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“Not only did we ignite the romance of our youth, but over the next three years we had some wonderful adventures together, traveling to Utah, Yellowstone, and other beautiful parts of America I’d never seen.” Howard sometimes came to Chicago to visit her, but it was Cathy who did most of the shuttling back and forth.
Every three months or so she’d fly out to join him for three or four weeks of travel.
There’s a reason memories of those romantic relationships tend to recur over the years, even when you’ve spent most of your life with another person whom you’ve loved just as much or more.
“Neurobiologically, loving someone leaves a mark, good or bad,” says Justin Garcia, Ph.
D., an associate director at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University.
“But if the relationship occurred during the formative period of your life when you were building your sense of self and your sexual identity, the pull of those memories is even stronger.” And while there are various ways you might cross paths with a love from long ago, living in today’s digital world increases the likelihood of that happening.
An even higher proportion—nearly 75 percent—said they knew what they want.
Getting back in touch with a special someone from your youth can be worthwhile, regardless of the ultimate outcome.
The poll found that 55 percent of the singles age 50 and up surveyed said they knew exactly what they wanted when it came to relationships.After communicating long-distance via phone and email for a couple of months, they decided to get together in person, meeting halfway in Phoenix.“It was a rare and precious opportunity,” she says.If you sometimes have memories that pop up out of the blue about someone you dated decades ago—maybe a high-school crush or your first love from your college days—you have plenty of company.Being hit with that random blast from the past also may make you wonder what would happen if you had a chance to reconnect with that person now, especially if you’re among the growing number of middle-aged and older Americans who are divorced, widowed, or otherwise single.