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wundayatta's avatar

Do you try to recover communication with someone where your relationship ended badly?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) December 21st, 2010

My first love ended badly for me. I was terribly upset and terribly angry with her for at least a couple of years. After two years, she came by once or twice, and if I had any control over myself, I would not have seen her.

Those days went by, and she disappeared for decades. Now she appears on my Facebook suggested friends, and I have not yet asked her to friend me. I don’t know if she gets the same suggestions, but she hasn’t asked me, either.

Another friend and I had been very close. We’d met on the train in the days before the internet, and had corresponded very intensively via snail mail. I was living with someone then, but the relationship was heading for it’s end. My correspondence with my train friend got very intimate. We talked about seeing each other all the time. Finally, we arranged to meet, and I went out there, and we had an intense three day affair, and then I went home, and I never heard another word from her again, even after I broke up with my girlfriend, she never responded to my letters.

I don’t know if I should try to reconnect in the first example. Yet I’m curious as to what happened. I think it would be interesting to be friends on some level.

I don’t know what happened in the second example. I think that up until I met my wife, I still wanted to reconnect with the second person because she filled my imagination.

I could tell another few stories like this—where relationships end abruptly with nothing. There are also relationships where the end did not mean the end, which is much nicer.

Have you had this kind of thing happen to you? What happened? Did you ever want to reestablish contact? Why? Did you connect again? Was it satisfying? Did it end some kind of wondering you had? Or was it not really worth it? If you didn’t connect, why not?

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14 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

speaking from experience, i think you need to be very clear with your motives. If you think you will possibly re-kindle a relationship, it probably won’t happen. And it’s best to realize that there was a reason you broke up long ago.

that being said, I have re-connected with a number of old lovers on Facebook, it’s nice to see how they are doing many many years later.

filmfann's avatar

I have been married for 26 years, and have no interest in rekindling old romances, but the few I have had that ended badly still gnaw at me. I did care about these women, and I would feel better knowing they had good lives.

wundayatta's avatar

@filmfann That is a good point. It’s not just why did they treat you that way, but also whether they are ok. I do wonder if everything is all right for these women. I wish I knew.

sahuleka546's avatar

Reconnect, at least to know if they’re ok or not.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve had relationships with relatives and friends end badly. In all cases I have made numerous attempts to reconnect within months (even years) of the relationship failing.

Not once have any of my efforts resulted in the relationship restarting. There’s been some minor communications, maybe one or two face-to-face meetings or a little let’s-play-catchup via Facebook – but they all eventually drop away again.

Often I’m the only one still trying to communicate (which feels foolish). The point of it “ending badly”, I suppose, is that it ends. It doesn’t go on hiatus or sabbatical – it ends.

And, most times, you just can’t go home again.

misstrikcy's avatar

In terms of ex’s, I dont feel the need to reconnect with any of them.
It’s been so long I’m not remotely interested in them, what they doing, or if they are ok. They’re grown ups, so I’m quite sure they have plenty of other people to worry if they are ok or not. It’s not my business anymore and I’m not that curious about them.
I know that might sound a bit hard to you all, but I’ve moved on. I dont wish any ill-will to them, not at all, but the fact is they’re not in my life anymore.
Sometimes too much time goes by…

BarnacleBill's avatar

@wundayatta, in each of those circumstances, the outcome of those relationships was dictated at the time. If you’re curious as to how they’re doing, either send them a message via FB and ask, or ask mutual friends.

Ex-lovers aren’t friends. To use two cliches that work well together in this case: Let sleeping dogs lie; curiosity kills the cat. You will either hear painful things you don’t want to hear, or jeopardize your relationship with wife.

Don’t friend them. If they wanted to hear from you, they could just as easily friend you.

tedd's avatar

I’ve had a few relationships end badly. I’ve tried to reestablish contact with all of them I think….. with mixed success and failure.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes, I’m the type that will alwasy try to reconnect – life’s short, people change and I never believe an end is really an end.

Kardamom's avatar

Going backwards is usually not helpful at all. You may have certain expectations that can never be fulfilled. People change over time and so they will not even be the same person and the one you (thought) you knew back then. Just keep moving forward and appreciate your wife even more. You dodged a few bullets and got really lucky in the end.

That does suck when people just leave without giving any reason. Don’t waste your time speculating on what the reasons were. Could have been a thousand different things.

I’ve had un-comfortable, awkward moments accidentally running into certain people years after a relationship has gone sour. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, try to keep the best of any relationship because it’s a small world and years go by quick. Someone’s got to have done something pretty awful to/towards me in order for me not to want to have them in my life in some sort of capacity.

Winters's avatar

Currently I’m trying to recover some relationships that I cut off almost completely for reasons I never explained to those I cut myself off from. I was going through a very tough time and the last thing I needed was to hear that someone else I knew had something tragic happen to them or something else that would add on to the issues I was already going through. Also I thought that if I did maintain communication with them, I’d end up saying something extremely hurtful and felt that at the moment the best thing I could do was cut them off. Now, I’m trying to reestablish communications with them, and I’ve only made it through to one so far, probably lost my best friend and a crush for good, but I’ll never know till I try.

Crossroadsgrl's avatar

Examine your heart carefully first. What exactly is your motive? To see how they are? To understand yourself better currently? To get an ego boost? One at least sounded total sex. “Filled your imagination?” Not sure if that’s healthy for a married guy?
Make your individual decisions in Love to all involved.
Share with your wife if/ when possible although we all have places in ourselves that need to remain our

Crossroadsgrl's avatar

…..we all have things that should be kept our own.
I appreciate all your thoughtfulness and self awareness just am a bit concerned about your current wife. Or maybe it has nothing to do with her and you’re just examining yourself….
Some people just disappear and you can accept that as part of life…they were temporary. If you treated them badly it’s always nice to go back in Love and have closure I guess. You want peace to dictate your decisions. What you do should bring you peace.
What are your motives ?

On another note you brought up an interesting FB issue I’ve wondered about:
If I go to someones Wall not on my list do I appear automatically as a “suggestion” then ? Oh I hope not.

Good luck I appreciate your concern for people.

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