1. JosephMarch
    Offline

    JosephMarch Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    24

    How would you react?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by JosephMarch, Apr 22, 2014.

    I would love to see a variety of reactions to this situation:

    You are unexpectedly reunited with an old love after 20 years. The break - up was not wanted by either person; circumstances dictated that it happened. You did not part well, however. You were only 18 when you last saw him/her, and still very much in love.

    Now you have reunited. How would you react? Let's assume you both recognize each other easily. Would you instantly embrace? Kiss? Freeze? Cry?
     
  2. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    I'd do none of those things -- especially if I were with someone at the time. I split with someone six years ago that was not wanted by either of us (he joined the military shortly after he confessed his undying love for me), and we obviously didn't part well.

    If I were to see him today, I'd probably freeze at first, considering I haven't seen him since we split. But I wouldn't talk to him unless he approached me. I probably wouldn't even acknowledge him unless he acknowledged me first. If it were a dinner party situation, where we were forced into the same place at the same time, I'd probably talk to him, but it would be small talk. How have you been, what's new, blah blah. I'm not much of a hugger, either, so I definitely wouldn't do that option, unless he went for it first. Even if there's a part of me that still loves him, eventually I'd learn to let go of him. I wouldn't automatically assume that we were going to pick up where we left off. So kissing definitely wouldn't happen for me.

    And 20 years is a long time. So there'd probably be a little hostility there for me if he tried to be something more. Why didn't he contact me before? Now he wants me since I'm here and convenient?

    Could just be me though. :p I'm not a very trusting person.
     
    outsider likes this.
  3. Bjørnar Munkerud
    Offline

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    If it happened to me I think it'd be surprise first, then hug, and then kiss.
     
  4. Augen Blick
    Offline

    Augen Blick Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    UK Manchester
    Being a bit of a softie, i'd cry.
     
  5. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm sorry, but 20 years is a *very* long time, particularly if the break-up occurred when the parties were 18. I find it hard to believe that they would still be "in love," but I could buy that they could rekindle the love. It just wouldn't be immediate. People move on. By 38, chances are at least one, if not both, of the people have loved others. I'm assuming for your story that both are available. But, if it were an unexpected meeting, I'd probably freeze -- it would be quite shocking to see such a person after that length of time had elapsed. I just don't think both would immediately feel that they were in love and kiss, cry, or whatever.
     
  6. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    I'd shake hands, give her my card and say "Lets get together for lunch sometime."
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  7. JosephMarch
    Offline

    JosephMarch Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    24
    I am glad crying was an option for at least one of you :)

    A bit more info: they had a somewhat taboo relationship before, and were never able to outwardly be a couple. Now, they would be accepted more.
    Also, they are meeting in public but it is just the two of them when they reunite.
     
  8. Slade Lucas
    Offline

    Slade Lucas Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    25
    Well, I would probably react with a bit of awkwardness if I had not seen them for some time. I would probably assume that they had moved on and wouldn't make any advances, just query about her life to try and find out if there is any chance of our love being resumed. I would want to kiss her but never be able to bring myself to do it unless I knew she wanted it too.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i'd wait to see how he reacted... then, would follow suit...
     
  10. ddavidv
    Offline

    ddavidv Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    239
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    20 years, I can't fathom. I can tell you I accidently crossed paths with an ex-girlfriend after about a year. I had broken up with her reluctantly because she was quite damaged (molested by her ne'er do well father) and I knew I couldn't fix her. We were in love when we were together, and the minute I saw her I felt that electricity fly between us. Sounds cliche, I know, but it's true. She later told me she felt the same way. Our meeting was awkward at best; she was angry and tried being protectively distant but we wound up going out on a date shortly thereafter. "Let's start over at the beginning" she begged, but it was she who drug me into her bed later that night.

    I could probably find a good book in that relationship if I wanted. What was my point? That such a meeting would be fraught with emotions of all kinds, and I don't think there is a right or wrong answer of what your characters would/should do.
     
    Augen Blick likes this.
  11. outsider
    Offline

    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    As has been said by others above, twenty years is a long time and as romantic a notion as it is, people will move on and have other partners in between.
    I have, in the recent past, been in the situation whereby my first love tried to make contact with me. I am married with children now, as is she so I see no point. I would much rather cherish and remember the time we had together when we were teenagers and in love. Sometimes things are better left in the past.
     
    T.Trian and Lea`Brooks like this.
  12. Echoesian
    Offline

    Echoesian Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Michigan
    Twenty years is a long time. People change a lot. I'm assuming we are both single? I wouldn't hug, kiss, or cry, as I doubt the emotions I felt as an 18 year old would still be strong enough to evoke such a reaction. I'd be polite and approach it in sort of a "meeting you again for the first time" manner.

    You didn't give much info about the circumstances in which they "didn't part well". That would have an impact on my reaction.

    But, if we are talking me specifically... I doubt I'd want to date anyone from my teenage years. I'm kind of glad they're over with.
     
  13. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    Depends on whether I was single or dating / married. If the latter, I'd probably greet her and move on if avoiding her altogether wasn't an option.

    If I was single (e.g. if, instead of getting married, circumstances would've drawn me and my wife apart way back when), I'd hug her, exchange a few words, and then invite her to join me at home for a more horizontal mode of existence if no clothing shops with fitting booths were nearby.
    Then we could exchange more pleasantries / talk about what's been going on in our lives etc. First things first and all that.
     
  14. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,779
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    Location:
    Scotland
    There's a lot of difference between two young lovers voluntarily splitting up and going their separate ways, only to run into each other later on—and two young lovers who were split apart by others due to circumstances beyond their control, but who have never fallen out of love with each other. They will feel the same for each other, no matter how many years have gone by.

    They might well 'freeze' from shock, upon first seeing one another, if the meeting is unexpected, but that will pass very quickly. And very very good luck to them. If they are now married to others, they may feel that they still can't be together, because this would mean hurting the people they're now with. But I only hope that whatever barriers were thrust between them back then are now gone, and they are free to finally be together.
     
    Augen Blick likes this.
  15. outsider
    Offline

    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    @jannert, you old romantic, you.:p
     
    Augen Blick and jannert like this.
  16. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,779
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    Location:
    Scotland
    I'm a firm believer that people don't really change.

    That works both ways, actually. People sometimes get back together with a person they split up with years before—only to have the same problems resurface that broke them apart in the first place.

    Real love is weird, but I don't think it changes. People can rationalise, deny, compromise, run away, whatever ...but if the chemistry is there between two people in the first place, it will always be there. I'm a firm believer in that.
     
    outsider likes this.
  17. Augen Blick
    Offline

    Augen Blick Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    UK Manchester
    I agree, if your still in love, and feel for the other, it's different kettle of fish.
    my original post reflects my experience.
    Another thing is, when you add tension to to experience, like the original poster mentions, or any form of fear,or challenge, it drives it deeper, and you get stuck in love, prolonging the agony.Thats why when obstacles get in the way, the heart grows fonder. Limerence (the experience of falling in love)is born that way, it crystalizes with obstacles.
     
    jannert likes this.
  18. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Twenty years... Neither of them is likely to look a great deal as they did at 18. A lot of growth, life experience - both good and bad, weight gain/loss. One, or both, may have been married and divorced or widowed. Other love and life experiences are going to color the way they react in such a situation. One of them may have become so disillusioned by love, based on this very breakup that they have grown to hate that high school other who was at the heart of that early romance. Even one's concept of beauty could change in that twenty years.

    Too many things come into play to imagine that they would or could instantly pick up where those two teenagers they used to be left off.
     
  19. MrMidnight
    Offline

    MrMidnight Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    9
    Funny enough, this is how I was reunited with and met the love of my life (my wife).

    I had taken a self improvement journey for a few years to get past my social anxieties and approach women I was attracted to and make easy conversation. Needless to say, all that went out the window when we met up after a few years. My mind was flickering through all of the interesting things I had thought I did in the past few years, then tried to filter them by guessing which ones SHE wanted to here, which failed miserably because nothing is interesting enough when you want to make a good impression on the girl that you've always loved.

    So I talked about traveling, had a beer, and did the best I could to fight through the butterflies. Somehow I ended up married.

    In this particular situation, I'd probably have a lump in my throat the size of king kong's fist, which would make speaking about as easy as river dancing in a mud hole with roller skates on. I'd probably have a band full of butterflies in my stomach that coincidentally all played the bass drums, and I would feel my IQ decreasing with every word I tried to stutter out, as if saying the wrong thing killed brain cells. Ha.

    Hope I helped,
    Midnight
     
  20. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    But people DO change. Their life experiences change them, sometimes in small, subtle ways, sometimes in major changes. Imagine a soldier coming home from war after living through horrible, horrible experiences. This person went away a naïve high school graduate and came home scarred for life from talking to the guy next to him laughing over their sumptuous meal of chicken lasagna heat'n'eats. The next minute a bomb explodes close enough to send shrapnel ripping through desert foxhole dining room. The guy he was laughing with only moments before is now a corpse in two or three pieces and the survivor's arm is on the ground still holding his MRE. You think that's not going to change a person? Of course it will!

    At one's basic core, perhaps, their character and integrity will remain intact. Yes. But the cloak in which that character is shrouded is going to change the world's perception of this soldier, as well as his perception of the world, forever.

    Yes. People do, indeed, change. Life changes us. Everything we experience from one day to the next can and does draw us away from those we knew 'in another lifetime'.
     
    MrMidnight likes this.
  21. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,779
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    Location:
    Scotland
    I agree with what else you said; of course we change during our lives, depending upon what happens to us. But it's that core that I believe does NOT change. The kind of core that a person who truly loves you will recognise, no matter what.

    I'm almost 65 years old, and have been living in a different country from the one I was born in for nearly 30 years. I went home for the first time a couple of years ago, and made the rounds for nearly 4 months, visiting people I'd not seen since 1986, and some I'd not seen for even longer. One was an old high-school/college boyfriend whom I'd not seen for over 40 years, since we split up (amicably.) (And no, we didn't get back "together," but it was fun to enjoy his company again, to experience what it was that had attracted me to him in the first place, and yet to be glad we were no longer involved romantically. It would never have worked long-term, which is why we split up in the first place.)

    What amazed me was that none of these people had changed. NONE of them. I mean they looked different, some of them were doing things that were WAY different from when I'd known them before. Some had risen in life, some had not. But what was so startling is that, without exception, we fell immediately back into the relationships we'd had with each other before.

    I hadn't expected this, actually, but it was an eye-opener, for sure.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  22. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    Oooo... I just thought of a different aspect that I didn't consider before.

    I had a friend that I met in an internet chatroom when I was younger. We connected right away and remained friends for a long time. We were always romantically attracted to each other, but beceause we lived across the country from each other, we were never able to be together. We always talked about moving to be together some day. I looked at colleges over there, and he considered moving to live with me after one of his jobs failed. But it never worked out. Eventually, he got girlfriends and I got boyfriends. We would still talk to each other sometimes, give advice on relationships and life. But we started growing apart around our college years. We always talked on birthdays, though.

    Then year, I got engaged to my boyfriend, and I started having regrets. Meeting that guy had always been one of my top priorities. I knew we'd be great together if we could just get together. But once I became engaged, I knew it would never happen. But I didn't want to get married without him knowing how I felt. So I texted him one day and told him how I felt, that I'd never stopped loving him, that I regret never meeting him, that I feel like we'd be great together.

    Two months later, I left my fiance and moved across the country to be with that guy.. lol We're still together and live together and I have no regrets.

    I know it's not the same thing.. But we were able to rekindle our relationship after 14 years, so I suppose I can understand kissing or crying or hugging.. I definitely kissed my boyfriend and cried when I saw him at the airport.
     
    Mckk and ddavidv like this.
  23. JosephMarch
    Offline

    JosephMarch Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    24
    Wow! Thanks for all the stories and responses...you guys are great!
    I have been reunited with some friends recentky through facebook, and I find that people DO look and act the same for the most part. But I have a good memory and also feel like 20 years ago is at once yesterday and also ages ago. I know personally, I feel like I'm still 17 most days.

    I have read true accounts of people marrying, having families, divorcing, then running into someone from 40 years before and finally realizing they were the love of their life. It only took a lifetime to find them...
     
  24. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    I'm trying to imagine what happened. Knowing myself, if I was very much in love, the only things that could've separated us would've been
    1) he was kidnapped
    2) his plane went down but his body was never recovered
    3) he mysteriously disappeared

    Anything else and I would've followed him, unless I had just:
    1) been hit by a car and gotten paralyzed from the neck down
    2) hit my head and consequently: amnesia! While the same has happened to him, and he was moved by his family to the other side of the country -- yet 20 years later we're both miraculously cured.

    So, then I meet him (I'm single at that point), perhaps he's just been found, living with nomads as a goat, and slowly reintroduced to the civiliazation... Hmm... I wouldn't believe my eyes, I'd freeze, then I'd go hug and kiss him.

    If I wasn't single and had actually found my true love after his disappearance and been happy for the past 19+ years, I'd just walk on, pretend I never saw him.

    However, if not parting well implies there was some friction and then I met him 20 years later, well, if I was single and he was single, I'd probably try to hook up again. If I wasn't, I'd definitely just avoid him.
     
  25. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,208
    Likes Received:
    4,217
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    So I see my old love again at age thirty-eight? After twenty years of not seeing her? Twenty years after our relationship ended?

    I would've long since moved on with my life, and I would hope she had done the same. Sometimes things just don't work out, and it would be really stupid for me to cling to a relationship that ended two decades ago. I would ask her what she's been up to, but by and large, she'd be just like anyone else. A friend, sure, but I would have long since moved on from the 'we used to love each other' bit.
     

Share This Page