It happens all the time. You focus a bit more on your career, or you move out of town, maybe you have a family and for whatever reason you and your friends hang out a little less. Then the monthly meet-ups become annual trips, then you miss one, then another. Next thing you know, you haven’t seen your friends in years. It’s okay, it happens! But now you’re retired, and with all your well-earned free time you find yourself wondering how your old friends are doing — you miss them. Well, we are here for you! Keep reading to learn three ways to reconnect with your long-lost friends.
Use The Internet To Find Them
First things first, are you still in contact with your old friend? Do you have their address, phone number, email, or social media? If so, great! If not, the internet is a fantastic tool that can help you find them in a matter of minutes.
The easiest starting point is to type your friend’s name into a search engine like Google or Bing. This is a broad search, but you might get lucky. No luck? Don’t be disheartened. Try to think of specific — but not too specific — details associated with your friend, like the city they live in (or lived in) or maybe their profession. Perhaps even schools they’ve attended, nicknames they use, sports or hobbies they enjoy. Don’t be afraid to search the next page. In fact, it’s probably good to view at least a few pages. Be sure to check pictures to confirm if you can.
Another way to find old friends using the internet is to use social media. Over 40% of people over 65 use social media these days, so this is a good way to look for people. You can do this by searching directly through social media search bars, or use a search engine by typing in your friends name and a particular social media site you’d like to search for them in. For example, you could type in “your friend’s name” and “Facebook” (or “Instagram” or “Twitter,” etc.). These will help you find people with your friend’s name on those sites. Again, filter your search with some details and confirm with photos. Once you find them, you can send them a “friend request.”
If that doesn’t work, you may also want to check the pages of mutual friends or acquaintances to see if you can find them on their list of friends. If you're patient and creative in your searches, you could be catching up with an old friend in no time!
Organize A Reunion
Let’s say you’re still in contact with your old friends. Maybe you’re all friends on Facebook. Or maybe you send them each a card every holiday season, but you don’t really talk or see each other anymore. A great way to catch up and reignite long lost friendships is to organize a reunion with them, or maybe invite them to a birthday party or some other celebration.
There are a couple great things about this approach. First, it helps you avoid any awkwardness of having a one-on-one meeting with someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in ages. At a party, there’s less pressure on any one person to talk to another, and it can be easier to mingle. However, if you do better with small crowds or groups, they also tend to naturally form at parties, so this can accommodate different personality types. Second, a birthday or even a reunion can offer a good reason to gather if you feel the need for one, which can also help cut down on any awkwardness.
There’s a good chance you’re not the only one who is curious about old friends or looking to get back in touch. It’s often the case that most people aren't sure how to instigate a reunion or gathering. You could be the one to get the ball rolling. It doesn’t have to be complicated, maybe just a casual dinner party, but if you want to have a themed party, that could be fun, too!
Call Me (Or Text)
Often, the best solution to a problem is the simplest one. If you already have your friend's number or contact, it could be as uncomplicated as giving them a call or sending them a quick text message.
There’s no need to come up with an elaborate backstory or pretense for calling them. It’s usually best to be concise and direct. Tell them you were thinking about them, tell them that you miss them, and that you’d love to get together and catch up if they’re up for it or have the time.
Email works as well, but an email can more easily get lost in the shuffle of spam and other emails. Life moves pretty fast, and it’s so easy to lose touch with old friends, but it’s also one of our biggest regrets. Many of us find ourselves thinking about them, especially when we have a chance to slow things down.
Thankfully, there are a lot of easy ways to reconnect with long lost friends. Whether you’re using modern technology or simply making a phone call, don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s a good chance they’re waiting for you to make contact; they just don’t know it yet.