Ever wonder what it would be like to reunite with your first love? Have you spent years thinking and wondering about the one that got away?
The television station, FYI recently premiered its new Docuseries “Find My First Love” hosted by the fun and witty Cherry Healey. Cherry seeks out to help individuals find their lost loves, whether it’s to pick back up where they left off or give them the closure they need to move on. This show is well documented and inspires viewers to take a chance on love.
The first episode followed Alicia, an American woman who studied abroad in France and fell for a French classmate, Benjamin. The last time she saw him was 8 years ago and even after all that time, Benjamin was still on her mind and had a very special place in her heart. Alicia’s journey lead her to traveling throughout France, hanging posters with Benjamin’s face on it, and taking a chance to share her story on the radio! As a viewer you can see the passion Alicia shares for Benjamin and the hope she carries to find him. As a viewer you find yourself rooting for Alicia to find Ben and to have that storybook romance ending. While in Paris, Cherry receives a phone call from Ben and they plan a meeting for him and Alicia at the Pont de l’Archevêché. Benjamin turns around, wraps his arms around Alicia, pulls her close and tells her he is so happy. This was a picture perfect movie moment!
Photo Credit: Franck Scuotto Photography
Recently I had the chance to sit and chat with Alicia about her experience on the show and finding Benjamin again. She even shared some pictures with us of her and Ben. She is a kind, adventurous, and inspiring person. This journey was perfect for Alicia who is a risk taker. While living between DC and New York she came across an ad on craigslist for a Docuseries on Long Lost Love and it instantly sparked her memories of Benjamin. A few months after submitting for the show, she was chosen, and the adventure began! A year later, and the two are still together.
upfrontNY: After being selected for “Find My First Love” what was it like getting the call that you were going to have the chance to possibly reconnect with Benjamin?
Alicia: I was excited. I was also nervous. It is one thing when your in talks about doing it and it sounds like a fun idea but when it was actually happening I was a bit more nervous. For the most part I was really excited and in disbelief.
upfrontNY: You hadn’t seen Benjamin in 8 years. When dating other guys did you find yourself comparing other guys you dated to him?
Alicia: Ben and I had a crazy passionate relationship, not only physically, but we had a real intellectual connection and emotional connection. I was in one serious relationship after that and then dated for fun casually in DC and was always looking for that. I remember that connection I had with Ben and was always looking for that same connection.
upfrontNY: What was it like having Cherry help you find him?
Alicia: It was really nice. It was like having a best friend there to support you through the ups and downs of the journey. It was nice to have Cherry cheer me on and steer me in the right direction and lend a hand. She added some humor to it and she was the one who came up with the crazy ideas of hanging up the wanted posters and going on the radio.
upfrontNY: When you were in Paris and she told you that you were going to meet him on the bridge, did you have any idea it would turn out the way it did?
Alicia: No not at all. I had a hunch he would be happy to see me. We had periods where we were just friends but always had a strong connection between us and there was always a physical spark. I expected he would be happy to see me. I expected a giant hug and lots of catch up questions, the way you would with a good friend, but I was completely taken a back by how touched he was that I came to look for him, how he was ready to start a life together. That moment when he took me into his arms and kissed me, my mind was going in a million directions and I didn’t know what to make of it. A part of me was thinking is this just for the cameras? Is this real? Are we going to make this work? He was serious and I was blown away. I was so happy. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
upfrontNY: You can tell he was serious, as soon as he turned around with this big smile saying I am so happy. Your heart must have exploded and here is the beginning of something completely new.
Alicia: Completely! It was surreal and that is the only way to describe it. It is surreal butterflies. It’s crazy all these years later and those butterflies come rushing back. It felt new and exciting, yet farmilar at the same timing.
upfrontNY:Are you living in France full time now?
Alicia: Yup! Right now we are in the Champagne region. We got an apartment in Reims. We are now looking at moving to either Paris or back to DC, or maybe New York in the Fall.
upfrontNY:How long after you came back to the States did you go back to France and move in with him?
Alicia: 2 weeks, I came back and I told everybody that it worked out. Everybody was nervous but excited and supportive. I had just enough time to go back and pack my bags.
upfrontNY: I am so happy that things worked out so well! It makes people feel like you never know what’s going to happen!
Alicia: It is a beautiful lesson that someone else can be feeling the same way but may not have the courage to take the first step. The worse thing that came happen is when two people are feeling the same about each other and there is something to be explored but both are afraid to take the first step.
upfrontNY: You had this amazing experience that worked out so well. What advice do you give to others who want to go after the one that got away? Either someone they lost touch with or the one they talk to randomly throughout the years but don’t know how to go about it?
Alicia: Every case is so different and you have to trust your gut and your intuition on what that person’s reaction would be and if that would be the right person to go after. I felt relatively confident in taking that risk because I knew it would be something that would make Ben smile and we would be happy to find each other as friends. It can be impossible to keep your expectations low but at the time I went to find him I was happy being single. I was happy with my life and was at the point in my life I was my best self. I knew if it didn’t work out he would see how happy and confident I was with myself. I think it is important to be confident and happy with yourself and that person be an added bonus if it works out well. Be vulnerable and ready for all the outcomes. I think risks are worth taking!