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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13,263 Responses to “Reuniting With Your First Love…on the Net”

  1. Anon says:

    Princess
    Playing games with people isn’t fair to anyone. If you want to go no contact, then tell him goodbye. Don’t leave him hanging. Be honest and tell him the truth.

    You say you need to take care of your end a little more? If you are trying to figure out what is wrong in your marriage it’s probably best to concentrate on that first, but be honest with your FL and tell him that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes goodbye would be the kindest thing to do. I’m currently in yet another period of no contact, how long will this one last for? He made it obvious he wasn’t going to encourage me to talk and I took the hint and will not bother him anymore. I feel so sad and cross with him but also know what he is doing is for the best. I’m sure he thinks of me still. Who knows?

  3. Kidding Yourself says:

    Princess,

    You are kidding yourself if you think you can go away and not contact him. It’s impossible unless your head and heart are in the right place. I don’t believe yours are. The boundaries you set up will fail too because these relationships aren’t like any other.

    When you get to a place where you know it will never go away no matter how hard you to try to make, or where you know that no contact is futile so you just deal with it in the day to day, then things settle down. Initial contact re-ignites a fire that is hard to extinguish. You have to let it burn for a while before it dies down some but just know you have re-lit that eternal flame. It will always be there now. Accept it and you’ll be better off than trying to remove yourself to play those old games. You should be more mature now and acceptance of what is, is how to proceed to get through this.

  4. Princess says:

    I’ve told him goodbye so many times. I’ve told him how I feel and the depth of those feelings. I have already figured out in my marriage and what is wrong and we’ve separated before and I am going to go down that road again. A family situation came up that needs to be dealt with for approximately the next 3 months and then I’ll feel better about starting the convo with my H.
    Years ago my H and I had a convo about if either was unhappy we’d want them to leave and when I did last time he was not that ok with it. I moved back quickly to leave the right way in the future–with a temporary order for support.
    Here’s my thinking. My LL is so afraid to mess up my life. He broke up with me and I can tell it’s caused him huge guilt. He’s not married and I don’t want him to think that I am doing this for him. In fact I want to do it on my own. So I figured I could focus on that part of things for awhile. I’d love to have him to talk to but he might freak out? I’ll think about it. I’m not trying to play games. Just a consideration.

  5. Anon says:

    I suggest you be honest with your FL. If you are communicating with him then tell him you’ve left your marriage. Don’t play games or ignore his messages.

    I have to question if there is a right or wrong way to leave someone. Granted, lying to someone and sneaking out without explanation is generally wrong; even that scenario can be necessary if there is physical abuse or threats of it. Perhaps your need to do things the “right” way is really a sign that youre ambivalent about leaving him.

  6. Truth be told says:

    I am an advocate for transparency in relationships. Truth is harder than lies but it should be necessary out of respect for each other. Even if you hate your spouse, you are doing no favors by lying.

    Be honest, speak the words and then work through the challenges involved with it.

  7. princess says:

    Well last night I had a dream. I found LL a perfect gift — I don’t know what it was but I needed to make sure it would fit into a post office box so I was trying to make it compact. Well H came walking up and I scrambled to hide it and the card fell on the ground. H picked it up and the writing on the front made it obvious it was for someone else. I was very aware that my H was upset. He refused to talk to me, he was not sad, he was angry and of course hurt. He would not talk and I was devastated. I became aware in my dream that it was a dream and in a few hours I would wake up and everything would be okay. In fact in the dream I sat on the bed and closed my eyes so it would go away. How is that for a sign? I have not emailed LL since Monday. Our last interaction was fine and I responded to him but he didn’t respond back. Typically I would email him again but I won’t. I think last night was a pretty good indicator of where my heart is right now.
    It won’t be easy and in a few days/weeks I’ll have the longing again but right now I feel pretty strong. Family health issues happening so priorities have shifted.

  8. wifey says:

    the right way would be to wait till both of you were free to persue each other . If you are not happy divorce first then wait and see where you are at with your feeling for persueing your first love. Until you do this the lost love you are persueing has every right to be circumspect of your intentions knowing that feelings never really go away . You’ve got to think that there is nothing honest or honorable in the way you are going about things if indeed you do this while you are or know the other person is STILL MARRIED

  9. Princess says:

    I understand that. I contacted him when separated and he is not married. I moved back with my husband for other reasons. This is a public forum so I can’t say too much. I never stopped contact with FL. When seperated my H didn’t want to work on things because I hurt his feelings and wasn’t providing support I needed and we couldn’t afford to get a legal separation with two households. I was having to spend a lot of time at the house when seperated and realized I can do this a little longer and so I moved home. FL is in a long term Relationship with financial obligations. It is what it is.
    He did not respond to my last response email. I am journaling my feelings. I really am trying to do what I need to do. Marriage is not some special thing– I would’ve left years ago if it weren’t for my son.inwont wait until graduation — maybe in a year it’ll be an easier time. Time will tell. He saw what we looked like seperated and know we are respectful to each other and he will be the priority. Then there are times like above where I have a dream and think maybe I’m supposed to be with H.

  10. Anon says:

    Wife
    I asked if there was a right or wrong way to leave someone. If your comment was in reply to that then I don’t really understand it .

    I don’t advocate for having an affair. I certainly don’t think someone should have an affair to ‘test’ how they feel about their LL or whoever. I think if are unhappy in your marriage then you need to fix that. If that means leaving because there is no way to be happy in your marriage, then leave, don’t stay and suffer.

    I don’t think it means you need to cut off all communication with your LL while you are still married though. Telling someone they shouldnt speak to their LL at all while they are married is a little severe. Talking isn’t an affair.

    Feelings never go away? That’s not true, judging from the divorce rate… lol.

  11. Carla says:

    I had a hell of a weekend and beginning of the week. Obsession hit me again while naively I was living what I thought to be a stage of acceptance. I got this application named truthfinder and started to play with it, and of course, I got to search for “him”. After I was done with it, a wave of feelings, anger, disatisfaction, sadness, madness, unhappiness hit me and has not left me since. I was thinking of getting therapy but I am a professional also and know what’s coming, things such as: work on your marriage, get busy, occupy your mind with other interests, take a class, get a hobby, and so on. It might be of help to someone else, but I am beyond that. I have gone to mournings before and they seem to take their own course, this one is the hardest of all. I can’t wait to reclaim my life. This is to sad and out of control. The worse mistake I ever made, contacting him after 30 years.

  12. It is what it isnt says:

    I wonder if Dr. Rob is aware why this particular forum has so many posts and visits compared to the other forums. His other first love forum hasn’t had a post since July! Of course he may find out one day what the reason is for the high number of site visits, and also how those numbers are linked to the reason he has to moderate the posts now.

    Posting here has been a real Up and Down learning experience, in so many ways.

  13. PleaseGodCanIBeWithLL says:

    Carla,
    Just wanted to say you are not alone. I go through periods where I think I’m okay without LL in my life (granted I still have daily thoughts of him in these periods, but I don’t dwell on them). Then suddenly boom, the longing and missing him hits again. I am actually getting used to those feelings and accepting them. Fighting them doesn’t work. I’m learning to let them be there without acting on them.

  14. annoymous says:

    I have to write about this and get it off my chest, first love sucks and just finding mine after 30 years hurts more knowing the truth that I wanted to hear, I still love that person awefully, lol and don’t understand why they came back and now had to let them go because of different life and iam heartbroken. will this pain go away? I miss talking to them on the phone. if someone comes back to you especially through fb don’t hit that button unless you know for sure. and finding out they will always love you is even worse, so if you have a chance to be with your first love don’t let them go. that love is so powerful it never dies.

  15. Carla says:

    I got an episode really, really bad this morning and remembered what you said about not fighting those feeling. Thank you and everyone for your opinions and sharing how you handle these nightmares. Yesterday, I found myself even begging my superior power to let me be with my LL no matter what, at no cost, I just wanted to feel what it is to feel loved and wanted by him. I am so desperate that don’t even care how unrealistic I sound. I am not going to fight my episodes no matter how bad they are thou. I can survive them anyways. (I hope)

  16. Do Over FLAD says:

    Last night I was contacted by someone from this page that accused me of being party to bullying and doing illegal things by posing as other people to harass her.
    I was on this site a long time ago. I met a lot of people on here and I was the one that set up the community Facebook page where some of us went to meet.
    I became friends with quite a few of the former posters on this site. 4 of us (Tess, Up & Down and another woman.. forgive me but I can’t recall her posting name) became close and we formed a chat group.
    Over time, I came to realize that my time spent there, lamenting and crying about my FL over and over, was time spent away from my kids and family.
    One day, I commented about all of us being lied to by our FL’s and the response back was that I was the only lied to, none of the others had been lied to. So, I realized that it was time to go. That was my sign that it was time to go.
    I exited, left without a word or explanation, blocked the contacts and was gone.
    Some time ago, I got a message from someone here telling me someone was using my name to post on here. I blocked her and didn’t respond. I have built a great life with my kids and my life with my FL has become secondary or even third or 4th to what I have going on in my life. It is not a focus but just a piece of my life.
    While I still have a place in my heart for the 3 women I met on here, I made a good decision to leave for my own peace and well being and would truly hope that they would respect that and understand.
    Last night I received a FB message from someone else on here accusing me of being a part of harassment and bullying. I have not and did not participate in that and while I don’t think my 3 friends did either, I was told they threw me under the bus and told this person I was crazy and the one harassing her.
    If that is true, thank you so much for doing so. I would hope you didn’t go down that path because I chose to step away and live my life.
    Whatever happened with my FL is on here for others to read and the friendships I made here helped me through a very hard time and I’m still grateful but me harassing and bullying anyone is a lie. I don’t have time or the inclination to make someone else’s life here miserable. I am a mom trying to live my life and raise good kids. That’s my goal now.
    Good luck to you all and please don’t use me as a scapegoat to accuse.

  17. Have Faith says:

    I know Dr. Rob has not permitted discussion on any drama that occurred on the now defunct facebook group, but if I hope he will Allie me to post this.

    I think it’s very easy to use someone as a scapegoat when they are no longer available or able to defend themselves. This a common tactic used by abusers. Luckily I saved all the old facebook posts/messages which accused Do Over of harassing me. I knew at the time those were lies, and that made me question the reasons why this small group of ladies would accuse her of this.

    Since the accusations they made seemed rather far-fetched (for example that there were detailed information folders comailed on all FB group members) that I realized these were intimidation tactics being used to scare me.

    To date, the harassment continues in various ways. I have evidence which supports a definite link to a few former posters of this forum. (Not Do Over)

    I write this as a warning to pay attention to those we meet online…it’s very difficult to assess someone’s real personality from their online personality.

  18. Eyes opened says:

    At the front of this log of comments someone mentions limerance. I have been researching this for a long long time and this never came up.
    Specifically this:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence

    It is fascinating and this is what is happening and apparently it can be stopped or lessened.
    I am feeling pretty ridiculous today because I feel I imagined it all with my first love. Maybe we are just found first loves and I have a tendency towards limerence? My therapist has said my FL is stringing me along. Today I told him I needed to stop and he said ‘always a friend’ well that’s the hook. It’s the statement that gives me permission to reach out again. Today I rejected his friendship and reminded him we are first loves and nothing less. But it meets criteria of unreciprocated limerance and the torture comes from being unreciprocated or constantly wondering.

    **READ ABOUT LIMERENCE if you are stuck

  19. Anon says:

    I would hope most of us are at an age that we are able to distinguish between limerence and true feelings, especially as we all have gone through teenage crushes and marriages and failed relationships.

    I think love is hard to define, and there is always some sort of limerence or infatuation at the beginning of the relationship.

  20. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Happy endings do happen. I just met a woman who broke up with her high school sweetheart more than 40 years ago. They lived separate lives for 20 years, reuniting after she came across his name on a book he authored. She obtained his email from another attendee who knew him. After contacting him, they began dating. A few months later they married and have been together more than 20 years.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Down the Rabbit Hole – that’s lovely to hear and I think that’s what most of us on here want to hear. We don’t want to hear about bullies and nasty people. I’d love to hear from some men and their first love stories and if they have ever been tempted to reach out to their first loves even if happily married and what happened next.

  22. Eyes opened says:

    I don’t think she or maturity matter I regards to limerance. It tends towards those with attachment issues. The difference is if they are reciprocated or not and gives time frames for these limerant for relationships to work – 4 years.
    Interesting. Worth the research.

  23. Anonymous says:

    @do over, I am so happy that you have found a little peace and happiness. I will admit when you left there was confusion and if I said or did anything to offend you, I apologize. I do miss our conversations and your wisdom.

    @have faith. I thought long and hard about if I was even going to respond to your accusations. I haven’t been on this site for a very long time and on a whim this morning I looked in to see this. In the Facebook group, we tried to talk to you and be the voice of reason and you didn’t want to listen to us. You wanted to believe what you believe and that is your right. When you admitted here, on this website along with letting us know in the Facebook group, that you had been hacked, we made the choice to remove you from the group as we didn’t want to be put at any sort of risk. I have not thought about or contacted you since. The next time I even heard from or thought about you was when you contacted me, through messenger with your accusations and YOU made the choice to call me rude, crude and vulgar names. I chose not to engage, I blocked you.
    I have only one piece of advice for anyone that is being harassed and bullied. If they are contacting by email, change your email, if they are calling you, change your phone #, if they are contacting you through public websites, stop going there, lock down your social media…..Don’t engage, ignore. If you have proof, go to the authorities, that is what they are there for. I can promise you this. NO ONE from the Facebook group was involved.

    Take your power back, they don’t have power unless you choose to give them the power. Don’t engage!

  24. Have Faith says:

    I notice you don’t comment on my accusations that some FB group members used Do Over as a scapegoat to explain the harassment I was experiencing, anonymous. As I mention, I have proof that you did just that, as i saved all those posts. I understand that by telling me that she had become extremely mentally unstable (clearly a lie on your part) and by telling me she had kept detailed information files on group members that you were trying to scare and intimidate me.

    I know I didn’t appreciate being lied to, as I’m sure Do Over did not appreciate being lied about. A group of normal, reasonable people does NOT make up lies about someone just because that person chose to leave a chat group. Sorry, but it’s just not a reasonable explanation.

    The names I called you Anonymous pale so much in comparison to what that has been done to me over the last couple of years.

    I am well aware of how to how to disengage , anonymous, (and how do you know if I haven’t already taken those steps, lol) but unfortunately this does not prevent harassers from harassing in different ways, which i will not explain here.

    I do find it difficult to believe, anonymous, that you had a sudden inclination to check this forum for the first time in many months as soon as a post concerning you was posted.

  25. Have Faith says:

    BTW, Anonymous, promises mean nothing when they come from a liar.

  26. Another anon says:

    Libel and defamation are civil matters- there is no point in going to the so-called authorities about it, you need to obtain a lawyer on your own.

    Bullying can be a criminal offence; however unless the bullys are very careless, it’s almost impossible to prove. Unless there are definite threats made in your name, the police won’t get involved.

    Unfortunately the internet is a wonderful place for bullys and malicious people to wreak havoc and get away with it.

  27. Carla says:

    I was very intrigued by the comment about limerence and the effects it causes on people. I am more inclined to believe that what I feel for FL is no longer love per se, but the syndrome they describe as limerence. In my case, I am definitely not reciprocated, I have experienced humiliated disappointment and a roller coaster obsession as a result. I definitely regret ever contacting him to begin with, I blame myself and nobody else. He has his own life which apparently is a happy one and I don’t. Simple as that. I hate him sometimes and I love him at times. I remember our moments together and aim for them. I do not have those feelings at home and I think I never will. That is my reality.u

  28. Still Dreaming says:

    The recent comments on bullying and harassment piqued my interest because I’ve recently dealt with a similar situation. Truthfully; I myself was not the target of the harassment, but rather a good friend suffered through this and she enlisted my help in the matter.

    Due to my friends experience with this, I ended up reading a number of articles pertaining to group harassment and gang stalking. Before my friends experience I would never have believed this type of thing actually happens, now I’m quite sure it does.

    It’s interesting to note that my friend’s experience also began with a reconnection to a past lover, a reconnection which resulted in an affair.

    My observations of the comments posted here a few days earlier is this:
    Unless the person posting as Have Faith is lying, the actions taken by the other FB members appear very “fishy”. It makes no sense (at least to ME ) to accuse a former group member of harassing her. Surely this shows malicious intent. I know if I had experienced some type of harassment, and then I was told, by people claiming to be my friends, that the harassment could be attributed to a mentally unstable person who had collected information on me, I would be alarmed.

    These are just my personal observations. Perhaps those who behaved the way these people did, had some type of reason for doing so that is not immediately apparent to us readers.

  29. Have Faith says:

    Still Dreaming
    I can assure you I haven’t lied about a single thing. I don’t understand the motivation of these women, but I know they said what they said. I have their old posts in which they blame my harassment on the former group member.

    I have no idea why this was done to me. All I can say is that this experience has been almost unbelievable. It’s almost impossible to imagine that a group of people , whom I never hurt in any way, would actually spend so much time and energy to harass me. Sadly, I’m not the only victim of these people either, and even the person they misguidedly appear to be trying to help, has not been helped in any way. In fact I’m sure they have made everyone’s situation much worse.

    Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done to stop internet harassment, but laws are starting to change now, as more and more people are affected by this type of thing. Everyone should remember that everything we do online leaves an electronic footprint…so we are never really anonymous.

  30. Anonymous says:

    For fear of retaliation from Have Faith, I am using an anonymous moniker. Just remember everyone…there is always more than one side to the story. The one who is the most vocal does not necessarily mean that they are the one whose story is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The “former Facebook group” is not defunct. It is still up and running. What has happened, however, is that most of us have moved on from there but still remain in touch with members of that group through other means. We are all busy, active people. Some are stay at home moms, others are working full time and all of us have a common thread which is that we met in this place and bonded. None of us have the time nor the motivation/desire to gang up on or destroy any other member or former member. Do Over left of her own accord and we were all very sad at the time as we really LOVED her. She had a unique story and perspective on things as she was in a very different situation with her FL than the rest of us were. While we didn’t understand her departure, we respected her need to withdraw. Have Faith was removed from the group after a risk to our security occurred when she was hacked. At the time of those departures, we held no ill will.

    I haven’t been on this site for probably close to a year. HOWEVER, I am here now because several of the members of our group have received very hideous, threatening and frankly, INSANE messages accusing people of being involved in a conspiracy to harass Have Faith and I was told that she was here accusing us on this forum as well. I understand that she is angry that she was removed from the group and that is unfortunate but the remainder of what she’s claiming about us is simply untrue and very inflammatory. More than that, it’s hurtful as the people I know in that group are all exceptionally loving, kind hearted, Christian people who met one another as a result of finding this place during a time that we were all in the fog of FLAD. Most of us are well over the hump at this point and no longer NEED to be on the FB site or here for that matter. True friendships have formed now and most of our conversations revolve around our every day lives involving our families and friends and not so much about our FLs anymore. We have, very simply put, moved on. There is absolutely no motive to do what we are being accused of doing. The fact that Have Faith remains here after so many years is very telling. The fact that she continues to try and contact people who departed here long ago with very threatening and frankly, SCARY messages is disconcerting. I know it’s very hard to determine from reading messages on the internet where the truth lies but I leave it to the people here to make that decision for themselves. The most vocal is not necessarily the truth teller and those of us who have chosen to remain silent despite her verbal attacks/accusations have done so in an effort to avoid further poking the beast. We were trying to take the high road but the attacks continue and at some point, I feel like at least one of us needed to step forward to defend what’s being said. I have no doubt that Have Faith truly BELIEVES what she is saying. That doesn’t make it so.

    Despite Have Faith’s comments above, I can tell you all with 100% certainty, that the people I met on this site are my saviors. They were all an incredible support to me when I was in the thick of my reconnection. They always say you never know who you are talking to on the internet and that is true. I have actually met, in person, a couple of the people I met here and they were exactly as they represented themselves to be. I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character. Never, would I have guessed when “meeting” Have Faith that she would eventually accuse really really good people of doing really really heinous things. But therein lies the issue with the internet. People have the ability to portray whatever they want.

    As for everyone else here, I feel for those who are here in this place now as it is not now what it once was. Back then, there was no negativity whatsoever and it was a refreshing place to come and find support. I remember very well, the days of crazy making feelings. My FL and I have, like many of you, gone round and round time and again. Pushing and pulling. Running both to and away from one another. It’s been almost 4 years since my FL originally reached out to me and in looking back on it all, I can see with clarity that this reconnection has brought me more misery than joy. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say that after all of this time, I have made a decision to end the relationship. Yes, I hate it and yes, there will always be a part of me that wonders what could have been but the logical grown up mind I have now realizes that, more than anything, I wanted closure and security in knowing that there really was a reason for why we never worked out. I have the answers I need now and I can rest easy knowing that I gave it a real shot. I don’t think he can say the same but that’s his issue, not mine. He continues to reach out to me with a fair amount of regularity but I’ve told him unequivocally that I am not interested in maintaining any kind of relationship with him. Based on our history of contact/no contact, I’m sure he believes that this is just another round in the game. He doesn’t yet grasp that the game is over. And…who knows, maybe it isn’t but it’s been two months now and I still feel as resolved now as I did when I pulled the plug. Maybe even more so. There is power in making the decision yourself to just walk away.

    Good luck as you navigate this terrain and God Bless you all.

  31. Have Faith says:

    And never in a million years would I ever guess people who appeared normal would harass me. But someone has. And that someone is linked to this site.

    As mentioned I do have the messages written by 4 different group members. These messages are not a figment of my imagination. Obviously I can’t post them here as proof, so it’s really my word against yours.

    TO tell you the truth, I had briefly considered that someone “framed” these 4 members, as I could see no motivation for them to harass and bully me, but I know now that isn’t true.

    These 4 people began bullying me by first claiming I was delusional for claiming harassment (apparently they assumed themselves mental health professionals as well as assuming they knew more about my life than I did). Then when it was clear I was being harassed, they blamed it on Do Over. This is not a lie and can easily be proved by looking at their messages.

    So to date they have accused both myself and Do Over of having severe mental health issues. I really don’t appreciate being called delusional and a liar, especially when I am looking at the proof in writing.

    The “heinous” things I accused them of doing were lying to me and bullying me. I have proof they have done both.

    They have also made the assumption I was angry about leaving the FB group…that is their erroneous assumption. I hadn’t been posting on there for sometime prior to that, as i had clearly been bullied by those 4 members and had no desire to give them any more information.

    As far as I am concerned, when someone lies about something, such as making claims that Do Over was mentally ill and had collected information files on all FB members, that is a very good indication that they are hiding something.

    If there is some way to prove what they said to me, I would gladly do it. I know I have only told the truth and I have nothing to hide.

    I don’t think I’m mentally ill…but I have been stressed beyond normal limits after everything that happened to me in the last few years. This has included surviving cancer, leaving my marriage (after 28 years together) reconnecting with my LL, (though I’ve been told by these 4 FB group members *that* was a delusion..lol..) and then the subsequent bullying by these 4, and also threats against me(made by another person).

    I have been trying to understand what is happening, and I have slowly pieced things together. Dr. Rob may remember I contacted him some time ago to confirm if certain harassing posts were coming from the same person who harassed me elsewhere; and also to show him examples of the harassment and threats I was receiving in connection to this forum (thru a twitter acct)

  32. Have Faith says:

    I also want to say , Anonymous, it’s very simple to go back to late summer and fall 2015 posts here and see how I was bullied. In fact this bullying was the reason Dr. Rob began review all comments before
    posting them.
    I wouldn’t doubt that if the IP addresses of these bullies were checked that they would match the IP addresses of some FB members writing under other various names. And i bet that all posts written under several different handles(not by the FB group) would all match the IP address of the threatening twitter account.

    Dr. Rob: okay, time to move along from this topic…

  33. BB80 says:

    Carla-

    You are in my prayers. If I could go back to the day LL and I first reconnected I would tell myself to set up some kind of standing appt with a counselor. Just someone to talk things out with instead of keeping it all inside. While my LL and I have remained friends I could not have imagined the grief I would face. The lost opportunities, the things that will never be.

    The rejection you have described has to be devastating…so painful. I hope this is a good place to let it all out. But if you can find that person (pastor, therapist) that can talk it out with you then you will be on your way to healing so much faster. I waited way too long to seek that assistance and am amazed at the progress I’ve made. I’ve heard that time does not heal but what you do with that time that makes the difference. It has certainly been true for me.

    I read something this morning that said Chinese tradition says we carry grief in the lungs. Maybe that’s why at times I felt I couldn’t breathe.

    Good luck to you.

  34. Eyes Opened says:

    I wonder if unrequited FL love is worse than two wanting to be together and can’t. Although my reading on limerance made the feelings make sense and I contacted Dr Kalish personally about it and she responded. It’s just different love. I am reading her book again.
    One thing I know is my FL is not pushing me away. He will always talk to me but he is not in the same place as me. Our ‘anniversary’ from the past was recent and he said some wonderful things about me and us. And maybe that is all there will be. Reading back someone mentioned stages of grief. I know you will go back and forth between stages and maybe all I can hope for is acceptance of it all.

  35. My Girl says:

    The pain of unrequited love is really the pain of rejection. The pain of loving someone and not being able to be together is probably a bit different, though those experiencing it may feel rejected as well. But that kind of situation where obdtacles kerp you apart could also inspire frustration and anger at the people who keep you from being together.
    The question also arises if unrequited love is really love at all(as most would say love needs to be reciprocated to be real love) otherwise is it some type of obsession? If a person continues to love someone long after that other person has rejected them, does that suggest some kind of mental health crisis?

    Or is it the thing that inspired song writers to write lyrics such as He Stopped Loving Her Today?

  36. Green Leaf says:

    Eyes Opened, I do think there will eventually be acceptance. I don’t think limerence applies in my situation. I do think it is love. Not the same kind of love you ever have with anyone else except that first love.
    In my situation, I see it as the wearing down of hope and learning that sometimes things like this just can’t be. Especially if both of you aren’t in the same position in life. With every disappointment and change in position in the other person’s life, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you back, it just means they can’t have you or you have them. It wasn’t meant to be that way.
    Acceptance is the only way to face it and try to move beyond it to have a real relationship with someone else. I’m almost there.

  37. Have Faith says:

    Studies done on unrequited love have shown that in cases where this was a failed relationship, the rejecting party often felt as much pain as the person being rejected. The rejecting party experienced guilt, stress and anxiety as well.

    I kind of think that any failed relationship could be lumped in with unrequited love. Even when you are the one leaving the marriage, it still feels like you are experiencing an unrequited love in many ways. People don’t just leave a marriage without good reason and without a great deal of thought and consideration.

    I know I left because it was clear my husband didn’t really love me (and clearly he is unable to really love anyone). Even though i no longer loved him, it still felt as though I was the rejected party….I had, at one time, loved him and had promised to spend my life with him. I had treated him fairly and I had trusted him, and he had not done the same. He had lied to me, disrespected me, been abusive…etc. So even though I made the decision to leave , he was the one who rejected me, and in essence he rejected all real, mature, love. I can now see he is incapable of real love , as it involves an emotional maturity he will never have.

    It hurts no matter which side of this you are on.

  38. Eyes Opened says:

    So my LL admits to feelings initially — a decade ago— since then he’s been very strict with boundaries. No meetings, no phone calls, no social media (he has none) and emails only. There are times he slips up and expresses his feelings but there are times where he is resistant. According to other LL sites this is normal and part of push/pull.
    I am wondering if your experience is different? I’m not sure where this falls. It’s almost like he won’t go backwards and that is the hard part. He hasn’t made plans or been straight forward about feelings. But his reasons for not meeting is deep feelings and what could happen.

  39. wifey says:

    I’m on thee opposite end. My husband left me, my kids etc for a woman who broke his heart at age 17 by cheating on him . She is currently still married, though separated ,but this started while she was sill married so she has not changed much.

  40. So Many Questions says:

    I went looking for information on this subject and stumbled ontp this one and this forum. I assumed this was a supportive place but after reading for a while I’m not so sure. However, that’s not stopping me from asking for some insight on the subject of the article. Quick backstory- Dated for just over a year He ended it and regretted doing so not long after but I was dating someone else. In 38 years we’ve reconnected 8-10 times since the internet became available. We’ve met and physically connected 4 times in the past 32 years. The timing was always off with one or both of us being married.

    Right now, he’s single and has been for a few years. I’m married with 2 adult children who are gone and married themselves. I have a satisfactory marriage and care for my husband very much. However, I’ve thought of leaving for years. The older we’ve become the crankier he’s become. The tv gets far more attention than me and he’s become negative about everything. It’s exhausting. The only place we go together is dinner or to one of the kids. We haven’t been on a “date” for so long I don’t know when it was. I often feel like a sex freak because I always have to initiate with only a 30% success rate. Maybe 3-4 times per year for the last 10 years.

    I posted on my hometown fb page and saw my FL liked it. We had just become fb friends a few month’s prior, at his request. Then the like was gone, I messaged him and asked why? Afterall, he had friend requested me so what was the problem? Of course, the conversation became pretty deep pretty fast since we hadn’t heard from or seen each other in 3 years this time. We are planning to meet again soon.

    I think this time we may actually have the timing on our side. If it is, I’m going for it. No more wondering what if, no more turning the radio off when a certain song comes on and no more living for anyone else but myself. If he turns me down, he turns me down but I’m finally willing to take that risk. Am I crazy?

  41. eyes opened says:

    wifey I’m sorry you are going through this. I don’t know what else to say but for those of us on the other side this is not a typical thing for us. I am anti affairs for sure. My father cheated too much. I can’t make excuses and its a good eye opener for you to post.

    Many questions — Sounds like your marriage is unsatisfactory and you have settled. It may be a good time to separate.
    As for LL is you are separated the timing would be perfect. Your Husband has become very comfortable.

  42. Have Faith says:

    Wife
    Sorry to hear you are going through this.
    I don’t know your particular situation – how long you were married, what your relationship was like, ages of your kids, etc…so I can only comment in general terms.

    I think losing a long-term relationship, for any reason, is like going thru hell. I am a member on another site where there is much discussion on unhealthy and toxic relationships. I don’t think anyone who has written there about leaving their marriage has said otherwise – leaving is hell. Most people there, i notice, will write for some time to talk about how unhappy they are with their spouse, until finally deciding they need to end their marriage.It’s never a split second decision. It’s a decision that results from living in pain for a long time.

    I did the same thing – I found that site and read others stories. I tried marriage counseling, and then I realized my husband would always be the way he is. I couldn’t change that.

    My story was a little different, I think, because around the same time I started to understand that my husband was abusive and had ikely been cheating on me (denied by him, but he was definitely lying and covering things up) was around the same time I started to think about my LL. I’m not sure why that happened, but it does seem connected in some way.

    Anyways, as i mentioned earlier, this hurts, no matter how you ended up here.

  43. Down the Rabbit Hole says:

    Wifey: my husband “left” our marriage very soon after we married. He was never home, emotionally unavailable when he was. I was too young and naive to understand at the time, knowing something wasnt right but unable to leave when i should have. We had a young child and being a single parent didnt seem like an option.

    Years later, I discovered he was having an affair with another married woman. Now we had two young school age children. The entire time between he continued to put everything and everyone before our marriage. I also came to grips with the fact he was a compulsive liar. Now i was older and beginning to piece together the depth of the issues in our marriage. I threatened to leave but still couldnt bring myself to do it. Being cheated on ripped my heart out, I wont lie. I had never cheated and always judged harshly those who did. We were 14 years into our marriage.

    It was a long time before I let go of the anger toward the other woman. The fact is that my husband was responsible for neglecting me. She just happened to be the latest object or source of ego boosting in a long history of people and things put before our marriage.

    By the time my FL contacted me 5 years ago, i was going through another cycle of extreme emotional neglect and abuse and threatening to leave. While i dont condone affairs, i have a better understanding of how and why they happen.

    I suspect there were issues in your marriage prior to the FL reconnecting. Perhaps not, either way the pull is very strong. I do empathize with you, having felt the pain of betrayal firsthand.

  44. Have Faith says:

    DTRH

    Cheaters are always liars. To be fair, we all lie at times. And I’ve lied to my husband as well, but this was following years of abusive treatment by him.
    But some lies are more destructive than others, and when I would catch my husband and in a lie, and then have him in turn rage at me for catching him, it eventually destroyed my ability to trust. I lost trust in the person I should trust the most in life. Also when I was gaslighted you lose the ability to trust yourself.

  45. wifey says:

    have faith , I was married 26 years my kids are 25 and 23. This women played him the first time around. She did the same with her husband. She cheated with him the first time around with his best friend told him he had to accept the fact that he wanted to play around and left it so he could not do anything but either hang on or break up . They broke up. He met me 10 years later. She found him on facebook about 3 years ago. She contacted him behind her husbands back she eventually moved out but is not divorced He moved out on us and is still involved with her. My kids will not forgive him that’s what hurts the most they are innocent he selfishly put their relationship on the line. Or marriage was okay not great. He hurt me but not like he hurt them . They are just knocked off there ass by the whole thing

  46. Have Faith says:

    Wifey
    I was with my h for 28 years. I think it is extremely difficult to leave a marriage after so many years together, even if there were problems in the marriage.
    I think when a long-term marriage ends, it’s seldom just one thing that ends it…it’s many things that happened over a period of many years.
    I know that was the case with me…I knew my h had lied about a number of things, and some of those lies pointed to cheating. Once the trust is lost in a marriage, it’s just seems like the marriage is over. Trust can only be rebuilt if both parties are willing to work at it. My h was not, and at that point I was past caring.

    Still, it is a slow and painful process to go through. The thing that strikes me in your comments, is that this has affected his relationship with your adult children. That hasn’t happened with us. I think it’s very sad when family members are placed in the middle of other people’s problems and forced to pick sides. I have to say there is usually some level of manipulation going on when that occurs. Or, as has happened with friends in their divorce, the kids won’t talk to their father due to his alcoholism. Sad.

    But when the marriage ends due to an affair, it isn’t fair to ask people to pick sides. No one, but the two divorcing parties really know what went on in the relationship. It’s sad that the kids would be affected this way.

  47. carol says:

    yES, I WAS 18 WHEN I MET THIS YOUNG SOLDIER STATIONED AT fT. wOOD, mo. AND WE BEGAN WTIITNG TO ONE ANOTHER AND FELL IN LOVE THRU OUR LETTERSW AND A KISS WE SHARED BEFORE THEY SHIPPED HIM OUT TO Germany. we WROTE FOR 3 YEAR AND HE ASKED ME TO MARRY HIM WHEN HE CAME BACK TO THE STATE3S. however, I FOUND OUT LATER HE BROUGHT SOME BIMBO BACK ROM Germany THAT HE’D BEN SLEPING WITH AND MARRIED HER. sHE WA 5 YEARS OLDER THEN HIM BUT HE NE3VER TOLD ME HE JUST STOPPED CONTACTING ME. I WAS 20 BY THIS TIME AND WENT TO Rockford iLL. TO FIND HIM AND SE4 WHAT HAPPENEDE. I WANTE3D ANSWERS. I’m STILL VERY MUCH IN LOVE ITH HIM AND I’m 73. hE’S 80 AND SHE’S 85.i HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO FORGET HIM IN 53 YEARS AND I ALSO R3EMARRIED BUT AM SINGLE NOW.

  48. Aretha says:

    It will soon be 50 years since my FL/LL and I met. We got back in contact 7 years ago. It is great to be back in touch again but it will never be anything else now for we live too far apart. He is divorced and I believe he does live with someone but we never discuss her and I have no proof. I am in a loveless marriage and it is not discussed anymore after I told him the situation. Too long ago now to turn back time, but I will always feel a special love for him although it was my fault we split up at the time. The Sam Cooke song “She was only sixteen” says it all. https://youtu.be/ANDbq0N0MzU

  49. Carla says:

    Carol, I am so touched by your story. I can imagine how hard it must have been, and it continues to be loving him after so many years and after so many circumstances. My first impulse, after reading your experience, was to ask you to find out about him, to look for him, letting him know how you feel and have felt, but I am not that naïve and based on my own experience, I would go against any possible contact. I really hope that you found at least some happiness while you were married, even if it failed afterwards. From my own experience, I know I will continue loving my LL. I do regret ever contacting him after so many years. The pain of rejection has been to much to carry. My soul aches even more now. If I could change anything, it would be the day I clicked my keyboard and sent him the infamous hello.

  50. wifey says:

    husband actually had his first love over while his 5 year granddaughter was sleeping over and I was tending to a family emergency out of town. Naturally it was said granddaughter that spilled the beans.

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