(NOW: You can read Dategirl every day on the Daily Weekly!)
I recently rediscovered my first love after 20 years apart. We’ve both been married to other people for over 10 years, but if we leave our spouses now, I figure we can at least have another 20-plus years of happiness together. Between us, we have four children, and, until we rediscovered each other, relatively happy marriages. But since we got back together—so far only virtually; we’re not cheating—I can’t think of anything or anyone else. I love my husband and I think my rekindled flame loves his wife, even though she has really let herself go. I should mention that I watch my weight, work out daily, and can still fit into my favorite jeans from high school. I’m not stupid. When I talk about my dreams for our future together, he changes the subject. But I can’t get him out of my mind. He’s going to be in a nearby city for work next month, and I’m thinking of surprising him. Talk me out of it!
—Am I Delusional?
I love Facebook, and I hate Facebook. I adore that it gifted me with the knowledge that the supreme mean girl in my graduating class has had so much plastic surgery she’s practically unrecognizable, save for the mysteriously preserved curled upper lip common in those afflicted with a chronic case of bitchface.
However, I loathe that so many misguided people are screwing up their lives and hurting others out of some bizarre, misplaced sense of romantic nostalgia. My friend M was understandably annoyed that her husband’s ex-girlfriend found him, friended him, and then immediately posted this on his page: “You were my first love and you will always own a big part of my heart.” The guy has three kids and a wife—step off, bitch. Thankfully, he’s smart enough to remember exactly why he ditched her in the first place.
I mention Facebook because although you didn’t say so, it sounds like this is how you two “reunited.” And while I’m betting that many of us have checked up on long-ago loves, it’s important to realize that most exes are part of the past for a very good reason.
So to answer your question, yes, you’re delusional. But luckily, it sounds like your Virtual Side Piece isn’t. Even if you were both single, I’d say this is a guy who looks at your e-lationship as a flattering diversion and no more. You talk about your future; he changes the subject. He’s traveling to a nearby city for work, yet doesn’t mention getting together. Whatever you do, don’t “surprise” him.
Maybe he’s not interested in moving your relationship to the next level because he’s kind enough to avoid doing something that could plummet two families into chaos. He’s probably also clever enough to realize that you aren’t actually in love with each other—you’re in love with the way you felt 20 years ago, back when your knees didn’t creak and you thought stretch marks were distant cousins of the bookmark. Not that you’d know from stretch marks, what with the daily workouts and the high-school jeans.
You claimed yours was a happy marriage before you immersed yourself into this largely imaginary affair, so why not concentrate on reality instead of chasing a dream that most likely has less hair and more belly than the boy you remember.