You’ve been watching too many romantic movies | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

I’m 56 years old, married 33 years, and have three grown-up children. I am a senior partner in one of the top auditing firms in the country today.

I had a mild stroke last year and was bedridden for a while. I underwent physical therapy, and my husband, who had opted for early retirement a few years ago, really took good care of me. He was at my beck and call 24/7. While confined at the ICU and faced with my own mortality, I realized the most important thing in life is not one’s quest for material wealth, but one’s family. I survived my stroke, and I am on my way to full recovery.

That illness brought back old friends through Facebook, including an ex-boyfriend from college, from more than 34 years ago. Through a common friend, we got in touch via text messages and phone calls. After a week of texting and calls, he visited me in my office. After he left, he texted me if we could still be friends.

Even if so much water has already passed under the bridge, there were still unresolved issues between us. When he went back to his province after graduation, we didn’t break up–he just never came back.

I never hear from him again, that is, until I heard that he had found a new girl. My world crashed, and I had to stop working for a while.

I met a new guy in my new workplace, who later became my husband. I was very heartbroken, losing my self-esteem in the process, and it was he who made me happy and believe in myself again. I love my husband and can honestly say we didn’t love each other on the rebound.

My ex continued texting and calling me. He said he never really stopped loving me. He said his love for me did not die, but was frozen in time. I, too, have not forgotten him, and that he is still in my heart.

We both realized that our love for each other now is more passionate than what we had before, even if we have never had sex. We promised to see each other whenever our time and commitments allow us. He is a ranking provincial official in the Visayas.

We are burning the lines. Our text messages reach about 60 a day, and we talk for an hour daily. But we have one cardinal rule: we don’t talk about our respective families, and absolutely no bringing up of domestic problems.

We dream of the day when we can be together. We are happy just loving each other from afar, but we believe our time will come. We promised we would be with each other, and he said he would never leave me again.

Where do you think this will lead us?


You watch too many romantic movies!

The Heathcliffs and Catherines endured because one of them died at the height of their passion. Their love couldn’t have lasted at that feverish crescendo forever. Had they lived a long time, their fever would have cooled, and they would have become just like any other couple, experiencing the daily grind of living. Something’s got to give!

This florid, frenzied feeling has to evolve into a comfortable, warm and loving relationship between two people if they truly care deeply for each other. It morphs from that giddy, frenetic, tactile scenario into a more subdued but deeper bond.

Couldn’t yours just be a dead-star syndrome? A dead star still brings such blinding light from afar, but isn’t there anymore when you get to the source. Memories of youthful loves and adventures are so romanticized and become so passionate in the re-telling and reminiscing that they always seem much better with time than they actually were.

It’s ironic that the little meaningless joys of yore are magnified and appreciated to the hilt, while the hurts that could have crushed your ribcage then are totally forgotten.

Didn’t you say that when you were eyeballing death, you concluded that family mattered most? Toward the end of your letter, it seems you’ve forgotten your ever-attentive husband who restored your self-esteem after this ex-boyfriend dumped you with nary a word and, most importantly, stood by you “24/7” when you were at your most vulnerable. Why so?

Is it because this ex sashays back into your life, making promises like you were 22 again and have no care in the world–and suddenly, you are making plans of being with him forever?

How do you expect to do that? What options do you have at this point? Dump your husband as you yourself were dumped, or wait patiently until you become a widow? Sounds harsh? Well, it’s just one or the other, really.

You said you two have never had sex. It would have been best if you just got over that hump to avoid this unfolding drama. All this pining and breathless “I love you’s” could have been laid to rest, and the door to that college love affair shut closed once and for all. Now, there’s even that chance of destroying the lives of two families, all because that relationship never had full closure.

Wait a while and see how far the gasoline in his heart goes. Don’t be awed and overwhelmed or impressed by those 60 texts a day or those hour-long daily phone conversations. How soon before he gets tired of the novelty of this experience? How soon before you start demanding that you both go for it?

Brace yourself for the next episode of this renewed encounter with your ex. He dumped you once, remember? Two comes after one. And once is just one too many!
All good things end, especially for those who feign undying love over the span of 34 years. There are, of course, a lot of these breathless, passionate affairs between lovers who lost and found each other again. Only, they are already married to other people.
Sad as it is, they only seem true and sincere when uttered by actors playing Heathcliff and Catherine in movies!

Send letters to emarcelo@inquirer. or [email protected], Subject: Lifestyle

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