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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » The Second Time Around

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Author Topic: The Second Time Around
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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In the last year, I've gotten deeply involved again with someone who I was with for three years in college: we were last together-together in 1992.

Obviously, given the age of our users (and perhaps given that my life often seems to be stranger than that of the average bear), none of you are likely to have that kind of a gap between having a relationship with someone once and then having it again. But I've found that there aren't a lot of resources around this kind of scenario, where there is a considerable period of time "off" between times being involved (let's say at least a couple years, rather than weeks or months).

We're doing quite well with this, overall, ourselves, and in fact, I'd say that while our first time around was an excellent relationship, we are both feeling like this time we're much better equipped to handle it than we were back then. There has been a pretty awesome process of discovery and re-discovery that I've found seriously awesome (clearly, since it required me using the word "awesome" twice in one sentence). But when coming back to it, there certainly was also a good degree of working through some of our old baggage we had to do, as well as the process of getting to know one another for the people we are now -- rather than who we were then. It seemed sometimes like if we weren't mindful about it, it could be easy to make assumptions based on the us of back then as opposed to the us of today.

Have you been in this spot or are you now? Are you having any particular challenges with it, or making any personal discoveries through a second-round (or more) relationship?

[ 04-21-2009, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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tsangpo
Neophyte
Member # 18432

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Recently I have been edging very slowly into a relationship with someone I have been friends with, on and off, for about 8 years. While that is definitely a different situation than yours in a lot of ways, I can empathize with the difficulties of trying to keep the past and the present separate.

In my situation, parts of our long acquaintance are comforting: we have ways of communicating and working together that are mostly automatic by now, and that makes a lot of things easier and often more fun. But by the same token, we also have some fairly deeply ingrained assumptions about how our relationship works that don't really fit anymore, but that we sometimes slip into anyway when we're not thinking about it, because it's such a familiar groove.

On top of that, sometimes who he is now and who he was back then get all mixed up in my head, and I don't know which version of him I'm talking to anymore. I think it's sometimes easier for me to remember who he used to be, rather than who he is now, because our friendship has not been a consistent one, and I haven't necessarily been there to witness and help process all of the large changes he's made in his life. To make life more complicated, it's difficult to remember my exact headspace at say, 17, given all that has happened since then, so it's easy to forget that, in some ways, he probably remembers who I have been in the past more distinctly than I do.

All of this means that sometimes we startle each other. I'll be going along talking to the 18-year-old version of him in my head without realizing it--until he says something that reminds me that he's older now--and I'll suddenly have to readjust my mental picture. Or I'll look up and realize that I'm relating to him as if we're both still younger than we are now, and in a way that I don't entirely like--playing the clown, for example, to avoid saying what I'm really thinking--and then I have to figure out how to stop.

It all makes time feel very slippery.

(If this is too off-topic from your original post, feel free to delete it, etc)

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I say if it feels topical to you here, it's all good. [Smile] I put this up here more for y'all than for myself.

And I hear you on the slippery time: that's an apt way of putting it!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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strumpet
Activist
Member # 36501

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Ha! I got sort of back together with my ex after over a year of being apart. It was a disaster.
I'm glad it happened, though. Until then I still thought I wanted to be with him. It gave me the conviction I needed to get over him.

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justpeachy
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Member # 26195

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This has happened to me actually. A couple months back actually in February.

My ex and I had been broken up for 2 years & we'd every now and then see each other. But the last time we had talked he just assumed that I was still the same person I was back then.. that I was kind of controlling over who he hung out with, and that we still wouldn't give each other enough space if we were back in a relationship. We always tended to get jealous if the other person was with someone else of the opposite sex.

But looking back, you see how much you change. I know that I was insecure about a lot of things and he was too. But we're both in college now- he's a junior and I'm a sophomore. A lot has changed since we had first broken up, and after being together for 3 years in our early teens, a lot will obviously be different in your early twenties.

You change so much as a person over time.. with all the things that happens in your life. New work experiences, college relationships, growing up in general.

It can be tough if the person isn't how you remembered them (if you've been longing for that person to be the same), or if they haven't changed.

I guess it just depends on the people though! But everyone changes over time.. so you just have to accept and grow from there and start new memories [Smile]

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