Ask Amy: Should couple reconnect decades after teen romance?

Dear Amy: I have a “second time around” query.

In our late teens, some 45 years ago, “Bret” and I shared quite an infatuation. But it cooled when different college choices put 1,500 miles between us. We lost touch. (No texting or Facebook back then.)

We each married but are now single again because of my divorce 15 years ago and Bret losing his wife to covid in 2020. Neither of us had children.

Now we’re both 63, and we recently connected online. We’re feeling a little revived spark of our long-ago romance. Bret thinks we can recapture what we once had.

I’m not as sure about that, more just intrigued at the possibility. I think how, in many ways, we’re very different people today. We’re still 900 miles apart but talking about making visits.

If we were to explore a reunion, how do we keep a fond nostalgia of yesteryear from clouding or competing with our vision today?

Also, do you think Bret’s greater eagerness could be a rebound from losing his wife fairly recently? He has said that he was very close to her, that they’d been married for 34 years and that her death hit him hard.

It seems as if this, too, could affect how cleareyed we (or at least he) will be. I’ve never had to deal with anything like that myself, so I’m tossing it over to you.

Intrigued: You are presenting rational and considerate issues. Any (or all) of these could derail a relationship between the two of you.

Men who find themselves single later in life do tend to partner up quickly. People who have been in long and happy marriages naturally want to replicate the experience (and might know how to).

Long-lost reunions do not need to be “cleareyed.” Fond nostalgia for yesteryear is as good a fantasy as any.

The way to handle this is to … handle it. Whether you take a mad leap or choose to tiptoe in, you two need to get to know one another as seasoned adults with a lifetime of experiences behind you. You should always trust your own core instincts. Your instincts are the best tools you have to determine whether a relationship is right for you.

Dear Amy: I’m hoping you can give me some insight for compassion.

My mother’s name is an odd spelling of an otherwise traditional name. For instance, say her name is “Lucy” (it’s not), but is spelled “Lucee.”

She gets very upset when people don’t get the spelling right (which is often, because I’ve never seen a similar spelling of this very common name).

I understand her attitude about this, because that’s her given name, and she certainly has the right to expect people to get it right.

Here’s the rub, though: She recently became a grandmother and has declared a very odd spelling of her chosen grandmother nickname.

She has chosen to be called “Nana.” She has decided that it must be spelled “Nan’nah.”

And she is insistent upon the spelling she has created. Why do this, especially after a lifetime of lamenting people misspelling her name?

I’ve never cared much about what people called me, let alone how they spelled it. I feel as if this is an attention grab on her part, making us parents remember to include apostrophes and weird letters every time we text or write on behalf of our kids.

I understand it’s not a huge ask, but I’m just having trouble taking it as seriously as she does. Your thoughts?

Spell It: Your mother is doubling down! Sigh.

I agree with you that this comes off as attention-seeking behavior, but on one level, you’ve got to admire her spunk. (That’s your prompt toward compassion.)

Grandparent nicknames aren’t used much “in the wild,” meaning this special spelling and errant apostrophe will be confined to your family.

The good news is that, once the grandchildren are old enough to write their own texts and notes, this will become their problem, as well as their auto-correct challenge.

Remember: YOU still get to call her “mom.” (Or is it maw’m?)

Dear Amy: I must insist that you retract your advice to “Older Woman,” the woman you chose to give a pep talk to, when you advised her to have “hot sex.”

I was alarmed and disgusted by your advice.

Disgusted: I refuse to retract my sex-positive advice.

Apparently, “hot sex” is the hill I am willing to die upon. (Mom would be so proud.)

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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