Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

If You Write to Your Lost Love, But Receive No Response

What does "no answer" mean?


What if you write to your lost love, wait with high expectations, and get no response? Does that mean you are rejected?

Not necessarily, but it can still be very painful to reach out and get nothing in return.

I hear from many people who were contacted by their lost loves, but they didn't write back and don't intend to. They don't know how to handle the contact, so they write to me. Many of these people are middle-aged men.

One reason they don't write back is because they are married and don't want to rock the boat. Or, a married man may write just once: a very simple, dismissive note, then no answer to the lost love's second note. It may not be because he doesn't have feelings for his lost love - indeed, he may have too many positive feelings and he can't handle these emotions.

Or, people do not respond because they do not have leftover feelings for their ex-sweethearts; they don't want to hurt the person, but they have nothing to say to him/her and may even think it is strange that this person is writing to them.

Others retain bad feelings from the initial romance, not just the breakup. Let's say someone contacts a lost love to make an apology (it's usually the man) for treating her badly when they were young, even though he loved her. He was an immature adolescent and didn't have good relationship/communication skills. So he writes to her, as a mature and caring adult, to apologize. This may unleash anger in her, anger that she was too young to recognize or process years ago; back then, she was depressed over his actions, but now as an adult, she recognizes that he wasn't very nice to her. She realizes that her depression was actually disguised anger (women often turn anger inward and experience anger as depression). She does not respond, no matter how many times he writes. She doesn't like him, and he is left to heal himself, forgive himself; this is very hurtful to him.

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And others are indifferent to lost loves because they feel that they have changed so much that they are not the same people. They do not like who they were, and lost loves remind them of the old selves that they have disowned.

It is my opinion that if you know for sure that the lost lost received your contact, and if the lost love doesn't respond for whatever reason, he or she should then be left alone:

I have seen very ugly situations where the lost loves (usually women) would not let go. They would not abandon the fantasy of reunion, they rationalized why the lost love was not answering ("his wife is controlling"), and they continued to pester (which is how the recipients experienced it) their lost loves and even their lost loves' family members. In several cases that I know of, the lost love contact was so annoying after a while that the men got restraining orders against their lost loves. Any good feelings from the past turned to hatred. These men experienced their ex-girlfriends' persistent attempts at reconnection as stalking.

No one owes their lost love a reply, just because the lost love wrote to them after many years. But, if you receive a message from your lost love, it is kind to write back. If you have no interest in furthering the conversation, I suggest you write at the end, "It was nice to hear from you." That polite formality will usually get the message across that this is not going to be an ongoing conversation. If you are married and don't want to chat with a lost love who sends you a second message, just say so.

And if you are the person who made contact, and your lost love doesn't respond, 1) don't make yourself miserable guessing why, because you don't know, and 2) perhaps, when you least expect it, your lost love will indeed write.

Copyright 2010 Nancy Kalish, Ph.D.

 

Note: I had to close the comments on this and another article because they were spam magnets for "spell providers."  Sorry!

Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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