You want some marriage advice? Think twice before reconnecting with an old flame.
Many affairs have started with a lot less history attached. When you connect with an old flame after many years, you may think it is perfectly innocent.
In this blog, I will offer 3 pieces of relationship advice to keep you safe from letting a reconnection with an old flame catch fire and burn into a raging affair. Read on…
Old Flames and Memory Lane: Affair Territory?
It’s not unusual for a person to think back to their younger years and have some part of themselves wanting to relive those “glory days.”
Not too long ago, if you wanted to track down people you lost touch with, you had to do some detective work: pull out phone books, call old friends’ parents, ask around to the few people you kept in touch with from your high school days…
But with social media at our fingertips, it’s not too difficult to track down some of the people who were a big part of our youth—including an old flame. And the old flame doesn’t have to be from high school days: maybe it was someone you had a brief relationship with before you got married.
When someone reaches out to an old flame, it doesn’t mean they want to have an affair. Often, people are just curious about what happened to the person they spent time with many years ago:
- Who are they now?
- Are they doing well?
- Did they get married?
- Do they have kids?
- Did they gain weight or muscle?
- Are they still as good looking as we remember?
- Did their dreams come true?
It’s normal to be curious. Humans are inquisitive by nature. We often think of the road we didn’t travel and wonder what would have happened if… It doesn’t mean we are necessarily unhappy with our lot in life today, but it’s tempting to think that we may have been a “better” version of ourselves if we’d chosen a different path.
And if your marriage is rocky at the moment, you may think that if you’d stayed with an old flame, maybe you would have been happier, loved more, treated better and felt more fulfilled.
3 Tips for Handling The Old Flame Syndrome And Avoiding An Affair
You may not be the one who actively would seek out an old flame—maybe they have contacted you, or they will some day. How will you handle it?
Here are 3 tips for what to do if contacted by, or if you contact, an old flame:
Tip 1: Be Open with Your Spouse
If you feel that your spouse would hit the roof if you contacted an old flame, then rethink your idea. Walking down memory lane may be a nice temporary diversion, but your marriage is forever.
If you feel the need to be secretive about it, then it’s an indication that contacting an old flame may lead you into dangerous territory. Your actions should be transparent to your spouse. What may seem innocent to you could impact your marriage, especially if you try to hide the contact. It’s better to keep a no-secrets policy, because later, if your spouse stumbles upon the information that you reconnected with an old flame, it can look bad—even if your intentions were pure.
Why cause problems in your marriage when you don’t have to? It’s a choice to practice transparency.
Tip 2: Talk with Your Spouse About Boundaries
Your spouse may feel threatened by the old flame: after all, you did once have a close relationship. Talk it through with your spouse and see what their feelings are about it. This is being transparent, as well as taking pains to protect your marriage by setting the boundaries of contact in advance.
You don’t want to spring on your spouse the following information one day: “Oh, by the way, I’ve been in touch with Jay the past six months – we email each other several times a week.”
Tip 3: Keep Your Spouse Prominent
Did an old flame ask to meet up with you? Tell him/her you would like to bring your spouse with you so they can meet.
Keeping up an email connection? Make sure you mention your spouse. When you try to hide the evidence of having a spouse, you are embarking on dangerous territory.
These are subtle things to practice self-awareness about. That innocent flirtation may feel good to your ego today, but if it causes a cascade of problems in your marriage next week, it’s not worth the risk.