love, on one night from midnight to dawn, we reached a completely new level of consciousness. It was utter magic. Our time together was too brief. She does not want to have a long distance relationship, but we are still very close and talk most days. We have several projects on the go together and no matter what the future holds for us as a couple, I am so glad that modern technology allowed us to reconnect.

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