This is the latest column from Lucy Saunders, who provides a regular agony aunt feature - Ask Lucy.
Dear Lucy, In 2000 when I was 16 I liked a guy and used to admire him from afar, a year later I confessed my feelings to him but did not realise he had a girlfriend. It was quite clear from his response that he would be interested if he was single. Not long after they split up but I did not have the confidence to try again so someone else asked him out. Then when I was 18 on our final day of 6th form he and his girlfriend had an argument, she stormed off. He came up to me and asked me to dance. I felt so happy but then so torn as I knew he was not single and we held hands dancing. We parted ways and had no contact for 3 years.
In 2005, he contacts me out of the blue saying he got my email address from his friend’s email account. We stayed up all night having an email conversation and I confessed that I did not move on at the time and still had his emails. He seemed surprised by this and asked me to send him the emails. We ended up meeting up but the catch was this time he was single and I was not. I know it seemed wrong like an emotional affair but I needed to meet him so I could get some closure. I told my boyfriend I was meeting an old friend so I wasn’t hiding anything. When I met up with him I felt torn as I had been with my boyfriend for 6 months but deep down I knew my boyfriend was not the one. I still liked him but was not as infatuated with him. I knew he wanted to be with me but I let him go as I was not going to end a relationship over a one day reunion.I have not really spoke to him since.
In 2014, he got married and I was surprised to see that on social media at the time and did feel some upset but thought he had to move on with his life. He has a 2 year old child now too. I don’t think he is happy in his marriage as recently he kept looking at my social media profile which didn’t make sense to me if he was married, then his wife and her sister tried to look me up which I thought was strange as I had never met them. They must have seen his browsing history.
I have been absolutely fine since that day I met him in 2005 and moved on until the past week as the death of a teacher that was in the news has triggered this all off as it reminded me of school and yet before that I never even gave him a second thought. I am single now but he is married. I would not contact him as it’s not my place to interfere in a marriage, especially with a child involved. I don’t know what to do as I know the right thing is to move forward with my life but I feel I let someone go who was a good match for me. I feel like I did not get the chance. I don’t know if I am just clutching at straws because I am not having much luck right now. Please can you give me some advice.
Ask Lucy: I am very sorry for you both as it seems like a lot of missed opportunities have happened between you in the last 16 years. There is an old wives tale ‘if it’s meant to be, it will be’ but so far it doesn’t look like it was meant to be, as neither of you really took the plunge at the same time. I think what really sticks out for me is that you met up again in 2005 and he was interested in you. You had a boyfriend at that time that you weren’t that keen on so this could have been the chance to start something up with him. Yet you say you were not that infatuated with him so didn’t pursue it.
You probably like him because he was your first crush. You say you haven’t thought about him since 2005 but the death of a teacher has stirred up some feelings for you. I feel this might not be solely about him but more about the nostalgia your memory of that era that is stirring up in you. He is now married with a child and you are now single and, as you say, not going through the best time, so it is easy to fantasy about what could have been. I suggest you move forward and start trying to make your life happy and find a single man who is available and can commit. If one day by chance you are both ‘single’ at the same time and you feel you still have feelings for each other then don’t miss the opportunity.
Lucy is a BACP Accredited Qualified Counsellor. She previously worked in the media as an actress.