Next month, my boyfriend and I celebrate two years together. My old high school crush who I reconnected with after a decade of no communication. If you’re reading this column, perhaps you are one of the many people out hoping to do the same.
After sharing my story in a blog post, thousands of you have read the article, with some of you asking for specific advice via my Ask Laura Column. Why are so many of us wanting to reconnect with a former crush? And specifically, one from school?
The publication Big Think looked at research into the longevity of our first love. Studies show that when we fall in love, our brains experience an increase in positive hormones such as dopamine and norepinephrine as well a drop in negative ones. The Big Think suggest our first love or lust becomes the foundation – a hormonal imprint in our brain that makes us hold on to them for longer.
Often, people tell me that they have randomly started thinking about them. Out of nowhere, their old crush appears in their mind and now seems to permanently take up space.
Before I answer my latest Ask Laura responses on high school crushes, consider if you’re happy in your love life. The people who start to dream of former crushes are mostly searching for love. They dip back into the past to wonder if they have made a mistake. Could their teenage fantasy be the cause for not having found the one? Did they somehow miss the boat, and not realise that their crush was their soulmate all along?
When would be a good time to reach out to a high school crush (e.g. her birthday or anytime), given that we haven’t really talked for almost 2 years and haven’t actually met each other in real life since we go to different universities.
Everyone loves a happy birthday message, but people don’t always appreciate surprises. Birthdays are quite intimate dates for people to know and remember. She will probably be confused and alarmed at you holding that piece of information – even if Facebook sends you a hint.
Unless you are or were good friends of some sort, avoid contacting her on any type of special occasion. So, when is a good time? You haven’t met in real life, but there is something persuading you to reach out after years of no contact.
Without knowing her circumstances such as her relationship status, there is no specific ideal time as such. Avoid however, contacting her first thing in the morning or late at night.
Try sending a casual and short message that matches the reality of your situation. A simple, ‘Hi, I don’t know if you still remember me, but I came across your Facebook and wanted to see how you are.’
I just read your blog post about how you’re currently in a relationship with your high school crush and I couldn’t help but feel some similarities to my own life; lately my feelings for my own high school crush have been burning stronger than ever, 7 years after graduating, seemingly out of the blue.
There’s just one problem, however: I’m currently about a month into a divorce from a very abusive ex. I know I shouldn’t be trying to make my way into the dating world until my divorce is finalized, but I’ve just been really confused by these sudden feelings erupting out of nowhere for this girl who I haven’t spoken to since high school and who I didn’t have a very lasting friendship with. It’s not like we had a fallout or anything, it’s just that our lives happened to go in different directions and we naturally lost contact with each other after graduation.
During the brief friendship we had however, we were pretty close and shared quite a few things in common, and I genuinely enjoyed spending time with her and just being able to talk about anything with her. Last Saturday I happened to randomly get a package addressed to her on my route (I work for a large shipping company that I won’t name for privacy reasons), and with this happening right in the middle of all my confusion and gay panic I can’t help but wonder if it was a sign from the universe telling me we should reconnect.
I’m afraid if I do try to reach out and reconnect with her that she’ll just be creeped out and not want to talk to me again. Is this something I should pursue or am I just going crazy? I definitely won’t initiate anything until well after the divorce is finalized, but I just wanted to get an outsiders opinion on whether this is something worth pursuing or if I should just leave it in the past. Thanks!
I noticed the link between your divorce and the sudden appearance of someone who you could talk to about anything. Has your old crush become a form of escapism? Someone supportive and open who can add some romance back into your life?
The fact you have twice mentioned your feelings have appeared out of the blue and suddenly suggest this is a temporary crush who is fun to daydream about. Have you thought of them strongly at any other time within seven years and if not, why?
As a sucker for ‘signs’ and messages from the universe, I can imagine your fixation and wonder at seeing a random package addressed to her. The romantic in me wants to tell you to run with your feelings and give it a shot. But there are some cautions to consider.
Rather than thinking about waiting until your divorce is final, why not reach out when you’re in a good headspace. This means being single, happy and open to dating other suitors. The problem with reaching out while your mind is so focused on her, is handling the possibility that she may say no.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you whether it’s worth pursuing. I can however, leave you with some final questions to help you create your decision.
If you message and it all works out well, are you ready to be in another relationship? Can you accept that seven years will have likely changed her personality, ideas, goals and beliefs? She is not going to be the person you remember. If she says no, are you able to accept that and walk away with your head held high?
Perhaps the answer is simply to find out if you still have common ground. Reach out and check the connection as friends, rather than seeing it as contacting a crush. Your message says you haven’t spoken in years so there is not a lot to lose in getting in contact.
I’m personally someone who believes it’s better to jump in and take risks and then deal with the consequences (when it comes to love). The final thought to consider is if the possibility of regret is bigger or greater than the chance of heartache?
Here are some previous Ask Laura Columns to catch up on:
Online Dating Fears & Intense Feelings
Oral sex, affairs and old crushes
Catch up with my weekly content on Instagram and TikTok. Are you considering whether to text an old high school crush?
What a fun segment on your blog! While I have had dozens of high school crushes, I have to be honest that they haven’t crossed my mind unless they naturally come up in conversation. Great advice! xx
Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com
Thanks, Melina. I have had a lot of high school crushes as well (most I can barely remember). Some people end up holding to certain ones, usually due to nostalgia over the past xx