Life Advice



Sharing as an Access to Happiness and Connection

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about old roommates, friends and co-workers. I'm talking about people from over 30 years ago, whom I haven't spoken to in decades. I think I would like to tell them how they have impacted my life in positive ways. Should I reach out to them or would that just be self-serving and weird? I mean, if I were to reach out, I'm not sure what the follow-up would be: "Nice catching up with you, goodbye forever"?

Tell me, Annie. Is this sort of feeling normal as we age, and should I act on it or just forget about it? -- Too Much Time to Think

Dear Too Much: Reminiscing more with age is not only common; it can be hugely beneficial, provided it's positive/productive in nature, which yours is. A 2016 study of 47 people living in senior care facilities found that after sharing memories, family history and personal accomplishments, participants experienced fewer feelings of loneliness and depression. So, keep taking those laps around Memory Lane.

And to the question of whether or not you should reach out to these old friends and acquaintances, my answer is a resounding yes! Too often it's not until after people are gone that we express how much they meant to us. Drop them a line today. Let them know you've been thinking of them lately and that you're glad for the time you knew them. There's a good chance you'll make their day.

Dear Annie: I've been friends with "Remy" for six years. We both play the same computer game on the same platform, and we always enjoy chatting as we play. A little over a year ago, I was single and found myself developing feelings for Remy. We'd always just been friends, but gradually, an attraction grew. Before I knew what was happening, we both found ourselves falling in love. We have so many similarities and shared interests. It's so easy to talk to each other. It's been over a year of our sharing this intense, romantic connection.

But there's a catch. I knew that she was technically married and had a kid, but I always thought that she was separated from her husband. It turned out that wasn't the case. She insists she's going to separate from him, though, and is just waiting for her new house to be done so that she can move. Meanwhile, I'm in limbo, not knowing what's going to happen.


Annie, what do you do when the woman you love is unhappily married? She says she loves me and wants to be with me. And I'm so excited to have found someone who connects with me so deeply. Our only clashes come on the weekends when she has to play house and can't write to me. I've mostly been understanding up until now, but it's starting to get a bit frustrating. -- Lover in Limbo

Dear Lover: What you call "playing house" is her living her real life. Your digital rendezvous are her playtime -- a way for her to escape the day-to-day drudgery, blow off some steam and avoid having to make any substantial changes to her situation. She might not be conscious of the fact that this is what she's doing, but it doesn't make it any more acceptable. The bottom line is that if she were going to leave her husband, she'd have done so already. Pull the plug and free yourself up to connect with a loving, available woman -- one you can meet in person.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to



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