Snow White Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Laughter, pleasure, malice, and the pursuit of adult fun

5 Fantasies—and 5 Truths—About Your Former Love

Does Your Former Lover think of you the way you think of YFL?

What IS it about the people we once loved that keeps us, as the Supremes might say, hanging on?

There are endless explanations, of course—and many excellent ones can be found right here at the PT site—but only a few are willing to take the subject by the shoulders and rock it back and forth.

I, however, am in the mood to do exactly that kind of metaphorical shoulder-shaking. I have a friend who is suddenly longing to get back in touch with an old boyfriend. (She found him on Facebook. Usually I quite like Facebook but now Facebook has become my enemy.)

This guy was rotten to her when they were going out—a long time ago—but this otherwise sensible woman has convinced herself that he's magically turned into the man she always hoped he would become.

She told me I needed to make her see the funny side of her situation—and see the humor in her longing for her past relationship.

So this one is for her—and the rest of us who harbor, even secretly, these fantasies....

Fantasies About Your Former Love
1. Your Former Love sings along with the Moody Blues song "Somewhere in My Wildest Dreams" while thinking of you during long, solitary drives;
2. Your Former Love has named a particularly beloved pet or, if literarily inclined, a character in a novel after you;
3. Your Former Lover has saved all your letters, photographs, emails, gifts, and one single T-shirt that still brings you back when it is held close, and keeps these in a special place which hugs at the heart and which, in silent moments, is often visited;
4. Your Former Lover keeps wondering "What if?" and "If only..." and, tremblingly, "Perhaps...?"
5. Your Former Lover dreams of you, and wakes with faint traces of salty tears; Your Former Lover wishes to return to you, wishes that mistakes were as easy to forgive or to overlook when they first occurred as they are now—since they all seem trivial compared to the great emotion that you share even though you've not seen one another or spoken to one another in civil tones for years; Your Former Lover pictures you and only you when thinking about death and the afterlife, imagining you will be together when the paltry circumstances of ordinary life no longer interfere with your true kinship and love.

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Truths About Your Former Love
1. Your Former Love sings along with the Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps" with a group of wild friends in the party bus and (but/t) is not thinking of you;
2. Your Former Love has indeed named some things after you, but these things are: a. a particularly problematic vehicle ("Jeez, I have to take the Robin today because the Honda is in the shop") or, if medically inclined, b. a form of cyst;
3. Your Former Lover doesn't remember your last name;
4. Your Former Lover, when remembering the relationship, which is not all that often, wonders only "What the HELL was I thinking?"
5. Your Former Lover has forged a new life that perhaps involves another partner, perhaps placing you with affection and admiration into the narrative of an earlier time or, sad to think but possibly true, dismissing you with only few thoughts, or even with negative thoughts. Your Former Love has, it is clear, moved on.

Isn't it time for you to do the same?

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Gina Barreca, Ph.D., is Professor of English at UConn, and author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.

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