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Interviewee Quotes

"The risk to me is...getting into that space of comparing and falling short...which is painful and destructive." LUCINDA

"I guess I don't see that revelations about who has been important to me are part of current intimacy. I want to reserve a piece of myself just for me." TERRI

"Anything that might bring us to having the conversation we don't want to have, I try to stay away from." HAL

"I have felt I owe her some kind of explanation. But it's been twenty-five years, and does she even remember?" ROBERT, regarding his break-up with his high school sweetheart

"It's just as easy to blot out the fact that your lover was a lover to someone else...but to not do that, and to really be willing to touch that...all the feelings it brings up..." LISA

"It's definitely easier to talk about the bad things...more satisfactory to both parties." JIM

"I feel that each of our relationships is still alive in us, shaped us in some way, that there's some convergence of all the experiences." AL

"If you have to keep concealing things, instead of getting closer, you are getting further and further away." VIRGINIA

"I re-contacted something about the ability to be emotionally open that just was not usually available." CARL, speaking about seeing a former at his college reunion

"For twenty-five years she had occupied virtually a divine place in my order of things, both in terms of the effect that she had on my life, and the way I saw her as a person...and that had really been destroyed, because my view of her had been clearly a lot more ideal. It was a myth, but to have a myth taken away is a powerful loss." LANCE, recalling a visit with his past love

"The things that enhance intimacy are also the things that are a greater challenge and a greater risk." COREY

"Love is just love, never goes away...you can't make it go away...it's one of those timeless things. And all past loves led us to who we are with each other at this point in time." GABE

"I've always wanted to meet her. I don't feel threatened by her, but from time to time I would go, whoa, they had this zingy sexual thing, and ours didn't come out that way..." FELICE, speaking about her husband Gabe's previous lover

"That might take us where I'm not sure we want to go, or maybe not today." GRETCHEN

"I better not put that most precious thing out there because if the person can't understand it exactly as I felt it, or won't, then I will be disappointed. And maybe another part of it is a little fear of intimacy." BLAKE, about saying too much to another partner

"The closer you get to the real thing, the more alarms go off." LINDA, about the paradox of intimacy

"The more I allow myself to be open, the more of a threat I perceive. [But past loves are] "a tool for moving toward intimacy, towards increasing encounter with the relationship and what that means to our lives together and separately." BEN

"It's scary...I'd always been wanting other people to be intimate with me...I'd never had the challenge of someone wanting me to be more intimate with them." MARGOT

"How long should one wait, with someone new, before you know that you can trust that other person with who you really are?" SANDRA

"The idea of just moving on when a relationship ends is a cover-up. It becomes us, and we can decide how it becomes us, but it is in us, stored away. To just be done with it I don't think is possible." STEPHANIE

"She was a wonderful woman, and weren't we both lucky to have known her?" ALDO, imagining what he would want to express to a past love's husband, after the woman's death.

"I feel like it gave me strength, strength to feel that I was loved and that I loved another person...so I could move into other relationships with confidence." MARIA, speaking about knowing of a former's continuing love for her and how that affected her life

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