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You Asked: Why Am I Looking Back?

Dear Sugar,

I'm 21 and about to graduate college, unsure of what's next. I've been planning to move to New York to find a job in publishing (like every other English major), and my boyfriend (who graduated last year, who I've been dating for about 14 months) is looking for an apartment there as well, though we are not planning on living together.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my old high school boyfriend — the one I dumped on a whim right before leaving for college. I spoke to him briefly about six months ago and I really missed him, except I don't know whether I miss him or the idea of him. I know this sounds crazy, but should I try getting back in touch with him? Is it worth pursuing, or am I so brainwashed by romantic comedies that I'm ignoring reality? This isn't the first time I've missed him, but I'm confused how my feelings play into my current relationship. Is this a sign that things aren't working out? My boyfriend is sweet and so loving, and we have a lot of fun together, but we've also been fighting a lot, and I can't get my ex out of my head. — Old Love Lilly

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Old Love Lilly,

Graduating from college and making your first step into the adult world can be very overwhelming, and it's not uncommon for people to hold onto their pasts for security. Sure, romantic comediess make reuniting with an old love seem like the perfect fairytale ending, but sometimes that's not very realistic. If you can't get this guy out of your head, I say reach out to him. Find out if it's the thought of him that's making you doubt your future or if there's really something there, but realize this could end up hurting your current relationship.

The fact that you're fighting with your boyfriend shouldn't make you run — remember a little fighting is perfectly normal. Put your situation in context — you're moving, you're graduating from college, and you're trying to start your career. Those are three major life changing events, so it's no wonder you're a little unsettled. Try not to read too far into things right now but at the same time, listen to your instincts. I wish you luck.


Join The Conversation
sabalan sabalan 9 years
im agree with TidalWave too . goodlock . think to next beter
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
You're looking back because you're going through a rough patch. Very rarely does trying to hook back up with a past love work out. If you try to do that, you might lose a great guy, your current boyfriend, or someone new in the future. Forget your ex and try to work on your current relationship.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I think you're just at a point of change in your life and you want the freedom and easiness that came with going right to college. You knew what you were doing and where you were headed. Now it's really uncertain. I don't think it has anything to do with your ex it's all about yourself and the desire to be young and carefree again. It happens to everyone. I've been through it too.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Here's a thought: BE SINGLE NOW. You are starting such a great time in your life, but it will also be kinda tough at times. Focus on your job, your new independence and get everything else in your life lined up....then worry about guys. You have plenty of time.
emalove emalove 9 years
I completely agree with Popgoestheworld...I think it may be an indication that you're not that happy in your current relationship and that you maybe feel like something is missing. NOT that you necessarily want to be back with your ex. I don't think you should try to contact your ex...he's your ex for a reason. But I think you need to do some soul-searching as to whether or not your current relationship is what you really want.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I would say this is an indication that you aren't sure of your future with the current BF, not that you really want to be back with your old HS boyfriend. Not sure what romantic comedies have to do with this? That you are supposed to reunite with your first love? Romantic comedies have united lots of strange couples, so please don't think there is some ideal of marrying your HS sweetheart.
Sydney-C Sydney-C 9 years
Not that I necessarily practice what I preach, but I'm going to say let sleeping dogs lie...
tatiana21 tatiana21 9 years
I'm also 22, graduating, moving, looking for a job- and on top of it I'm engaged and planning a wedding! I really understand how you feel, this past month I've been having what I call my "quarter life crisis" which entailed a tattoo and way too many hungover mornings. Becoming a "big girl" is an intimidating process and I honestly think you are thinking of your ex only because - you are missing your past- high school where there was no worries and easy relationships. If you miss talking to him why can't you just call him up to chat?
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
EVERYONE thinks of their exes and has happy thoughts, but what you never seem to remember are the bad things that used to make you nuts. Nuts enough to want to break up. I think the thought of an ex is comforting. You always think that they know you the best, your true self, etc. But that certainly doesn't mean that you should be with them again.
ffemt1201 ffemt1201 9 years
I agree with the two girls' advice before me. i can't really add much more other than GOOD LUCK!
missyd missyd 9 years
I am going to disagree here. While I dont know if your thoughts fo HIM are directly related to him, you said you and ur current BF are fighting alot. Maybe it is a sign that you are ready to move on to someone else, try something else. Just a thought.
BlueKitten BlueKitten 9 years
I agree with the previous posters.
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I agree completely with TidalWave. I am in a great relationship now but find myself looking back and missing my ex, who I lived with for three years, even though it was, for the most part, a very unhealthy relationship. The feelings are completley normal but should almost always be ignored. Living in the past is rarely a good thing.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
I say ignore it. We always have these feelings about past relationships, it just comes and goes. Rarely are they worth pursuing. Basically, you're a little scared about graduating college and are trying to think of cozy/familiar/safe thoughts. It really has nothing to do with him at all, just your own progression in life.
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