There was this girl I was obsessed with in high school.
Those incredible good luck charms aside, I was never able to muster up courage to actually speak to her.(I think there was one time we walked to health class together and probably another time I made fun of her in said health class…
If you sometimes have memories that pop up out of the blue about someone you dated decades ago—maybe a high-school crush or your first love from your college days—you have plenty of company.
Being hit with that random blast from the past also may make you wonder what would happen if you had a chance to reconnect with that person now, especially if you’re among the growing number of middle-aged and older Americans who are divorced, widowed, or otherwise single.
If I had known he waited to marry until he found the woman who made him feel the way I had? Maybe that invisible force that binds us all in love, whatever we might choose to call it, has surrounded me all these years. Maybe that’s why I left my oh-so-not-like-Rob first husband.
The story plays out like this: Rob was an awesome guy, and more popular than me in high school. I had not been alone, even though I had thought I was. My kindness did not go unnoticed, and in fact it had mattered more than my looks or my popularity. Today I have a beautiful life—one I could never have believed I would find back then. If I had known such a man was measuring every girl that came after our one date by the standard of how I made him feel? )And then, just as I was considering writing this very article, it dawned on me: Maybe I did know.
But no one had ever made me feel like you made me feel. Afterwards, I didn’t know what to think or what to do.”Like a bullet ricocheting down a long set of narrow alley walls, I was trying to make sense of it. “I was sure it wouldn’t go over well,” he continued. But it took me a few days to really grasp what he’d said.
But like most of my high school “loves,” it was one date and done.◊♦◊Advance thirty-plus years. He later says seeing me there took his breath away. I like to imagine the fates were perching above us, smiling and murmuring amongst themselves: “Let’s see how it goes this time…”It feels important to note here that I am deeply happy in my marriage. So whatever “this” was, it wasn’t about a clandestine affair or a reunion that would dramatically change four lives. “I didn’t know how to stop living my superficial life, to stop caring what other people thought.
Naturally, I never once acted on this fantasy of mine — settling for the idea that there was, in fact, a better chance I'd become president of the United States than gett with her.
When we graduated from high school, we continued to drift further apart.
Behold, a few tips for blissful e-reunions with the following bygone buds.