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Dear Louanne: I can’t stop thinking about a former partner since I bumped into him with someone else

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Stock shot: A former couple meet up

Stock shot: A former couple meet up

Getty Images

Stock shot: A former couple meet up

Dear Louanne,

A few weeks ago, I bumped into my first proper boyfriend, and I haven’t stopped thinking about him since. We ended things amicably and there was no bad feeling on either side, and it was quite a long time ago. It was great to see him and he’s well, and with someone else. I don’t know if I really have feelings for him or if I’m making something out of nothing but he’s in my thoughts daily. We swapped numbers and agreed to meet up, but I don’t know if I should. It would be as friends but how can I stop overthinking about him?

CC

Dear CC

You are not alone in reconnecting with an ex partner. With social media many people have been able to find and link in with their partners from back in the day.

Sometimes people rekindle love and have happy, rewarding relationships. Sometimes people develop great friendships with their exes.

What’s important is that everybody involved is clear about expectations and boundaries.

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He was your first proper boyfriend so there are a lot of memories connected with him. You possibly knew him at a time when life might have been a bit more straightforward, less responsibilities, less stress and thinking about him might bring about a sense of wellbeing and warmth.

There might be a lot of ‘firsts’ connected to him that are special to you both. Maybe it was your first sexual experience and that is a powerful memory and hopefully a positive one.

You remember that the breakup was amicable so maybe you’re wondering why you separated at all?

You didn’t mention if you are in a relationship at the minute, but you did mention that he is. Is his partner going to join you both in this get together? Will his partner be told about you both meeting up?

It’s important to consider the motivation for meeting as friends as well as what the boundaries of the friendship will be. Will you be meeting up every week for a pizza and catch up? Will you be texting daily for a chat and some emotional support? Will you be friends with benefits?

I wonder what is happening in your life these days. Are you feeling fulfilled and nourished in your day-to-day life? Are your relationships with friends, family, colleagues helpful and enjoyable? Sometimes when we feel unfulfilled, we can fantasise about a different kind of life. What if that first relationship had worked out? What would life be like?

Perhaps bumping into your ex has brought some excitement into your life that has been missing for a while. It might be useful to think about developing your life in the present with hope for the future in making new memories rather than revisiting old ones. While the past can influence us and we can learn from our experiences it remains the past and belongs there.

If you do decide to go ahead and meet up with your ex as friends remember that this has most chance of working if you are both open and honest about the friendship and the expectations that you both have.


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