- Gender and Relationships
Tis the Season For... Rekindling Old Romance?
Why do the holidays stir up old emotions?
Reach out and touch some old flames?
What is it about the holiday season that makes some of us reach out and touch someone, namely, an old flame that fizzed out somehow?
I could just be imagining this phenomenon (not unusual for a woman who lets fantasy invade her mind when romance is involved), but I've had three guys contact me just the last few weeks. And yes, the holidays are drawing near fast-- not that I'm in any way preparing for it.
The first guy was a [bad] experience of online dating shortly after my divorce became "pending." Needless to say, I wasn't "ready" for dating, and that would probably explain the narcissistic jerk who I got together with. He broke up with me unexpectedly years ago in a text. Months later, he tried to ask me out again claiming he was insecure and had "issues." After I had accepted a date (and later the same day), he mentioned that I would have to pick him up because his license was revoked from a(nother) DUI. I passed on the date.
Just a few weeks ago, this guy calls me but my girls pick up the phone. They hand it to me saying, "it's Sam (not his real name)." So I respond, "do I know him?" When I pick up the phone, the first thing I hear is, "thanks, you don't even remember me?" So I respond, "yes, I remember you, but I have nothing to say to you." Rather than feel bad for telling him straight, I have a rush of good feelings for standing my ground.
As a follow-up, within minutes "Sam" sends me an email that says, "that was mean." This coming from a guy who broke up in an email saying plainly, "Things were moving too fast, and you live too far away, and I'm a needy guy. Maybe we should take a brake." - yes misspelled like car brakes as in moving too fast.
The second guy who sent me a message is married with children. Sorry for the eighties sitcom reference. He and I spent countless hours years back chatting on Facebook, catching up with old times, remembering crushes, refreshing the latest news. Until he blocked me, along with his wife. It was a sad lesson, but one I took seriously: no more messaging guys in relationships.
Follow-up: he sent another message asking how I was. I answered briefly, then ignored any other messages. I still feel bad for guys in committed relationships who message other women in private... or their primary woman, I should say.
The latest guy to message me (privately) has quite a history with me. From all my experiences with men (and that includes my 15-year marriage to someone else), this is the ONLY guy I ever felt remotely CARED about me. And I know it's because I have a broken picker-- always chasing after the type of men I know can't love me back or will end up breaking my heart.
To recap: he and I had a brief (but intense) romance in the summer of 2010. But, since he was on the rebound with his ex, he had a change of heart and decided to reconcile. It's been two years of Hell trying to get over the deep connection I felt with him, but I must say I was "cured" of the emotional havoc he wreaked on my brain.
He messaged me twice. And it's not the kind of stuff you show proudly to your significant other, either. I don't know if I should feel ashamed, relieved, proud, sad or confused to have responded. I know I kept my emotions out of it and wished him well, but I think the emotions are slow in showing up. I now feel the kind of sad torment I read between the lines of his message, and those "what if" thoughts can really hold you back from moving forward. I promised myself I'd never go down this path again.
Follow-up: I can hear a rubberband snap in my head. Have to clear out the cobwebs once and for all.
So which is it? Are people just curious how others are doing, or are they actively seeking old feelings, wondering if any still exists? Are they "not over you," or are they just bored? Do they genuinely care about you, or are the dark shadows of their relationships getting the best of them?
Or is it just a case of too much eggnog?