General Question

stevenb's avatar

Should you try to reconnect with past friends at the risk of ruining the good memories you had of them?

Asked by stevenb (3836points) August 21st, 2008

I have had some great friends in life. I have lost contact with most through moving to other towns, etc. I would like to re-connect with some of them, but I am curious if it would just ruin the memory of the past friendship. In the Navy when I was younger I had some amazing friends, but I wonder if it was just the shared experiences we were involved in. If I contacted them now to renew friendship, would the difference in circumstances now result in pain and the ruination of the good memories I had? Should I leave the relationships in the past and just keep the positive images of my past friends as they are? We come from very different backgrounds and lifestyles, so I think I may have put more into the memory of our friendships than they did. If I were to call them now, some 18 years later, would they be like, “Who the hell are you? Get a life and leave me alone!” Is it worth destoying the positive images of happy times we had to say hello to people who live across the country and have not tried to contact me? I am hoping Gail is reading to give me her wise words. Thanks everyone!

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Argh. You give me too much credit. Tomorrow.. now the litter box awaits.

trumi's avatar

I think it is always worth the chance.

stevenb's avatar

Ahhh, i feel your pain Gail. Here comes PnL though to save me! (Pretty nice Lady indeed)

stevenb's avatar

That’s the way I lean too trumi, but my sweet wife says leave them alone. Let the past be the past.

trumi's avatar

I don’t know, I like knowing that they turned out okay. And if they are major tools, at least I know. That’s the whole “Gimme the fucking Red Pill!” ideology I guess.

Btw, is your nose feeling a little brown?

jlm11f's avatar

Chances are some of those friends you are thinking of contacting, are also thinking of you and wondering whether you will remember them etc etc. It could never hurt to call and catch up. Couple of those friends will be glad to hear from you and be very eager to catch up. Others might not care as much. Regardless of their reaction, it should not impact or affect your memories from “back then”. People change all the time and it’s been 18 years as you said. You can still fondly remember your friends from that time but also acknowledge that they aren’t the same anymore or just not in the same place. So to summarize, yes, try finding them and catching up, it can’t hurt you but it can always help enhance your life.

stevenb's avatar

MY nose? Heck no! I like Gail and her answers. She is always honest and open in her answers, and she has always seemed like a smart person to me. Though we have never met, I respect her immensely. I just plain like PnL and made that name up the first time I saw her username. I haven’t been on in a while, and honestly missed them. I don’t think being complimentary and flattering is brown-nosing. That and I am a huge softy and WAY to sentimental.

stevenb's avatar

Part of the issue I have is that I know that they were very different people from myself, as far as personality and beliefs. If I knew them outside of the military, I dont know if they would have hung in the same circles as I do. They were of the “cool clique” and I just lucked out falling into it and working my way through the ranks with them. I know for a fact that many of them didn’t like me at all at first, but grew to like me as the years went by. They were almost as a whole, NOT sentimental like I am, or raised like me. The couple I have contacted were friendly enough, but did seem suprised that I had reached out. I have also been trying to find a couple that were like brothers to me, ever since I got out, with no luck. Somedays sentimentality is a bugger.

marinelife's avatar

This has happened to me frequently, because I was a military brat, and we moved every few years when I was growing up.

Part of it is a mater of setting your expectations. What you had with your friends in the past can never be taken away.

Will every single friendship you attempt to rekindle become as it was? No, but with some people, it will be as if you were just with them yesterday. You will have a great time reminiscing, and you may even choose to stay in touch.

With others, you will see that your lives have moved in different directions, but you will still enjoy speaking to them or seeing them one more time.

You have nothing to lose and may well have something to gain. Go for it. You will feel better even just telling them how special they were to you during the time you had with them.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I use myspace, friendster, facebook to find and see what old friends, colleagues, classmates, etc. are up to.

cak's avatar

I use facebook and I’ve reconnected with some people from my past. Most of them, we’ve emailed daily, since we’ve reconnected, a few – it was a “nice to hear from you” and that was about it – that’s ok! Sometimes you really can reconnect, but other times, you find that you are just very different people, now.

It’s fun to see what they are doing and it seems to start openning a lot of doors for reconnections. I contacted 3 people, the next day I had 7 people leaving me messages. It’s been great to hear what they are doing. Some just seemed to stay in the past, that wasn’t for me. One said they are so not into kids and can’t stand hearing about them…so all of her friends from the past, that have kids now, she just said she’s not interested in reconnecting. OK, we don’t have enough in common to continue, anyway.

Try it! Take it all in stride though, you might be met with a little of both.

kristianbrodie's avatar

I think it’s definitely worth it – like cak, I’ve hooked up with friends of mine from school through facebook, some of whom I hadn’t seen for fifteen years. Sure, some of them have turned in to not very nice people, but it was a real pleasure to see them after so long. When you have a shared history with someone, it’s remarkable at how strong that connection remains even allowing for a very long gap of time.
I say go for it – what do you have to lose?

cwilbur's avatar

If you reconnect, go in with the expectation they’ve changed, and they’re not the people you knew back then. This is the truth—if you do reconnect, you’ll find that they’ve all changed, but you might still be compatible. Don’t expect things to be the way they were when you left.

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