There’s nothing more common and yet more peculiar than our habit, in certain moods, of feeling nostalgic for lovers whom we spent a good deal of time trying to escape from. What is this feeling and can it be trusted?
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“After considerable agony, we’ve left a relationship. We’re on our own now – and, when we can bear to be honest, it’s a little harder than we expected. We aren’t going on many dates; the central heating broke down last week; the shopping is proving a hurdle.
In idle moments, we find ourselves daydreaming, returning fondly to certain occasions in the concluded relationship. There was that wintry weekend by the sea: they looked adorable walking on the beach in their thick scarf. We fed the seagulls and drank cheap white wine from paper cups on the seafront and felt connected and happy. Then there was a moment on honeymoon, when we discovered the little Vietnamese restaurant hidden away in a side street in Paris and became friends with the owner and her husband. Or we recall how, at a large party, we both realised we didn’t particularly like the other guests – it was a special, conspiratorial moment: the two of us, shoulder to shoulder, talking over just what was wrong with everyone else. We’re newly conscious of the charm of so many things that seemed ordinary at the time – coming out of the supermarket, putting everything away in the fridge and the cupboards; making soup and toasted cheese and watching television on the sofa…”
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