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Feeling stuck and sad about the past

(29 Posts)
StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 10:54:44

NC because I suspect I sound pathetic blush.

I recently found the Facebook page of an exBF that I have never really got over. It's been many years since we were together (decades) and during that time he was often in my thoughts but I just accepted that I was never going to completely forget about him, and that he'd always have a little piece of my heart. Ours had been a very intense relationship and at the time I was too immature to sustain it.

I got divorced several years ago, and looked for him online then, but didn't find anything. Unfortunately he's got a very common name which made it very difficult. We grew up in the same area but I had no idea where he's living now. Anyway, I recently found him on FB, completely by accident, looking at some pics of one of my old friends from school. He doesn't have much info visible on the public setting but he has posted two pictures of himself and even though he's now in his early 50's, he's very attractive and I got butterflies when I saw him.

Sorry this got so long, I'm not even sure what I'm needing here. I always felt like he was the one that got away, I never forgot him, I felt bad about how I'd behaved during our relationship. I suppose I'm hoping someone can help me to just put these feelings away, and not feel sad about this any longer. I just don't understand why I can't leave the past where it belongs.
I've had plenty of other relationships before and after this one, but why has this one haunted me for so many years after it ended.

I should add that I've got no intention of contacting him as he's in a relationship.

HighBrows Thu 24-Jan-13 11:01:28

You might feel better after posting.

You've probably over the years romanticised this relationship, the only way to put it in its place would be to talk about it with your real life friends and calling him the one that got away. I think by talking about it this will probably take some of the gloss of it.

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 12:15:01

Your post was helpful, thank you. I read it and I've just spoken to one of my friends. She said she thinks part of my sadness about all this is related to my not being happy at the moment. She's got a point - I don't like my job, but at least I have one, I'm not in a relationship currently, and my last six couple have been shite, and well I'm just going through a bit of a bad patch in general.
I also think there's a bit of midlife restlessness going on with me, I won't call it a 'crisis' but I'm definitely aware that I'm not going to live forever and there's still so much I haven't achieved.

Shallow, but I kind of wish he'd turned into a cardigan-wearing, Stella swilling, fat bald loser, but he hasn't grin. I haven't seen him for so many years or had any contact with him, and I had no idea where life had taken him, or what sort of man he'd grown into.

nospace Thu 24-Jan-13 12:22:00

If you were with someone and happy with them, would seeing his picture have the same effect on you?

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 12:25:05

"Shallow, but I kind of wish he'd turned into a cardigan-wearing, Stella swilling, fat bald loser, but he hasn't grin"

Just realised how awful that sounds! I don't mean I wish him any malice, I just meant that it would have been easier for me to finally move on if he'd turned out that way. The fact that he's still looking good, hasn't let himself go, and has a good career, and still seems to have all the wonderful qualities that I adored him for as a person back then, just makes him all the more of a fantasy figure to me.

HighBrows Thu 24-Jan-13 12:26:13

StretchVelvet your friend is right. Write down a list of all the things you'd like to do and try to make some of them happen.

Also a new hobby might help in relieving some of the mundane aspects of your life. It's a great way to meet people especially if you have a shared hobby or interest with them and also it will distract you and make you feel good.

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 12:28:59

nospace - that's a good question. I think it might. Even when I was first married, and I was in love with my husband and happy, I still had these nagging thoughts about this guy. It wasn't that I wanted him rather than my husband, it was more like there was so much unfinished business and I just never got over him. And it's been the same in every relationship since.

nospace Thu 24-Jan-13 12:50:10

That unfinished business has to stay unfinished and acceptance that it will stay that way, that there are relationships that end like that, that it just wasn't to be. Easier said than done as I have stuggled with it and it has stopped me moving on with my life big time.

nospace Thu 24-Jan-13 13:03:55

Did he not have a part in it not working out also? It wasn't just you. Highbrows is right-make your life more interesting/try new things/distract yourself/new horizons- dwelling doesn't get you anywhere.

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 13:04:06

HighBrows mundane is the word. I feel totally stuck in a rut !

nospace sorry that you've experienced it too. I've talked to many people over the years and most of them just don't understand it. My friend I spoke to earlier has just called me back and asked if I would consider going to counselling too - she thinks it's almost like what is called 'abnormal grief' that people experience after bereavement. Obviously this isnt anything like being bereaved but she thinks counselling could help me.

amillionyears Thu 24-Jan-13 13:12:49

Several questions really.

If you saw him again in person, you may actually change your mind about him.
So say, going into a pub that you know he goes in, may actually make you change your mind. That does work for some people.
Bit of a risky strategy I know.

I think you also have to try and think about why it ended with him
Did you finish it?
And if it was you that finished it, chances are the same sort of thing might happen again.

I think it is ok to have a small space for an ex in your heart. But not ok, if that person is unavailable, for that person to overshadow other relationships. You could even say to yourself, that even though you cannot have him, that is not ok for him to come between future relationships.

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 13:45:06

amillion I don't know where he lives. The information on his FB page is quite limited and I definitely don't want to send him a friend request so I can see more. I believe he lives in the same city we grew up in, but I'm not the same area as when we were together. When he got married he moved to the other side of the city and from what shows on his FB he seems to have got divorced around the same time that I did. So he could be living anywhere now confused

Thinking about how it ended. I was 20 at the time, and my parents were divorcing. I was terrified of commitment and I was afraid of my feelings for him. He asked me to marry him, I was scared senseless, and a few weeks later I broke up with him. About two months after that he contacted me and we went out that night and had a chat and I told him I "just wanted something casual". So we saw each other casually for about another 6 months. During this time he would ask every so often if I was ready for something serious again and even though I was madly in love with him I was too scared. (Convinced now it was mostly because of my parents divorce and my own immaturity).
Eventually he told me that he wanted a relationship and if I didn't want that then we would have to stop seeing each other. So we did, I seem to recall it was a bit acrimonious at the time.
A year passed and I then moved away to another part of the country. My mum was moving out of the old family home and she found some of his stuff - records (ah vinyl, lol). She asked me what to do with them so I wrote to him and told him that they were at our house. I made a point in the letter of saying 'I'll be back home next weekend from Thursday afternoon, so if you don't want to see me, come to pick them up on Friday or Saturday night as I'll be out those nights'. I got home on the Thursday and decided at the last minute to go out that night. That was the night he turned up to get his stuff. He was disappointed that I wasn't there, and then told my mum " I don't know if Stretch knows, but I'm seeing someone and it could be getting serious. I'd like to talk to her, ask her to phone me" .
Well I didnt talk to him and never saw him again. He got married about two years after that and that's when I met my husband.

I feel better, albeit exhausted, for writing all of that down grin.

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 13:50:09

just thinking too. If he had ever wanted to try to find me, he'd have no way to do it. I'm only on FB in my married name, I've moved around the country since I got married and since my divorce, and there are no friends or family that he'd be able to trace me through.

I'm not going to contact him and I'm seriously thinking of deactivating my own FB so I don't get tempted to start looking at his page (and his GF's page) and turn into some obssessed stalker after a few glasses of wine

Bluemonkeyspots Thu 24-Jan-13 13:57:06

Do we not all have someone like that though?

I met and married dh at 18, have been with him 12 years, always faithful and we have a great marriage and 4 gorgeous dc. I have a very good life and am very lucky.


6 months before I met dh I went on a couple of dates with another guy and still to this day I think he was the one I was originally supposed to end up with, I did not love him and it fizzled out pretty fast on my behalf but there was just "something" that felt we should have been together.

I would obviously never tell dh this hmm and it no way means I love him any less but I think most people carry something for someone from the past.

amillionyears Thu 24-Jan-13 14:07:05

Sounds like it might have worked. But we can never tell with these things.

I think you have managed to have him in a corner of your heart in the past. And like Bluemonkeyspots says, it happens to a lot of people.

I think that it is like your friend says. That it is you that is in a bit of a change. So it is actually yourself that you need to work on and think about iyswim.
You are the one that has changed, the things about him are actually still the same.

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 17:18:10

Hurray for good friends and MN smile
Thanks to everyone for your input here, lots for me to think about.

My friend has said she'll come over next Friday night and we'll have a 'Stretch's ex BF who got away' fest. She's suggested I make a playlist of all 'our' songs - there are loads of them - and then she'll give me two hours to talk about him non stop while I listen to the music and drink wine, and cry if necessary.
After the two hours is up we're going to put the past away and focus on now and the future and what my goals are.
Sounds like a plan to me.

sarahseashell Thu 24-Jan-13 18:06:01

If you're both divorced then why not contact him? Saves the 'what if's' and its quite a romantic story I reckon

amillionyears Thu 24-Jan-13 18:15:51

Sounds like a very good plan, op smile

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 18:20:31

sarah his FB status is 'In A Relationship'. If he was single I'd have contacted him, although I'm really not sure how he'd respond after all these years. And if I check his page again in a year or even five years and he's single again, I WILL get in contact with him.

Thanks amillion (sorry, couldnt help myself!)

suburbophobe Thu 24-Jan-13 18:29:02

What a lovely friend you have!

I hope you get to resolve it in your own mind OP.

sarahseashell Thu 24-Jan-13 18:29:06

oh sorry blush fair enough. You never know what could happen in the future smile enjoy your evening with your friend have a wine from me

StretchVelvet Thu 24-Jan-13 23:58:40

phobe yes, she's a very lovely and very treasured friend.

sarah no problem, the weird thing is that my investigations have shown that he and I both got divorced around the same time. What a pity I couldn't find him when I looked back then, before he met his new partner!

littleblackno Fri 25-Jan-13 00:15:43

I say contact him - just say 'Hi'. not suggesting anything inappropriate if he's in a relationship but thats the thing about fb, it can be a bit impersonal if you want. If he doesn't accept your friend request then you have your answer.

gorgeoushippo Fri 25-Jan-13 00:24:01

I'd also say hi on facebook. Just be really casual. If he is in a relationship, hearing from you shouldn't threaten that. I think he'd be pleased to hear from you, even if he doesn't reply. Also, some people rarely update their facebook status, he might not be in a relationship after all wink

StretchVelvet Fri 25-Jan-13 00:33:09

What if he doesn't even remember me? shock

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