Hilary Hofstetter, M.S.
What's Your Old Flame Up To?
Ahhh memories! The Coronavirus Pandemic has left many of us with more time on our hands than we have ever had...and with that time...personal reflections of our past often invade our thoughts. No problems there...right? What about reminiscing about an old flame. No problems there...right? What if you give into the temptation and reach out to that individual? No problems there...if you're single!
It's so easy these days! Everyone has Facebook. A quick, innocent message "How are you? What are you up to?" can lead to so much more. Data suggests that the act of reaching out to old flames has increased during this pandemic. What inherent risks are associated with that? On Facebook, we only present the very best of ourselves - our best photos, our best experiences, and our best vacations. So do our exs. They look great don't they? They look happy and fun don't they? They look like their life is a bit more exciting than ours doesn't it? But it's not reality!
Nancy Kalish, PhD., a professor of psychology at California State University did a study of 1,000 individuals who had at least one face-to-face meeting with an ex. A shocking 82% of them ended up having an extramarital affair with their ex! In additional research done by Kalish only 5% of those individuals went on to marry their lost love and most ended their affair after a few years. Half of those surveyed said that even through they divorced in order to get back with their old flame, their original marriages had in fact been good. In 2014, a British study revealed that Facebook was cited in a third of U.K. separation cases.
One other consideration is that of your mental health. In a study in Behavior & Information Technology, people, particularly men, who friended an ex on Facebook - without necessarily contacting her beyond that - had more severe anxiety and depression than those who did not.
So if you're feeling lonely these days, rekindle a friendship - not an old love. It carries much less risk to your mental health...and your current relationship, and don't forget - they're an ex for a reason! .
Restore offers excellent relational counseling! If Facebook is tempting you, give us a call instead! (815) 708-7392