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Should I reunite with my first wife?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 31, 2011 08:09 AM

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Don't forget to spend some time with yesterday's questions -- and Hoopz.


Q: I'm a TWICE divorced father in his late 40s. Meeting new people has never been easy for me and now that I'm older, it feels impossible.

I don't like being alone so much. I feel like I lose touch somehow. I'd love to meet someone with whom I really "connect," whatever that means. However, all the "Date-dot-com" websites seem so one-dimensional. I can't discern any spark or attraction from a coyly smiling face, quarter turned, and a caption that reads "Searching for my soul mate.”

Enter the first ex-wife; when it was good, it was GREAT, but when it was bad …

She reasons that it was the lack of maturity that brought about our demise more than 15 years back, and that, in retrospect, "we were made for each other." I see that she doesn't want to be alone; she's currently seeking her second divorce. Neither do I, but I'm finding it very difficult to reconcile what went wrong in the past with the here and now.

Is a rekindling reasonable or simply a reach for a past that no longer exists? Is there a someone for whom we were "made"?

– AloneinBoston


A: I don't think we're made for anyone in particular, AIB. But ... I do think that some of our exes wouldn't be exes if we had met them at a later age, after we had matured and learned about ourselves. I do think that now-single, self-aware exes have a lot to offer us if we meet up with them again later in life.

Of course, I can't tell if you're really interested in your ex or if she's just a possible diversion from the loneliness. Are you still attracted to her? Do you like being around her? Does she make sense for you in the present? My guess is that you don't know. For that reason, my advice is to go out to dinner with her. As friends. Friends with potential. See how it feels. Remember that those past mistakes are now almost two decades old. Assuming that the relationship wasn't abusive, there's no harm in having dinner.

Just make sure to be clear about your intentions. Let her know that for now, it's just dinner. You want to reconnect without great expectations. Call her out on the fact that she's just as confused as you are.

If it becomes clear that she's just a friend, you might want to consider some of those date-dot-com websites. I know that the one-dimensional profiles are weird, but in person some of those people might make you smile. Those online women are like your ex-wife -- big question marks that need to be taken to dinner.

Readers? Is the ex-wife worth pursuing or is she just a quick fix for the loneliness? Should he try to date her again? Are they made for each other? Any words for the LW about online dating? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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