When An Old Friend Contacts You

Letting Someone From the Past Back Into Your Life

Woman waiting for phone call
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Facebook has made it very easy for our old friends and acquaintances to look us up, but before you accept a friend request or reconnect, here are a few things to consider.

Where Are You in Your Life Now?

Not every friendship is meant to last in your life forever, but that isn't a bad thing. Each friend we meet along the way teaches us something. We continually change and some of our friends change and grow with us, while others don't. Maybe we expanded our emotions and the friendship couldn't keep up. Maybe a friend's life changed so dramatically that the friendship didn't fit in their world any longer.

Whatever the reason, we can appreciate the friendship for what it was without regret. And while we might wish to be reunited with a friend, there may be a point in our lives going forward where that just can't happen. We change, we're different people, and the friendship wouldn't be the same because we're not the same.

When an old friend contacts you, consider where you are in your life now. Every friendship brings joy and lessons about growth with it, so give some thought to the good and the bad that might happen if you reconnect with an old pal.

How Are They Contacting You?

A friend that wants to connect on Facebook is an easier one to agree to than one that sends you a note and wants a real relationship. If a friend wants to just have dinner and catch up, you might want to think twice to figure out where this person is going to fit into your life now. One dinner is one thing, but does the friend want to continue hanging out more often? These are things you should think about.

How Long Has It Been?

It makes a difference how many years or months it's been since the friend contacted you. A really bad argument might take a year or two before both parties are able to work things out. But five years? Ten? The longer things are left unresolved, the more difficult it will be to reconnect down the road. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you're done with the relationship, and even a letter from your friend at that point won't change your mind.

The length of time also makes a difference because so much of your life changes the longer you're apart from your friend. You may even look at your friendships differently than you did in the past. Perhaps you're more open or more selective, depending on your history. Letting in a new friend won't be as easy if it's been many years since you've spoken.

What Happened to End the Friendship?

How the friendship ended often makes a big difference in whether or not you want the relationship to start up again. Did you have a falling out? Did you just drift apart?

A friendship that grew apart is often easier to put back together than one that broke. If it ended badly, there are still pieces that need to be healed before you can connect again on a genuine level.

While it might be nice to declare that things are "starting fresh" from this point on, the reality is that memories from the past will crop up with an old friend, so you should address them and put them to rest before you consider letting them back into your life.