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Someone from the past reached out


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#1 Cecropia

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 11:48 PM

I received a surprise email from a high school acquaintance tonight.  He was a close friend of a long term (>5 year) serious boyfriend, but I never really hung out with him apart from the boyfriend.  I try to keep a pretty low "real-me" profile on the internet these days, no facebook etc. but he managed to find an old email of mine that's still active.  I doubt he knows my married name.  Anyway, it was a short "googled this address, feel free to respond or not, I've often wondered what you're up to all these years" type thing.

 

I don't think I will respond.  Things didn't end well between me and the boyfriend.  There was a moment several years ago when I saw him randomly at a church service and approached to say hi, and he sort of slipped away/avoided me, which I guess I understand but it still stung a little.  Sadly, when we had the final-final-FINAL-break-up so many years ago, the ties were not only cut from him, but from his large circle of friends who I had come to know well... it was like the loss of an entire community.  Being an introvert without a large amount of friends, it was hard for me.  I have always felt that the door to that community was closed forever from that day forward.  This boy was loved by them all so much, and they were all intensely loyal to him, and I often saw him as the glue that held people of different walks of life together who might never have been friends otherwise.  I don't doubt that he remains friends with many of them to this day.  So although I wouldn't mind emailing this person back (to be nice? for curiosity's sake?), my gut tells me this is a door best left shut.  How could we write to each other anyway, without the boyfriend coming up in conversation?  I don't want to talk about him behind his back.  Then there's the question of how dh would feel about it.

 

It's funny how such a little unexpected message can bring back the strong memories and emotions... the complicated relationships we all had back then, the sadness and feelings of rejection, and the good times, too.  At the same time, I admit that I'm flattered that a 20-year old acquaintance cared enough to seek me out.  It took guts for him to email out of the blue.


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#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 12:07 AM

:grouphug:



#3 MotherGoose

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:29 AM

Hugs. Maybe he feels some remorse for what happened now.
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#4 kewb

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:57 AM

From my own personal experience, keep the door shut.
When my dh was diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago I ended up contacting an old friend out of some new reaffirmation of life feeling I was having. Turned out she didn't live far from me. We meet for dinner. Halfway through the meal I was reminded why I stopped being friends with her. It was months before I could extricate myself from her life without being an obnoxious person. Leave the door closed.
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#5 Quill

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:11 AM

Agreeing with kewb and also adding that to me it makes a difference that it's a guy and you are married. I was contacted by an old friend, a guy who was not ever my boyfriend, but to whom I was once very close. It did not end well. In retrospect, I believe he had "ideas" in mind all along.

Also, just like kewb, I also once met up with this same guy's sister, because we were close friends, too, but during our meal, something very awkward happened and I also was reminded why we stopped being friends. It honestly just caused a bunch of emotional turmoil, thinking I would rekindle this friendship but then being like, "wow. No."

I have awesome friends now and a stable family life so, doors to the past just need to remain closed.
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#6 Elizabeth86

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:18 AM

Don't resly would be my suggestion.
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#7 Word Nerd

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:47 AM

In my experience most of these reconnections are simply one-time “hey, how are you” moments, not opening a door to hanging out or being close friends again. Go with your gut, though.
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#8 Kinsa

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:49 AM

I'm of the mind that if you've lived the past 20/30/however many years without them in your life, then it's not necessary to be in contact now.
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#9 lynn

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:05 AM

I agree with keeping the door to the past shut. Don't respond.
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#10 MEmama

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:20 AM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.

Since the OP isn't on FB, email was the only path this old friend had to reach out.

I don't know how I feel about it. I feel like I'm at the age where I'm finding myself wondering more about people who were formerly in my life; it seems to be common in ones 40's. It has nothing to do with hidden intentions or old flames or regrets, just a natural part of evaluating a new stage in life, maybe.

I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.
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#11 MercyA

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:21 AM

I think it would be best to let it go and not respond. 


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#12 Ottakee

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:24 AM

Unless DH was a friend of his as well and DH responded I would let it go. My thought was one of him either wanting more than just to.say hi or one of the multi level marketing things where people are told to reach out to any and all they ever knew.
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#13 SusanC

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:38 AM

Don't reply. There is little to no upside, plenty of likelihood of a downside. Do a little daydreaming and then keep your life moving forward.
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#14 Word Nerd

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:46 AM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.

Since the OP isn't on FB, email was the only path this old friend had to reach out.

I don't know how I feel about it. I feel like I'm at the age where I'm finding myself wondering more about people who were formerly in my life; it seems to be common in ones 40's. It has nothing to do with hidden intentions or old flames or regrets, just a natural part of evaluating a new stage in life, maybe.

I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.

 

I admit I don't really get why so many people are responding with that line of thought. It's not really that big of a deal to reconnect with an old friend; people do it all the time without "opening doors to the past," whatever that means.


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#15 Catwoman

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:56 AM

I admit I don't really get why so many people are responding with that line of thought. It's not really that big of a deal to reconnect with an old friend; people do it all the time without "opening doors to the past," whatever that means.


In this case, it sounds like the guy was her high school boyfriend's friend, not her own friend, so it seems a little weird that he went out of his way to contact her now.

Personally, I wouldn't bother to respond, but I don't really think there's an absolute right or wrong answer here. I would, however, wonder why he was contacting her out of the blue after all these years, and suspect he was either selling something or looking for more than friendship.

I guess I just don't see any benefit to responding, but I do see potential downsides.
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#16 Annie G

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:33 AM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.

Since the OP isn't on FB, email was the only path this old friend had to reach out.

I don't know how I feel about it. I feel like I'm at the age where I'm finding myself wondering more about people who were formerly in my life; it seems to be common in ones 40's. It has nothing to do with hidden intentions or old flames or regrets, just a natural part of evaluating a new stage in life, maybe.

I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.

 

Dh and I share a Facebook page (Ok, go ahead and groan...I know it annoys some people) and both of us have reconnected with high school friends through FB.  It turns out that each of us has reconnected with both guy friends and girl friends, and we end up just all being friends. Much like I am with his cousins...we've grown to know each other quite well through Facebook. We live more than 800 miles from any of these people so Facebook works well for us to stay connected.  My class has its own page and it's really great to hear about new grandkids, and it's a nice way to find out about classmates who are seriously ill or have passed away. 

 

We've never had anyone who wanted to reconnect as more than friends, so my experience has been good. If it had gotten weird I would probably have a different feeling about it. 


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#17 Arcadia

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:05 AM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.
...
I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.


Whether Facebook, email, chat apps, it depends on why the person wants to reconnect.

A friend who is currently housebound due to her elderly dad needing care is just bored and not trying to sell anything or do political campaigning. No biggie because she understands if we are busy and just chat with someone else or keep herself occupied.

My ex boyfriends are on Facebook and we chat about tech industry and jobs. Nothing that they won’t chat with other friends.

A few friends are reconnecting for MLM. I just ignore their MLM posts and liked their posts about their kids.

A friend reconnect because she was starting her own company and because she was involved in the 2008 and 2012 presidental campaign. I am apathetic towards politics so I ignore the political propaganda from her and just support her efforts to be an entrepreneur and of course liked her children’s photos. I do know mutual friends who have to block her every state and presidental campaign season because she goes extremely overboard.

Some of my husband’s friends and my friends are reconnecting through the alumni groups on email and Facebook because we are just busybodies wondering how everyone is doing. The ones who are known as “busybodies” all through their school life. They like organizing get togethers but aren’t going to sell you anything or pry into your life. The kind that stick their nose into everything out of curiosity but make themselves scarce when they are not wanted.

So it’s a mixed bag as with everything else.
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#18 hjffkj

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:18 AM

I would reply. I have a very similar break up story to yours except the breakup was pretty mutual but I still lost all of the friends I made during that relationship. Even though I knew many of them prior to dating the guy, they had all known him longer and we're closer with him. So I lost my entire set of friends. It sucked! If one of them were to contact me now, I'd be happy to reconnect, even with the makes because we had good times and really got along well/had a lot in common. All assuming dh was ok with that, which he would be.

I've had people try to reconnect who had bad intentions. I knew the second I saw the message that is why they were contacting me because that was their nature back when I knew them. Dh and I have had great laughs over some men's crappy game.
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#19 Lady Florida.

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:19 AM

It's entirely up to you whether you want to respond but he sounds genuinely curious. Many years have passed and he might even feel bad about his behavior that time. If you do respond just let him know - happily married x years, 4 kids, blah blah. Busy with homeschooling the kids so I don't really have time for email but just thought I'd answer." Don't ask too much about how he's doing if you don't want to get into an email conversation. 

 

Or just ignore. He did say feel free to not respond so if you don't want to then don't. If your gut is still saying no, then follow your instinct.


Edited by Lady Florida., 20 October 2017 - 11:19 AM.

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#20 Word Nerd

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:27 AM

In this case, it sounds like the guy was her high school boyfriend's friend, not her own friend, so it seems a little weird that he went out of his way to contact her now.

Personally, I wouldn't bother to respond, but I don't really think there's an absolute right or wrong answer here. I would, however, wonder why he was contacting her out of the blue after all these years, and suspect he was either selling something or looking for more than friendship.

I guess I just don't see any benefit to responding, but I do see potential downsides.

 

I agree there isn't an absolute right or wrong here and of course it's up to the OP to decide whether to reply or not, but I don't see any reason to suspect he has negative motives just because he contacted her.


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#21 3 ladybugs

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:38 AM

I think you should do whatever you feel is best. If you are a praying type, pray about it and leave it at that. 

 

I am friends with people on facebook that I barely talked to in high school. I found them from friends of friend and we talk fairly often now. They are guys, and we are all married to people we met since high school. We talk politics and it is fun. 

 

I am also friends with the last person I would consider my boyfriend before I met DH. I actually invited him to my wedding (he didn't come). There have been times where he has been useful for DH and I to know. He is not married and doesn't have children but his life experience has helped us know which of 2 roads to go down when parenting. So while that could be a strange situation, it really isn't that bad. He lives far away and I am likely to never see him in person again, but having another like minded friend is rarely a bad thing. I don't talk to him that often other then birthdays and some holidays. 

 

So I see it could go either way. However if you decide to talk to him, tell your DH. Make sure he is fully knowing what is being said and done. That way no hurt feelings, regardless of what happens later on, from the people that matter most! 


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#22 Liz CA

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:40 AM

Agreeing with kewb and also adding that to me it makes a difference that it's a guy and you are married. I was contacted by an old friend, a guy who was not ever my boyfriend, but to whom I was once very close. It did not end well. In retrospect, I believe he had "ideas" in mind all along.

Also, just like kewb, I also once met up with this same guy's sister, because we were close friends, too, but during our meal, something very awkward happened and I also was reminded why we stopped being friends. It honestly just caused a bunch of emotional turmoil, thinking I would rekindle this friendship but then being like, "wow. No."

I have awesome friends now and a stable family life so, doors to the past just need to remain closed.

 

This sums it up very well. If I felt this would be a good friend to have I may respond. But I don't look to make life more complicated and from the OP's post I get the feeling she is conflicted about it. If the initial reaction was: "How cool. I reconnected with Mary and we are having coffee on Tuesday..." I would not see anything wrong.
 


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#23 okbud

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:45 AM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.

Since the OP isn't on FB, email was the only path this old friend had to reach out.

I don't know how I feel about it. I feel like I'm at the age where I'm finding myself wondering more about people who were formerly in my life; it seems to be common in ones 40's. It has nothing to do with hidden intentions or old flames or regrets, just a natural part of evaluating a new stage in life, maybe.

I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.


Not for me. One of my least favorite things about the internet is how irl past-people come crawling out of the woodwork.
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#24 onelittlemonkey

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 12:14 PM

Go with your gut. Don’t respond.
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#25 KungFuPanda

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 12:47 PM

It depends. Are you asking us because you won't discuss it with your DH? If you plan to hide it from him, it's probably a bad idea.
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#26 GailV

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:49 PM

I admit I don't really get why so many people are responding with that line of thought. It's not really that big of a deal to reconnect with an old friend; people do it all the time without "opening doors to the past," whatever that means.

 

Same.

 

I've reconnected with a ton of people via facebook, both male and female. All of them have thought it was fun to say hello, and then we all sort of go about our business of not bothering each other.  Well, except that some of them I'm better friends with NOW than I was then -- some people have done such interesting things in the past few decades! 

 

Just the other night I was flossing my teeth and happened to think of my dental hygienist from 20 years ago, who was also in our Sunday School class.  I went over to the computer, found her on Facebook, told her "hello" for the first time in 20 years, clicked through some pictures of her family, told dh, "Hey, guess who I just found -- Betsy XXX from Old Hometown! Looks like she's doing fine!" then went back to my regularly scheduled life.

 

OTOH,  earlier this summer someone else reached out, and it eventually resulted in me getting a list of high school classmates who have already died. Those of us left alive pondered how we should treasure our days and the people in them.

 

I apparently have a much, much less dramatic life than many of you.  Most people I meet are just trying to go about their lives.  I also say hello to the deli clerk and the UPS driver rather than ascribing some nefarious motives that I need to "shut down" right away.  Crazy, right?


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#27 onelittlemonkey

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:07 PM

“Just the other night I was flossing my teeth and happened to think of my dental hygienist from 20 years ago, who was also in our Sunday School class. I went over to the computer, found her on Facebook, told her "hello" for the first time in 20 years, clicked through some pictures of her family, told dh, "Hey, guess who I just found -- Betsy XXX from Old Hometown! Looks like she's doing fine!" then went back to my regularly scheduled life.”
————
I did this a while back, too. It was a guy I’d been friends with in college and we’d even made a pact that if we weren’t married by age 30, we’d marry each other. I was never interested in him *at all* so I didn’t really mean anything by it. Anyway, he crossed my mind because we were looking for a church at the time and he’d been wanting to be a pastor and for some reason, he popped in my head. I goggled him. Well, he became a youth pastor! And guess what else?? He was in prison for having a sexual relationship with one of the 13 or 14 yo girls from his youth group! Wowsers!! You never know what you’ll find when you google an old friend! 😱😱😱
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#28 Sassenach

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:10 PM

“Just the other night I was flossing my teeth and happened to think of my dental hygienist from 20 years ago, who was also in our Sunday School class. I went over to the computer, found her on Facebook, told her "hello" for the first time in 20 years, clicked through some pictures of her family, told dh, "Hey, guess who I just found -- Betsy XXX from Old Hometown! Looks like she's doing fine!" then went back to my regularly scheduled life.”
————
I did this a while back, too. It was a guy I’d been friends with in college and we’d even made a pact that if we weren’t married by age 30, we’d marry each other. I was never interested in him *at all* so I didn’t really mean anything by it. Anyway, he crossed my mind because we were looking for a church at the time and he’d been wanting to be a pastor and for some reason, he popped in my head. I goggled him. Well, he became a youth pastor! And guess what else?? He was in prison for having a sexual relationship with one of the 13 or 14 yo girls from his youth group! Wowsers!! You never know what you’ll find when you google an old friend! 😱😱😱

YIKES!!


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#29 okbud

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 03:01 PM


"I apparently have a much, much less dramatic life than many of you. Most people I meet are just trying to go about their lives. I also say hello to the deli clerk and the UPS driver rather than ascribing some nefarious motives that I need to "shut down" right away. Crazy, right?"

I can't quote properly, sorry.

Are you under the impression that the long-standing members here whose posts you've surely been reading for years who've said they wouldn't respond in the situation in the OP are impolite, unfriendly curmudgeons who don't say hello at the deli or say "nice to hear from you" when they hear from someone?
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#30 Cecropia

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 04:38 PM

I wasn't really meaning to ask if I should respond... I would reply if there wasn't so much baggage involved! 24 hours later it still feels best to let it go.  I will mention it to dh at a good time but keep it brief; he prefers not to hear about the former relationship.


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#31 footballmom

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:13 PM

Honestly, I would reply but not in a way that would look for or open up any future communication.  I think it is *so hard* in our digital world to open ourselves up to vulnerability by reaching out and then not hear anything back.  You are not responsible for his feelings and it's hard to guess his motivation for contacting you, but I feel like a reply is a decent thing to do.  "Hi John, thanks for reaching out.  I am well and I hope you are happy and settled in life and wish you well.  Take care, Jane" or something generally along those lines.  Just my two cents.


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#32 scholastica

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:54 PM

Same.

I've reconnected with a ton of people via facebook, both male and female. All of them have thought it was fun to say hello, and then we all sort of go about our business of not bothering each other. Well, except that some of them I'm better friends with NOW than I was then -- some people have done such interesting things in the past few decades!

Just the other night I was flossing my teeth and happened to think of my dental hygienist from 20 years ago, who was also in our Sunday School class. I went over to the computer, found her on Facebook, told her "hello" for the first time in 20 years, clicked through some pictures of her family, told dh, "Hey, guess who I just found -- Betsy XXX from Old Hometown! Looks like she's doing fine!" then went back to my regularly scheduled life.

OTOH, earlier this summer someone else reached out, and it eventually resulted in me getting a list of high school classmates who have already died. Those of us left alive pondered how we should treasure our days and the people in them.

I apparently have a much, much less dramatic life than many of you. Most people I meet are just trying to go about their lives. I also say hello to the deli clerk and the UPS driver rather than ascribing some nefarious motives that I need to "shut down" right away. Crazy, right?


I can be perfectly friendly with the UPS driver and the the deli clerk and still not want certain people from my past contacting. I'm sure I'm not the only one who severely limits her/his social media presence for safety reasons. Treasure your "less dramatic" life. Not all of us have the privilege. It doesn't stop us from being friendly and it doesn't make us ascribe nefarious motives to strangers, though. It just makes us a little more careful.
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#33 Quill

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:32 PM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.

Since the OP isn't on FB, email was the only path this old friend had to reach out.

I don't know how I feel about it. I feel like I'm at the age where I'm finding myself wondering more about people who were formerly in my life; it seems to be common in ones 40's. It has nothing to do with hidden intentions or old flames or regrets, just a natural part of evaluating a new stage in life, maybe.

I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.

In my own experience I mentioned, the reconnection happened through FB and I did respond, partially because that is the nature of FB. I have responded to lots of people through FB and we have had breit chats and then our lives go on as before, so no harm there. In my own case, it would have been best if, once the initial, hey hows life treating you convo, I had just faded off the guys radar or with his sister, not met up with her IRL. I can see in retrospect that the guys intentions were probably not just chat up an old friend, but I was sort of blind to it in the moment.

Obviously email makes it easier to just not reply than on FB. I cant say I would not reply at all whatsoever, but if it seems like the guy wants to strike up an old friendship, just get lazy about replying and let it fade. Or tell him it was nice catching up but by now.

P.s. Forgive my screwy non punctuation. I don't know what I did but my tablet is being weird right now.

Edited by Quill, 20 October 2017 - 08:34 PM.


#34 Catwoman

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 10:00 PM

Same.

I've reconnected with a ton of people via facebook, both male and female. All of them have thought it was fun to say hello, and then we all sort of go about our business of not bothering each other. Well, except that some of them I'm better friends with NOW than I was then -- some people have done such interesting things in the past few decades!

Just the other night I was flossing my teeth and happened to think of my dental hygienist from 20 years ago, who was also in our Sunday School class. I went over to the computer, found her on Facebook, told her "hello" for the first time in 20 years, clicked through some pictures of her family, told dh, "Hey, guess who I just found -- Betsy XXX from Old Hometown! Looks like she's doing fine!" then went back to my regularly scheduled life.

OTOH, earlier this summer someone else reached out, and it eventually resulted in me getting a list of high school classmates who have already died. Those of us left alive pondered how we should treasure our days and the people in them.

I apparently have a much, much less dramatic life than many of you. Most people I meet are just trying to go about their lives. I also say hello to the deli clerk and the UPS driver rather than ascribing some nefarious motives that I need to "shut down" right away. Crazy, right?


I don't think it's terrible to reconnect with people if that's what you want to do. I don't do it, but I know people who do, and they seem to enjoy it. In this case, I got the impression that Cecropia wasn't particularly interested in responding to the guy, and that he had only been the friend of her high school boyfriend, so he had never been especially important in her life. It also seemed like reconnecting with the guy might cause a problem between Cecropia and her husband, so there really didn't seem to be any good reason for her to bother responding. She doesn't want to be friends with him and she doesn't want to relive her past history by talking about her old boyfriend, so what would be the point of having a conversation with the guy?
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#35 Grover

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 10:58 PM

I'd probably reply - just something like, hi, how're you?   Your email sure brought back some memories.  I'm married with X kids now, playing with the puppy, working on Y, still like to Z. 

Are you still in touch with any of the old group?

 

You don't have to give any information that could identify your new name, where you are or anything else... and you can stop replying at any time.



#36 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 12:50 AM

Same.

 

I've reconnected with a ton of people via facebook, both male and female. All of them have thought it was fun to say hello, and then we all sort of go about our business of not bothering each other.  Well, except that some of them I'm better friends with NOW than I was then -- some people have done such interesting things in the past few decades! 

 

Just the other night I was flossing my teeth and happened to think of my dental hygienist from 20 years ago, who was also in our Sunday School class.  I went over to the computer, found her on Facebook, told her "hello" for the first time in 20 years, clicked through some pictures of her family, told dh, "Hey, guess who I just found -- Betsy XXX from Old Hometown! Looks like she's doing fine!" then went back to my regularly scheduled life.

 

OTOH,  earlier this summer someone else reached out, and it eventually resulted in me getting a list of high school classmates who have already died. Those of us left alive pondered how we should treasure our days and the people in them.

 

I apparently have a much, much less dramatic life than many of you.  Most people I meet are just trying to go about their lives.  I also say hello to the deli clerk and the UPS driver rather than ascribing some nefarious motives that I need to "shut down" right away.  Crazy, right?

You seem to be misunderstanding the situation.  I think the difference here is that this is not the guy at the deli or the UPS driver or her dental hygienist from 20 years ago or even a close childhood friend.  Not once in her post was she saying that she thought a deli clerk or a UPS driver or anyone else of casual current acquaintance had some nefarious motive and she should shut down any conversation that they might try to initiate.   I'm so confused by your assumptions.

 

To clarify, as I understand it from the original post, this is a close friend of an ex-boyfriend, not a friend of the OP.  The relationship with the ex ended painfully and he and their mutual friends cut her out of their lives completely.  There is still emotional baggage associated with this past relationship.  This person isn't an old friend of the OP, he is an acquaintance of the OP, so no close ties to her.  The close tie was to her ex.  Why is he even seeking her out?  It wasn't on FB where maybe he happened to find her by accident and got curious.  He dug up an old email address from years ago.  Which seems a bit odd but I don't see anything nefarious in his reaching out (although there might be, I don't automatically assume so).  That, to me, is not the issue.  I'm all for reconnecting with old friends and have done so.  Honestly, there are people that I would probably choose NOT to reconnect with, though, because of the potential baggage/painful memories that might be dredged up in the process.  This seems more like one of those scenarios than just a quick, fun catch up moment with someone from her past.  In other words, the potential downsides seem like they might outweigh the possible upsides. And they were never really friends to begin with.  Why reconnect now?


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 21 October 2017 - 12:55 AM.


#37 Cecropia

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:45 AM

I'm not surprised that it would have taken his friend many years to feel comfortable contacting me directly.  It's like one of the boyfriend's brothers emailed me (the brothers were "I'd lie for you, I'd die for you" loyal, very close-knit family). 

 

TBH the relationship ended in large part because, as serious as we were, as much as we were each other's first gf/bf, expected to marry and everyone around us expected us to marry, I never was able to break into his innermost inner circle.  I remember he once told me point blank that I'd always be a lower priority than his immediate family, somewhere near but not surpassing the level of the friends, even as his wife, just matter-of-factly like how could it be any other way?  Ugh,any feelings of romantic love died when it was ending, but he was MY best friend for so many years that the pain and loss faded yet it never went away completely.  What's worse is that he's a really good person and I know he was deeply hurt as well, maybe even now.  Despite not being high priority, he let me see innermost thoughts that he kept closed to everyone else.  I have the guilt of feeling like I strung him along for a while when the writing was on the wall.  I was waiting on him to change, but that's just who he was and how he treated relationships.  Actually, his brothers treated their high school girlfriends (also first ones kept long-term) much the same way and we were all suffering(!) so it is probably how he was raised.

 

You can see how boyfriend's friends (and family) -- even if they secretly wanted to be keep in touch apart from him, may not have out of a sense of fidelity even decades later!  I didn't say this in the OP, but in the email, the acquaintance wrote "I always thought you were a wonderful person."  It's with some bitterness that I view those words, because he may have genuinely felt them (in a platonic sense, hopefully) since he first knew me but never felt free to express them.  It would have been so comforting to hear that back then -- that even if I couldn't be friends with those people, that they cared about me as an individual and not merely an extension of the boyfriend.

 

I think it would have made a difference if in his email, this acquaintance had added something like, "I lost all contact with (boyfriend and boyfriend's entourage) some time ago."  I mean, look at everything I just wrote!  Almost 20 years later with no contact, and I'm still conflicted about what to do because of a sense of loyalty!!!  I'll probably carry it until the day I die!


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#38 Catwoman

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:17 PM

I'm not surprised that it would have taken his friend many years to feel comfortable contacting me directly. It's like one of the boyfriend's brothers emailed me (the brothers were "I'd lie for you, I'd die for you" loyal, very close-knit family).

TBH the relationship ended in large part because, as serious as we were, as much as we were each other's first gf/bf, expected to marry and everyone around us expected us to marry, I never was able to break into his innermost inner circle. I remember he once told me point blank that I'd always be a lower priority than his immediate family, somewhere near but not surpassing the level of the friends, even as his wife, just matter-of-factly like how could it be any other way? Ugh,any feelings of romantic love died when it was ending, but he was MY best friend for so many years that the pain and loss faded yet it never went away completely. What's worse is that he's a really good person and I know he was deeply hurt as well, maybe even now. Despite not being high priority, he let me see innermost thoughts that he kept closed to everyone else. I have the guilt of feeling like I strung him along for a while when the writing was on the wall. I was waiting on him to change, but that's just who he was and how he treated relationships. Actually, his brothers treated their high school girlfriends (also first ones kept long-term) much the same way and we were all suffering(!) so it is probably how he was raised.

You can see how boyfriend's friends (and family) -- even if they secretly wanted to be keep in touch apart from him, may not have out of a sense of fidelity even decades later! I didn't say this in the OP, but in the email, the acquaintance wrote "I always thought you were a wonderful person." It's with some bitterness that I view those words, because he may have genuinely felt them (in a platonic sense, hopefully) since he first knew me but never felt free to express them. It would have been so comforting to hear that back then -- that even if I couldn't be friends with those people, that they cared about me as an individual and not merely an extension of the boyfriend.

I think it would have made a difference if in his email, this acquaintance had added something like, "I lost all contact with (boyfriend and boyfriend's entourage) some time ago." I mean, look at everything I just wrote! Almost 20 years later with no contact, and I'm still conflicted about what to do because of a sense of loyalty!!! I'll probably carry it until the day I die!


But WHY would he contact you directly after all these years? Why would he even think of you at all?

First of all, based on what you've told us about him in this thread, your ex-boyfriend does not sound like he was a really good person. He and his brothers sound like world class jerks. I just wanted you to hear that from an impartial third party. You dodged a bullet when you broke up with that guy!

Secondly, people can disagree with me on this if they'd like, but if this friend-of-the-boyfriend's email included a line like, "I always thought you were a wonderful person," it sounds like he may be looking for love or a hook-up with you. Otherwise, why would he bother to contact you? It makes absolutely no sense.

I think the best thing you can do is let this go. Even after all these years, it seems like you're still too emotionally involved in what happened way back when, and I can't imagine that re-hashing it with the ex-boyfriend's buddy could possibly be a good thing for you, even if his intentions are purely friendly and innocent (which I kind of doubt they are.)

Edited by Catwoman, 21 October 2017 - 08:19 PM.

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#39 Catwoman

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:31 PM

One other thing -- do you have any way of knowing if the ex-boyfriend's friend is unhappily married or recently divorced?

He may very well be emailing every woman he has ever met in the hope of hooking up with as many of them as possible.

He's probably telling them all what wonderful people they were. ;)

I don't mean to sound insulting -- I'm sure you really are a wonderful person -- but I can't help but be suspicious of this guy's motives, and I have actually known a few guys who did the "emailing women they knew from high school and college" thing when they were trying to get dates (or quickies.) This guy may be different, but please at least keep in the back of your mind that his intention may be something other to check up on a casual acquaintance from high school.

#40 Scarlett

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:34 PM

Honest question for people who think she shouldn't respond...would it make a difference if he'd reached out on FB? Posters say all the time how great FB is for keeping relationships and reconnecting with old friends...I know several people who have rediscovered each other on FB after decades and have formed terrific adult friendships.

Since the OP isn't on FB, email was the only path this old friend had to reach out.

I don't know how I feel about it. I feel like I'm at the age where I'm finding myself wondering more about people who were formerly in my life; it seems to be common in ones 40's. It has nothing to do with hidden intentions or old flames or regrets, just a natural part of evaluating a new stage in life, maybe.

I don't mean to derail--I'm just honestly curious whether the method of communication would make any difference in this situation.


Do you mean public Facebook or private Facebook?

A public hi how have you been is much different than a private hi how how have you been,

#41 Cecropia

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:01 PM

One other thing -- do you have any way of knowing if the ex-boyfriend's friend is unhappily married or recently divorced?

He may very well be emailing every woman he has ever met in the hope of hooking up with as many of them as possible.

He's probably telling them all what wonderful people they were. ;)

I don't mean to sound insulting -- I'm sure you really are a wonderful person -- but I can't help but be suspicious of this guy's motives, and I have actually known a few guys who did the "emailing women they knew from high school and college" thing when they were trying to get dates (or quickies.) This guy may be different, but please at least keep in the back of your mind that his intention may be something other to check up on a casual acquaintance from high school.

 

Sure, it's possible.  No idea about this guy's marital status or anything else.  He wasn't a manipulator/player when I knew him.

 

I prefer to think he's being genuine and I'm super wonderful:hurray: 


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#42 Catwoman

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:51 PM

Sure, it's possible. No idea about this guy's marital status or anything else. He wasn't a manipulator/player when I knew him.

I prefer to think he's being genuine and I'm super wonderful! :hurray:


Well, he was only a high school boy when you knew him. People can change a lot in the 20 years after high school.

But even assuming he's being genuine, wouldn't that still point to a guy who may very well be looking for romance? I can't think of any other reason why a casual acquaintance from high school would contact you and immediately tell you how wonderful you are.

I'm sorry to seem so cynical. The whole thing just strikes me as a little odd.
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