How far can school love go

See the childhood sweetheart again? What speaks for and against

The survey of a large online dating site in German-speaking countries showed that every fourth person between the ages of 18 and 29 has considered their first love to be the most beautiful relationship or at least something very special. The first love leaves a lasting and deep impression on most of us, which is why many people in their later life desire to see their childhood love again.

To meet the love of your youth again - a wish that many have

Case study: Martha, 35, was desperate. At first the thoughts of her childhood sweetheart Christian only flickered from time to time, but eventually they became more and more frequent. Martha had tried to suppress the ever louder voice in the back of her head, because actually she should be happy and satisfied. She has found a loving partner in her husband Peter, is the mother of two wonderful children and is generally satisfied with her professional life. "I should actually be happy!", She said, but the more she fought against it, the louder, more urgent and intrusive the thoughts of her childhood sweetheart, Christian, became.

Playing with fire - unfortunately awesome

What then, you can have a look! If only social media make it so easy for us! Nobody gets my search query - except Facebook. Not found? Maybe I will find him among the friends of one of my school friends from before? It's great that Maria, the person sitting next to you in the gym, gave her maiden name, otherwise I would never have found her! Just take a quick look, it doesn't cost anything to look!

It's so easy, and it's tempting too. Most of the time you will actually find what you are looking for, because everyone knows everyone over 6 corners (everyone-knows-everyone-law)! Facebookers are even connected to one another in an average of only 3.5 intermediate steps. And if the search is actually unsuccessful, you can still register at - at least in the USA. One of those Internet sites that deliberately advertises that old flames can be found again. 35 million people have already stored their personal data there.

Search for the childhood love: Rekindling - the trend from the USA

This search for former partners and possible revival of childhood love is known as rekindling (re-kindling) and although it comes from the USA, it has long since arrived in Europe. The Berlin agency with the telling name "Wiedersehen macht Freude" confirms that around 40 percent of all search queries they receive relate to past love - and the trend is rising!

The importance of childhood love according to science

And even scientists are now dealing with the phenomenon. Nancy Kalish, a now retired psychology professor at California State University, began a study on the subject 25 years ago, inspired by her personal experience. Since then she has been able to document over 2000 similar cases on her homepage Since the Internet, there has been an upward trend in the revival of old youthful loves, she says.

Why our brain idealizes the first great love

Why did our youthful loved ones leave such a lasting impression that they suddenly push back from the past into the present? Youth (and all the feelings that go with it) is an intense time. Our brain already experiences a growth spurt in the years before puberty, the second after that in infancy. Fresh branches of the nerve cells and new contact points between them arise. The brain builds billions of new connections with the help of which it can process and store information. Eventually this diversity is cut back again. Frequently used links are retained, while those that are less used wither again. During adolescence, the ways in which a person transports and processes information and emotions are readjusted. The brain matures into an efficient thinking and controlling machine with reduced but faster connections. Our brains grow up. This reorganization has far-reaching effects, especially on the behavior of young people. Knowing about this can help parents to face their children's Sturm und Drang times a little more calmly.

The adolescent is even more confused that the body is also in the process of being remodeled. The metamorphosis of puberty has only one goal: We become part of nature's fertility program. This happens with an overwhelming violence and so suddenly that the brutal attack of the hormones is felt almost as a shameful attack on the self. We grapple with the irritations that the awakening of the instinct puts on us. We have to experience that this is not controlled by the rational ego, but conversely that the ego is remotely controlled by the instinct. The evolutionary goal of reproduction is repeated and reinvented in each and every one of us. The so important, because naturally very weighty area of ​​our blossoming sexuality is declared a secret zone and protected from strangers. This also includes the parents. (Source: Geo Knowledge - Puberty)

Completely surprisingly, we have a crush on us

As if struck by lightning, in the middle of the search for our place in the world, we run into her. Our future first great love. We fall head over heels in love. We innocently let our feelings run wild because disappointments have not yet made us cautious. We will never feel the strong feelings that our first love triggers in us again, simply because we feel them for the first time in our lives. And that is - quite normal! Under the influence of adolescent excess hormones, all impressions are buried deep in our emotional memory. This creates a deep inner bond with childhood love.

Our first great love will stay with us for a lifetime and remain meaningful.

Nostalgic brain - everything used to be better

A trick that should not be underestimated is our thinking when we are older. Often we mourn after the good old days, when supposedly everything was much nicer, easier and better than it is today. We remember our childhood love wistfully and longingly, without being aware that the time factor has erased parts of the memory, blurred or transformed them into shadowyness. In addition, people tend to memorize particularly beautiful experiences more permanently than sad or boring ones. This is because we unconsciously strive to create a successful and happy biography about ourselves. We clean up and gloss over our résumé, there is a nostalgic glorification of this time.

(Source: from the book "Na Eve?" By Eva-Maria Dullinger)

In this lecture by Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, you will learn why being happy has little to do with external circumstances, and why our brain likes to interpret even negative events from the past in a positive way: Why are we happy?

Emotions as high as never before

So we will finally equate our childhood love in general with the attributes of our youth: the impetuous, the impartial, the wonderfully naive, the unbound, the rawness, the adventure, the casual, the courageous, the unconventional, the freedom, the sensuality, the Uncomplicated. And our further relationships must be measured against all of this. This can be a heavy legacy for future relationships!

Reviving the first great love - opportunities and risks

Does it make sense to meet your childhood sweetheart again after all these years, or not? When researching the Internet, it quickly becomes apparent that the experts in my guild do not want to make any clear statements either, with a high probability simply because far too many parameters play a role or are insufficiently differentiated. Because the first love relationships were as colorful as life itself. On the one hand, there are of course enough people who would never think of wanting to meet their first great love again. Out. Past. History. On the other hand, there are also those who - for whatever reasons - have never found a hard or complete end to their childhood sweetheart. With such people it often happens that in later years the ghosts of the past and with them the love of young people haunt around mentally. Because first love has an effect like an unfulfilled promise. What would have been if? What has become of him? From her? As the song says so beautifully: "A love that has never lived, will never die."

First love offers good opportunities for singles

If you are now single, because you may have recently been divorced or even widowed, you can say that chances can actually be given to winning back your childhood love. Nancy Kalish found that about three-quarters of them are still together after ten years. Four years later, of those who got married, just 1.5 percent return to the divorce judge. Normally, almost a quarter of all second marriages have long since divorced. Kalish thinks he knows the reason for the stability of the revived romances: "The couples grew up together and shared the same values ​​and friends for years."

The first love for the second time

Many who have fallen in love with their childhood sweetheart report that they can finally be as authentic as they really are. The way you were before life's experiences shape you and make you cautious or more cautious. It is as if the other person has never been away, everything is wonderfully familiar and not strange even after years. You can even recognize gestures and facial expressions. They speak the same language. The psychologist advises, however, not to look “just like that” on the Internet for past love. Many do it when they have recently dreamed of their first great love. It is not a hint of fate, she warns, but merely an indication of how deeply and permanently the experiences of youth are anchored in our brains.

Too much curiosity can put your relationship at risk

Because it is not uncommon for happy and intact families to be destroyed. When Nancy Kalish started her studies, 70 percent of those who wanted to track down their old love were solo. Today it is exactly the opposite: around two thirds of the seekers are married! 82 percent of those who entered into a new relationship with their old love via were married. Many subsequently divorced.

The neglected basic need of most relationships

If married people are looking for their old love because they are dissatisfied or even flirting with a relationship, something is definitely wrong with their current relationship. Most likely you have started to compare: The boring everyday life of the current partnership, which has often lasted several times for a long time, with the often short, intense and passionate first great love. It is easy to forget that in 25 years it will be just as boring with the former childhood sweetheart, if you do not steer against it! You may not be aware that uncertainty, adventure, the appeal of the new, the variety, etc. are essential basic human needs. If you want to learn more about what makes a long-term happy relationship and all too often overlooked, read my article: The 6 Basic Needs

Everything will be the same as it used to be

It is a good feeling to revive the old love for a short time and to bring the youth back again, "says the psychologist Eszter Fischer." But it is an illusion to believe that you can pick up where you left off. "Where people have gone through similar developments, the revival of a past relationship may turn out well. In most cases, however, people change in a completely different direction. Different attitudes. A different set of values. A different social class. A different level of education. We have hopefully developed and changed enormously so that a quarter of a century is not in vain!

Everything has its time - there is no such thing as eternal youth

Ms. Fischer considers the fact that rekindling is so modern in the USA to be a phenomenon of youth madness and also a tough business. That we want to be young all over again is legitimate and all too human, and it is never too late to feel like we are freshly in love and young! But youth is over, everything else is pure illusion.

The search for the familiar in decisive phases of life

"In life situations in which a void emerges, looking back can be very appealing," says the psychologist. This is how she experienced clients who wanted to win back their ex-partners after their marriage broke up, their children out of the house were or who had just changed careers. In such life-changing and fearful phases of life, one likes to fall back on familiar people. Such a return to common roots such as home and youth unconsciously provide stability and security. Read this article if you make mistakes and ask you: Do I still have chances with my ex-partner?

How coaching can help you out of your emotional predicament

Is there a childhood sweetheart or an ex relationship that you cannot or do not want to forget? Now. Whether it makes sense to end your current relationship in order to be able to revive an old love can only be answered individually in a one-on-one conversation. To find out, for example, various scenarios can be played through. In fact, there are numerous coaching methods that are a real aid to decision-making. If you really want your ex back, I still advise you to be careful and to approach the matter with a plan and a strategy that has the highest possible chance of success. Here you can find out how I can support you with a personal ex back coaching. In any case, read my article on the top 10 mistakes you should absolutely avoid if you want an ex back: Ex back - Top 10 mistakes

By the way, my client Martha has decided not to compare her marriage with her first great love and to burden it with it. Today, she and her partner deliberately and deliberately create more uncertainty and excitement in their everyday relationships.

Conclusion: The childhood love is an essential piece of the puzzle for one's own life. Nothing is as formative as the first great love, but it makes sense to be aware of why you are looking for contact. If you live alone, the love revival can definitely bring the second spring - provided that personal changes and developments have led in a similar direction. If you live in a partnership, it is advisable to deal with the existing relationship problems beforehand and to be aware that your first great love will always remain something special for a very simple reason. Exactly - it was the first!

Additional sources: Why you never forget your childhood love, childhood love back to the beginning, childhood love 2nd chance