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How to Reconnect with Old Friends & Rebuild Your Lost Friendships

Sometimes we lose touch with people were used to be close to. But, learning how to reconnect with old friends can bring back that friendship spark again.

how to reconnect with old friends

Sometimes life just gets in the way. We’re close to people and then jobs, health problems, money issues, marriage, children, you name it, it happens. For better or worse, we tend to move away from old friends without actually realizing it. But then, we look back and realize that we kinda miss their crazy ways and the good times. The good news is that learning how to reconnect with old friends is entirely possible, and you mainly have social media to thank for it.

Sometimes, it can be easier than making a new friend because you already have a past to reconnect to. You have a history together, things to reminisce about, and all of that is an anchor to reconnection.

Let’s be honest, it’s not so easy to make brand new friends in adulthood. As kids, it’s super-easy – you both have the same colored coat and that’s enough to bond you for life! So, reconnecting with an old friend from your past is a great way to add more friendship into your life.

But, depending on how things ended between you two, it can be tricky. Was there a fight? Did you simply drift apart? Think about how you left things in order to consider where to pick up.

[Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build good friendships that last]

Why do you want to reconnect with old friends?

So, you’ve decided you want to reconnect with old friends. Good for you. But, why? Before reaching out, you should know your intent.

Do you miss them? Have you moved back into the area? Do you think your lifestyles are more similar than they were years ago? Is the reason you stopped being friends no longer relevant?

It is important to know why you want to reconnect with old friends. Without a reason, you don’t have much motivation to carry out a plan or even an attempt. [Read: How to be charming – 15 adorable habits of highly likable people]

Also, by analyzing your reasoning you may learn something new. Maybe you realized you only want to reconnect because you live nearby, but you actually have nothing in common and they wouldn’t bring anything positive to your life. Or you thought they could help you with something but realized that you could really be close again.

This reasoning will help you and your plan. Being straightforward with your reasoning for reaching out to reconnect is vital. You need to be upfront about wanting to get together and reminisce or if you need their input on a project or an investment in your company.

Don’t make the mistake of reconnecting with a friend if you honestly don’t intend to make the effort to rekindle the friendship. Sometimes, we get carried away and reach out to someone, only to ghost them again because both of you have absolutely nothing in common! [Read: 18 honest reasons why you don’t have friends that care about you]

How to reconnect with old friends

Yes, this will be in a list of steps, just so it is easier to follow, but that does not mean you have to do everything on this list. Nor does it mean these are the only ways you can learn how to reconnect with old friends.

Every single friendship is different and special in its own way. Some friendships need brutal honesty while others need kindness and forgiveness. Some friends ignore any past drama and move forward while others need closure before picking up where they left off.

You need to decide what your friendship needs are and how to proceed in the way that is best for you. But, with that, hopefully, these tips will come in handy when trying to figure out how to reconnect with old friends. [Read: How to have fun with friends – 40 ways to beat boredom]

1. Harness the power of social media

Thanks to social media, reconnecting with old friends is easier than ever before. Not only does this help you find a way to reach out if you no longer have their number, but it can clue you into their current status.

If you are going out every weekend and you see that your old friend has three kids and two dogs and a house in the suburbs, maybe your rekindled friendship won’t be so great.

Social media helps you keep in touch on the surface level. But to truly reconnect you must do more than like a photo here or there.

We would also recommend making your initial contact private. Instead of commenting on your old friend’s photo of brunch, direct message or text them. Let them know their latest post made you want to reach out and see how they are. Use all the resources you have at your disposal. [Read: How to get the friends you want in your life]

2. Keep it casual

Sure, some reconnections require serious conversation, but many can pick up where they left off naturally. Let this person know you are in the area or something made you think of them and ask to hang out.

It does not need to be a big thing. Just hanging out like you used to can reconnect you with an old friend easily. There is not always a need for a heartfelt explanation or apology for the time it has taken you to say something.

Friendships can be seasonal. They can last and pause and start right back up without drama or chaos. [Read: How to get your best friend back after drifting away]

3. Talk things through

On the flip side, some old friendships require an explanation. When you didn’t just lose touch or move apart, but something felt weird, it can be tense to reconnect without breaking through that ice.

One of my closest friends and I didn’t speak for over a year. We never had a fight or anything, but our lives drifted in two different directions. During that time we both wanted to reach out, but we just didn’t. Later on, I texted her to say I missed her. We talked for hours about how different our lives were and how much it sucked not talking every day.

Since then she has moved across the world, and we still talk every day. Sometimes you just need to let out the awkwardness to get past it. [Read: Live by these golden rules to be a better person]

4. Make a plan

As much as texting and social media can help us to reconnect with old friends, sometimes actually seeing one another is necessary. So instead of catching up in mile-long texts, make a plan to meet for coffee or go to your old favorite spot.

Try not to go to a movie or concert where you won’t get a chance to talk. Reconnection with an old friend is more than sitting next to each other for a few hours. [Read: Why a friendship breakup hurts as much as a relationship breakup]

5. Stick to the plan

Make sure not to cancel. We have all run into an old friend, planned to meet up, and for some reason or another it never panned out. Do not let that happen here. If you really want to reconnect with an old friend, keep your plans.

You may be in bed an hour beforehand dreading leaving your house, but once you are face to face, you will be so glad you reconnected and kept those plans. [Read: Why flaky friends are the worst friends to have]

6. Don’t force it

Friendship, just like a relationship, cannot be forced. You may be wondering how to reconnect with old friends, but a few of your old friends may have no interest in reconnecting. Whether there is bad blood or they are just simply busy, let it go if it isn’t working.

If they cancel plans one or two times, let them know you are serious about reconnecting and value your friendship. If they still cannot commit to a friend date, move on to someone else. [Read: How to be a friend – The real art of true and meaningful friendships]

You do not need to reconnect with someone who has no interest in you or your friendship anymore.

7. Make time for them

Hanging out once is not a reconnection. Although that can kick it off and be what breaks the ice of not talking for a while, you need to cherish and nurture that friendship how you once did.

Sure, it was easier to see your friends at work or school, but friendship requires effort from both people, so continue to make plans with each other. That is, of course, unless they decide they’re too busy to meet you again the second time. [Read: 15 signs you have shitty friends and need new ones]

8. It’s good to reminisce

It can be weird to reconnect with old friends. Your lives are different and you are probably different too. So before you share what you have been up to for the last few years, relive your best times.

Talk about prom, inside jokes, even go through old photos. This will remind you both how close you once were and how beneficial having each other in your lives once again will be.

9. Catch up on the important stuff

Once you have laughed and cried at all your good old memories, share the big moments of your life. You probably have a ton to talk about. Your ex? Your big move across the country? There will be so much you will have to make a second friend date to talk more.

Make sure if you are serious about reconnecting with old friends that you tell them the important stuff. Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you into Scientology? This is not a first date, but you are getting to know each other all over again in a way. [Read: 75 fun questions to ask a friend and feel like BFFs in no time]

10. Move forward

Once you have caught up on the latest and greatest of your lives apart, start making new memories together. Whether you are going to go for lunch once a week or take a girls’ weekend to Vegas, maintain that connection you have worked so hard for.

11. Understand that it will probably be different

A lot has happened between you drifting apart *or whatever happened* and your reconnection. So, don’t expect the friendship to be exactly the same as it was before. Maybe it will be, and that’s great, but most of the time it’s a little different. All of this is okay.

You’ve grown and matured as people and that means your connection will probably be based on something else now. Who knows, maybe your friendship will be deeper and more enjoyable this time around. [Read: Why it’s very important to surround yourself with positive people all the time]

12. Don’t base your friendship reconnection on anything negative

If something did happen between you two and that’s the reason you drifted apart, talk about it, and then bury it in the past. Don’t restart your friendship on any negative ground.

The same goes for what you talk about – rather than bonding over a person you mutually don’t like, why not just talk about where your lives have gone? Negativity is never a good foundation.

13. Expect the unexpected

Life has a habit of surprising us. Don’t be shocked if your friend looks nothing like they used to, or that they’ve changed personality-wise completely.

You have no idea what has brought them to that point in their lives. Be authentically yourself and let them do the same. [Read: 18 ways to become more spontaneous in life]

14. Don’t expect a grand reunion

Along with expecting the unexpected in how they look and act, you shouldn’t expect anything from the meet up. It might turn out to be a rekindling of your friendship, or it might turn into nothing. You might feel like it went well but they’re just not feeling it. It’s fine either way. Learning how to reconnect with old friends is a gamble, but it’s one you can say you tried no matter what the outcome. No regrets!

15. Stay humble

Sometimes, when we’re desperate to impress, we can embellish the truth or start bragging without realizing it. Don’t do this. Just be humble.

If you have a fantastic business that you built from the ground up, sure you can talk about it, but don’t push it in their face. Maybe they’ve just lost their job and don’t want to tell you – you pushing your success in their face isn’t going to make them want to see you again, is it? [Read: What’s the key to happiness? 13 truths to unlock a great life]

Unless you reach out and try and rekindle that friendship, you will never know how it might turn out. Someone has to make the first move otherwise you’ll simply remain strangers for the rest of your lives. So, be the bigger person and reach out.

Social media has made it so much easier to do this, and you really have no excuse not to! Then, if it works out and you become close again, great! If you don’t, that doesn’t matter. You tried and you can put that idea in your head to bed.

It’s always better to have tried than to always wonder ‘what if.’

[Read: All-around good questions to ask for deeper connections]

Learning how to reconnect with old friends is never a waste of time. It may seem awkward to make that first move, but really, what have you got to lose? Make the effort, go out and enjoy it.

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Samantha Ann
It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding a wonderful relationship, I have decided to...