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Still pining for first love...

We met at 16 and stayed together for 6 years before I broke things off. Its thirty five years later and I still think of him most every day. I know this is more to do with me than with him,but he is like a hole in my heart. Yes this thread was inspired by the "I've got a stalker thread". I've always kept track of him,easy to do because he is prominent in his field,but I've never called although I would love to hear his voice even on a machine. We are both partnered and I don't want to hurt anyone unnecessarily. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this obsession?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 9403/16/2014

Can someone else go first?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 108/06/2010

Then why waste the space, r1?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 208/06/2010

see below

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 408/06/2010

I think you are in love with the idea of love, not a.n actual person

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 508/06/2010

I feel bad for your partner. he deserves better than to be with someone who is thinking about someone else like you are.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 608/06/2010

Exactly what R6 said.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 708/06/2010

I think its perfectly normal to romanticize the past.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 808/06/2010

You made your bed, OP.

Sucks to know you fucked up so spectacularly, eh? Sorry for you.

This is not to say you cannot ever see him again, you just cannot do it while you are both partnered.

BTW, how do you know he is partnered?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 908/06/2010

It's probably being 16 you're idealizing, not the guy.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1108/06/2010

I got together with an old love this summer. Fifteen years, not thirty-five, but still--he was my Great Love. Similar to the OP.

It was great to be with him, but I got to compare the reality of who he is with the memory (the fantasy?) of who he was. It's helped me move on.

Get in touch with him, just for that reason.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1208/06/2010

Still pining after 35 years?!?! Contact him.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1308/06/2010

Wasn't Facebook invented to solve these problems?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1408/06/2010

Life is fleeting. Live without regrets, darlin'. Send him a friend request.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1508/06/2010

"Narcissist," R10?

Searching for another word, perhaps?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1608/06/2010

20 years here. I think of him daily.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1708/06/2010

get over it!

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1808/06/2010

Gore Vidal never got over his first love, either.

It's a prescription for a crabbed, embittered life.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 1908/06/2010

I contacted mine through Facebook after many years. We exchanges some friendly emails, but didn't stay in touch because he's in a long term relationship. I've thought about what it is that I missed about him and it wasn't like we were having wild sex all the time, but it was more that he was a great listener and we could talk about the crazy details of my life and laugh about it. These days if I want to talk out loud about those things it tends to be more with my family. It was nice though to have a chance to wish him well. I would advise you OP to go through the internet if you try to contact him. That way you can maybe organize your thoughts. Don't have huge expectations either because obviously he's in a completely different place in his life.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2008/06/2010

"my grandpa married his first love after more than 50 years, after my grandma passed away. they were lifelong friends."%0D %0D [italic]Now[/italic] a warning?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2208/07/2010

I pine for the fjords.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2308/07/2010

[quote]Yes this thread was inspired by the "I've got a stalker thread". I've always kept track of him,easy to do because he is prominent in his field,but I've never called although I would love to hear his voice even on a machine.

Are you the MyLife shill?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2408/07/2010

No, I'm not the mylife shill. I do think that r 11,5 and 3 are all probably right.. I am nostalgic for the feeling of being young and madly in lust,for the one who couldn't keep his hands off me and was such a great listener. I know he is partnered because they've owned a house together for 18 years.Public records. My own partner, who is my best friend, btw, would be so hurt to know I am always thinking of someone else and even more if I did contact him.But,maybe contacting him and seeing the reality is the only way to move on.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2508/07/2010

Why did you break it off when you did, OP?

No doubt you left him confused and very hurt.

If you decide to make contact again, you must tell you partner in advance. It's the only fair way.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2608/07/2010

My first love hates me with a white hot passion. Almost everything he "remembers" about me is a lie. I find that very disconcerting. I suppose that could just be his way of discouraging people from his past, but suppose it is not? Suppose he has really made up a fictitious story where I did all these bad things that in real life never happened? That he doesn't remember being in love with me and giving me presents and such? What does that say about people that their recollections are so easily faked?%0D

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2708/07/2010

[quote]What does that say about people that their recollections are so easily faked?

When there has been severe emotional damage from a relationship, this is done more often than not. It's a coping mechanism.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2808/08/2010

"But,maybe contacting him and seeing the reality is the only way to move on."

No. Therapy is.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 2908/08/2010

What did you do to him, R27. C'mon, fess up.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3008/08/2010

I came across an old love of mine after 20 years had passed. At one time I thought he was the love of my life.

He was 33 when we parted. He had had dark brown hair and a neatly trimmed beard. A friend of mine said he "exuded sex."

When I saw him again all those years later, his hair was gray; he wore glasses. He looked like a retired businessman. I wouldn't have recognized him had we passed on the street. We kissed and he said I was still a good kisser. I felt verklempt and withdrew out of his sight.

I haven't thought much about him since, but we might have had a good life together, if he wasn't a two-timing prick.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3108/08/2010

What R30 said.

Fess up r27

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3208/08/2010

Well, that's just it. He threw me out, I didn't do anything to him, including any of the things he has subsequently accused me of. So if he suffered "emotional damage" it was at his own hands.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3308/08/2010

He threw you out for a reason.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3408/08/2010

What R10 said.%0D %0D Most of the posters in this thread sound like accountants.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3508/08/2010

Did he buy you extravagant gifts R27?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3608/08/2010

R26, we were just young and I needed to experience other people. Thank God I had the foresight to tell him that I wished I had met him 20 years later when I would be ready. I'm sure he was terribly hurt and confused.R29, why would I spend so much money and time on therapy when I can come here and share this secret? I actually feel alot better just having started this thread. Maybe I should write a postcard to that PostSecret website...

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3708/08/2010

R10 is hoping he falls in love when he's 16...in 8 years.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3808/08/2010

I have exact same story. We stayed together for 6 years. We broke up in 1975 and I think of her all the time. Her name was Linda. She moved to Dowdy Ferry road, near Dallas, from the Czech communities in central Texas. She was a natural platinum blonde, emerald green eyes, and porcelin complexion was flawless, and she was built like a brick sh1t house. She was ultra-high maintenance. She wouldn't let me hang out with my guy friends. She could be possessive and jealous.

The relationship was never consummated. I could have gotten tricky and pressed the issue more than I did. But I knew I would be throwing her under the bus if I did. She was in a emotional delicate person and very fearful about sex. She had a complicated family of origin issues I won't go into here. Her sensibilities were acute even for a female. Doing a mash job on her would have devastated her. I valued her with all that was in me and would have never sacrificed her well being.

Finding her daughter on facebook the other day brought her back in front of me and I find myself stressing over her. But this time I am going to try to cough her up. Finding someone out there with the same exact story(even the eras are the same)is kinda neat! I will exchange emails with you if you like.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 3902/02/2012

My main problem is that I have an idealized vision in my head that nobody can ever match. Not to say that the person has to be perfect, but they do have to be otherworldly. It never happens.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4002/03/2012

Hopeless romantic here. What happened, did you contact him?

Def not the same situation. But crushing over someone, I feel like I cant move on or be with someone because I am stll thinking about him. It wouldnt be fair to the person Id be with.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4102/03/2012

Wow, OP - pining for your first love after 35 years? Thank you for telling me that because I thought I was pathetic pining for my first love after 4 years!

Why is it that love is such a powerful thing and can change you for the rest of your life? I hate longing for someone that's long gone, but I haven't met anyone that made me feel as good as he did.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4202/03/2012

This thread is 2 years old. Uggghhh. Just pay the 18, cheapy cheap cheap.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4302/03/2012

r42 "I haven't met anyone that made me feel as good as he did"

I tend to hold crushes for a long time. And I get asked why? I never knew how to answer, and you totally answered it.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4402/03/2012

R44 LOL - Glad I could help!

Now if we could just find people that make us feel better than those people did.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4502/03/2012

I get ya. Still, you have carried the torch for 35 years. There must have been something about the guy that serves as the basis for your idealizations, some rare quality you have subsequently found lacking in all the other ones. This could have angered you because they seemed to be refusing to be your first boyfriend. You began comparing,and finding them woefully lacking. I say this because it was ONE of the things I did after Linda was gone. I have recently gained a new reality on what it was that was special about Linda, and how it affected my future relationships

Linda was from one of the Czech enclaves in central Texas. She had sensibilities heavily influenced by that culture. Americans are thick skinned compared to them. She was oh-so-dainty and she made the generic American girls seem "roller derby" by comparison.It was Karen carpenter VS Wendy o. Williams. She also had a very high character. Exasperating at times? YEP!I had to treat her like a carton of eggs when we were out. She was easily frightened by things I wouldn't have thought. This isn't a problem for me, as I am a paint-the-town-beige kind of guy anyway. The main sticking point was the sexual tension.This is quite a difficult thing to manage for a 16 to 22 year old male. It was excruciating. She claimed to be a virgin, but I suspect there was some sexual abuse there somewhere. There was a lot of fear in her, I could FEEL it. Be that as it may, Linda was a virgin as far as I was concerned. Distrusting her never occurred to me even to this day. Her character really was unassailable.

She had this aunt who lived with her. She was real old country. She was skin and bones, sun-weathered, wizened, one -eyed, patchy bald, and never married. She was very hysterical-nature d. It wasn't always easy being Linda's boyfriend.

She was crushingly jealous of my male friends. This is what led to the trouble that brought a sudden end to it all. I just couldn't keep it up.

What kept me around for six years? Linda held a "mystique" for me that went from here to there.She was desirable beyond desirable. I really wanted it to work out. I tried to make a place for her suited to her.I think I even downloaded her DNA. I began a process of change, one that turned out to be too slow. The sad thing is after she was gone I kept making and maintaining that place. One of no sharp corners. A sanctuary designed just for her. No roller derby tracks. When the others came, they had their skates on. It wasn't pleasant. Funny thing. 2 or 3 have found me, and all say the same thing: I was the best boyfriend they ever had. One has idealized me into a male version of Linda. I hear from her all the time. I remember how she came roaring around the banked track and knocked me over the rails without a thought when it suited her.

Tragically, my wife used Linda's place as a figurative opium den. She was very crazy and addictive. She seemed a Orangutang, bounding all over the house. She found Linda's place a perfect enabling place. And she died in there. She was the mother of my daughter.

For some, Linda's place merely served as a comfortable place to pick up some bad habits that got them into major trouble with other men they became involved with. I mean they really got their heads broke. The stories stretched credulity.

All this occurred to me the other day. I realized I should shut Linda's place down. It was easy. As soon as I arrived there, the house transformed into something like one of those old abandoned barns along the highways. Abandoned for decades and beginning to fall in. That was sad for me. I suddenly had a sense of the time that has passed since we were together. You see, I kept her with me all these years, she still seemed to be around. Her aunt too. I may have downloaded her DNA too. I am still trying to placate her, so now I have a Aunt Julie, but I digress.

How do I finally put her in the past? I suppose I could compare it to looking at old summer camp pictures. Imagine what it would be like finding a heretofore unnoticed face watching your group from the trees.L

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4602/03/2012

Sorry, The forum wouldn't let me finish that last one. Where were we? The face in the trees. Logically, a face in a 35 year old picture is nothing to be afraid of,but your heart still goes up in your throat, doesn't it? In the same way, I should be able to put Linda back in the shoe box with that picture. Would it be it were that simple. Linda is hard-wired into my heart. I have her DNA. She is literally in my blood. Linda was animal crazy and so is my daughter. She didn't get that from me. I don't mean actual genes, of course. Memory is also cellular.

Linda never did anything I can even stretch into a excuse to put the blame on her. And I can be a blamer. Sure, she was driven to be overly possessive. I look past all that and the never again since encountered baggage because I saw what was within. I accept full responsibility for the break up. I didn't get it done. A lack of communication was at the bottom of it all. I should have said things I never said. By accepting responsibility for what happened with Linda, I can now easily forgive those to came after. I never made them a place, you see. There really wasn't anything wrong with them, exactly. They just weren't a Linda. If Linda had never been around to compare them to I wouldn't have even noticed the difference. With them too, I failed to make it work. So off they went to get themselves into whatever they got themselves into. That doesn't mean the fact three of them had 11 marriages between them with no 2 children by the same man was my fault. I still have to look at the fact I helped my wife drink her self to death. And I have to look at the fact so many others became victims of serious crimes almost immediately after leaving my place. Not only that, but there is one out there who has made ME the object of her own Linda complex that has been going on for about what, 25 years now? That relationship blew up on the launchpad. She met someone else a month into it and PTTT! She was gone. Where does she get off constantly bugging me? I don't want to get started with her. I still play fair with Linda. I call her on her birthday about every 5 years. Although it's been about 8 years since I last did. I can honestly say I haven't caused a speck of trouble. She is about 100 miles from here in a small town. All her family lives down there too. That is what she needs and she is never coming back. I am facing that and the realization of how long she has been gone now. It doesn't hurt so bad as all that. The goal is here is not to "get over it", but to feel lighter about it.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4702/03/2012

I think you are a great writer, R46 / R47. A really great writer (and I have had a few novels published myself). I need to warn you, though, that you are going to get a lot of flack for being here and baring your soul regarding heterosexual lost love on a gay site. Ignore the haters (maybe they won't show up). Channel your feelings for Linda and Aunt Julie's DNA and your psychically non-roller-derby abode into a wonderful novel or a short story.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4802/03/2012

It's done in Lars Eighner style R48, and probably not entirely original.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 4902/03/2012

Thanks! I have a book started, not about this. I need to take a english class first. It's a gay site? I didn't notice. I thought it unusual a chick would pine for 35 years. They don't back up an inch. Anyway, I am now neutral. As hard as I tried to do the right thing it all came to disaster. Might as well quit.

I imagine the process of recovery is the same. I had been living with this so long. Once I stopped keeping Linda's powder puff palace maintained, I realized how tired I am of the whole thing.I mean, sick to death of it. 36 years is a long time ago. Takes a lot of breath to huff and puff that ember alive. I am sure a lot of the weight will drop off on it's own. The weight I didn't notice last week now seems so heavy.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5002/03/2012

If it was that long ago he would be a total stranger to you by now. You are hung up on a past that no longer exists and probably wasn't as great as you remember. That isn't love, just some obsession. It is really weird too - I remember the name of my first love but hardly remember what he looks like.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5102/03/2012

I'm sorry. I seem to be having trouble designating my replies for a specific poster. Doesn't seem to be anything to click on.

Anyway. It is weird, as you say. I would say generally, it points to earlier family of origin issues, usually a death in the family during the formative years, or two, as was the case with me. In my case the events metastasized into a whole litany of challenges including but not limited to; shame issues, social ineptness, and a massive anxiety condition, which I guess are all the same thing. I almost forgot, one of the deaths being my dad, my mom married a hostile alcoholic. That compounded the issues beyond my child's ability to cope. Given that, it is not surprising I find myself in that situation.

As far as the real love vs obsession thing; They DO say true love never dies. On the other hand, obsessions are eventually replaced by another obsession, in my experience. I will say the fact Linda went to a different school, along with the fact she was mainly interested in sitting and staring at each other more than she was in probing to much into my home life probably had something to do with it. getting too close to the kids in my own school could have led to exposure of my "killing" my dad and my crazy drunk step dad. I considered very carefully the possibility this whole thing was a reactive relationship, based on nothing more than "I won't touch your bruises if you won't touch mine". My counter-argument to that idea is if that were the case I would come to loathe her, find fault,question here,and get verbally abusive, etc. None of that ever happened. Doubting her never occurred to me. I have the highest respect for her and hold her blameless to this day. That has to be true love.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5202/04/2012

My first love is still my best one. He doesn't understand. He thinks if he didn't reject me in the end, I wouldn't love him today. I don't get that thinking, it's ridiculous.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5302/04/2012

Misty, water-coloured memories, OP? Let's see 16 - 22, I guess that means your parents were financing this love affair through H.S. through college (talk about free love). You were young and pretty and hadn't a care in the world! Methinks your emotional development stopped as a teen, and everything since has been ugly and boring and hard.

You're not alone in your sad, twisted daydreams; most gay men are trying to be 17-4ever, too.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5402/04/2012

[quote]Methinks your emotional development stopped as a teen, and everything since has been ugly and boring and hard.

How and why do you think that happens? I'm interested in the idea of people emotionally being stuck in the past.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5502/04/2012

Arrogant and condescending R54 and R55. It's just the luck of the draw. Sometimes the first one is the best one there is ever going to be.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5602/04/2012

Despite what their IQ becomes, #55, I think their brain literally thinks they are still teen-agers. Anything "grown-uppy" is unnatural for them. They're attracted to partying and hot cars and switching partners when they get "boring". Like Baby Jane, they look into the mirror and see an old crone staring back.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5702/04/2012

You're in good company, OP -- well, famous company, anyway. Gore Vidal is still carrying on about a high school classmate, who died in WW2. Doesn't seem to realize that it's all a fantasy.

Why not buy yourself a ticket to a revival of "Follies"?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5802/07/2012

I pined for my first love for 25 years, and OP for the last 4 years I have been with a guy I am crazy about and I'm finally am over him. In fact I love my current partner more than my first love, which looking back was probably puppy love.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 5902/08/2012

Blah blah blah, calling someone immature is not analysis, and certainly not helpful, and always hypocritical. Are you saying people who don't get stuck on their first loves don't find life boring and hard? Such indisciplined, lazy commentary.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6002/08/2012

I pined for my first love after he broke my heart. I felt, at the time, that I would never recover. He'd asked me to move in, but when I arrived with all my stuff, he introduced me to his new boyfriend. (I was 17, he was 18.) Something changed in me that night -- the night he told me we were through in such a harsh way. We both moved on. I moved up. He stayed the same, working for his mom, living in Staten Island. One night I saw him out and he acted like none of this had ever happened. ("You've gotten better looking! Are you working out?") I took the compliments with a skeptical smile. Then I took him back to my apartment ("Wow, you have a really nice place!") and made it with him. Violently. The way I thought he wanted me to to when we were "together." Then I asked him to leave and never saw him again. It was closure and revenge all mixed into one. I still feel badly about it. But I have never been hurt like that before or since.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6102/08/2012

I'm not in love anymore, but I still feel heartbroken. It's like I am in love with an ideal in my mind.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6202/08/2012

Boy, talk about some people in need of some SERIOUS therapy. And face slapping. Thirty five fucking years? We ALL never "get over" our first loves. We are not supposed to. That is a special memory, time, moment of growth and awakening. It's sacred. But if any of you out there have UNFINISHED BUSINESS with old lovers or partners or boy or girlfriends or whatever you want to call them. then FINISH IT. First and foremost? Make sure of your MOTIVES. What is it that you really want? What is it that you really feel?

This is all about YOU. Not the other people. Not the "one that got away." It's all narcissistic drama. Some of you wallow in it. You are fucking Healthcliff on the Moors pining for his "wild, sweet Cathy." You KNOW you are. The lost loves are an IMAGE, an icon, too. The people they are today are NOT the perfected images you remember. Sometimes it is better simply to remember them as they were than to meet them and see their skin tags and white hair and saggy asses and have the fantasy dashed. FANTASY IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN REALITY.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6302/08/2012

And how is this hurting you, R63, that you get so worked up over it? And in what way is it narcissistic? You could make the same claim about any "love" as being ego projection. You're not dealing with this subject on an adult level.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6402/08/2012

I'm more man than you'll ever be.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6602/11/2012

[quote]I'm not in love anymore, but I still feel heartbroken. It's like I am in love with an ideal in my mind.

I think you described the problem better than anyone else in this thread.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6702/11/2012

And more of a woman than you'll ever have.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6802/11/2012

g

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 6902/11/2012

OP, I did this for years too, and then finally I forced myself to stop. It involved me realizing that I wasn't really in love with him but I was in love with feeling the way I felt when I was young and in love.

You haven't been with this guy for a quarter of a century, do you really don;t know him anymore. You're only in love with some sort of fantasy of your ideal partner who you believe would make you happy if you only had him. He's not that guy.

It's like your addicted to a poison, which is the fantasy of the guy you can't have. It's a way of punishing yourself. Give up the poison: recognize you don't know him anymore and you'll never get him back. Live in the here and now. Stop looking him up on the Internet and cut any ties with him.

It's the only way you'll stop being addicted to beating yourself up over all this. You know that's what you're doing or you wouldn't have complained about it here; you also know you're addicted to it or you would have let the fantasy go long ago.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7002/11/2012

I know the feeling, R70. Same type of thing with me. Listen to R70, OP. It's awful to hear, but it will be better for you in the long run.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7102/11/2012

Blah blah blah. So many Xperts. Always anti-love. Isn't that the way of the world?

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7202/11/2012

Falling in love with love is falling for make believe.

Falling in love with love is playing the fool.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7302/11/2012

Yeah, and I hear you and it's not true of ME. I'm not in love with being in love. My love is very object defined.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7402/11/2012

Always a hysterical hatred of love.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7502/18/2013

There are times where no words are as effective as a slap to the face. Backhand from right to left is most effective.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7602/18/2013

I have suffered from this as well, and have two hard-won thoughts for you.

First, you should see your feelings as a strength rather than a liability: your emotional fidelity to your first love is a positive characteristic that you ALSO bring to your relationship.

Thus (second point) your first love is not a rival to your new love (after all your memory is just a fantasy) but rather a testimony to your emotional sincerity.

Third and final point. If you research brain psychology, you will discover that for some people "first love" reordered neural pathways in the brain in ways similar to heroin addiction. This is why you will never get over him, sorry. But also then recognize it is not about "him" it is about your brain function. As with heroin, don't make contact. This has nothing to do with "him."

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7703/12/2014

The brain on love

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7803/12/2014

Not so R77. I don't care about who he was then, only about who he is now.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 7903/12/2014

In the immortal words of Loretta Castorini, "Snap out of it!" (followed by a good bitch slap).

Seriously, though, I think we all have people from the past, whether romantic figures or platonic friends, from whom we have drifted and we imagine other narratives of life and how they would have been had we remained in that all-too-seductive-Arcadian memory of what "it" was. My first partner and I were together for two years, apart for three, then back again for three, apart, and then he died unexpectedly. I was angry as hell at him when we broke up a second time (and felt like a fool), and then when he died, my feelings were so complicated that it really took me another five years before I was able to put that relationship away (I still fight with him once in awhile, but he never fights back). Best friend died twenty years ago, far too young, of AIDS--I often muse on where life might have taken him. And so on. And, oddly enough, FaceBook, which deserves some of the derision we heap on it, has actually been a safe way to reconnect with some of those "lost" people--with decades of time in-between to grow up. Have rekindled old friendships, spent a little time wishing we had reconnected earlier, and am now grateful that we have and that most of us have gotten to this point in our lives happy, despite many bumps along the way.

That wise lesbian poet Elizabeth Bishop once wrote, "The art of losing isn't hard to master/ So many things seem intent on being lost/ That their loss is no disaster/Lose something everyday..." And she knew about it all.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8003/13/2014

Love is a series of actions over time that demonstrate respect and compassion and - in adult sexual relations - attraction to a person, OP. The intense emotions that come with first love are not "love", they are a powerful mix of hormones and new experiences of desire, acceptance by another person, and so on.

Longing for someone who is absent is a way to avoid the challenges of today, and of building relationships in the present.

I still have powerful feelings for my first love, who I have seen at a work event 18 years after we split. But those feelings aren't love in the mature sense. They are powerful memories of the past being revisited.

Talk to your partner. If they are your best friend let them help you put your longing for this past relationship in perspective - it's an escape from the present and you need to fix whatever it is about the present that keeps you looking into the past.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8103/13/2014

Listen to R82.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8203/13/2014

Gore Vidal obsessed over Jimmy Trimble for the rest of his life, thereby short changing any subsequent romantic partner (if he had one -- not sure Howard Austen counts).

After a while -- don't know how long it is, but it's less than thirty-five years; it's less than five years -- one can't be in love with someone whom he hasn't seen. The memory might be lovely, but that person (the object of your affectation) no longer exists.

He made you feel wonderful, right? And that feeling is what you love. Imagine seeing him today; he's not the twenty-two year old whom you dumped. He's a fifty-seven year old man, just like you. God knows what indignities he has to conceal before he goes out in public.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8303/13/2014

Ooh -- I just realized that this posting was four years ago. That means they're sixty-one now. That's REALLY disgusting.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8403/13/2014

Neither R82 nor Miss Havisham know shit about me.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8503/13/2014

Neither.... KNOWS shit....

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8603/13/2014

Interesting posts. Well done (most) everybody. I agree less with R82 and more with R70 and 77. Romantic love of this kind is something that happens and, like a drug addiction, is difficult to kick. It really won't help to "confess" this love to the new boyfriend. Some things are better left private.

I think that gay men are particularly susceptible to this kind of romantic scarring, because there is so much repression and compartmentalization during the teen age years. When love finally happens it can be catastrophic and chemical, and the effects can linger for a lifetime.

I would suggest that the best solution is to try to understand this process, to recognize it but most importantly to de-idealize the lost love. Recognize that it could not have worked, that what you have now, has worked. There's a great film about this, by the way: Fogi is a Bastard.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8703/14/2014

I'm regretful of losing my first love, but I've google stalked him and he's been married for years. (To a man) I still think about what life would have been if I actually had been able to deal with a real relationship at the time.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8803/14/2014

This year it'll be 30 years since my first love and I broke up. We paired up late in college and were together for 6 years, the first two of which were glorious. After that we started drifting apart. Sweet, sweet man and we still exchange birthday greetings.

It's selfish and probably narcissistic of me, but what I miss most about him is the friend who knew me then. I have very good friends now and also a few from high school but I have only one close friend from that time of my life. I guess it's a mourning for the memory of past youth.

I wish him well, and he's in my will in a modest way.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 8903/14/2014

R77 --

Your post has done me a world of good and I have kept it in my permanent file.

I keep stuff in this file that helps me get through and cope with life's trials and tribulations.

Thank you.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 9003/16/2014

Beautiful definition, R82. I love your writing.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 9103/16/2014

R82 that is beautifully put, but doesn't help those of us who are addicted to that feeling and don't want to face the reality of what we're trying to escape. Emotional maturity is elusive for some of us.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 9203/16/2014

All you "experts" trying to down first love. What you really are is projecting, mistaking your shallow selfish calculations for real love.

by God, I''m a pathetic old queen.reply 9303/16/2014
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