The One Who Got Away

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The One Who Got Away
Can this really work, or will it just fall apart again?

When I was a girl, growing up in the small township of Rockland, New York, there was a tiny post office, which was a small room with a separate entry in the house next door. Rockland’s official postmistress was Clara Weiss, who seemed very elderly even when I was a very small child. She was what we used to call a “maiden lady” or spinster, who had dedicated her life to taking care of her mother, who was disabled, and also not quite balanced. Mrs. Weiss had one leg, and frequently escaped from the house and crawled around the yard, yelling strange things. Clara, as you might suppose, did not have much of a social life. After her mother died, and Rockland lost its tiny post office (we had to go into the slightly larger town of Roscoe, a mile away) Clara went to work in the central postoffice, about 20 miles away. There, she met a co-worker, and when she was 73 years old, I remember that we gave her a bridal lingerie shower. It really is never too late to fall in love. Clara moved away to live with her husband, and they had about 10 good years together.

 

A number of years ago, a friend and former student of Richard’s, who was in her 70's reconnected with an ex whose marriage proposal she had rejected in her 20's, because he had a drinking problem. In the intervening years, they both married other people, had children and full lives. Fifty years after their first romance, when both were widowed, he tracked her down, she went down to San Diego to meet him for lunch, and didn’t return for a week. They, too, married, and had some happy years together.

A very dear friend of mine, who lives in another city and has been divorced for many years, has been living happily for a couple of years with the man she met in college and decided not to marry. They had each married other people, had children, divorced years ago and reconnected last year. They are happy together.

 

In addition to these stories of reconnected love, I often see clients in my practice who get back together after breaking up or divorcing. In fact, some couples come to me after they have broken up several times because of fighting and disagreements, but something always pulls them back together. Surprisingly enough, many people do start dating again after they've divorced or split up. I believe in the power of love, and if your heart is yearning; It’s fine to reach out to a first or former love—as long as you do it properly.

You may never have really resolved the old relationship satisfactorily, or one or both of you may have matured and become a more suitable candidate for a relationship. Lots of people find out they appreciate each other more after they've been apart for a while. Also, as I said, I've seen a number of couples re-connect joyously much later in life, after having marriages and families with other partners.

 

This article was originally published at Tina B. Tessina. Reprinted with permission.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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tina@tinatessina.com
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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