Thursday, January 23, 2014

Retro Romances: I Want You Back by Karen Rock


Retro Romances are the latest trend in romance. Thanks to Facebook and other social networking sites, it’s now easy to find and reconnect with ‘The One that Got Away’. Sure, you’ve thought about him, how your relationship ended, wondered how life would be if you’d stayed together and the itch to give it another shot takes hold. But should you? Here are some thoughts about whether to go ‘retro’ with your love life and, if you do, how to have a happy- and lasting- reunion.

1. Before reaching out, ask yourself a couple of important questions. First, do you truly still care for him, or are you possibly just tired of being single? It’s always better to be alone than with the wrong guy. Second, did you and your ex have a positive, healthy relationship? Without him around to remind you of the things that drove you nuts, are you focusing on only the good? Try to look at the past objectively and honestly assess whether being together made you and your life better. You don’t want to return to a negative relationship.

2. If you answered YES to both questions, then it's time to reach out. Be sure to keep your initial contact light and casual. Don't put pressure on him and, most importantly, on yourself. Leave a Facebook message such as, "It was great to see your name on Facebook! How are you?" The way he responds will give you a lot of clues on whether or not to go forward. If his answer is short, like, "I'm good. Hope everything's well with you." That's not a good sign. Ideally, he'll ask you questions about yourself and sound enthusiastic to have heard from you. If so, that's your signal to take things a step further.
 
3. Find out if he’s single before asking him out. If he doesn’t list his relationship status online, check out his Facebook photos. If you see a lot of recent ones that show him looking affectionate with the same girl- someone you don’t know- that’s a sign that he might be seeing her. You could also, through conversations about your personal lives as you catch up, find a subtle way to ask him about his current dating situation.

4. All systems go? Time to suggest a low-key meet-up like going out for coffee or something neutral. You don't want to put too much of yourself out there until you are sure he's interest in a renewing his romance with you. Another idea would be to suggest a restaurant you both enjoyed, an art gallery you used to frequent, an activity, like biking or skiing, you both enjoyed. Going back to places that hold good memories will remind him of the great times you had together and rekindle old feelings. 
 

5. Talk about funny, romantic, and exciting times together while on your meet-up, like a great trip you went on or how you first met. Walking down memory lane together will resurrect those old feelings you had then. Add in a bit of subtle, casual physical contact like letting your hands brush as you pass him things or knees touch under the table. If he leans in and relaxes, that’s a good sign. Pulling away from any contact would raise a red flag, or at least a ‘proceed with caution’ sign.

6. Don't get carried away yet! Think about why things didn't work out the first time and look for signs that things will be different now. If you broke up because he spent too much time partying, notice how he acts when you're out. Pay attention to how much he drinks. How much does he talk about going out? The bad habits and routines that drove you apart should be done to make this retro romance a lasting one. Take things slow and most of all, trust your gut.
 
In my upcoming release, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, my main character, Jodi, must decide whether to give her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, and her hometown, another chance. Share your experiences with retro romances in the comments section below and be entered to win either an autographed print copy of HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, or an ebook- your choice J The winner will be announced on Friday on this blog post as well as on my author Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites . Thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to reading your comments!

34 comments:

  1. In 1960, my high school romance, Jeff, held a Halloween party in the basement of his parents' L.A. home. He was a cop and I was a clown. He was trying to get snuggly and I was resisting by clowning around. He handcuffed me to a water pipe in revenge. Never thought about seeing him again after I met Ron - though Ron thought the whole thing was funny and could see how Jeff would have been driven to that.

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    1. hehe- I love that story, Muriel! Like Ron, I see why poor Jeff would have felt compelled to handcuff his lady clown in hopes she'd get serious and kiss him! Still- I'm glad you stayed with Ron as I'm sure you both are :)

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  2. I don't have any experiences with retro romances. I have been with my now husband since I was sixteen :) But His Hometown Girl sounds really good, and the Heartwarming imprint books are the type of romances I prefer to read. And I know you are a great writer Karen since I've read Camp Boyfriend :)

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm thrilled you liked Wish Me Tomorrow and I'm just as excited for His Hometown Girl :) Congratulations on your wonderful marriage. I married a boy I went to high school with- though oddly, we never met until shortly after graduation...

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  3. I went back out with my ex when I was 17. When I was 22, I got married to him. In 19 days, we'll have been married 19 years.
    I'd imagine, if we're both still alive, we'll still be married in another 19 years, too.

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    1. Your story is such an inspiration! Many people wonder if they should risk their heart again and you took the chance and found lasting love! Wishing you another 19 years of marital bliss :) Thank you for stopping by the Heartwarming blog today.

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  4. I've never been in this situation, but from a writer's standpoint this article was really fascinating to me. I met my husband when I was 18, two weeks after high school graduation, and the following February, we were married. I have some friends who have tried getting back with their exes, and I think you're right. It really depends on what the situation was at the time of the breakup and who both people are now. Like, for instance, was the relationship unhealthy where one person gave everything to the relationship while the other person took?

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    1. Great insights, Cindy! Thanks for adding to this great discussion :) how wonderful that you married a childhood sweetheart and my main character , Jodi, faces that dilemma when she goes home and her old feeling for her childhood sweetheart are rekindled. But like you said, it so many factors need to be considered, as Jodi does, before letting herself fall in love with the man that once broke her heart! Thanks so much for stopping by Heartwarming !

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  5. I've never been in that situation but I find the stories fascinating.

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    1. I do too, Bette! As a romance fan and author, I'm also fascinated by everyone's thoughts and stories. As a contemporary author, it definitely helps me reflect what is real and authentic in my books :) thank you so much for stopping by the Heartearming Blog :)

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  6. I love to read reunion stories and - although I've never been in that situation - these romances always fascinate me. My neighbor's wife left him for her HS sweetheart, whom she'd reconnected with on FB. She moved several states away to be with him.

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    1. Those kinds of second chance romances are a growing trend because of Facebook! How wonderful for your friend to find love again! It's definitely worth moving several states for :)

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  7. Great post, Karen! Relationships always intrigue me and I love retro-romances in books. I'm still picturing Muriel as a clown tied to a pipe lol...

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    1. Hehe- I wish Muriel had a picture to share- but the mental visual is awesome ! I also love retro romances because often times I wonder, when a couple I know splits up, if something could have been done to save them. In my books, I do :)

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  8. I've Googled my second love (first one passed away) just to see what he's doing. There's not much about him online. Plus, I'm happily married. Still, there's the allure of the one that got away.

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    1. Pam- there is always that curiosity, even when we know we 'd never act on it while in such a happy relationship as yours :) but these were people we once cared for and it 's nice to be able to check in and make sure they are doing well!

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  9. I'm like Pam--I have some curiosity about the one that--thankfully--got away, but don't really want to see him. But I love reunion stories, so am anxious to see this one!

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    1. A little curiosity won't hurt :) and I especially loved writing HIS HOMETOWN GIRL because it was a reunion love story. I'm with you, Liz. I like to imagine how to people who'd messed things up but are perfect for each other can find their way back to love :) thanks so much for stopping by the Heartwarming blog!

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  10. What a wonderful subject for a book!! I had an on-again off-again relationship with an ex-boyfriend before I got married to my husband of 20 years (this coming September). Looking back, had I pursued the relationship with my ex-boyfriend I know that I would not have been happy. I wasn't mature enough to know that then, but my husband's wonderful qualities help me to appreciate that now. I think it does depend on the relationship that the couple had to begin with, but in my case the ex was better left in the past!

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    1. Great comments, Laurie! They really added so much to this great discussion :) first- congratulations on being happily married for 20 years! I agree with everything you said; when we're young, sometimes it's hard to take an objective look at an old relationship and make the hard decision to walk away for good. I 'm so glad that you did, Laurie and found the man of your dreams :) thank you so much for stopping by the Heartwarming blog!

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  11. Been married almost 33 years to,the love of my life. He however was married before he met me for 5 miserable years. He told me it took a second try to get it right!

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    1. Awwwwwwww! I love your love story and possibly your husband too- lol! What an absolutely beautiful thing to say and I'm sure he means every word! Thanks so much for stopping by the Heartwarming blog :)

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  12. Karen, I've never had second thoughts about my first long-term boyfriend. I'm convinced it would have never lasted. I have a number of friends who have met up with their old flames and some are happily married, others it was a passing fancy that died quickly. It seems to me that the reason it's so popular is that there's a certain amount of safety in hooking up again with someone known, rather than splashing out into the unknown dating world. Looking forward to your next book.

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    1. Good point , Roz! There is that saying, better to go with the devil you know... There is a sense of safety and familiarity in going back to an old flame and, as you said, sometimes that can have mixed results. Thanks for your kind comment about my upcoming book :)

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  13. Several years ago, my brother worked with a friend from high school while organizing a class reunion. They never dated in high school but had the same friends and their common roots. They're happily married now.

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  14. Beth, that sounds like a great premise for a Heartwarming romance!! I love that working together on their class reunion brought them lasting love. What a wonderful story and thanks so much for sharing it :)

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  15. Doug was my first double date back in 1972. He was 11 and I was 13 and we went to see , Love Story. at the drive in. Imagine a 11 yr old boy watching a love story. We grew up as neighbors from the 70's. We alway's played, hiked, laughed , and talked to each other. By the time Doug joined the air force Don and I were engaged. We were to marry in Sept 78. That August Doug an I spent one night together and I had vison's of Doug coming to take me away. Well, he didn't since he was in Texas on base. Several year's later Don and I separated and Doug an I got to re connect, I was like a kid all over again. It didn't last as Doug was right, I needed to be on my own. I hated to admit it. Doug went back to his wife and they had a little girl. I finally met and married Mike. Then in 2002 Mike sadly passed away. The next morning I called Doug's mom to let her know. I had continued to stay in touch with his mom. When Doug answered the ph I was excited, nervous, an scared of what would happen. He told me if there was anything he could do to help me to let him know. I found out by seeing Doug that he was divorcing his wife. For the first time we were able to date each other! I was like that 13 yr old girl all over. We got married in 2003 and have been happy ever since! A true " love story" !

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    1. Pamela, your story made me cry! What a beautiful, touching love story. It's epic and lovely. You and Doug were meant to be together, though life has it's own time table. We think we can decide when things should happen but fate has a way of stepping in and deciding for us. I'm so glad that, after the heartbreak of losing your husband Mike, you've found love again with Doug. You're right. This is a true 'Love Story' (one of my favorite movies, btw!) and you've inspired me by telling it. Thank you so much for stopping by the Heartwarming blog to share it with me!

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    2. Congratulations, Pamela! You are the winner of this giveaway :) Please email your mailing information to karenrock@live.com Thanks so much!

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  16. I went to the drive-in with a guy (and some friends) my freshmen year of high school. We were so shy-- it was awkward and we barely spoke to one another. Fast forward two years and we had become great friends. I even helped him wrap Christmas gifts for his girlfriend that year! Later, after they had broken up, we started to spend more time together. We realized that there was something more than friendship. We survived the distance of separate colleges, have now been married for thirteen years, and I can still say without a doubt that he's my best friend!!!

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    1. Awwwwwwwww! Christy, your story touched me so much! It was a Heartwarming all over. How sweet that you started off as awkward acquaintances, then friends, and then devoted to one another. You built such a strong foundation for your love that nothing will ever shake it! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with me :)

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  17. My sincerest thanks to all of the wonderful people that stopped by to sharing your beautiful stories and terrific insights! The winner of this giveaway is Pamela Hamblin. Congratulations and please send your mailing information to me at karenrock@live.com Thanks so much!

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  18. Fun post Karen! Great advice:) Can't wait to read this book. I love the strawberries on the cover-great design!

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    1. Thanks, so much, Jen! I love them too and I adore your cover as well. The sneakers out the car window- to die for!!!

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