Connecting With Old Flames Kindle More Than You May Have Bargained For.
When we get upset or frustrated with our husbands or significant other, everything negative seems to be exaggerated. It is like looking in a mirror as a teenager. Every pimple shows and we are sure our complexion is ruined forever. Of course it wasn't and probably a little over the counter medicine from the drugstore helped when we were kids. But the same thing happens as we face the realities of our day to day relationship. Everything that isn't all sweetness and roses can appear terrible.
Yet when we look at our past relationships and often there are one or two we may tend to go back to in our minds, we seem to see them through the magic of the seven veils. When we daydream about past adventures we seem able to immerse ourselves in remembering what we want to remember and forgetting the rest.
Of course delightful memories of feeling good with a boyfriend years ago can be harmless and in fact can make us in a good mood and bolster our self-esteem. They can even give us the needed energy to come back to our present relationship feeling optimistic and certain that today's is the right one.
However, reaching out to be in touch with someone years later after a romance is over can be a risky situation. That is because they have moved on and so have we. We think we know who we left behind, but we really don't. People change. We probably have also.
One day when David was busy late at the college and Natalie was bored waiting for him to come home for dinner, she found herself looking up old boyfriends on Facebook. She had a slightly creepy feeling in the pit of her stomach that she tried to ignore. After all, everyone was looking up people from their pasts. What could be wrong about staying in touch? Didn't all the research suggest how important social connections were?
First she looked up her high school sweetheart. Wow, he had aged so much. She decided not to 'friend' him. After all, he dropped her for Samantha four weeks before the Senior prom. What a jerk. Natalie had ended up taking her first cousin Harold who was a total gentleman. He charmed all her friends and no one was that surprised when he came out of the closet 4 years later. Her mind was drifting.
Soon an hour had passed. David called to say he was on his way home. Quick, just enough time to look up one more guy from the past. Jack. After all she was involved with him for years. No guy but David knew her better. Why not say hello? Who could possibly be harmed?
Natalie found him on Facebook as she heard the garage door open. So easy. She invited Jack to be her 'friend' just as David walked toward the den. Her heart was racing. Why? She couldn't worry about that now.
David leaned over her and kissed her on the top of her head. "What have you been doing? Playing solitaire on the computer?"
Natalie felt her stomach tighten and her face flush. She was far from playing solitaire. Already she knew she was playing with fire. Jack was an old flame and she already realized that her emotions had been kindled more than she bargained for!
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self®, a positive psychology method for happiness. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting.
She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.
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