Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Lure of Pre-History

I'm not sure if this is a side effect of turning 40, the internet, globalisation, facebook, or what, but old boyfriends are crawling out of the woodwork. Two of my more serious ex-boyfriends from my 20's appear to have emigrated across the world too, worse still they are happy, successful, godamn pillars of society.

One of my ex's (NOT the one that got away) emailed me last year to say he would be in town and would I like to meet up. Sure! why not? it's been 20 years surely enough water under the bridge for any acrimony to have subsided, and surely all remnants of lust will be gone, surely?

Neil saw this differently. He did not want me to see this fellow. He was adamant that no good could come of it, he said once a man has slept with a woman he feels confident to, if not entitled to, do it again. The more he became angry the more determined I became to meet this man, I was curious. The reason I told Neil that this old boyfriend had got in touch, was not to seek his approval, but in the interests of honesty and transparency. There is a subplot here, in that Neil was in fact sleeping with his own ex at the time, which makes his outrage hilarious in retrospect.

I did meet the ex, during the day, for coffee, in a public place, it was good to catch up on him and his family that I had once known to well. But there was something else, it was comforting to be with someone who had known me so well, so long ago. And yes, he was still and attractive man, and I suspect he saw the same in me. We do occaisionally email, on birthdays and Christmas, but we keep it to a minimum, an unspoken but I suspect conscious rule on both sides.

So NO all remnants of lust were not gone, Neil was right in a way. Dan had a similar experience with an ex-girlfriend. He was in a vulnerable place having just been separated, they were both away from home. When they met, he describes the feelings between them as overwhelming. I can fully understand this I think it was a love is worth the wait moment as described by Mir. She also describes how well they know each other (below), which I think is likely to be true of your college boyfriend. Perhaps even, far from visualising the pre-pregnancy body, they actually do not see the post-pregnancy body.

"Otto and I have known each other for coming up on 18 years. I am neither surprised nor particularly bothered by his penchant for lousy jokes. He seems fairly tolerant of my melodramatic streak, and if he can clearly visualize my pre-pregnancy body he’s bright enough not to mention it. Our view of one another is realistic, I think."
I have just read a bit of chick-lit on the same theme pillow talk by freya north. If the timing is right and you are lucky enough to encounter "the one that got away" when you are both free I say go for it, but at 40 the "both free" part is pretty much a contradiction in terms. For me, I will meet them, enjoy the frissant of pre-history and leave it at that.

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