There are some romances you want to leave in your past. And then, there are some you can’t quite forget about. Constantly surrounded by thoughts of “what if” and “should have,” you believe that given a second chance, you and this person could love each other better. Turns out, you might be right.
According to a study done by Dr. Nancy Kalish, professor emeritus at California State University in San Francisco, those who revisit old romances may find more success the second time around. Of course, couples who broke up because they were unhappy with one another should stay apart, but those who cut ties for poor reasons or no apparent reason at all would find that they experience a lasting and intense relationship. Kalish attributes this to the absence of an external factor (e.g. an opposed parent) that may have kept a couple apart in the past. People feel that they can finally correct the wrong that split up their romance, and consequently, they experience a more intense love for the one that could have gotten away.
Another factors that may contribute are that couples who find each other a second time already have built a relationship, and so that getting-to-konw-eachother stage is cut much shorter. “They already know a great deal about each other,” says Helen Fisher, a research fellow at The Kinsey Institute. “People become nostalgic—the further they get from an experience, the more likely they are to remember all the good parts.”
And while intensity and longevity are not the same thing, Kalish has found that the couples who rekindle their old romance not only experience a passionate relationship upon reunion, but also one that is more sturdy and lasts beyond the initial thrill.
So if you can’t seem to keep ‘the one who got away’ out of your head, maybe it’s time to give them a call.