Rekindling An Old Flame
Dr. Nancy Kalish, a psychology professor at California State University, Sacramento, is the only researcher of couples who reunited with former sweethearts. Her book, Lost & Found Lovers: Facts and Fantasies of Rekindled Romances, 1997, is based on her first four years of research (now 11 years). Questionnaire responses were included from 1001 participants, ages 18 to 89, in all 50 states, and 35 countries. In addition, the book contains the lost love stories of the couples in their own words.
These first participants found their lost lovers without the Internet, which in 1993 was nonexistent as we know it today. Since the publication of her book, she has surveyed, met, emailed, and spoken to more than 2500 lost love participants.
The findings indicated that even before the World Wide Web, it was common for people to reunite with lost loves from their past. Now of course, it is even more common, with web sites such as Reunion.com (Kalish is their Relationship Expert) and people search engines such as at yahoo.com.
This is not a Baby Boomer, or senior citizen, phenomenon. People of all ages rekindle romances, as just another, ordinary way to find love. In fact, half of the participants were under 35.
But people do not reunite with just any lost love from the past; most participants, regardless of their ages, went back to someone they loved when they were 17 or younger. These are the romances that parents usually belittle, calling them puppy loves. But these were the very loves that my participants took most seriously as time went by, the loves they missed the most.
Parents not only belittled these young romances, but many played a large part in ending these romances. When I asked participants why their initial romances broke up, the reason cited by the largest group of respondents was, "Parents Disapproved." Years later, when the couple reunited, they still resented that past parental intrusion. Many parents went to extremes to separate the young couple -- from hiding letters to jailing the young men. Couples who are happily reunited as adults are most regretful if their childbearing days are over and they can never have children together.
Other typical reasons for the initial breakups included "We Were Too Young," "Moved Away," "Left to Join the Military," and "Went Away to College." But only a very few couples checked the box, "We Were Not Getting Along." These were not neurotic, try-and-try-again couples who went back for another round of emotional battering. People don't change very much when it comes to personality, so a reunion with an abuser would be a poor choice. The reasons the romances broke apart years ago were situational, so years later, during the second romance, the original roadblocks were gone.
Journalists often assume that most rekindled couples reconnect at school reunions. This turned out to be a false assumption. Very few couples waited until the year of the school reunion to reconnect. The two most common ways that they reunited were by writing a letter or an email to the lost love, or by placing a telephone call. They had no trouble finding the other person in most cases, so it turns out to be just another myth that people needed to use a detective agency. Only 4 people out of 1001 used a detective. Most people leave a trail when they move: relatives that remained in the old home town, mutual friends who know the current address, or a school alumni association that is willing to forward a letter to the new address. Or now, the Internet.
People don't usually go looking for lost loves unless they are happy and secure within themselves. These are not desperate and lonely individuals who are afraid to form new attachments so instead they take the easy way out and refind and old flame. Quite the opposite. People search when they feel good, and that makes sense. Would you go to a school reunion, and let your old friends see you, if you were unemployed or depressed? No, we all want to put our best foot forward, -- especially if we want to win back someone who left us.
Usually it is the person who was initially left by the other, the "dumpee," who does the searching.
Perhaps the most surprising finding of all is that the second time around, these romances are very successful -- providing that both people are single, divorced or widowed. 72 % of the couples reported that they were still together at the time they filled out the questionnaire. And if the partners had been first loves, they were successful 78% of the time. Participants often describe their romances as "comfortable" and "familiar," but these words do not indicate a ho-hum attachment. Most of the couples reported that this lost and found love experience was the most emotional and sexual romance in all of their love history.
They are "soul mates," the couples said, and many believe that a "Higher Power" has brought them back together. Because of this, they believe they will never be separated again. This is not a fantasy. It is a love that was interrupted.
But there is a decidedly detrimental and unexpected consequence to looking for lost loves online: marriages that probably would have survived have crumbled when a lost lover entered the picture. Kalish's 1993-1996 research indicated an extramarital rate among these couples of 30%. Currently, the extramarital rate of the couples who contact Kalish is running at 82%, and most of these people have found each other on the Internet.
These people did not expect the reappearance of a lost lover to carry such a wallop. They thought they could merely catch up on old times, get "closure," or even have lunch with this old friend. Kalish's lost love participants report that they were blind-sided; they did not expect their feelings to return, with a vengeance, from their past. They did not understand the risks to their marriages. Knowing the possibilities in advance will help people make more informed decisions.
Any medium can be misused, and technology should not be blamed for these marital problems, says Kalish. For people who are single, divorced, or widowed, rekindled romances are a fantastic way to find one's soul mate. If someone is married, he or she should not search for a lost love.
You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Kalish, Ph.D. is a psychology professor at California State Univ. and the author of Lost & Found Lovers. She is the international expert on rekindled romances, lost loves, and first love, and has appeared on Oprah, 20/20, NPR, CNN, and Montel, to name a few. Her research has been discussed in Dear Abby, Redbook, The Chicago Tribune, Parade, and Men's Health, among many others. Visit her popular web site at http://www.lostlovers.com
Getting More From Dating, Romantic Relationships, and Marriage
Romantic relationships happen because of the hopes and dreams a couple has for a happy life together. The relationship will continue to be pleasant and rewarding as long as the hopes and dreams are kept alive by staying concerned with what is good about the relationship.
How To Support Friends and Loved Ones Through an Abusive Relationship
This is a question that comes up a lot. It's hugely frustrating, as well as difficult and painful to watch someone you care about struggle in the quicksand of an abusive relationship.
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen After Wife Gets MBA
"Hesh, where is your business plan?" It was a question I expected from my banker, but not from my wife. She tried to sweeten it by adding, "honey?" It didn't help. I looked at her in disgust. I realized I had created a monster.
Ive Gotta Hand It to You
What would I do without my wife? Not much. What would I do without my best friend? Even less.
9 Reasons You May Not be Getting the Love you Deserve
Are you getting the love you deserve? Are you being appreciated, romanced, hugged, kissed, and respected? Is your romance dying slowly? Has it lost its sizzle, spark, glitter, excitement, energy, passion, and spontaneity?
Affairs: Advice for the One Who Strayed
To the spouse who had the affair, it's time for what I call a multilevel apology.
Only You Can Decide If Your Interracial Love Will Stand the Test of Time
Interracial dating has really evolved over the past two decades due to the fact that the younger generations have had the chance to grow up in multicultural communities, allowing them to interact and make friends with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Although this has provided them with a different perspective and fewer prejudices, in most cases their parents and grandparents disapprove of their children mingling with others, whom they consider to be "not like them".
8 Reasons Why Your Man Isn?t More Romantic On Valentine?s Day
What is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year is too often a source of disappointment and frustration instead of joy for thousands of couples.
How To Seduce A Woman The Right Way
Gentlemen, if you really want to seduce a woman the right way, you have to make everything revolve around her. Everything!
Relationship Advice: 9 More Must-Know Tips for Couples
The Law of Two Questions
The Fine Art of Flirting
Did you know that it is not necessarily your looks or your bank account that will get you the Date of Your Dreams? Even those with average features and ordinary bank account funds can have the pleasure of being with someone they thought was unattainable. You think I'm kidding, right? I'm not! Want to know how? By learning the Fine Art of Flirting!
Communication Tips for Heart Healthy Relationships
It doesn't matter how old we are, matters of the heart go on forever. It is well known that a healthy diet, exercise, and attitude are powerful determinants of a healthy heart. But, knowing how to give and receive love and appreciation may still be the heart's best medicine. Since healthy relationships are so vital to living our best life, as a Life Coach, relationships often naturally integrate themselves into whatever life change my client is trying to make. Relationships are a big part of our personal Spirit, Mind Body landscape and affect every part of our being. Good or bad-how they play out in our life, and physical, mental and spiritual health, is up to us. And no, if we are not happy with our relationships, it's not the other people you need to change -there's no place for blame in a healthy relationship-it's us. It is often at midlife that we finally realize that having healthy relationships is up to us and no one else. Once a client has accepted this, the real work can begin. Taking a holistic approach, here are some ways to prevent problems in, or refresh relationships, that I've found helpful for myself and my clients.
Society?s Misconception of Soul Mates - Divine Source through Barbara Rose
Society's current conception of the term "soul mate" is completely contrary to what the term really means. Imagine two gallons of water taken from the Atlantic Ocean. Both gallons consist of the same energy because they were both part of the same ocean. Yet each gallon will have its own experience separate from the other. Now imagine a soul in the nonphysical realm that chooses to experience different aspects of itself by inhabiting two different people. Those people consist of the same energy as that one soul: they are soul mates.
Catch A Cheating Husband the Easy Affordable Way
Many women mistakenly believe they need to hire a private investigator or buy expensive software or surveillance equipment to catch a cheating husband. Once you familiarize yourself with the signs of infidelity, all you really need are your own eyes and ears and your personal knowledge of your mate. The key is knowing what to look for.
Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE
Ultimately, you want a partner you can be your true self with, a partner who will treat you with love and respect.
E-Love at Easter - Part Two
The next week was a whirl. The first quarter of the year was ending. The girls worked hard to stay on top of their businesses.
Soul Mates - Do They Really Exist?
Throughout centuries, story tellers, and people from different background and cultures always refer to their fascination in meeting one day their soul mates. Is Soul Mate a myth? Do they really exist? Or is Soul Mate a figment of our own imagination that can help keep our hope for a perfect relationship and keep our hope alive. Or is it an escape way for not handling or not looking at ourselves in such a way that we keep delaying our responsibilities and things can be fixed when we meet that perfect relationship with those Soul Mates. Everything is possible! It is up to you and me to decide the bottom line of this puzzle.
Keep the Fires Burning
The toys are put away, homework's done and the kids are in bed. The lunches are made and the dishwasher is on. You wash your face, brush your teeth, choose clothes for tomorrow and then collapse into bed beside your spouse. You lean over give your mate a perfunctory kiss and casually comment that your sex life "sure isn't what it used to be before kids"-and instantly fall asleep.
[Conflict Resolution] The Philosophy of Fear and Confrontation
Is there now, or has there been, a person or two in your life that you have difficulty in maintaining a civil relationship with at times? It may be your spouse or lover; it may be a friend or a superior at work. We usually say "I have a love-hate relationship with this person."
Romantic Gifts ? 10 Sizzling Ways to Give Them
When it comes to giving a romantic gift, it's not just what you give, but how you give it. For the most impact, creativity is more important than price. Here are a few suggestions: Flowers or any gift will work with this one. Leave a note on the door for your partner telling them to follow the path. Strew rose petals leading to the bedroom. Be lying on the bed, holding the gift when they arrive.
|home | site map|