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Chazz’s Perspective On Rekindling Relationships

todayJanuary 19, 2023 22 4

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Although the relationships in our life may seem constant, our social circles are always evolving. Losing old and building new friendships is just another part of life and for the most part, we are okay with it. But what if you find yourself missing an old friend? 

 

Our memories are colored by our emotions and nostalgic memories are rarely accurate. Our tendency to over-romanticize the past means that we may remember old relationships being better or worse than they actually were. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek to reconnect with people who were close to you – rekindling an old friendship may be very rewarding, it just means that reconnecting may be harder than you think… 

 

While people seek to form and maintain different types of relationships, including familial, professional and romantic, friends are a very important part of our social lives. Think about your own social circle. It’s likely that your family, friends and romantic partner play different roles and provide different types of support. 

 

Despite their importance, friendships can fall apart. Sometimes they end with angry words. Sometimes they end with hurt feelings. More often than not, though, they simply disintegrate over time because you just don’t see each other often enough anymore. 

 

Growing up, my best friend was my next-door neighbor. At first, our friendship was solely based on the fact that we lived next door to each other. Later, we adopted similar hobbies and interests. But as we finished primary school and our free time grew scarce, we drifted apart. Then, I moved away to South Africa & we lost touch completely. Chances are that you have a similar story of your own. 

 

You get used to not spending time with your best friend(s) as you grow older and your life is increasingly filled with other responsibilities. You’re busy with work and/or starting a family. Your once-a-week hang out with friends turns into a once-a-month deal, before turning into a once-in-a-blue-moon deal. Your social network may dwindle down to one or two friends. And that’s okay. It’s not the quantity of friendships that matters. It’s the quality that matters most. 

However, sometimes we burn our bridges, instead of letting them slowly disintegrate over time. Like all other relationships, friendships are not immune to conflicts. 

chazz and her university dance crew
Chazz and her university dance crew

                                                                                                                                       

When you should avoid trying to rekindle a friendship 

Did I just make you reminisce about lost friends? You may be itching to get in touch with them again. Messaging them on social media is a great idea, but before you do, you should think about two questions and consider if trying to reignite the spark is a good idea. 

Firstly, think about why you aren’t friends anymore. Did the friendship disintegrate on its own or was it a conflict that pushed you apart? 

In case of conflict, did your (ex)friend tell you something along the lines of “I never, ever want to talk to you again”? If the answer is yes, then you should respect your friend’s wishes. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and consider how you would feel if someone you never wanted to see again tried to be a part of your life. 

Secondly, think about your own motivation behind reconnecting. Why do you want to be their friend again? If you just want to relive the good times or see what your friend is up to these days, then go ahead. Maybe you want to find closure in a conflict. That’s okay, too. 

You should refrain from reconnecting, however, if it can hurt you or your former friend. Sometimes we may want “revenge” on someone by showing them how well we are doing now. Wanting to do this doesn’t make you a bad person, but gloating about your success is not nice. 

And lastly, reconnecting should be done at your own pace. Don’t be influenced by your family’s well-meaning wonderings that usually sound like this: “You two used to be such good friends, what happened?” Don’t let yourself be dragged along to the high school reunion when you don’t want to go. Only reconnect with someone when you feel it’s the right time. 

 

I’m not here to tell you how to think. This life is YOURS, Your experiences are YOURS. So make your decisions and live it without apologies. You dig? You dig. 

Written by: Charlene Mubita

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