Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: veronaz on December 24, 2013, 10:33:05 PM

Title: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: veronaz on December 24, 2013, 10:33:05 PM
A relative was telling me that she’s going to be in our mutual hometown during the holidays (staying with her mother for a few days) and she said she’s thinking about “surprising” her high school bf (who she hasn’t seen in over 30 yrs).

I asked what she meant by “surprise” (call? Invite for coffee?)

She said “I was thinking of stopping by.  Just to say “hello” and talk about old times, have some laughs   Take him some cookies or something.  I heard his dad died a few months ago.”

I spent several minutes trying to convince her it was not a good idea, for many reasons. (Ummm, you just don’t show up at an old bf’s door after all those years.) She thinks it’s a cute idea.  ::)  She tends to be kind of flighty and impulsive.

If any of my old bfs did that to me I would be mortified. - and very annoyed.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: VorFemme on December 24, 2013, 10:54:51 PM
Bad idea unless you really want to give the guy the idea that you are trying to rekindle that old flame.  It might still be a bad idea even if you want to rekindle that old flame - he might be a priest, have a significant other, or otherwise not be at a point in his life where he is even interested in old flames that are only memories to him now.  And they may not be warm memories, depending on how things fell out between them way back then.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: m2kbug on December 25, 2013, 12:16:52 AM
Does she know anything about this old boyfriend?  Are they on Facebook?  Is there any contact or information with mutual friends?  Or is she just trying to bombard the guy with high hopes to spark an old romance?  Is he receptive?  Does she know he's receptive?  Is he married or in a rel@tionship?  Is she planning on doing this completely blind without knowing anything?

I think if there is no other way to contact this person, ringing the bell is not the worst thing in the world.  How else can you establish contact?  There are many who have yet to be in the modern era, so old school contact may be the only way.  I would encourage her to contact him by another means first.  If she can't make use of Facebook, we know she has the guy's address, so send a card.  If she is going to show up on this guy's porch willy-nilly, I think it's a fine gesture to bring a gift, and she should be prepared to not stay long, and leave her personal contact information, and do all this in a way that does not suggest romance unless she knows for a fact he is equally interested; otherwise, it's creepy and stalky. 

Thirty years is a long time.  This could land your relative in an era that porch calls were once very acceptable and normal, where today this might come across as creepy, even for the "old folks," so showing up unannounced may not be the best idea. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 25, 2013, 12:22:29 AM
I think it depends on the highschool relationship. I'm about the same age. I have some HS boyfriends I'd be thrilled if they stopped by. I have others that I'd much rather not see. After 30 years I definetly wouldn't think they were trying to rekindle a romance by just stopping by with cookies and condolences.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: veronaz on December 25, 2013, 07:28:25 PM
When a single person (especially a female) looks up/drops by to see an old flame there is almost always the presumption that the wants to rekindle the flame.  Even if that’s not the case.

Years ago I saw my brother’s best high school friend at a funeral.  We chatted for a few minutes afterwards.  (We never dated.)  Since we had both moved to the same city, I thought it would be nice to get together …..I knew he was married.  He said “Sure!  Maybe some weekend you and whoever you’re dating can come over”.  :-\  At the time I wasn’t dating anyone, but because of his comment I never followed up. 

As far as the relative I referenced, I don't know yet what she decided.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Bluenomi on December 25, 2013, 07:56:21 PM
I think randomly dropping by someone's house uninvited is rude no matter who they are.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: cross_patch on December 25, 2013, 07:59:52 PM
When a single person (especially a female) looks up/drops by to see an old flame there is almost always the presumption that the wants to rekindle the flame.  Even if that’s not the case.

Years ago I saw my brother’s best high school friend at a funeral.  We chatted for a few minutes afterwards.  (We never dated.)  Since we had both moved to the same city, I thought it would be nice to get together …..I knew he was married.  He said “Sure!  Maybe some weekend you and whoever you’re dating can come over”.  :-\  At the time I wasn’t dating anyone, but because of his comment I never followed up. 

As far as the relative I referenced, I don't know yet what she decided.

What? Why? I don't understand, wasn't he just saying that if you had a partner they could come too? I don't understand how this would prompt you not to follow up.

I have to say I also vehemently disagree with the first part of your post, I really don't think that's the case. I've met up with old bf's before and no one thought I wanted to rekindle, even though I was single!
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: CaffeineKatie on December 25, 2013, 08:05:48 PM
I'm sorry, I don't care who it is--DON'T just show up at someone's house.  That's just flat out rude, in my book. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: veronaz on December 25, 2013, 08:15:54 PM
When a single person (especially a female) looks up/drops by to see an old flame there is almost always the presumption that the wants to rekindle the flame.  Even if that’s not the case.

Years ago I saw my brother’s best high school friend at a funeral.  We chatted for a few minutes afterwards.  (We never dated.)  Since we had both moved to the same city, I thought it would be nice to get together …..I knew he was married.  He said “Sure!  Maybe some weekend you and whoever you’re dating can come over”.  :-\  At the time I wasn’t dating anyone, but because of his comment I never followed up. 

As far as the relative I referenced, I don't know yet what she decided.

What? Why? I don't understand, wasn't he just saying that if you had a partner they could come too? I don't understand how this would prompt you not to follow up.

I have to say I also vehemently disagree with the first part of your post, I really don't think that's the case. I've met up with old bf's before and no one thought I wanted to rekindle, even though I was single!

I didn’t follow up because he made it clear I was not to come alone.  Otherwise, he would have said “Sure!  Sounds like fun!  And IF you want to bring a date, that’s cool.”

Vehemently?
I said “almost” always.  Okay, so you have never run into that (although you can't be sure whether anyone thought that or not or what was said).  There might be some others who haven’t.  But many/most have.  I stand by what I said.

I'm sorry, I don't care who it is--DON'T just show up at someone's house.  That's just flat out rude, in my book.

I agree.  It's really bad form and rude.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: metallicafan on December 25, 2013, 09:11:00 PM
This past year, I went to lunch with my high school boyfriend and another friend who went to high school with us.  My DH did not mind, and neither did their wives.  It was nice to catch up and reminisce about when we were 18 and silly, and all that.  It was like our own high school reunion in a way.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Peppergirl on December 25, 2013, 10:06:03 PM
I don't think it would be bad if they had had some prior contact in recent years and set a time to meet, but I think just showing up (surprising him) is bad form, and a terrible idea.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: veronaz on December 25, 2013, 10:08:12 PM
This past year, I went to lunch with my high school boyfriend and another friend who went to high school with us.  My DH did not mind, and neither did their wives.  It was nice to catch up and reminisce about when we were 18 and silly, and all that.  It was like our own high school reunion in a way.

Yes, such visits can be a lot of fun.  But (from your description) that's quite different from showing up at their door.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 25, 2013, 10:53:46 PM
A relative was telling me that she’s going to be in our mutual hometown during the holidays (staying with her mother for a few days) and she said she’s thinking about “surprising” her high school bf (who she hasn’t seen in over 30 yrs).

I asked what she meant by “surprise” (call? Invite for coffee?)

She said “I was thinking of stopping by.  Just to say “hello” and talk about old times, have some laughs   Take him some cookies or something.  I heard his dad died a few months ago.”

I spent several minutes trying to convince her it was not a good idea, for many reasons. (Ummm, you just don’t show up at an old bf’s door after all those years.) She thinks it’s a cute idea.  ::)  She tends to be kind of flighty and impulsive.

If any of my old bfs did that to me I would be mortified. - and very annoyed.

If such a person showed up at my house, s/he would learn pretty quickly about the Second Amendment.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 25, 2013, 11:08:16 PM
I'm still friends with my first love from back in high school (28 years now), we were invited to each other's weddings (his 18 years ago, mine back in January), and I couldn't imagine either of us just showing up at each other's houses unannounced.  I couldn't imagine what is going through your relative's head that she thinks this is a good idea.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Luci on December 25, 2013, 11:31:15 PM
Duh. No.

Call first.

We have driven by my x's home many times on the southern coast. No phone number--cell, even though Lucas offered to stop - 1000 miles away from our place, no contact for 48 years - he and his wife don't need that!
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: baglady on December 26, 2013, 12:04:17 AM
Second Amendment? Really? I hope you're joking.

I think that as a general rule, it's rude to show up at someone's house without calling (or emailing, or texting, or something) first. But there are exceptions. It all depends on the people, the relationship, the circumstances, the expectations, and occasionally the culture of the area or the social group. Some people are OK with unannounced visitors, some aren't. And the visitor has to be prepared to *not* be welcomed in with open arms.

I don't get any vibe from the OP that her relative wants to rekindle her relationship with her old boyfriend. She's in the neighborhood, she'd like to see him again, maybe see how he looks now and how he's doing, and offer condolences on his dad's passing. She mentioned "having a few laughs" about the old days, but she has to be prepared for the distinct possibility that may not happen. He may be busy, or ill. He might accept the condolences and the cookies and explain that he's not up for a visit, or he might invite her in to have coffee/meet the wife (if he has one).

Story 1: Years ago I had a guy I'd briefly dated show up at my door unannounced. He'd been the one to break it off, so this wasn't some guy who'd been pining for me or stalking me. His showing up was a very pleasant surprise, and we did rekindle the relationship, although it didn't last (his decision again).

Story 2: A family I've been friends with for going on 20 years moved into my neighborhood a few years ago. This year they moved in downstairs from me. We have a running joke between us that while their door is always open to me, I will not drop by unannounced -- unless UPS has left a delivery for them at my door -- because "I'm not Kramer."
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: cicero on December 26, 2013, 02:14:57 AM
This past year, I went to lunch with my high school boyfriend and another friend who went to high school with us.  My DH did not mind, and neither did their wives.  It was nice to catch up and reminisce about when we were 18 and silly, and all that.  It was like our own high school reunion in a way.
I think herein lies the difference - getting together with old school friend/s in a friendly lunch? sounds great. Popping up unannounced on an old flame's doorstep? not so much. the "rekindling" possibilities are not the issue, nor are her [hopefully sincere] desires to console him; it's the "popping up unannounced" that i would have a problem with.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: cass2591 on December 26, 2013, 02:31:11 AM
A relative was telling me that she’s going to be in our mutual hometown during the holidays (staying with her mother for a few days) and she said she’s thinking about “surprising” her high school bf (who she hasn’t seen in over 30 yrs).

I asked what she meant by “surprise” (call? Invite for coffee?)

She said “I was thinking of stopping by.  Just to say “hello” and talk about old times, have some laughs   Take him some cookies or something.  I heard his dad died a few months ago.”

I spent several minutes trying to convince her it was not a good idea, for many reasons. (Ummm, you just don’t show up at an old bf’s door after all those years.) She thinks it’s a cute idea.  ::)  She tends to be kind of flighty and impulsive.

If any of my old bfs did that to me I would be mortified. - and very annoyed.

If such a person showed up at my house, s/he would learn pretty quickly about the Second Amendment.

I know your reply should be deleted but it is so outrageous I will let it stand because I find it appalling on all sorts of levels. I don't think you were joking. Any non joke about violence is unacceptable on this forum.

Also, even bringing up the 2nd Amendment opens the door to a very controversial and political topic and you should well know it.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: ChinaShepherdess on December 26, 2013, 03:10:37 AM
getting together with old school friend/s in a friendly lunch? sounds great. Popping up unannounced on an old flame's doorstep? not so much. the "rekindling" possibilities are not the issue, nor are her [hopefully sincere] desires to console him; it's the "popping up unannounced" that i would have a problem with.

I could not agree more! Heck, I'm displeased when current friends drop by my house without giving me warning. Very close friends can get away with a five-minutes-prior heads-up text message; medium-close friends can give me any sort of notification, provided I receive, acknowledge, and accept it. But I think anyone who isn't a solid friend (and I think an ex I hadn't spoken to in thirty years would fall into outsider social range) can't just tell me they're coming by -- it would only be appropriate for them to either invite me out somewhere, or mention they'll be in town and let me decide whether I'd like to invite them to my home.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on December 26, 2013, 09:21:22 AM
It might be fun.  However, it may well be that even if he invites her in and serves her coffee, after about 15 minutes, a deadly silence falls between them, and she finds herself wondering how to best get out of there.

I would never do it.  I always figure that if a friendship drifted apart, it did so for a reason.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: mich3554 on December 26, 2013, 10:01:15 AM
As the g/f of a man whose old g/f did this this past year, do all you can to dissuade her.  This is 30+ years ago.

Recently, my b/f's old g/f looked him up on linked in and it has been a horribly uncomfortable situation.  Yes, I have met her.  My b/f has really tried to block her, but she is persistent and it doesn't help that she lost her last remaining parent and has latched onto my b/f's mom.  As she lives in the same city, she had done her damnedest to try to rekindle that relationship too.

Under normal circumstances, I probably would like being friends with this woman.  But she insists on reliving her old life (despite the fact that she has a husband and a daughter) with my b/f in memories.  Her husband is uncomfortable, I'm uncomfortable, my b/f is uncomfortable and she just is not getting the message.  No one wants to hurt her and my b/f said that she bulldozed her way like this 30 years ago, so she's not changed much.

She was the one who broke off the relationship.  She regrets it now and has told him as much.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on December 26, 2013, 10:20:01 AM
I don't even show up unannounced at good friend's/family's houses... much less the house of someone I haven't seen in 3 decades. Thoughtless is thoughtless, period.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: nuit93 on December 26, 2013, 10:36:43 AM
Heck, I won't even show up at my mom's house unannounced these days (she's a newlywed, I don't want to walk in on what they might be doing...).
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: menley on December 26, 2013, 10:53:27 AM
I don't even show up unannounced at good friend's/family's houses... much less the house of someone I haven't seen in 3 decades. Thoughtless is thoughtless, period.

That's where I fall on this as well. I would never show up unannounced at anyone's home, especially if I hadn't seen or spoken to them in years.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: veronaz on December 26, 2013, 12:17:18 PM
About 10 yrs ago I ran into a guy I had a crazy crush on when I was in high school.  He was a carry-out boy (remember those?) at a store where I had a job as cashier.  Anyway, we crossed paths and it was sad…..he had aged terribly, hadn’t done much with his life, and later I found out he had been in serious trouble (prison).

Sometimes it’s better to just remember people as they were when you knew/last saw them, and preserve those precious memories. :-\

I agree that just showing up at anyone's door is not cool. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on December 26, 2013, 01:13:26 PM
If this were just an old female friend of her's from high school, I would feel the exact same way. And that is, you don't show up unannounced.

However, if she wanted to call him up and say "Hey George, it's Jane from high school! Look, I'm in town and I'd love to get to see you, catch up a little, are you free?", I'd find that totally acceptable.

Dropping by his house unannounced with cookies well...it's not that it looks bad but whose to say George has time to chat over cookies? Maybe he's adopted a nudist lifestyle in the past 30 years. Best to call first, make sure everyone is wearing clothes.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: m2kbug on December 26, 2013, 01:24:31 PM
What would be the best approach if there's no other way to contact this person?  Would it still be considered rude if there was no other way other than showing up at the house?  Of course if it were me, I would not plan on staying and hopefully make sure they knew I was not expecting it, and have my number written down so they can call me at a better time.  Even if they did invite me in, I would feel like I was forcing hospitality out of them, so would the best thing be to say, "thank you but I can't stay, I just wanted to leave you my information?"  Would that compensate for any rudeness for dropping by? 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: lowspark on December 26, 2013, 01:29:56 PM
What would be the best approach if there's no other way to contact this person?  Would it still be considered rude if there was no other way other than showing up at the house?  Of course if it were me, I would not plan on staying and hopefully make sure they knew I was not expecting it, and have my number written down so they can call me at a better time.  Even if they did invite me in, I would feel like I was forcing hospitality out of them, so would the best thing be to say, "thank you but I can't stay, I just wanted to leave you my information?"  Would that compensate for any rudeness for dropping by?

If you have the address to be able to go to it, then of course there is another way to contact them. Good old fashioned snail mail.

I'm with everyone else who says it's a very bad idea to just show up unannounced at anyone's house, much less in this situation.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: cwm on December 26, 2013, 01:37:10 PM
The only way I would be happy to see an ex show up unannounced would be if it was to return the things of mine they still had and leave. That's it.

Then again, I'm not in contact with any of my exes, somehow I always ended up being dumped on bad terms. I don't want to see any of them again because of how badly I'd been hurt by them.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: nolechica on December 26, 2013, 01:56:03 PM
Aside from all the etiquette reasons, what if old flame doesn't recognize her because of a new hairdo or not aging well?  30 years is a long time.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 27, 2013, 09:23:56 PM
A relative was telling me that she’s going to be in our mutual hometown during the holidays (staying with her mother for a few days) and she said she’s thinking about “surprising” her high school bf (who she hasn’t seen in over 30 yrs).

I asked what she meant by “surprise” (call? Invite for coffee?)

She said “I was thinking of stopping by.  Just to say “hello” and talk about old times, have some laughs   Take him some cookies or something.  I heard his dad died a few months ago.”

I spent several minutes trying to convince her it was not a good idea, for many reasons. (Ummm, you just don’t show up at an old bf’s door after all those years.) She thinks it’s a cute idea.  ::)  She tends to be kind of flighty and impulsive.

If any of my old bfs did that to me I would be mortified. - and very annoyed.

If such a person showed up at my house, s/he would learn pretty quickly about the Second Amendment.

I know your reply should be deleted but it is so outrageous I will let it stand because I find it appalling on all sorts of levels. I don't think you were joking. Any non joke about violence is unacceptable on this forum.

Also, even bringing up the 2nd Amendment opens the door to a very controversial and political topic and you should well know it.

I apologize. My only defense is that I was thinking of my violent and all-around evil ex-husband, and I should have said so.

No. I take that back. I should not have made that post at all.

Again, I apologize.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: poundcake on December 28, 2013, 05:53:18 AM
It sounds like your relative has been reading too many romance novels or watching too many rom-coms. It sounds like a cute and quirky set-up for a fictional plot, there is no way this would be acceptable in the real world. Intrusive and creepy, not cute.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Julsie on December 28, 2013, 04:53:31 PM
What would be the best approach if there's no other way to contact this person?  Would it still be considered rude if there was no other way other than showing up at the house?

Yes, I believe that it's still rude because there isn't "no other way" to contact an old friend.  You drop him a note in the mail with your contact information.  You look up his phone number at whitepages.com.  If that doesn't work then it's too bad, so sad.

I would be mortified if an old flame showed up unexpectedly without giving me a chance to make sure I look as good as possible.   8)

My husband would be uncomfortable because we know a couple where the old flame re-entered the wife's life.  It was as innocent as could be at first.  Until it wasn't.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: rose red on December 28, 2013, 05:11:29 PM
Even if I want to see this person, I would be livid if they show up without warning.  My house is messy (not dirty, but it's a mess) and I walk around in my pajamas.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: veronaz on December 28, 2013, 05:19:28 PM
Also, sometimes a person does not want to see an old flame again - for "laughs" or anything else.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: TeamBhakta on December 28, 2013, 05:53:07 PM
I'm trying to imagine the reverse version, where the exboyfriend shows up at the exgirlfriend's house 30 years later unannounced. I'm pretty sure people would tell a guy "Dude, that's a bit creepy. You've obviously been nursing a crush for 30 years. You need to get out more and leave that lady alone."
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: veronaz on December 28, 2013, 06:08:31 PM
I'm trying to imagine the reverse version, where the exboyfriend shows up at the exgirlfriend's house 30 years later unannounced. I'm pretty sure people would tell a guy "Dude, that's a bit creepy. You've obviously been nursing a crush for 30 years. You need to get out more and leave that lady alone."

Yeah, but I don’t think it necessarily means the person has been nursing a crush for all that time.  I would tend to think they were in-between relationships or in a relationship that had lost it’s sizzle.

I’m as nostalgic as the next person, but there are limits.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Winterlight on December 28, 2013, 06:42:04 PM
What would be the best approach if there's no other way to contact this person?  Would it still be considered rude if there was no other way other than showing up at the house?  Of course if it were me, I would not plan on staying and hopefully make sure they knew I was not expecting it, and have my number written down so they can call me at a better time.  Even if they did invite me in, I would feel like I was forcing hospitality out of them, so would the best thing be to say, "thank you but I can't stay, I just wanted to leave you my information?"  Would that compensate for any rudeness for dropping by?

If you have the address to be able to go to it, then of course there is another way to contact them. Good old fashioned snail mail.

I'm with everyone else who says it's a very bad idea to just show up unannounced at anyone's house, much less in this situation.

Good point. If you want to be in touch, a letter is much safer than fetching up on someone's doorstep.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 28, 2013, 06:59:41 PM
I'm trying to imagine the reverse version, where the exboyfriend shows up at the exgirlfriend's house 30 years later unannounced. I'm pretty sure people would tell a guy "Dude, that's a bit creepy. You've obviously been nursing a crush for 30 years. You need to get out more and leave that lady alone."

Again, I think it depends on the relationship.

My HS relationships weren't too serious or drama filled. I did have an old one show up at my office once and I was thrilled to see him and we had a wonderful time comparing life to date up dates. I had no illusions about him being looking to rekindle an old flame. He was someone I had known since I was 6 and dated for a year or so when I was 16.

I put my HS relationships in the same category as I do most other HS friendships. Some were toxic and I'd have no interest in seeing them again. Most are happy memories.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: Peppergirl on December 29, 2013, 12:36:11 AM
I happened to run in to my high-school BF in a mall fairly recently.  He asked me to meet him for coffee to catch up. 

I agreed, and we had a nice time catching up until he informed me that he never really got over me and made it blatantly obvious he wished to start an affair.  ::) ::)

Really? 25 years later?  Oh, that's sensible and classy.  And I'm sure your wife would be thrilled to know this.  Jerk. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: blarg314 on December 29, 2013, 07:37:15 PM

In this case, I'd send a snail mail or email saying that they were really sorry to hear about the death of their old flame's father, and hoped they were doing okay. If the OF wants to, they can continue the contact.

Showing up unannounced at the front door of someone you dated 30 years ago, and have not been in contact with, is intrusive and kind of creepy, Hollywood plots notwithstanding. Give a phone call or email first, to see if they are interested.

I managed to totally spontaneously run into an ex-boyfriend last summer, at a ferry terminal which was 5000 km from the city we dated in, 10000 km from his home country, and 10000 km in the other direction from where I live now.  Turns out he's living about 50 km from where I grew up. We said hi, I introduced him to my husband, but we didn't keep in touch.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE
Post by: veronaz on December 29, 2013, 08:05:36 PM
OP here with an update

Well, relative called me earlier.  She wasn’t able to find a phone #.  Heard from someone that old bf is divorced but has a gf.

So day after Christmas she went to his house anyway, with a loaf of homemade banana nut bread.  No answer, no car in driveway.  She had prepared a note and left it with the banana bread inside the screened porch

“Hi xxxxx,
Been a long time.  Sorry to hear about your dad.  I was in town for Christmas staying with my mom on xxxxx st.  I’ll be here until Saturday.  Give me a call when you have a chance.   Merry Chtistmas!”
xxxxx
(cell #)

She hasn’t heard anything.

Either he’s out of town, not interested, or gf found the note/bread and dumped them.  :-\

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 29, 2013, 08:14:12 PM
OP here with an update

Well, relative called me earlier.  She wasn’t able to find a phone #.  Heard from someone that old bf is divorced but has a gf.

So day after Christmas she went to his house anyway, with a loaf of homemade banana nut bread.  No answer, no car in driveway.  She had prepared a note and left it with the banana bread inside the screened porch

“Hi xxxxx,
Been a long time.  Sorry to hear about your dad.  I was in town for Christmas staying with my mom on xxxxx st.  I’ll be here until Saturday.  Give me a call when you have a chance.   Merry Chtistmas!”
xxxxx
(cell #)

She hasn’t heard anything.

Either he’s out of town, not interested, or gf found the note/bread and dumped them.  :-\

The question is, though, will she take zero contact from him as a sign to leave him alone?

I know my DH wouldn't think anything bad/weird about it if an old GF suddenly left something on our doorstep (he thinks well about just about anyone and would just say something like, "That was really nice of OldGF").  I would be highly suspicious and wonder why OldGF was contacting him (don't get me wrong as neither he nor I have problems with the other being/staying friends with old BFs/GFs -- like I said in my earlier post, my first love was invited to our wedding, as was one of DH's old GFs, now a friend of mine also, plus another friend of DH who was a romantic interest of his before me, although nothing ever transpired).  It's the ones who would come out of nowhere that would make me wonder, "Why now?  What are you up to?"
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: veronaz on December 29, 2013, 08:40:23 PM
Quote
The question is, though, will she take zero contact from him as a sign to leave him alone?

I have no idea, but hope so.  Only time will tell. 

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: m2kbug on December 29, 2013, 09:37:46 PM
I think the note and gift seem fine, but it seems it was a bit vague.  I'm assuming he'll know who this person is, "been a long time" and "I'm in town"??  I fully agree that showing up on someone's porch is rude in most circumstances, and Relative's approach probably wasn't the best idea, but it seems reasonable, in my mind, to leave a note and not expect anything.  The same as leaving a voicemail or sending a letter or email or friend request or whatever - put the ball in their court. 

I hope your relative understands that she may not receive a reply.  I also hope she has an opportunity to reconnect with old friends as well.

Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Peppergirl on December 30, 2013, 05:10:19 AM
Decent note, but I agree with M2K about the 'call me back, I'm in town' part. That part possibly should have been left out IMO.

Also, I'm not a jealous type either and if I was a GF or wife I wouldn't have really minded, but many SO's would have, I'd imagine.

Keep us posted if you hear anything else, veronaz.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 01, 2014, 03:47:24 AM
Decent note, but I agree with M2K about the 'call me back, I'm in town' part. That part possibly should have been left out IMO.

Also, I'm not a jealous type either and if I was a GF or wife I wouldn't have really minded, but many SO's would have, I'd imagine.

Keep us posted if you hear anything else, veronaz.

Yeah, I would have written something like "If you're not busy and feel like catching up, give me a call. Otherwise, take care and best wishes". That way, there's no pressure on him to catch up if he doesn't want to. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Bijou on January 01, 2014, 05:04:04 AM
Maybe it depends on the relationship they had outside of being bf/gf.  If they were good friends before and after it may be OK as far as he is concerned, but I wouldn't want to create friction in someone's relationship and there is no way to know how his new gf would take it.  It really is kind of pointless, to me, when it could make waves.  If I were your friend, when I heard he was seeing someone I would have dropped it. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: perpetua on January 01, 2014, 08:19:31 AM
I've been on both sides of the old flame equation.

I split up with a long term partner about ten years ago and we remained very good friends afterwards. There was never any thought of getting back together on either side and the friendship turned into a more brother/sister type relationship, which was great. We didn't live in the same town, so we saw each other a few times a year like any old friends might and caught up on the phone occasionally. Then a few months ago he got himself a new serious girlfriend and decided we couldn't be friends any more and after twenty years of knowing the guy, he cut me straight off and I haven't heard from him since.

On the other hand, a guy who I had a very short relationship with about 8 years ago recently found me on FB. It was nice to catch up with him and lovely to exchange a few emails but then he started getting creepy and telling me he was still in love with me (dude, it was only three months to begin with!) and just wouldn't let it lie, so I had to cut him off because he made me so uncomfortable.

So I guess it depends on the people involved; there certainly isn't always the expectation or hope of getting back together, but that doesn't necessarily mean that just showing up would be a good idea. Guy 1, I'd have been happy to have show up at my door at any point. Guy 2, I would have been bolting the door and hiding behind the sofa :)
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Peppergirl on January 01, 2014, 08:35:39 AM


On the other hand, a guy who I had a very short relationship with about 8 years ago recently found me on FB. It was nice to catch up with him and lovely to exchange a few emails but then he started getting creepy and telling me he was still in love with me (dude, it was only three months to begin with!) and just wouldn't let it lie, so I had to cut him off because he made me so uncomfortable.



I can totally relate to this.  Same thing happened to me.  It was so disturbing and awkward.  I had to cut him off too. :(

Shame about your ex/friend cutting you off.  Some new partners can't seem to accept that some exes truly can be friends after evolving from a dead relationship.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: cicero on January 01, 2014, 09:13:24 AM


On the other hand, a guy who I had a very short relationship with about 8 years ago recently found me on FB. It was nice to catch up with him and lovely to exchange a few emails but then he started getting creepy and telling me he was still in love with me (dude, it was only three months to begin with!) and just wouldn't let it lie, so I had to cut him off because he made me so uncomfortable.

So I guess it depends on the people involved; there certainly isn't always the expectation or hope of getting back together, but that doesn't necessarily mean that just showing up would be a good idea. Guy 1, I'd have been happy to have show up at my door at any point. Guy 2, I would have been bolting the door and hiding behind the sofa :)
your story just reminded me of something - when i married to idiot ex, he kept going on and on about "the one that got away" (TOTGA), and how he really loved her but broke up with her because of his mom (long, long story). and he felt bad about he left things blah blah. and i thought that it might help give him closure if he would talk to her - after all, it's a million years later, we're all adults, he married (and divorced) someone else after they broke up, etc. (it wasn't entirely out of the blue; TOTGA was a friend of sorts of his cousin). so he called her and at first *we* (as a couple) were friendly with her, but then at some point she became weird, jealous of me, acting as if she and he had a "separate" relationship. at that point i told him it was becoming very inappropriate and he needed to break things off with her.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Peppergirl on January 01, 2014, 09:19:55 AM



your story just reminded me of something - when i married to idiot ex, he kept going on and on about "the one that got away" (TOTGA), and how he really loved her but broke up with her because of his mom (long, long story). and he felt bad about he left things blah blah. and i thought that it might help give him closure if he would talk to her - after all, it's a million years later, we're all adults, he married (and divorced) someone else after they broke up, etc. (it wasn't entirely out of the blue; TOTGA was a friend of sorts of his cousin). so he called her and at first *we* (as a couple) were friendly with her, but then at some point she became weird, jealous of me, acting as if she and he had a "separate" relationship. at that point i told him it was becoming very inappropriate and he needed to break things off with her.
[/quote]

Ugh - it floors me when grown adults behave like this.  If you don't mind my asking, did this end up being a factor in your splitting with him?
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: cicero on January 01, 2014, 09:33:07 AM



your story just reminded me of something - when i married to idiot ex, he kept going on and on about "the one that got away" (TOTGA), and how he really loved her but broke up with her because of his mom (long, long story). and he felt bad about he left things blah blah. and i thought that it might help give him closure if he would talk to her - after all, it's a million years later, we're all adults, he married (and divorced) someone else after they broke up, etc. (it wasn't entirely out of the blue; TOTGA was a friend of sorts of his cousin). so he called her and at first *we* (as a couple) were friendly with her, but then at some point she became weird, jealous of me, acting as if she and he had a "separate" relationship. at that point i told him it was becoming very inappropriate and he needed to break things off with her.

Ugh - it floors me when grown adults behave like this.  If you don't mind my asking, did this end up being a factor in your splitting with him?
[/quote]
no. without going into too much sad history and details, i knew that he wasn't cheating on me. but - basically he was very abusive (not your run-of-the-mill wife beater, but very calm and quietly abusive in many many ways) and he was abusive to my son (not his son). and as a typical abuser he had me beleiving that i was worthless and i needed him. let's just say that stories like the above didn't help the situation. ::)
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Peppergirl on January 01, 2014, 09:37:57 AM
^^ Awful.  Good riddance, and *hugs* to you and your son.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: cicero on January 01, 2014, 11:47:21 AM
^^ Awful.  Good riddance, and *hugs* to you and your son.
thanks!
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: onikenbai on January 01, 2014, 01:34:21 PM
I inadvertently showed up at my ex's house out of the blue years after we had broken up.  I was working for Statistics Canada and I had a very specific list of addresses I had to hit for a survey.  I was also completely unaware that the ex had moved.  I get assigned 1 in 1000 homes to survey and whose home do I get?  Aaaawkward.  Luckily I think the expression on my face saved me when he opened the door.  That, and a StatsCan badge and survey paperwork.  Otherwise it definitely would have steered into creepy girl territory.  I most definitely do not recommend dropping in on the ex unannounced without government issued identification and a solid reason to be there.  Otherwise it seems just a little desperate and smacks of the inability to let go.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Jones on January 01, 2014, 04:53:40 PM
Heheh. A couple years ago I had an ex show up at my house...to install the new washer and dryer! DH was home, I was at work, the ex casually mentioned he'd "gone to school" with me. I found it rather funny afterwards.

I have two exes whom I expect to hear from, should they hear I've lost someone; to express sympathy. Another ex is DH's cousin and we never ever hear from him.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: Marisol on January 01, 2014, 08:28:21 PM
I had a guy from college think he could hook up with me right as I was getting married.  We never even dated but when we got back in touch with each other he started saying he always had a crush on me.  Well, bad timing now and he was creepy about it too. Or clueless I guess.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: kategillian on January 03, 2014, 04:10:57 PM
Even if you're just reconnecting on social media, it can still be a very creepy.when I joined Facebook I had a guy, who I barely remembered from high school, private message me to see how I was doing. This is before I was aware how creepy this carp can get. It got to the realm of me saying yes, I'm doing very well and him saying oh yeah baby I bet you're doing really well. The whole thing was so lewd and inappropriate that I blocked him.

As an aside, it always amuses me that people like this forget that they have the picture of their children, or of them and their spouse as their profile picture. So for every creepy thing they say to you, there's a picture of them smiling cheek to cheek with their beautiful wife!
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: TurtleDove on January 03, 2014, 04:16:49 PM
I've had plenty of non-creepy interactions with old friends.  Not every, "Hey!  How are you?  You look great!  What's new in your world?" is an overture for a hookup.  Some I suppose are, and those I would block.  But most of my old friends are still good people who wouldn't be disrespectful of my relationship or of their own!
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: MariaE on January 03, 2014, 04:47:54 PM
I've had plenty of non-creepy interactions with old friends.  Not every, "Hey!  How are you?  You look great!  What's new in your world?" is an overture for a hookup.  Some I suppose are, and those I would block.  But most of my old friends are still good people who wouldn't be disrespectful of my relationship or of their own!

Yup, same. I'm friends with 3 of my ex-boyfriends on FB and two of them at least I know I'd be welcome to drop by if I were in the neighbourhood (they live in NZ, so that doesn't happen too often ;) ).
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf
Post by: sparksals on January 03, 2014, 04:52:28 PM
When a single person (especially a female) looks up/drops by to see an old flame there is almost always the presumption that the wants to rekindle the flame.  Even if that’s not the case.

Years ago I saw my brother’s best high school friend at a funeral.  We chatted for a few minutes afterwards.  (We never dated.)  Since we had both moved to the same city, I thought it would be nice to get together …..I knew he was married.  He said “Sure!  Maybe some weekend you and whoever you’re dating can come over”.  :-\  At the time I wasn’t dating anyone, but because of his comment I never followed up. 

As far as the relative I referenced, I don't know yet what she decided.

What? Why? I don't understand, wasn't he just saying that if you had a partner they could come too? I don't understand how this would prompt you not to follow up.

I have to say I also vehemently disagree with the first part of your post, I really don't think that's the case. I've met up with old bf's before and no one thought I wanted to rekindle, even though I was single!

I didn’t follow up because he made it clear I was not to come alone.  Otherwise, he would have said “Sure!  Sounds like fun!  And IF you want to bring a date, that’s cool.”

Vehemently?
I said “almost” always.  Okay, so you have never run into that (although you can't be sure whether anyone thought that or not or what was said).  There might be some others who haven’t.  But many/most have.  I stand by what I said.

I'm sorry, I don't care who it is--DON'T just show up at someone's house.  That's just flat out rude, in my book.

I agree.  It's really bad form and rude.


It could be very well he felt uncomfortable going out with another woman without his wife, which is a very legitimate concern. 
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: EllenS on January 03, 2014, 05:23:08 PM
Getting back to the banana bread - if the new GF found it, would she even know who OldGF was? With 30 years and a marriage in between, it would be really odd to memorize all the names of every person your BF had ever dated.

Actually, if the father's death was recent dropping off food would be a fairly innocuous thing to do.  I think OP said it was several months before, so that is odd, but less odd than if there was no reason at all.

I am glad for relative's sake that nobody was home and do hope she takes the hint.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: lowspark on January 06, 2014, 10:03:59 AM
I love the NPR show, "This American Life" and have been ever-so-slowly working my way through the archives, listening to all the old shows, one by one. This weekend I happened to listen to this show from 1998:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/93/valentines-day-98 (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/93/valentines-day-98)

Act 2 (only 7 minutes long so a quick listen if you're interested) is apropos of this thread. It is a story, told by a woman who by chance runs into an old boyfriend. She's happily married but she and old BF sort of make a connection and she is torn by her feelings for him vs. her feelings for her husband. It's a sort of a sweet story about how each person behaves, the old BF, the current husband and the narrator of the story.
Title: Re: Surprising/looking up an old bf/gf - UPDATE #41
Post by: spookycatlady on January 06, 2014, 10:19:40 AM
I dated a guy for 2 months before he revealed himself to be ... off-kilter.

He broke up with me in a bizarre and dramatic fashion that left me confused and immensely relieved.  When talking about this with a friend about the averted disaster I dodged, my friend said, "Oh, you're going to hear from that one again." 

"No no.  I never hear from exes again.  Everyone I date knows that there is no on again, off again with me  That's part of the break-up process.  It's called a break up because it's broken, etc. etc.," I said.

Friend says, "Trust me."

Sure enough, a midnight phone call three months later, "I don't know why we can't be friends..."

I hung up.

Fast forward three years and a happy marriage later, he sent me a message on Facebook, "I know you're not friends with exes, but I would like it if you would friend me so I could see what you're up to."  So, he was politely asking permission to stalk me?  I ignored the message and three days later, I got another one, "Well, forget it then."

I've blocked 5 people on Facebook.  And three of them are him.  I check my blocked list periodically and notice that he has disappeared.  I do a quick search and I find him again (same picture) and block him.  Again.  I think he's deleting his account and opening new ones with new email addresses.  And Spooky don't play that. 

If the Dude were to find baked goods for me on the porch with a cryptic note?  I might see the note... LOL.  Most likely hear about it four days later.  With all names and specifics lost to time.

If I were to find that?  Straight to the composter.

All the other exes wouldn't bother reconnecting.