Some 21 percent have said that 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 percent admitting they still lust after 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 14 percent 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, the Daily Mail reported.
It seems Londoners are the most likely to deceive their current partner, with 19 percent of people from the capital lying about being in contact with a former lover - and 100 percent 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 percent), while Scots are the most likely to have attended a school reunion solely to get back with an old flame (10 percent).
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 percent of women using Facebook to link up with an old lover.
Men, meanwhile, are much more likely to keep in touch through email (33 percent) or text (31 percent).
But psychologists have warned that putting old relationships on an imaginary pedestal and attempting to reignite them is unhealthy and can be emotionally damaging.
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 responsibilities.
“These 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. 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,” he added.
The study was carried out to mark the DVD release of movie ‘American Pie: Reunion.’