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|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 15 March 2010 00:00|
Dear Miss Smartypants,
Every once and a while, I'll scroll through the numbers on my phone and see the name of someone I used to talk to, or type in an address in Facebook or email and have something other than what I intended pop up, and I'll wonder, whatever happened to X? I'm not talking about tracking down some old high school friends or Facebook stalking people from way back when. These are people that up until a few months ago or within the last year I used to see and spend time with, and now I just don't. Is there a time limit on how long we can go without communication before it's just too weird to try contacting someone again? What's the best way to go about reconnecting when it is appropriate?
I Can't Decide If This Was Any Easier in School
Dear Of Course It Was, You Could Pass a Note during Study Hall,
For what seemed like a long time, I was very close friends with someone. Now he lives on a different continent. He sucks at maintaining long distance relationships, so that's pretty much it for us as friends. We send each other emails every now and again, little comments on what's going on or what we're doing, but nothing substantive or approaching what we used to share. That said, if he were to ring my doorbell right now, I'd be thrilled to see him. There are those kinds of friendships: the peculiarities of time and distance may keep you apart, but the bond remains the same.
Your problem, however, is that you've just lost touch with people. First question: did you lose touch with them, they with you, or was the feeling mutual? Make sure these aren't people you accidentally (accidentally on purpose?) ignored by not returning a phone call, email, message, etc. If you did, your first order of business will, of course, be to apologize. Not profusely, but make sure it's clear that you know you dropped the ball. If they dropped the ball on you, you should probably take a minute to decide if you think they did that on purpose or accidentally. If these people are (were?) indeed your friends, you should be able to tell the difference. Now that you've narrowed the list down, you can, depending on the time lag between communications, call, compose an email, or send a card (gasp! stamps!). Let's make this the three month (call), six month (email), and nine month plus (card) rule. Do not blather on about yourself. Do not take this opportunity to simply send an update about yourself. Tell the person that you used to talk more and you've missed that. Ask what's going on with him/her. This might work, and it might not. Give a try.
And try to remember that sometimes people just drift apart when friendships have run their course. It's natural.
Check Yes or No,