There is probably at least one childhood friend or college buddy you would like to catch up with. A friendship or relationship that you have allowed to lapse pr fall by the wayside. Whatever the reasons may be that caused you to lose track of each other; there are ways to get back in touch. A happy reunion could enrich both of your lives.
On connecting with old friends
1. You’re not alone. Take comfort in knowing that you have lots of company. These days most people use social media to keep in touch with family and current friends as well as connecting with old ones. According to a study by “Pew Internet and American Life Project,” over half of all computer users have used the internet in general, and Twitter or Linked In specifically, to track down someone from their past.
2. Become familiar with the trends. This same study shows that young people are more likely than adults who are over 50 to use social media to reconnect. However, plenty of older people and seniors are beginning to take advantage of the potential here too. An odd trend that they noted was that parents are also more likely to look for lost friends than people without children.
3. Know your “why.” Clarify your intentions. Perhaps your first love does belong back in your life. Just be clear on whether you’re looking for a romance or a friendship. Also it is important to be respectful of everyone’s current situation, relationships and obligations.
4. Remember the reason you went your separate ways. Reflect on the reasons you parted. People drift apart due to coincidences or break up over serious conflicts. If you feel like you’ve been injured, you may find closure within yourself rather than contacting the other person. On the other hand, it can be very healing to make amends, when doing so will not cause any additional pain.
5. Respect privacy rights. These days, collecting a lot of information is simple. Some would say too simple. If you’re doing that kind of research, keep in mind whether you would appreciate being exposed to that level of scrutiny.
6. Remain open minded. Manage your expectations. Modest expectations can help protect your peace of mind. You may be able to pick up where you left off or you may discover that your lives now head in very different directions.
Practical steps to reconnecting and renewing
1. Visit specialized internet sites. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to sign up for special services like classmates.com or reunion.com that have millions of members. This is especially true if you have a reunion coming up. Alternatively, you can save money by contacting your school’s Alumni Association directly.
2. Check search engines. You can gather a lot of data quickly with search engines like Goggle and Yahoo. Define people with common names; try adding in more details like their profession, home city or schools they attended.
3. Going beyond the basics. A real relationship goes beyond Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Use social networking as a starting point for a follow up note or a phone call if you want to bond again.
4. Facilitate the conversation. The first chat may feel awkward. Then again, you may be able to pick up where you left off at your last conversation. If you’re worried about getting stuck have talking points ready with updates on your life and open ended questions that may help your friend feel more comfortable.
5. Stay in touch. Now that you’ve worked hard to track each other down, hold on to the rewards. Plan ahead so you can occasionally mesh your busy schedules. Use your business or vacation travel to make opportunities to meet.
6. Be prepared. Reunions can be very emotionally charged. Give yourself something else to look forward to in case you wind up feeling disappointed for any reason. Talk your experience over with a supportive friend or loved one to help you learn from the experience and move on.
The internet has made it fairly easily to find out whatever came of almost anybody. If you are missing someone who used to be an important part of your life, take the initiative to see if they’re feeling nostalgic too.
Have you ever ”hunted down” a long-lost friend?