Is it wise to revisit old flames from the past?
Many of us consider re-dating or reconnecting with old flames.
What is re-dating/reconnecting? Re-dating or reconnecting is revisiting or “dating” someone you have been in a past relationship with. I’ve heard from many people that once a relationship is over, it is best to move forward and never look back. However, who can honestly predict their own future, or situations that may present themselves to us?
Why do so many of us close the door on old flames from the past and lock the doors? Why do we do this when we have so much more to share and learn from them.
I’ve also heard to this phenomena referred to as the “saved by the bell” syndrome. Zack chases Kelly, Zack gets Kelly, then they break up only to date again…and then inevitably beak up again. Then, their paths cross in college and they date! (Spoiler: they get married too.)
First, let me state that I am a firm believer in re-dating/reconnecting.
I feel by the responses of my friends and reactions from others that this is not a popular notion. So why do I so firmly stand behind this notion? It’s simple. When you reconnect with someone from your past, you already have that basis of chemistry, which, in random encounters with new people is much more difficult to find or navigate through.
You tend to open up more quickly and more deeply, and there is already some semblance of a foundation of trust. (Assuming the initial break up or drifting apart had nothing to do with trust issues.) There is a season and a reason for everything. Fire burns for a reason. It may be tempered but it never fully goes out.
Recently, I reconnected with an old flame as she was searching on social media for people to help her move. I had not spoken to her in a few years, and I decided “what the hell, I’m not busy that particular day and it would be interesting to catch up with her afterwards for a bit.” This eventually lead to one of the most amazing eight months of my life.
When we first met, we were in high school, we dated off and on for about a year and after high school our paths would occasionally cross randomly for short periods of time but we never got serious. We both are “wandering souls.” She is one of a few that I have had similar experiences with. We would randomly pop up in each other’s lives for obscure reasons, and connect for a bit, share for a bit, be intimate for a bit, and then move back on.
However, this one in particular most recently touched my soul deeper than any human had ever touched my soul in the 34 years I have been on this earth.
We talked every day. For hours on hours. Learning new aspects of our lives, sharing experiences we have been through over the time that lapsed since we last connected. We traveled together, she took me out of the country for the first time to a beautiful island in Mexico, Isla Mujeres, and I got my first passport stamp!
She taught me how to experience life through her eyes. Her eyes are beautiful. Her eyes are beautiful not just because of their appearance, because of what she sees. She preaches self-improvement, she pushes people to be honorable, to never settle and find meaning in your life. To live extreme, or “intensely” as she puts it. To learn something new each day, to let go of mistakes made when the day is done, to be happy, but to be helpful, honest, loyal…in a nutshell, to be virtuous. To live a full filling life by finding happiness and by finding your true place in this world.
I’ve known this old flame for almost 20 years, and in all that time, I overlooked many of her views. Or she simply had not the life experience during those previous encounters to pass on her lessons to me. Luckily, I caught them this time around.
I helped her learn how to let her guard down and be soft and sexy again. I helped her rediscover the joys of physical intimacy that she felt she lost over a brief period of time. I helped her rediscover the trust that can be found in companionship and that it’s okay to let someone else take the wheel for a while. I helped her feel more comfortable taking risks and going with the flow and putting herself out there. I helped push her to be authentic and to loosen the anchors in life that tie us down.
We helped each other when we both needed help. Our souls found each other again and had so much more to offer and share with each other this time around. It was the right season and the right reason.
We taught each other a lot of new things from the experiences we gained by our interactions with others and the lives we led in between our paths crossing again. Our flame never extinguished, it just diminished until our paths crossed again this particular time.
These are all new things to me. Had I not said “yes” to helping her move, had I not said “yes” to the idea of reconnecting with this particular old flame, I would have missed out on so many amazing life lessons and life experiences. My soul would never have been touched so softly and intimately. I would have missed out on an amazing, in fact, one of the best emotional, physical and spiritual connection that has been right in front of me this whole time. I can’t speak for her but I know she is happy and knows what she is searching for now, she is in the process of her own new discoveries and experiences.
As with most things in life, our time together had to end. We are souls that wander from place to place, person to person. Our time for this crossing had come to a close.
I am eager to find someone new or to reconnect with someone else from my past and pay it forward to someone else in the same fashion I’m sure my most recent fling’s experiences led her to pay if forward to me. Perhaps our paths will cross again someday and we both will have new lessons to teach each other, and new experiences that we have picked up along our journey to share with each other. Or perhaps we will help each other rediscover the lessons we passed on from our most recent encounter.
Perhaps we are meant to be reminders of the lessons we constantly teach each other. Our fire is never meant to extinguish, but to dampen from time to time, only to be reignited when our paths cross again.
I encourage people to keep all doors open. Never close a door for good. There is always some lesson in life to be learned. It may be a harsh truth, a beautiful reality, an experience or even a brutal heart breaking occurrence, but the point is that that is how we learn, that is how we grow, and what better way to learn and to grow than to keep the door open to those who know us best in the first place.
Those who know our strengths and weaknesses and who are in the best position to help us grow. We all must grow on our own, but reconnecting with old flames always carries a learning experience. It could also lead to an amazing experience, one that will catch you off guard and eager to continue on your path or find a new people or other old flames and pay the lessons you just learned forward.
Or maybe your new “reconnection” will be fate and a sign that you were always meant to be together but needed time to grow individually away from each other before that deeper level of connection can be made. I will always keep my door open to those who have shared intimate time with me. There are so many lessons to learn and so many lessons to pass on and I want to give, not deprive myself to any person who has or will cross my path.
I sometimes find myself searching so vigorously for connections in new people that I often forget or overlook that the fiercest fire, the hottest flame has already crossed my path. So often we dodge our old flames and avoid them when we should be open to communication and the possibility of reigniting that old flame, that old passion. There is a season and a reason for everything, and this includes those old flames from our past.
You never know what you might be missing out on by passing up an old flame. They certainly will be a new person with new experiences and lessons to share just as you are a new person with new experience and lessons to share.
I have reconnected with other old flames previously to my most recent experience and some were good, some were bad. Some reminded me how much I enjoyed their company, some reminded me why we diminished our flame in the first place. However, in all the previous encounters, we both learned something new from the other and about the other. Life is all about learning and growing and finding the best people and best ways to connect with people.
Never pour water on a fire that you have started with someone else. Never close the door.
It’s natural to move on and find new connections and share new experiences with new people but remember the lessons learned from your old flames. Keep your fires burning, your souls searching and you may just find that what your have been looking and yearning for has been right in front of you this whole time. Or you may learn a lesson from that old flame that helps you connect even more deeply with a new person.
Author: Adam Wilkinson
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Philip Edmondson at Flickr