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Finding your Lost Love

Love Story

Love Q&A

by scholar and author
Dr. Nancy Kalish

Who are the prime candidates to rekindle a romance?
most successful rekindled romances were lost lovers who had been
17 or younger at the time of the initial romance — first loves
— and had separated for situational reasons, like “parents
disapproved,” “moved away.” “went off to college,”
etc. Age of the couples didn’t matter — if they were 18 or 95,
the romance worked the second time. In fact, the older they were
for the reunion, the better their chances of success.

Is Lost & Found Love successful the second time around?
In my sample of 1500 people worldwide, ages 18 to 95, 72% of
them reported that they are “still together” with
their lost and found lover. And these weren’t just “good”
romances; these were wildly sexual, soul mate reunions. Absence
really does make the heart grow fonder!

if the couples had been “first loves”?
loves had the highest “stay together” rate — 78% are
happily reunited, and remain blissfully in love over their many
years of marriage.

Are rekindled romances more intense
than other loves?
I asked participants to rate the emotional involvement of the rekindled
romance, as compared to all their other loves in the past, and 71%
of them said that this was their most intense romance of all. Additionally,
61% of the participants said that the rekindled romance started
faster than any other romance in the past, and that the sexual involvement
was the BEST (63%).

Why does rekindled love endure?
couples grew up together, they spent their formative years together,
and many of the first loves reported that the lost love became “the
standard” for all their other romances. They knew each other
well – they attended classes together, knew each other’s families
and friends, shared roots and values. It is these similarities that
form the strength of the bond. These romances are, at their heart,
friendships as well as romances.

Isn’t there some research that suggests
that this love might have a biological component?
Remember that expression used for teenagers, “ranging hormones?”
When teens are in love for the first time, hormones like oxytocin
and vassopressin are released when the sweethearts are sexually
excited. These chemicals form emotional memories in the brain, stored
in an area called the amygdala. When the lost lovers meet again,
those memories are released by the familar sight, smell, touch,
sound of the long lost lover. The feelings are comforting and familiar
and also very sexually arousing!

Why should this book be “required
reading” for parents of adolescents?
most common reason why these romances broke up the first time was
“parents disapproved.” Not only disapproved — many of
these couples were forcefully broken apart by the parents, with
threats to their children, or manipulations such as hiding letters
from the sweetheart. When these couples reunited, they were very
bitter and angry at their parents (dead or alive) for costing them
many years when they could have been happily together. Many missed
their childbearing years because of this breakup. And why did the
parents react that way? They just “didn’t like the person”
their child was dating.

checked to see how these couples fared a second time; ie, if the
parents broke them apart, were the parents “right” and
they broke up a second time? Half of the time, they broke up again,
and half of the time they stayed happily together. And they is no
way to predict, no way for parents to know what’s right for their
children. It should make parents think twice before they break up
first loves.

What can teenagers learn from this
hear from a lot of teenagers, males and females, who are broken-hearted
because their first loves just “dumped” them. Some say
they are suicidal. From my research, we learn that these are true
loves, important loves, that should not be belittled. And teens
should be comforted by the fact that the breakup may not be forever.
The first love might comes back some day. Don’t sit around and wait
for that, but keep it in the back of your heart as hope for the

Instead of reconnecting with a lost
love, what about finding a long lost friend?
really the same thing. In fact, many of my couples really weren’t
in romances the first time. They were just friends — sometimes
very young friends, like 8 or 9 year olds. The shared roots are
the important part; old friends make us feel comfortable and we
can talk about old times. It’s very healing to reunite.

Is there anyone who should avoid
seeking a Lost Love?
If you are married to someone else. don’t go there! Don’t even look
up the person to say hello. The people just didn’t realize that
the old feelings come back.

if the person was abusive in any way the first time, forget a reunion.
Personalities don’t change. The couples in my study who succeeded
with a happy reunion had been situationally pulled apart the first
time; they did NOT check the box “we weren’t getting along

What is your first piece of advice
to anyone who is considering finding a lost love?
are very intense romances. Before you begin any dialogue with a
lost love, ask yourself if you could handle whatever occurred —
a rejection, a romance, another breakup with that person. If the
answer to any of these is “no,” it’s best not to try.
But if you are single, divorced, or widowed, it might be the best
thing that ever happened to you.

To learn more about this author and book, click

copyright © 2005 by Nancy Kalish, Ph.D.
all rights reserved


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