Lost and Found Lovers: Facts and Fantasies of Rekindled Romances

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Overview

Ever wonder what might happen if you rediscovered that "special someone" who captured your heart way back when? The 1,001 people who participated in Dr. Nancy Kalish's renowned Lost Love Project did exactly that - and they prove the timeless power of rekindled love. Here for the first time are the full, fascinating results of Dr. Kalish's Lost Love Project, which she began after establishing contact with her own Lost Lover and which has garnered international media attention. The Lost Love Project questionnaire ...
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Overview

Ever wonder what might happen if you rediscovered that "special someone" who captured your heart way back when? The 1,001 people who participated in Dr. Nancy Kalish's renowned Lost Love Project did exactly that - and they prove the timeless power of rekindled love. Here for the first time are the full, fascinating results of Dr. Kalish's Lost Love Project, which she began after establishing contact with her own Lost Lover and which has garnered international media attention. The Lost Love Project questionnaire responses - which poured in by letter, phone, fax, and e-mail - are startling in what they reveal about who seeks out their Lost Love, how they do it, and how often these couples create "happy endings." Participants also sent in intensely romantic accounts of their rekindled love stories, which are printed here in the lovers' own words.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Inspired by her meeting anew her college boyfriend, and by a sentimental reading of The Bridges of Madison County, Kalish, a psychology professor at CSU, Sacramento, founded the Lost Love Project, an exploration of rekindled romances. Publicizing the project through various media including radio and newspapers, Kalish heard from numerous potential participants; this roundup of her findings, an uncomfortable blend of academic research and pop-speak, is based on information acquired from more than 1000 questionnaires returned to her, as well as letters. The text itself consists primarily of her correspondents' words linked by Kalish's thoughts. Her findings are sometimes surprising-for instance, that "lovers who had lived together during the first romance were least likely to remain together (54%) after reconnecting." Also surprising, however, are some of her interpretations, based on developmental psychology theories, of her data. Such concepts as separation anxiety in infants and Piaget's theories of conservation and reversibility in the cognitive development of young children seem stretched at times to fit tenuous conclusions. In one chapter and in an appendix, Kalish offers lists of operas, song hits, movies and tales that deal with rediscovered loves-possibly to drive home the point that "renewed love has mass sales appeal." The hundreds of letters from participants often sound alike, and while the sense of rapture in many of them is conveyed cumulatively, this isn't surprising in a study whose subjects are self-selected. Kalish has done hard work here in generating what academic conclusions she can from data that are almost strictly anecdotal, but as rigorous social science this book is questionable. It's going to attract attention, though, as the first major nonfiction treatment of a subject sure to make baby boomers' hearts beat faster-no wonder it's being published on Valentine's Day. Author tour. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Dreams of what might have been come true in this fustian report on a research project inspired by The Bridges of Madison County.

Kalish (Psychology/Calif. State Univ., Sacramento) rekindled a college romance of her own as she mused about what might have been if Robert James Waller's romantic duo had been reunited. Kalish's reignited love affair fizzled out, but her research project on former lovers who sought each other out years after a romance ended caught fire. The trickle of once-lost lovers responding to her ads and media notices changed to an outpouring when she appeared on Leeza, a national TV talk show. Ultimately, more than 1,000 questionnaires, often with lengthy stories of loss and reconnection, were returned to Kalish. The raw numbers, included with the copy of the questionnaire as an appendix to the book, give a quick look at who the respondents were: They came from all 50 states, and from countries ranging from Argentina to Venezuela. The youngest respondent was 12 years old (looking for a lost love she met when she was 9); the oldest was 87. Kalish offers stories of real (and fictional) couples who reunited even after years of happy marriages to others and found together, very quickly, a spiritual and sexual compatibility that most had only dreamed of. On the darker side, abandoned spouses (and children who lose a parent) are seen to have suffered from confusion, pain, and guilt. There is the stuff of tragedy, comedy, and soap opera in these stories, but the drama is lost in the banal, cheerleading commentary.

The book wraps up with a listing of pop songs that celebrate love the second time around, including Sinatra's rendering of that refrain. Skip the study and listen to Ol' Blue Eyes; he's more trenchant on the subject.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688151812
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"I've asked myself countless times why I placed the phone call to my Lost Lover. It wasn't done with the conscious thought that renewing our old love relationship would be the outcome. Maybe it was the idea that I was turning the 'Big Five-oh' that made me want to rekindle old friendships. Back then, we were friends long before we were lovers."We talked that day on the phone for two hours. After that, I found myself thinking about my Lost Lover constantly. One night I got out of bed and wrote down all the events I could remember. Most were humorous, and I found myself laughing out loud as I listed them. I began to think that she would also enjoy reminiscing, so I sent her my list. The response was another listwith additional events I had forgotten!

"Now, ten months later, we have seen each other about eight times. Our relationship is very intense. It is as if our love was put on 'pause' over thirty years ago and then mysteriously once again put back into the 'play' mode.

"One of the feelings we have is a physical aching for each other. We long to talk, kiss, and hold each other, skin to skin. We have sent mushy cards and tape-recorded messages to listen to when we cannot be together. Even if our relationship never results in marriage, our experience over these past months has been a most satisfying one and an experience that can never be taken away from us.

"So many things seem to be happening in our relationship for some spiritual purpose. For instance, I had been out of town on a business trip and had not read a local paper for two weeksuntil the day I picked up the paper which had the article about your Lost Love Project. It all seems to be fate."

This story froma middle-aged man in the northeast is one of more than a thousand Lost and Found Love stories returned with the multiple-choice questionnaires. Checking boxes was easy but not satisfying to these lovers. They needed to tell their stories. I could understand that. One of the things that my Lost and Found Lover and I did quite naturally during our reunion was to talk about our initial relationship and our renewed love to anyone who would listen. Our reconnection seemed so rare, so magical, and indeed many people reacted to our story as if it were the perfect fairy tale.

Excerpted from Lost and Found Lovers. Copyright ) 1997 by Nancy Kalish, Ph.D.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2008

    I found my lost love too after finding this book!

    I found my lost love after nearly 20 years after reading this book and finding out more about the research. I last saw him when we were 16 and 18 and every once in a while he came to mind. He was a friend before any romantic feelings began in high school. In fact, I can't begin to tell you how many times I cried to him because of the pressure I was under. He was always so kind to me and wanted to make me feel better. No other guy since has given me that feeling of being safe and accepted. To be honest, I never felt I had to perform or earned his approval. I thought I was crazy because I had moved to the other side of the country and lost touch with him. As I read this book I realized that before I died I had to know what happened to him. Plus I learned that I wasn't being silly and my reactions were more common. Needless to say the minute I found myself in our hometown I got in touch and he called me back in less than a minute. I felt like the 18 years on the East Coast never happened and he felt like a teenager when we talked. He said it looked like I hadn't aged that much, far less than the nearly 20 years that had passed since we last met. For years I felt so incomplete because I didn't have a clue what became of him. It was great closure to know he was fine and enjoying life. I also found out that he kept things I gave him as kids. He said he thought of me once in a while over the years. Very healing news. In fact, the last time I told him I thought of him was when a story from our hometown made the major papers out East. An incident had coverage in the news that it made me remember my childhood home and of course him. He told me that the incident had happened near his house. Eerie. While we are both unmarried without children we are in different places. But irrational as it sounds .... being with him again has made me question whether I want to ever go back East 'despite my life and friends there' and far away from him. I truly believe that Dr. Kalish is right and my first love was seared into my brain. I will love him my whole life no matter what happens. Right now, he is in a relationship that must be respected so from the day we saw one another again we have not been alone together. The more I struggle with my feelings the more I find comfort in this book. I'm not alone and not all reunions are happy endings. But to be honest, in my heart of hearts, I wish we could have one because for me ... no one else ever took his place. There were other men over the years but seeing lost love again makes me realize that he was the one I loved the most in my life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2005

    We Are Married!

    I loved this book. We got it as a gift for our wedding. We are Lost and Found Lovers who met again after 16 years. We never forgot each other. This book is amazing because the stories are just like ours - like we wrote them. And reading Kalish's research put it in perspective. Now everything maakes sense. If you are thinking about reuniting with a lost love, read this first! It says it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2000

    Very Enjoyable

    I found this book to be very entertaining and validated the fact that lost and found lovers are not as unusual as one might think. The stories of other loves included in Kalish's book reaffirmed the faith that rekindled love was possible after all - even after a 22 year interval. This book came to me at a time when mixed emotions were running high and provided a good base against a more cynical view by friends who felt a rekindled relationship would not work out. They were wrong,wrong,wrong. It was very nice to have some researched facts at hand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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