DEAR HARRIETTE: Am I wrong to think that I could find true love with my high school sweetheart after being separated for more than 30 years? I am not a romantic normally, but recently I ran into my old flame, and sparks flew. I truly loved this guy when I was in 10th grade, and it broke my heart when college came and we parted ways. Nothing bad happened -- just life, really.
When I saw this man again at a work event, I was shocked. We had not seen each other since back in the day, and there he was. We struck it up real nice, and we have been dating. Do I dare believe that this could be true? I don’t want to get hurt, but it feels real. We enjoy each other’s company and have been spending a lot of time together. How can I tell if this is for keeps? -- Old Flame
DEAR OLD FLAME: Stay in the present moment. It’s fine to remember your love from the past, but don’t get caught up comparing then to now. Instead, trust the moment you are in. As you spend time together, notice what you enjoy about being in each other’s company. Pay attention to the things that mesh between you -- and those that don’t. This is important for the long term. It is natural for couples to share some interests and behaviors and not be so simpatico regarding others. It is smart for you to recognize the difference between the two.
Make sure you talk about your hopes for the future and how you think you fit into each other’s lives. If you are open and honest and willing to see if this relationship will work, you will find out. Be sure to base your assessment on what’s happening now, rather than what you remember from the past.