How would you feel if someone from your past turned up and revealed they had a thing for you after years without contact? That’s almost what has happened to a number of people on sites like Friends Reunited, leading to warnings by a lot of serious faced agony aunts about the dangers of re-igniting old flames.
So why do people do it when they have perfectly good relationships already? And why hasn’t it been happening for years?
The Internet has made contacting old friends and classmates incredibly easy. Before its advent your only contact with the pupils from your old school was often a class reunion held every few years. They were often poorly attended and slightly awkward affairs.
Contacting people online is much easier than making the first contact with someone face to face after a decade or so. It eases you into rebuilding an old relationship or creating a new one. Online profiles and pictures can be a little kinder than real life too making your feelings for someone easier to rekindle if they’re a little bit more successful and younger looking online than if you were to scrutinise them close-up.
Of course you still have to meet but by then you may already be sold on the dream that you’ve built between you – the fact that you knew each had a thing for the other but you never quite got it together because of one reason or another, maybe one or both of you had feelings for the other but never expressed them, or perhaps you were together but split up and realise you wish you hadn’t.
It could of course be the case that you’re looking for a relationship and starting out with someone who you once knew seems safer and easier than going out dating again.
In any case the years soften memories and hide the imperfections that we all have. You tend to remember the good things that happened and not the negative aspects of your time at school.
This doesn’t mean that starting or restarting a relationship with an old schoolmate is wrong, but you have to be aware that having known someone years ago does not give them some special status. You really need to know what’s gone on in the intervening years and how that’s changed them as a person.
Perhaps if you enter into a relationship with an old friend like this after years of separation you don’t care about all the potential pitfalls. It is after all exciting to start out in any new relationship. There’s nothing like the first kiss, the first fondle, the first fuck. They all happen once in a relationship and are exciting because of it. Add in the memories of your shared youth and it can easily make for an exhilarating ride that may cloud your judgement as to whether it’s really a good idea.
If you’re already in a relationship it is of course a terrible idea. Extra-curricular sex is a thrill but it isn’t the antidote for a low point in a relationship. All couples have peaks and troughs during their time together and escaping by engaging in a clandestine, exhilarating fling with someone else will only warp your view of the worth of your longer term partner and what it means for you to be together. Yes your relationship may already be over but wild monkey sex with another partner is not going to help you bring your existing relationship to an end in anything other than a fireball of hurt and recrimination.
All that sounds like I’m judging anyone who does get it together with a lost love after years of separation. I’m not. I simply think that caution is required and a good hard look at your reasons for making contact with them before you jump on their bones.