Can Old Lover Be His New Family?
Q: I had a thing for this girl in high school, and we made out a few times but never dated. She looked me up online and contacted me. She's divorced now and so am I. We agreed to meet back in our home town in another state and really got along. We have a lot in common and the chemistry is strong. We visited each other four times in three months since then. She wants me to move to her state and give things a whirl. She has a son who is 15, and seems to like me. My 16-year-old son lives with his mom where I live now. Am I crazy to do this? I think she could be my soul mate and I really want a family again.—Mike, 44
Dr. Susan: I understand your craving to put a family together again, but you have to remember that this one would have a lot of challenges to overcome. It's not a presto-change-o situation in which you trade her son for your own and get to live out your high school fantasies with your old girlfriend. Is there a way that you can spend more time with her and her son without immediately cutting all ties where you live now? You'd be changing jobs, I assume, and seeing your own son a lot less often. As for her being your soul mate, do you really know her well enough for that? Have you had time for some deep revealing conversations about what went wrong in your marriage and in hers?
I'm not saying you shouldn't go for it. Just that chemistry inevitably fades, and what you're left with is what matters most. So get to know her better, and have an exit strategy just in case she isn't who you thought she was, or vice versa. Good luck!
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.