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Still in love with my first?


Hoagy
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I've just come out of another relationship. She was a nice enough girl but I didn't really connect with her. So I was talking to my therapist about relationships I've had in the past and realised that there was maybe only one I really believe was perfect for me - my first.

 

It was a long time ago. We met at college when we were teenagers and were together about a year or 18 months. She was beautiful, fun, smart, and athletic. Unfortunately it ended because I didn't yet feel ready to settle down, marry, get a mortage, etc. I wanted to enjoy a bit more of my youth first, hanging out with friends, drinking and playing video games. Her parents were leaving the country and returning to their country of origin and she had to choose between going with them or staying with me. She had no other family and few friends here. If I'd been more mature and grown up she might have stayed. But we were just kids really and probably too young to make it work. We said we'd stay in touch but this was the days before email and social media so it was tougher then.

 

Strangely I didn't think about her again for a long time - not until quite recently - and I realise that I still miss her terribly. I guess I've been unconsciously measuring every other girl against her and they've all been found wanting. I don't know that I ever really got over her and worry it might be holding me back from having a successful relationship with anyone else. Ideally I should be able to talk to her about it but its been so long and she could be anywhere now. I wouldn't know where to start looking.

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Imo, the person you remember is an idealized version that doesn't really exist in the present. Imo, what you are really longing for is for a time in your life where things felt hopeful and uncomplicated. Sadly, you can only move forward. That time of your life cannot really be recaptured. You are no longer that person and neither is she. Comparing the women you meet to a fantasy is not fair and is counterproductive. Your first love has an unfair advantage because it was cut short before you got to experience the relationship full cycle. If you had got married that young chances are that you would have ended up resenting missing out on sowing your wild oats. Imo, your answer lies in taking your first off the pedestal rather than going after her.

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Imo, the person you remember is an idealized version that doesn't really exist in the present. Imo, what you are really longing for is for a time in your life where things felt hopeful and uncomplicated. Sadly, you can only move forward. That time of your life cannot really be recaptured. You are no longer that person and neither is she. Comparing the women you meet to a fantasy is not fair and is counterproductive. Your first love has an unfair advantage because it was cut short before you got to experience the relationship full cycle. If you had got married that young chances are that you would have ended up resenting missing out on sowing your wild oats. Imo, your answer lies in taking your first off the pedestal rather than going after her.

 

Totally agree!

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As do I!

 

Clio that waa an amazingly insightful response! Spot on.

 

OP, the fact you ended it with her and did not think about her for a long time is so telling. Think about that.

 

You are not "in love" with her -- after many years you are now simply longing for that which you don't have, never did, and is as Clio said a fantasy you have created in your mind to fill a deep void and the lonliness.

 

You're idealizing her. She is essentially not real, but again just a fantasy.

Edited by katrina1980
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OP, if you are not connecting with "real" women in the real world (versus fantasy world) explore that with your therapist.

 

You may have subconscious fears surrounding emotional intimacy, relationships, commitment in general.

 

Those who struggle with such fears often "fall in love" with fantasy, just as you are doing now.

 

Guarantee that if you and this girl were to begin seeing each other again, you would quickly lose that "in love" feeling as she will no longer be some fantasy vision you have created in your head, but yet another "real" woman, same as the others you have been with and unable to connect with.

 

Guarantee!!

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Thing is though, most people have a particular fondness for their "first". Of course being a first romantic experience, they really stand out in our mind. Exactly how long ago did you date this girl? You said pre-social media. That sounds like at least ten years ago! I really think you need to stop dwelling on her and forget her.

 

I guarantee you there are at least some women out there who are just as "good" as her. You just have to keep looking. I don't think you should be dating women you're not really that into. They might not be measuring up to the ex because you're just settling for women who are not right for you.

 

I don't think anyone who is an ex was really "the one" because if they were, they would not be an ex. If things are meant to work out, they will. Timing does play into it too and if you found her when you were too young and not ready, that means you were not meant to end up with her.

 

"Don't look back, you're not going that way".

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