My best friend has an obsession with a guy she has not seen in 25 years. She is a divorced, 45 year old, single mother and she has no man in her life. He was her first love, her first kiss, the whole nine yards. Immediately out of high school, he left for the military and we later heard he had married. Well, I attended our ten year reunion, but my friend did not. He was there and he asked me about her and I told him she too was married and was presently with child. When we attended our 20 year reunion, she went, but he did not. We heard through the grapevine then he was going through a divorce.
About eight months ago while cleaning my deceased mom’s house, I found pictures of them and gave them to her. It’s like I opened a can of worms. Even though she has still not seen nor talked to this man, she talks about him as if it was yesterday. I’m getting worried, It’s almost obsessive. It’s like having the pictures has made it worse. He was a real good looker back then and so was she. She has since gained quite a bit of weight. She recently told me, she was trying to find him. I am afraid she is going to be very hurt if his feelings are not reciprocated. Any suggestions on how I can help her. I think she needs a reality check.
Dear Reality Check,
Be a friend and let her have her dreams. Reminisce and laugh with her. It gives some of us something to live for, until something better comes along. Help her remember the good times and the bad times, so she does not get stuck on stupid. But be careful on how you bring up the bad ones, you do not want to come off negative. If she wants to find her old boyfriend, help her. The thought of seeing him may be the catalyst to her losing weight. So run with it. After the weight comes off and she has a new sense of self, the new attention she will receive, may help her forget her past love and change her focus on what’s new in her life.
For all you know, he may be her soul mate. My sister found her first kiss and they were married in a year. My friend from college asked a lady at work how she was getting married a second time and she had not been married a first. The lady replied, “I found my old high school sweetheart.” My friend shared the story of her prom date and I helped her contact him. She had not talked to the guy in 10 years because they had both left the small town they were raised in on college scholarships. We called him on 3-way and they were married within a year and are still married now.
It seems that the young men that knew you when you were growing up, have a tendency to treat you with more respect. I guess it’s because they don’t see you as just a hot piece. They have a tendency to see you as a person with feelings, because they know your parents, sisters or brothers. They remember you from back when life's mistakes had damaged their optimism. I also believe that even though one may have changed a little, gained weight, and maybe even gone ball, the person from your past still sees you just the same. Have you ever noticed how your old friends will say, “you haven’t changed a bit.” That’s their fondness for you, seeing you as you were, because when you look back at the pictures, the change is so evident. I have heard that divorce is like death for a lot of people and the grieving process can be long and lonely. Let her past memories pacify her, until she is strong enough to face her future.