Igniting An Old Flame

It’s my belief that we bestow something of our energy on all those whom we have ever loved or even on those for whom we had a powerful crush. Certainly a piece of our heart stays with the person to whom we have once given the whole of it.  Those who shared our love or lust, those with whom we have shared a significant portion of time are keepers and sharers of some of our most poignant personal history, sometimes invaluable pieces that we ourselves have forgotten.   For this reason alone it often behooves us to reconnect with those once important people who have drifted out of our lives, who have been booted out for what was good cause at the time, or who have left (cruelly, we may feel) on their own. Maybe you want to make amends.  Maybe you’re still hoping for an overdue apology.  Maybe it’s nothing more nor less than no one since has ever quite done it for you like ol’ Whatshisname.

So here it is, a new year, and reconnecting has never been easier.  One can search Facebook or employ the many web sites geared to finding people. Once closed records are now open to those who know where to look.  Because many women now keep their own names after marriage more women are more easily findable under the names by which you once knew them.

Your attitude about former loves runs more to “Good riddance to old rubbish”?  Perhaps these stories from my old files as an advice columnist will inspire you to take another look at old address books or school yearbooks.

Some stories may not seem romantic at first glance:

I was 19 and going around with a disabled guy who hung around San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district smoking pot.  I worked at an art supply store on Haight Street.  My boyfriend introduced me to his pot connection – short, funny looking, chemically dependent, and a pot dealer.  Who knows why, but I had a little crush on the dealer dude.   I moved away but when about a year later I ran into the dealer guy again he had gone straight.  I married the ex-dealer dude and we’ve been together for seven years.

Some are unique in the extreme:

I showed up at my 20th high school reunion.  My old boyfriend whom I’d cruelly dumped after he joined the Air Force came and asked if he could sit next to me.  I said sure. He looked great, with much more presence than the skinny kid he’d been, nicely graying hair, beautiful green eyes.  My inner adolescent abruptly awoke from her 20 year sleep, and I blushed when he bought me a beer.  (Did I mention I was in a loving, committed lesbian relationship for more than 10 years and that my partner had been treated for cancer the year before?)  One way and another Bill and I figured out a way to honor both my current life and our previous passionate connection.  During the reoccurrence of my partner’s cancer Bill was the one I could depend on.  I don’t know what’s going to happen with us.  We are very different people than we were 25 years ago but there’s no question about how we feel about each other. Love is the damndest thing.

Some reborn romance reports are brief and to the point:

I had a crush on a co-worker about nine years ago.  We dated briefly with not good results.  I wound up thinking he was a jerk  Years later I met up with him again via an online book discussion group.  We talked, became friends, fell in love, and our now planning on spending the rest of our lives together.

I have many more such stories but have I proved my point that love does not have to begin with locked eyes across a crowded room? Sometimes it’s the lucky outcome of looking at someone you have known with new eyes.  Sometimes you have to do something.  Even Cupid helps those who help themselves.  Shortly after my own marriage ended I was in the main library looking at the phonebooks of major cities (pre Internet) for the unusual name of the old love I’d renounced to marry my husband.  I found him.  We had a lovely reconnection and kept in touch sporadically over the next 25 years.  Six years ago he came for a visit and we’ve been together ever since.

So here’s to looking on your life and those in it with new eyes.  I hope you like what you see.