High School Reunion Love

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Dear Hoopers,
This fall I will be attending my 10-year high school reunion and seeing the man I’ve loved since graduating. I dated “Sam” the last semester of high school and have never experienced the same level of infatuation with anyone I’ve dated since. We broke up because our family and friends told us that young love wouldn’t last and that we needed to experience college to the fullest without ties. We broke things off mutually and have not talked since. I do know that Sam pursued a job abroad following college and I recently learned of his return back to the United States. He’s not on social media, so it’s a bit of a mystery, what he looks like, where he lives, what he does exactly, but when an acquaintance organizing the reunion informed me that he is single and going to be in attendance, I nearly fainted from excitement. This decade has brought many boyfriends, mostly disappointing, and no true love. After every unfortunate relationship ends, I think back to Sam.   Will our reunion mean a reunion of the love we left behind? Or should I be preparing for disappointment?
-High School Reunion Love

Dear High School Reunion Love,
I can appreciate your excitement and anticipation. Finding love is hard as hell and when you have experienced disappointment after disappointment, it makes sense that you might look back to your past for fulfillment. While It is definitely possible, I would turn down the excitement just a bit. A person that you haven’t seen or even spoken to in 10 years could be quite different than you recall. Many things change with time and I wouldn’t encourage you to hold your breath that he is the one.

Let’s keep things simple and start with just trying to have fun at the reunion. I would look to connect with the friends that you are still in touch with to help you have a foundation of friends going into the weekend. When you see him feel free to warmly seek him out and check in with him to see where his life is at. If you feel a connection, have fun! You guys may not be soul mates, but being back in town at your reunion should be a good time. Where things go from there is up to you.

Perhaps I’m just a half-hearted cynic, but the word infatuation is one that I associate with a high school love but not much more.

-Dr. Ryan

Lastly, one thing that jumped out to me in your question was the word infatuation. Perhaps I’m just a half-hearted cynic, but the word infatuation is one that I associate with a high school love but not much more. Know that a long lasting, meaningful relationship will develop into much more than infatuation and will need to be centered on more than an emotional connection.

If you often find yourself seeking infatuation in a relationship, know that this could be a part of the problem too. Even if the high school reunion doesn’t help you find love, dropping the infatuation and seeking something deeper could be the change you need.
-Dr. Ryan

Dear High School Reunion Love,
Why prepare for disappointment? Whether you and Sam reconnect or not, only you can dictate how you feel about the situation. The fact that your heart has raced over the news of him being there is fun! We could all use a little extra skip in our step from time to time and this is exciting! Young love, first loves, puppy love, whatever you want to call it, is still love. Maybe more innocent than love strained with adult problems and responsibilities, but love all the same. Entangle those feelings with somewhat of a mystery man and heck, I would be excited too.

So here’s the reality check. Nothing has happened yet. He may not even show up. And maybe he does show up and you are not attracted to him, or vice versa. Ten years can change personalities and appearances for better or for worst. If you are fantasizing about frolicking across the gym floor back into each other’s arms, that’s okay. But don’t let it consume your days leading up to the event. You and Sam may have shared a love in high school, but who knows who is also showing up single and ready to mingle. May the options be considered!

Instead of putting your best self forth for Sam, put your best self forth for you.


Many of us go to reunions to rekindle memories or because we’re genuinely curious to see what happened to someone who we were once infatuated with. Some of us avoid them for this reason as well. Instead of putting your best self forth for Sam, put your best self forth for you. Maybe it will be a rekindling of love left behind, or simply closure to a special love once shared. Whatever you do, keep that excitement alive. Your energy attracts!

high school reunion love quote