Dreaming About a Past Love
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
My ex-girlfriend broke up with me about three years ago. We were together for two years, and had many wonderful memories together. We did fight on occasion like all couples, but we got along so well for the most part and we had so much in common, that I can honestly say it was the best relationship I've ever had. The problem was, it was a high school relationship, and I was going off to college while she was going into her senior year of high school. We had plans to go to college together in a different state when she was out of high school. But after that decision, she got distant. Finally, she realized she was too young and inexperienced in life to be this close and committed to somebody, so she broke up with me, stating maybe someday we could get back together when she was ready.
Quite a while went by, and I began to move on. I started dating, and finally found a girl that I was with for quite a few months. One night, I got a voice message from my ex stating she missed me and wanted me back, but it scared me off so much that I didn't call her for a few weeks. I wasn't sure how I felt, because I was trying not to think about her for so long. When I finally returned her call, her phone had been disconnected.
I thought about her a lot afterwards, but I tried to shrug it off by saying it was all in the past, and I was just bringing up old memories. I could not be sure, because I couldn't track her down to talk to her. This continued up until six months ago, when the girl I was seeing broke up with me. That did me some good, because what I realized a few months afterwards, was that I wasn't really ever in love with her, because I was really still in love with my high school sweetheart.
I've been doing a lot of searching since then, and I finally tracked down her address and phone number. She is now living with her grandparents, and attending school with her mother in the same state we were planning on moving to.
My problem is this: It has been so long since we've been together. I should not logically still be in love with her. But I have dated quite a few girls since her, including the girl I was seeing for almost two years, and I can't seem to get her out of my head. Should I call her and talk to her about how I feel and see if she still feels something for me, or should I leave her alone in peace with her new life but possibly regret never calling her?
It's really common to maintain dreams about old loves, because over time you tend to remember the good parts and forget all the bad parts. Also, as we get older, we get more and more responsibilities. It's nice to dream about the days before when things seemed simpler, when relationships were just about having fun and doing things together and not about chores and bills and everything else.
You're completely right that she's a different person now - she's gone through many experiences and matured. Sure, you may enjoy what she is now - but you can't expect just to "get the younger version back". Those shared memories may get you started - but what sustains a couple is how they handle a day to day basis, and has little to do with when exactly they first met. Most high school relationships break up in short order and never reform, so just knowing someone in high school is not really a guarantee of anything, even if it was a happy time.
In any case, there of course isn't any harm in getting in touch with her and seeing how she's doing. You can at least be friends with each other! And if she is indeed single and willing to give it a try, that could be a worthy thing to attempt. But it's going to require a lot of time and effort. It won't just "happen" just because you dated in the past. If you're willing to put in that time and effort, and honest enough to face the realities of what you are both now and not just try to recreate your dreams of beforehand, it has a chance.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com