First love is the deepest: One in five of us long to rekindle romance with former flame
Men most likely to want this because they 'have a lower emotional intelligence', say psychologistsSocial networking sites have made the process easier
Londoners most likely to lie about being in touch with an ex
10:51 GMT, 24 August 2012
Kate has moved on from Johnny, Justin from Britney, Mila from Macaulay and Brad from Juliette,
But it's hard to forget your first love – and easy to look back on it wearing rose-tinted spectacles.
And now it emerges that one in five Brits – and as many as a quarter of all British men – would like to get back together with their first sweetheart.
They are no longer together, but Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, left, dated for four years during the Nineties, and Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears vowed to stay together forever after meeting on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show in
Some 21 per cent of Brits saying they are secretly planning a reunion with their first lover – and men are most likely to carry a torch for an old flame, with 24 per cent admitting they still lust after a an ex.
But it isn't just men. Supermodel Kate Moss, who began a four-year relationship with actor Johnny Depp when she was 21, said, years after their romance was over (but before she met husband Jamie Hince): 'I just haven't found anyone I want to spend long periods with. I don’t think I've completely got over my relationship with Johnny Depp.'
As many as fourteen per cent of people have
actually got back in touch with an ex hoping to reignite the passion,
and one in six men are still secretly in contact with a former partner.
It seems Londoners are the most likely to deceive their current partner, with 19 per cent of people from the capital lying about being in contact with a former lover – and 100 per cent of those who have made contact say they did so expressly to get back together.
People in the Midlands and Scotland are most likely to want to be reunited with their first love (24 per cent), while Scots are the most likely to have attended a school reunion solely to get back with an old flame (10 per cent).
Actors Macaulay Culkin and Mila Kunis dated for eight years before she began a relationship with Demi Moore's ex-husband Ashton Kutcher
Although women are less likely to get in contact with an ex, four in ten who do so on the quiet admit they hope to seduce them.
Social networking sites have made it easier to find and chat up an ex, with 74 per cent of women using Facebook to link up with an old lover.
Men, meanwhile, are much more likely to keep in touch through email (33 per cent) or
text (31 per cent).
But psychologists have warned that putting old relationships on an imaginary pedestal and attempting to reignite them is unhealthy and can be emotionally damaging.
Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis – here starring in Kalifornia (1993) – dated for three years in the early Nineties, with Lewis allegedly losing her virginity to the latter-day Mr Angelina Jolie
Psychologist Professor Cary Cooper,
of Lancaster University, said: 'Our first love tends to leave a big
emotional imprint. It tends to be a powerful experience and the memory
sticks with us as a reminder of more carefree, uninhibited days.
'We forget the jealousy and the heartbreak and tend to view those days through rose-tinted spectacles. But
it's a mistake to think that 10 or 20 years down the line it could ever
be the same, as our circumstances change and we have greater
people, particularly men, who pine after their first love are probably
doing so because they're unhappy about something in their current
relationship but are afraid to confront it.
is escapism and avoidance and it's not healthy. We may have children
and mortgages now and that isn't going to change just because we see an
old flame again.
'Men are more
likely to fall into this bracket because they are less monogamous and
they have lower emotional intelligence than women.
networking sites have made contact with old school friends and old
flames so much easier and keeping this kind of thing secret no doubt
adds to the excitement.
'But it's a real mistake because it will all come out in the end.'
Because of the very human tendency to look back on the past through rose-tinted spectacles, as many as one in five women and one quarter of all men would like to get back together with their first love
The study was carried out to mark the DVD release of movie American Pie: Reunion.