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Parallax - Advice

February 21, 2005

Love at second sight?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question! I am beginning divorce proceedings. At the same time, a long-lost love suddenly came back into my life. At first, the feelings were crazy. We picked up where we left off ten years ago in high school, but it's now apparent that we're not the same people we were, and the memory of the 'love that once was' is not enough. He has no job, no car and he still lives with his parents. I have a career, two children and responsibilities. I need so much more than he can give me. How can I turn off old feelings and move on? How can I stop myself? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Rebound,

You're looking for a way to make the divorce segue smoother. A new suitor always does the trick. It is good you recognize that this high school relationship no longer applies to your current lifestyle. And I'm sure you are right in your assessment that it really would never work.

You have a couple of options. Your first option would be to cut it off completely and replace him with a new guy. This will allow you to have a transition person to get you through this trying time without opening the door to a relationship that could never work.

Option two allows you to enjoy yourself with your high school dreamboat, but clearly acknowledge—out loud—that this fling will never work. Throw it in the 'casual relationship only' category. Make sure he understands and make sure you accept it. Don't get carried away with creative solutions for this 'George Costanza live-at-home.'

The second option is hard to make stick. But if you can, then you can have your cake and eat it too. The first option requires a strong will now, but it will pay off later. It's your pick.

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His view:

Dear Rebound,

Oh please... How can I stop myself? You sound like you can't make a grown-up decision and forget about him. You sound like you really don't want to stop seeing him but you're just too guilty to admit it.

Here's what you should do. Be honest with yourself. You are lonely and a fling is nice. It's obvious this relationship won't get too far (unless you are not as smart as you appear). So have a little fun. Let him keep you company. Let him be your rebound guy.

It's bad enough to be in a divorce situation. Don't add to the stress by playing 'good cop, bad cop' with yourself every night.

Having said that, if you get involved with him, don't fall for him or begin to take him under your wing. You have enough problems and things to deal with.

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