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Old flames and nostalgia

Old 05-13-19, 07:15 AM
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Old flames and nostalgia

You guys ever get nostalgic about an old girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse? I mean really old flames, from decades ago. And not just the normal passing thought once in a blue moon, but really think about it.
40 years ago, 1979, I married a gal. I was 21, she was 19. It only lasted a couple years. It was a pretty big deal. Huge wingding of a wedding with all the bells and whistles. There was some hurt and anger at first but everything smoothed out and became amiable. It was kind of a small town and we had mutual friends, everybody seemed to know everybody else. I was not from the town. I got a job there and used to drive 30 miles to work until we got married and I moved there. I would still run into her at least once a week. Everything was friendly. I was in the hospital once after a motorcycle wreck and she'd
come up and see me.
Time marches on. I eventually moved away. She eventually met some guy and got married.
Some years later, around 1989/90 I heard from her out of the blue. She'd run across some heirloom stuff that had belonged to my mom and wanted to return them. Met her for lunch and got the stuff. That was 30 years ago and haven't seen or talked to her since. I don't even know if she's still alive.
Suddenly lately I'm thinking about her all the time. I've thought about her more in the past three days than the last 40 years combined. Freaking me out. Mid life crisis? Something going on with me psychologically? Can't think of anything except I did have an attack of spring fever that may have triggered old memories of being young, etc. Can't understand why it's centered around her.

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Old 05-13-19, 07:22 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

I think it's normal for people to think about their first love like that. I'll still dream about mine from time to time, then I can't stop thinking about her throughout the next day or two. Haven't seen or spoken to each other in 15+ years and we're both married to other people.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:39 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Yeah, I do that from time to time. I think everyone does. I think about the good times for a bit, then I remember the bad times which led up to our breakup. Then I am over it until the next time it happens.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:46 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

At least for me, I think it has to do with how green I was with relationships and feelings back then. Even though we weren't necessarily "right" for each other, I dove in 100% and let my feelings get unconditional. I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing but I've never jumped into the deep end like that since. Even my wife, who I love dearly and would gladly take a bullet for; I still have that back of the mind thought that things may not always be the same. How I felt for my first love more closely mirrors how I (and people in general) feel for their pets. You know they'll be there for you forever and you never have that doubt of it ever changing. Back then, I never considered a time when we wouldn't love each other. Again, i was young and foolish.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:49 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

I think it’s natural to occasionally think about past flames. Heck, I think I’m Facebook friends with 15 of the 17 women I’ve dated.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:06 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
At least for me, I think it has to do with how green I was with relationships and feelings back then. Even though we weren't necessarily "right" for each other, I dove in 100% and let my feelings get unconditional. I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing but I've never jumped into the deep end like that since. Even my wife, who I love dearly and would gladly take a bullet for; I still have that back of the mind thought that things may not always be the same. How I felt for my first love more closely mirrors how I (and people in general) feel for their pets. You know they'll be there for you forever and you never have that doubt of it ever changing. Back then, I never considered a time when we wouldn't love each other. Again, i was young and foolish.
She's not a first love. Probably third counting high school sweetheart. Before I met her I'd already lived with another girl for almost two years. Might as well been married More like "favorite" or "best". Like you mentioned, this is the one I dove in 100% with though.

Last edited by rw2516; 05-13-19 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:20 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
I think it's normal for people to think about their first love like that. I'll still dream about mine from time to time, then I can't stop thinking about her throughout the next day or two. Haven't seen or spoken to each other in 15+ years and we're both married to other people.
Yeah. It's normal.

"trixie" and I were first loves, grew up and lived separate lives for 25 years... eventually getting married to each other. This June will be 17 years.
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Old 05-13-19, 12:29 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Yes it's normal. Though mine aren't as far off as yours.

It comes most when I'm not staying busy. Like I'll just be sleeping some night (which is the worst). Or relaxing on the sofa and it sets in. But I typically stay very busy for work and it doesn't happen in the middle of the day.

This thread just created a sinking feeling inside. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:26 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Nope.

I'm married to my first love.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:46 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

It's those relationships that helped to mold you into the person you are today. At least that's how it is for me. So yes, I do look back and reminisce very fondly and it's natural to think about the what ifs.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:59 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

I think about my ex-girlfriend now and then but not in a pining way. We went our separate ways, and that was that.

However, a recent random conversation stirred up thoughts about a what-might-have-been not-girlfriend who I lost touch with years ago but could find if I tried. Years later I ended up working with her brother for pete’s sake and had somewhat regular conversations with him until a couple years ago. She and I shared some great moments a long time ago.

Experiences and memories made us what we are today, so it’s only natural that they stir up feelings.
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Old 05-13-19, 02:01 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Back about 1979 I was in second grade. My girlfriend was named Kathy, it was just before April vacation and she told me she was moving away. For some reason my adolescent mind thought she was playing a joke on me so I didn't believe her. I never saw her or spoke to her again. In reality she moved one town over, but to my nine year old self that didn't understand I could call the operator and find her new number, or simply ask her friends for it who were still in the same class as me, but to me she was gone for good. I still occasionally wonder what happened to her. I was in the same town in 1989 when a mutual frined from second grade mentioned her name in passing (I forget the context) but I was too embarrassed or perhaps shy to ask about her as I had a serious girlfriend at the time. I mean obviously it would not have lasted but I still recall her fondly from time to time.
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Old 05-13-19, 02:04 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

"You guys ever get nostalgic about an old girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse?"

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
Nope.

I'm married to my first love.
So you married him and don't think about your past with him?
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Old 05-13-19, 05:52 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

I’m Facebook friends with most of my exes. One I blocked, because I don’t want to interact with. One ex I can’t seem to find any evidence of online. She’s got a pretty common name, so Google and Facebook don’t turn up anything useful. I’m kind of curious what’s up with her.
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Old 05-13-19, 05:59 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Simple curiosity is not unusual. Attempts at connecting is. I've told these stories before. I had very few serious relationships. Both girls I dated I dated in high school turned out to be lesbians. I'm on facebook with both of them. No big deal. There was another one I almost married as a young adult just as I was meeting my wife. The breakup was ugly. I was an asshole to her. Went back to her several times when I was horny only to break up again. I showed up to her father's funeral a couple decades ago and met her husband. He was not happy to see me. I should have just sent a card if anything. It was inappropriate for me to be there in spite of my good intentions. She is on facebook but that ship sailed long ago. Other than hoping she met someone who takes good care of her and has a happy life I really don't think about her. It is none of my business so I stay away. I have my own life, she has hers.

My wife had a few serious boyfriends. Her high school sweetheart was in my graduating class so I see him at reunions. I have no problem if they talk at the reunion or say hello if run into each other in public. I don't think they belong on social media together. She had a college beau that was short lived, only about 6 months. I was pissed when he looked her up and tried to friend her on facebook. This was decades ago and it lasted 6 months. Not a huge love affair. Her maiden name is not listed so he had to do some digging to find her. He also looked me up on LinkedIn. I felt there were ulterior motives.

When people stay friends that's one thing. If not, if any attempt to contact after years is either an overt or subconscious attempt to connect romantically. Or you are unhappy with your life and you're hoping they didn't fair any better than you.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:29 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Iím Facebook friends with a majority of my exes, except for a couple that can eat shit and die. Hell, my wife is even friends with some of them. We ran into one tonight actually, and her, my wife, and a few other girls weíve known for years are having a girlís weekend at the lake this weekend. It was weird at first, years ago, but this is someone I dated for like 3 months almost 20 years ago, so any weirdness has long since passed.
I canít say that I feel any nostalgia for any of those past relationships. Most of those high school and college relationships were before Iíd really solidified my political and religious views. Today Iím very left-leaning and atheist/agnostic. Most of those girls are conservative Christians today, and I canít see myself being compatible at all. If I ever rejoin the dating scene Iíll be MUCH more picky than I ever was growing up, because I know myself better and what I like and donít like.
Funny enough, some of you old timers might remember Penny Lane. She posted here for a few years. Sheís the only ex I can think of that followed a similar path as me on political/religious views. Weíre still friends online, although I havenít seen her in person in probably around 15 years.
Noonan- your post really resonated with me. I remember how all-in infatuated I was with my first real love at 16. Teenage hormones probably have something to do with it, but I was never able to feel that level of being all in with anyone again, not even with my wife. Not as a knock on her at all, I just donít think I was ever physically or emotionally capable of it a second time, regardless of the person. Itís like a certain amount of intensity was kind of permanently burned out of me.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:04 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Those early loves being so new and adrenaline inducing tend to stick with us. Plus the all the "firsts" tend to be things we remember. We usually remember past relationships through rose colored glasses. We were younger with no responsibility and the relationships ran their course. Had we had actual responsibility and conflict it wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes. After 37 years with the same woman, I can say the emotional intensity greater than ever even if the physical aspect wanes over time.
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Old 05-14-19, 10:43 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Originally Posted by sracer View Post
"You guys ever get nostalgic about an old girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse?"


So you married him and don't think about your past with him?
One of the defined synonyms of "nostalgia" is "regret".
It also implies separation from the events or location, such as in homesickness.
So, no, no getting nostalgic.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:56 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Certain songs can easily take me back 35 years to a relationship. Sometimes it's just a happy fun memory. Sometimes it's a wave of nostalgia of a youthful time and love so long ago that fills me with melancholy. Like Noonan, over the years I have dreams of an ex where either she reconciled with me or we are still in a relationship and in the dream I am experiencing intense emotions. So, when I awake I just have to try to shrug it off and think "hope she's doing fine" in order to not dwell on the emotions i experienced in the dream. I am happily married, known my wife for 30 years, have a great kid, job, life, etc. I don't ask for these dreams, sometimes it just seems it's a way to reinforce these strong crazy emotional memories.

The real question is: Does your old flame think about you?
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Old 05-14-19, 12:00 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Everyone does. And with Social Media, Hooking Up for old times and/or Cheating is easier than ever
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Old 05-14-19, 03:05 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
Everyone does. And with Social Media, Hooking Up for old times and/or Cheating is easier than ever
Hence my belief it's inappropriate to friend old flames on social media in most instances.
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Old 05-14-19, 03:54 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Originally Posted by Talkin2Phil View Post

The real question is: Does your old flame think about you?
Bingo.
I don't really care where she is or what she's doing. I don't want to contact her, see or talk to her. Just a strong desire that the person thinks about you every now and then and you're not forgotten. I don't know the psychology of it. It's frustrating that it's something you can never know unless the person were to contact you out of the blue.
Like most people have posted, I've had the occasional thought cross my mind, but it's soon forgotten. I've never gotten nostalgic before. I was only married the one time (1979-81) and every time I fill out a form I check the divorced box. I'll think about her for a second but forgotten it by the time I'm on the next page. I've had the dreams but can't even remember them a few minutes after waking.
That royal wedding last year was on the date that we got married and I thought it was funny. I got a laugh and forgot about it. I did wonder if she noticed it to.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:18 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

My first "real" girlfriend -- and by "real" I mean lasting more than a month and a genuine loving relationship -- was someone I met in college when I was 18. We were together for about 3 years, and while we weren't each other's "firsts", we still had a "first time" feel to everything. THAT was the big one from my youth. The girl who got away. We could have married, but things fizzled out after college and we were probably too young and immature anyhow. I certainly was. It didn't end all that great, and I haven't seen her since 1992, haven't spoken to her since 1993, and both our lives moved on.

She was completely "off the grid" for a long time; no emails, no internet presence, no social media, NOTHING. Then one day I saw her profile on Facebook; she had only started it a few weeks before. Married twice, had two children, one of whom died in a car accident. I can't imagine that kind of agony. I was tempted to reach out but I thought the better of it. Maybe some things from the past are left in the past. And I'm certainly happy and satisfied with my life now.

But she was That One Girl, ya know?
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Old 05-14-19, 06:13 PM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Having "the one that got away" is almost a right of passage in the journey of life. Of course it is normal to occassionally pause and reflect on this. It is an act of introspectively looking at your life, and what MAY have been different. Unless we are all living in a Pollyanna world, it is very unlikely that "our first" love is the one that we will spend our lives with. Perhaps it used to be, centuries ago, but for better or for worse, modern society doesn't work that way.

I agree that those earlier experience are fueled by adrenaline, and are apt to be most remembered, for the sheer novelty of it all! It was that way with my experiences, but as I've aged, these things aren't so important as they once were.
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Old 05-15-19, 06:54 AM
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Re: Old flames and nostalgia

Yeah, I'm also one of those with many ex's as friended on Facebook. But, there are two that I lost contact with that I would love to know how they're doing. Both were amazing women for different reasons.
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