Sex & Sociability

Question and commentary on connections, both sexual and social

Reconnect By Looking Back

You might find a gem worth polishing in your past.

Did you ever discover a $20 bill in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn in ages? Wasn’t that more fun than just opening your wallet and seeing it there? How do you imagine a gold miner feels when “just for so” he goes prospecting in a mine known to be tapped out and finding a few nuggets, or perhaps a whole overlooked vein?

At a recent party I attended a woman well past 60 strutted in proudly with a man about her own age on her arm. Knowing that after a certain age “appropriate” men you wouldn’t mind bringing home to your friends become scarcer and scarcer, a woman loudly whispered “Where did she find him?” The original woman overheard her and responded smugly “At my school reunion”. The whisperer whined “But I tried that last year!”

I’d bet that you looked in old jacket pockets before and found only crumpled tissue. Persistent gold miners don’t turn away from areas that have been dug before even if they don’t find anything the first few times they dig. People who are looking for a date or a mate often try the usual routes of clubs, bars, meetings once or twice and come away empty handed and empty hearted and then cross that resource off their list.

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Going to one school reunion may not be enough. Did everyone you remember go to the one you went to? Did you only ever attend one school? Reconnecting with old friends and schoolmates opens new vistas of other connections, even if an old flame is not re-ignited.

Finding someone from your past with Facebook and Linked-in and other social media is remarkably easy. Nothing would be lost if you located a former person of interest and sent a friendly hello. If his or her life circumstances are similar to yours s/he may be delighted to hear from you. A while back I emailed my high school boyfriend, using an email list from my high school alumni association just to say hello. He responded warmly and added that his wife’s parents lives not too far from me and next time they visited family he would try to stop by. I got the message – both direct and implied. I am still glad I contacted him.

I have many stories among my clients and friends of a lost love rediscovered. Some people tend to get stuck in the past, mourning what never was. I don’t want to encourage pining for “the one that got away” or sorrowing over “if only”. The purpose of this piece is to strongly suggest another look to your past when considering your future to make sure that vein of gold really is completely tapped out. If it is, by all means move on. But if it isn’t….?

My own life partner was my sweetie in college when we were in our teens. We married others and went our separate ways. Thirteen years later after my divorce I located him in another state and we had a wonderful one week reunion, and again went our separate ways. Thirty-five years later he contacted me. We corresponded. He visited me 3000 miles away. We have been together ever since. Neither of us was looking to rekindle an old romance, just an old friendship. Look what resulted. “Your mileage may vary” but old friends, as the saying goes, are gold.

You know who came to your own mind while you were reading this. A specific individual? Go see if you can reconnect with him or her. I’ll be looking in the Comments section here for your results.

Isadora AlmanM.F.T., is a Board-certified sex, marriage, and family therapist, lecturer, author, and syndicated advice columnist of "Ask Isadora."

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