What You Need to Know Before Reconnecting With Old Friends

Are you considering reaching out to a former friend? Maybe you stumbled across their social media and feel a pang of sadness for your old connection. Perhaps a certain song or memory triggered a happy thought associated with them.

Even though we may feel incredibly close to certain people, life can get in the way. Career changes, relocation, and having a family all impact friendships. In addition, research shows that many people start losing touch with old friends after age 25.

But reconnecting with old friends can be incredibly rewarding. It’s also often more straightforward than people realize. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

What Are the Benefits of Reconnecting With Old Friends?

There is no doubt that having quality friendships is paramount for our emotional and physical well-being. A good friend provides kindness, support, and validation. Likewise, spending time with them feels rejuvenating and positive.

Reconnecting with an old friend, in some ways, can be easier than forming new friendships. You already know their personality and past life experiences. Therefore, you have an idea of who they are and what to expect from your time together.

At the same time, reconnecting often evokes a powerful, positive feeling of nostalgia. If they were a friend from high school, you might feel like you’re back in those limitless teenage years. Or, if you two were former coworkers, you can enjoy laughing at some of those silly administrative rules.

Nostalgia can increase your self-esteem, mood, and sense of connectivity to others. It gives life has purpose and meaning. Moreover, experiencing nostalgia with someone else can help you feel more understood. You two went through something together, and there can be a feeling of trust and gratitude that emerges from that.

What Are the First Steps for Reconnecting?

If you and a former friend have lost touch and you now want to reach out, it’s time to take action. Here are some simple steps to take.

Send a Meaningful Message

In our increasingly virtual world, communicating with others has never been easier. Use social media or texting to your advantage by sending a quick, heartfelt message to your old friend.

You can send something as simple as, “You’ve been on my mind recently. I hope you’re doing well.” Or, you can reference a shared experience, memory, or association. For example, you might say, “We just got back from Vegas, and it made me think about that vacation we took together back in college. It feels so long ago! How have you been?”

Create Concrete Plans

Texting back-and-forth can rekindle connection, but it pales in comparison to the benefit of actual in-person interaction. That said, we’re all busy, and saying, “we should have lunch sometime!” often comes across as vague and non-committal.

Instead, aim to be direct. If you both agree on getting together, pin down a time and date. You will need to take the initiative, but doing so allows your friend to respond with a specific yes or no.

Acknowledge the Awkwardness

Reconnecting can feel uncomfortable, and it’s normal to feel nervous before seeing each other again. It can be helpful to admit to these awkward feelings. There’s a good chance that your friend feels similarly!

Remember that it’s okay if the conversation doesn’t flow perfectly at first. You both need to feel out the situation and learn each other’s social cues. It can take time to feel more comfortable with one another.


If you had a good time, don’t let it sit in isolation!

After seeing each other, make sure to send a quick text letting your friend know how much you appreciate reconnecting. Consider pinning down another date to have lunch or coffee.

What if the Friendship Ended on Bad Terms?

Is it worth reconnecting with someone when things ended on a poor note? It’s a nuanced question, but it is possible to form a healthy, new relationship. Here is what you need to know.

Consider Your Motives

What are you hoping to achieve by reconnecting? Are you looking to make an apology? Do you want them to acknowledge hurting you?

Keep in mind there isn’t a wrong motive. However, it can be unrealistic to expect someone to forgive you if you made a terrible mistake. Likewise, even if they apologize for something, you may still feel frustrated or resentful.

Be Upfront

If you do meet up, avoid being vague about talking about the past. Pretending it didn’t happen only perpetuates old problems. Instead, focus on addressing what happened immediately.

It’s important to acknowledge your part and take ownership of your wrongdoings. Be honest and sincere with any apologies you make. Making excuses or becoming defensive won’t improve the situation.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

You both may feel hesitant about moving forward with your new friendship. Trust can take time, and that’s typical. Try to embrace things moving slowly, and remember that healing is a process.

Final Thoughts

Reconnecting with old friends can unlock a deep sense of connection and satisfaction. With modern technology, communication has never been easier (or faster!).

If you’re on the fence about rekindling a former friendship, therapy can help. We can explore your fears, desires, and motives for your relationships. Together, we will make a reasonable plan for reconnecting. Contact me today to learn more!

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759

(512) 988-3363

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