Learning how to reconnect with old friends is not as easy as 1-2-3. I am sorry to tell you that there is not a checklist for you to follow. But, it is possible. With determination and an actual desire to befriend someone from your past, it can happen.
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.
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: How 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 and liked by everyone]
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.
How to reconnect with old friends
Yes, this will be in list format 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.
#1 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.
I 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 some 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. My best friend and I were hours apart in college, so we sort of lost touch. But once she moved back to the area she reached out, we went shopping, and everything is the same as it always was. [Read: How to get your best friend back after drifting away]
#3 Talk about it. On the flip side, some old friendships require an explanation. When you both 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 into 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.
#5 Stick to the plan. Make sure not to cancel. We have all ran 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.
#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.
You do not need to reconnect with someone who has no interest.
#7 Make time. 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. [Read: 15 signs you have shitty friends and need new ones]
#8 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. 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’ weekends to Vegas, maintain that connection you have worked so hard for.
[Read: All-around good questions to ask for deeper connections]
This is the whole reason you learned how to reconnect with old friends. 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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