1. People & Relationships

How to Revive an Old Friendship

Finding an Old Friend

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With social networking and the Internet, it is easier than ever to locate a former friend. You might be tempted to revive an old friendship, but before you do, here are some things to keep in mind.

How Did the Relationship End?
If you and your friend just sort of drifted apart, you may be able to pick up right where you left off. After all, people move, have children, and go in different directions in their life. Sometimes this means that perhaps your friendship wasn't a priority back then, but now that things have changed it will be different.

However, if you had a falling out with your friend, those negative emotions may still exist. Look at the friendship realistically, and if you decide you'd still like to move forward you have to do one of three things:

  • Forgive, if the blame fell on your friend.
  • Apologize, if you were at fault.
  • Tell your friend you'd like to start again, and work through your argument in order to put it behind you.

Ways to Contact and Old Friend
Social networking and the Internet have made finding old friends extremely easy. However, you might want to see if any of your current friends still keep in touch with your old pal. This may help bridge the gap so you two can connect again. If you decide to search online, the most common places people connect are:

  • Facebook
  • Linked In
  • Classmates.com

You can also try doing an Internet search for your friend's name, and any variation (Jack, John, Jackie, Mr. Andrews, etc.) This will likely bring up other websites where your friend is mentioned. You may need to put the names in quotes to narrow down your results.

Before paying a site finding service, however, check to make sure it is reputable. Many sites will charge you money and supply you with the same information (last known email or home address, phone number) you can get just by doing a little Internet sleuthing yourself.

Manage Expectations
It's important to keep your expectations in check when contacting an old friend. After all, you might have thought about the idea of finding them for a while, but your friend will probably be taken off guard by your call or email. Give them time to process the idea of starting up your friendship again, and be patient as your "new" relationship develops.

Don't expect the friendship to be exactly as it once was, but rather an updated version. Often friends that reconnect have a stronger bond than they did before, because they have gained maturity and place a higher degree of value on their friendship.

However, your friend might decide that they aren't ready to be friends again. They may know this right away when you contact them, or realize it later as you two try and get reacquainted. Don't be too upset if this is the case, because your friend may have moved on in a different way from the relationship than you did. Wish them the best and don't obsess about the past. Instead, accept the lessons that your old friendship taught you, and move on to find new friends more suited to where your life is right now.

Want more ideas on friends? Sign up for my free ecourse, 101 Ways to Have More Friends.

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