Author Topic: To Reestablish Contact or Not  (Read 5642 times)

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ChynaRose

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To Reestablish Contact or Not
« on: June 06, 2014, 06:01:10 PM »
Background: Back when I was in pre-K I made friends with a girl who ended up being my BFF all through high school. Once we hit college we started drifting apart as we got busier and busier but we still sort of kept in touch – mostly by me shooting off a hey what’s up IM. A few years ago she married her high school sweetheart in a very nice wedding that I attended – at that point I hadn’t really talked to her in over a year but I felt we reconnected well enough.

About a year or so after her wedding, I see a picture of her at an event where I think she looks pregnant that was posted to her wall, but I don’t really think much of it because she hasn’t mentioned anything about it and I know enough not to assume that someone’s pregnant without they’re say so. A few more months go by and her mom calls my dad (as she and my mom were friends when my mom was still alive) for a chat and to pass on the fact that my BFF just had twins – and apparently I need to apologize to my BFF for something I said at her wedding that offended/upset her (which I have no clue since I thought we parted on good terms and my BFF certainly hadn’t mentioned anything being wrong to me). In the end, I found out where FB had eaten my BFF’s baby announcement post, tell her congrats, and mourn the loss of the friendship since even if she wasn’t mad at me for something I said at her wedding, I was not really happy that she couldn’t take a minute to shoot off a short message to let me know that she was pregnant).

Issue: Last week I got engaged; started to tell the family and close(r) friends and made the obligatory FB status change post. Yesterday the subject of my former BFF and how she became former comes up between me and the GM of an RPG I play. He suggested that even with all the hurt feelings between us (even if they are mild and one sided), I should drop her a message and try to reopen the lines of communication. I’m really undecided if I should or not. On one hand, it did hurt that I was basically out of the loop for such a life changing event as a first pregnancy, but on the other hand, there was a lot of history between us and the pull of nostalgia can be strong. Complicating matters is that a part of me wonders if her mom was correct in that she got mad enough at me over something that happened at her wedding to give me the cut direct (which if she did I would respect and leave contact cut).

So my (long winded) question is this: Should I reach out and try to re-establish contact with my former BFF, or just let the whole thing go?

(and if you’ve stayed with me this long, there’s some ginger spice cookies in it for you)

greencat

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 06:04:43 PM »
While Hollywood does tend to feed us a fantasy of lifelong best friends, I think very few people actually maintain a close friendship with their childhood best friends as adults.  Do you actually have anything in common with her, as an adult, to maintain a friendship with?  Your entire post reads to me as the natural progression of two people drifting apart - you hadn't spoken with her for a year before her wedding, you weren't in contact after it...

shortstuff

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 06:23:28 PM »
My answer would depend on a few things, like what kind of contact you'd hope to reestablish.  Is she geographically close by, so that you'd be hanging out again, running into each other/mutual friends, and could potentially have a close rel@tionship again? 

Or is she on the other side of the country, the only contact you'd have is the occasional chit chat and FB announcement, and you might end up drifting apart again anyway? 

If it's the latter, I see no reason against reaching out.  If she's still mad at you over the perceived wedding insult, the communication won't lead anywhere.  I'm assuming some contact would be over FB/social media, so it's "low risk," as in no awkward pauses if you tried to have a phone conversation.  And if things do drift apart again, you won't be disappointed since you won't have invested too much. 

On the other hand, if you're thinking you'll go back to being BFFs, just be wary that things might not go that way.  You've been out of touch for awhile, and you still don't know what this wedding insult was.  I don't think casual FB-type communication would be a bad thing in either case, so go ahead and try. 

JenJay

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 06:38:53 PM »
It sounds like she has made zero effort to communicate with you since her wedding. She either asked her mom to pass along the message that you owed an apology, or she told her mom whatever it was you supposedly did, which her mom felt was bad enough to mention to your dad. What she did not do is mention it to you so that you could clear up the misunderstanding. She hasn't once messages you directly via Facebook, and she didn't respond when you posted your engagement (congrats!!).

I would consider the friendship over and I would not contact her. If mutual friends asked I'd be vague "I'm not really sure what happened, we just drifted apart after her wedding. It happens." For what it's worth I've been in your shoes except I didn't hear through the grapevine that she was upset with me. She was just "so busy" whenever I suggested we get together, it took her weeks to respond when I'd call or email, etc. And it's not like I was after her much, I'd reach out every couple of months for a few years. Once or twice a year she'd respond "Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I'm just sooo busy..." I let it die and haven't heard from her in over 10 years. I did see her family at a parade a few years ago. Her husband called out to me and waved but she pretended not to see me.  :-\

Mary Lennox

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 06:54:14 PM »
Personally, if I was your friend and you reached out to me shortly after announcing your engagement, I would think you were hinting for a gift. It sounds like there wasn't much, if any, real communication between you in the intervening time, but suddenly you have a wedding coming up (ie gift giving occasion) and you're back in touch? Gimme pig. I'm not saying you are, but that is how it would appear to me, if I was your former friend.

Arila

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 06:55:27 PM »
I'm with shortstuff. FB communication is so low risk and casual that I wouldn't think anything of sending a brief personal note.

I also agree that you need to have clear in your head what your expectations and hopes are for the communication. Is it just obligatory, and you are actually OK with the status quo but you think you owe the past friendship something by individually telling her about the engagement? It sounds like you've been down the rekindling road before, since you were the one always initiating the sporadic "what's up" IMs (Note, I find these to be the worst possible catch-up medium, at least send an email type thing which might prompt a wordier initial volley, and reply).

I might also refer to the grapevine news that you upset her around the time of the wedding. Maybe her mom remembers BFF saying something at the time, which could have been an overreaction which has gained the perspective of time, and could be put behind you, if you extend the hand of friendship to her once again.


I don't know that you'll be very successful. I find it very difficult in my own life to maintain relationships across life-phase divides. You're barely leaving singledom, and she's a mom. There would have to be something really strongly in common to base a new friendship on, and you may not have much.

Carotte

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 07:12:48 PM »
Did she even reply after you congratulated her on the twins?
If no then I wouldn't bother, you were the last one to make a move, it's her turn, and she has the perfect opening (your FB post).

I tried twice to rekindle something with a former BFF and finally made peace with it, by looking back it was very one sided, taking me for granted and some massive jealousy, it wasn't worth it.
Even if I sometimes wonder how she is she made it quite clear she had nothing to do with me, it's hard but it happens and most times no one is to blame, it's a natural shift.

blarg314

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 08:53:48 PM »

If you want to restore the friendship, then you can do that. Send her a message saying that you seem to have dropped out of touch and miss talking to her. Ask how she's doing, and about life with the twins, tell her about about what's going on in your life. Then see how she responds.

I would ignore the third hand comment you've received saying that you need to apologize for some offence that you apparently committed that you honestly have no idea about. She can bring it up directly if it's important to her.

But I agree with other posters that this does sound like a friendship that has gradually drifted apart with time. Pre Facebook, you'd probably now be in the situation where you exchange Christmas cards and birth announcements, but not have much contact otherwise. From what you've said, in the years before the wedding, contact was sparse and mainly initiated by you, to the point that you didn't communicate for a year before the wedding. So it really does look like a relationship that was once close but isn't any more.

sammycat

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 09:49:18 PM »
It sounds like she has made zero effort to communicate with you since her wedding. She either asked her mom to pass along the message that you owed an apology, or she told her mom whatever it was you supposedly did, which her mom felt was bad enough to mention to your dad. What she did not do is mention it to you so that you could clear up the misunderstanding. She hasn't once messages you directly via Facebook, and she didn't respond when you posted your engagement (congrats!!).

I would consider the friendship over and I would not contact her.
(Snip)

This is my stance too. I wouldn't bother with her any more.

Dindrane

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2014, 10:08:22 PM »
<snip>

Yesterday the subject of my former BFF and how she became former comes up between me and the GM of an RPG I play. He suggested that even with all the hurt feelings between us (even if they are mild and one sided), I should drop her a message and try to reopen the lines of communication.

<snip>

I find this particular line of thinking/advice to be intensely frustrating, largely because I have a massive natural tendency to go there myself. It's the idea that no matter how much non-contact has happened, no matter how many times a person has failed to initiate (or even respond) to contact, it's still worth just one more shot because of all the history.

I've spent more time than I ever should have chasing after people who, in the end, didn't really want to be caught. I don't think I've ever once actually preserved a friendship in that situation...just dragged it out beyond the point where I should have let it quietly die away until eventually even all my effort couldn't stave off its last, final gasps.

What I got out of it was the feeling that I'd been an idiot (for not realizing faster that the person in question probably didn't want to maintain the friendship, and probably wasn't actually that busy all the time). I got anger at having invested a bunch of time in a friendship that, in the end, wasn't worth it. And I got memories tinged with a healthy dose of bitterness that might otherwise have been things I could look back on at least a little bit fondly.

Ultimately, I've had to learn to set limits for myself on just how far I will pursue a drifting relationship, mostly for my own sanity and happiness. I tell myself I can contact someone a certain number of times without them initiating and/or responding, and then that's it. I write off the friendship without malice (so that if they ever reopen lines of communication, I'm not mad about it, but I'm not sitting around with bated breath waiting for it to happen).

I would say in your case, you've already given this friendship a number of chances to be more than extremely distant, but none of those chances has really done much towards keeping the friendship alive in anything like a robust way. I think you should really consider what you would be looking for, if you reestablished contact. And you should also be really honest with yourself about the chances of what you want actually happening, using history as your guide. If you do decide to reach out to this former friend again, give yourself a limit for how many times you're willing to reach out before you give up (I suggest once), and make sure what you're looking for is clearly defined. If she doesn't respond, or doesn't respond in the way you're looking for her to, then do yourself a favor and spend your energy on turning this friendship into a nice bit of nostalgia, rather than spending it on worrying about whether or not you should contact her this time or on this occasion even though nothing came of such attempts in the past.


gramma dishes

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2014, 10:21:22 PM »
She's a young adult mother of twins.  If she wanted to be in touch, she'd be in touch.  If something was said or done at her wedding that she found offensive, she should have told you so soon after the wedding so that you could explain yourself or apologize. 

When her mother gets into it by in essence tattling about you to your Dad,  you know it's time to let the friendship go.

You did make the last "connection", so you can let loose of this friendship knowing you tried, but she wasn't interested.

Mister E

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2014, 01:13:13 AM »
I have no patience for this kind of thing. So you supposedly said "something" at her wedding that offended her. But she can't be an adult about it and tell you herself and she's been stewing about it this whole time? But her mom tells your dad that you said "something" to offend her and you hear about it from him second hand (or is that third hand?). And she's expecting you to apologize for this offense whatever it is even though you have no idea what it is you supposedly did. Then there's the fact that she chose not to tell you she was pregnant. So she's either decided she doesn't want to be friends with you anymore or she's trying to punish you for this "something". Whatever, I refuse to play games with people like that. I'd say her not telling you about the pregnancy and the childish way she's handling NOT telling you she's offended about "something" you supposedly said means the friendship is over. I say don't bother reconciling just forget her and move on with your life. People are jerks sometimes and no one has to put up with that. That's my feeling about it anyways.

Ed.

sammycat

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 01:32:33 AM »
I have no patience for this kind of thing. So you supposedly said "something" at her wedding that offended her. But she can't be an adult about it and tell you herself and she's been stewing about it this whole time? But her mom tells your dad that you said "something" to offend her and you hear about it from him second hand (or is that third hand?). And she's expecting you to apologize for this offense whatever it is even though you have no idea what it is you supposedly did. Then there's the fact that she chose not to tell you she was pregnant. So she's either decided she doesn't want to be friends with you anymore or she's trying to punish you for this "something". Whatever, I refuse to play games with people like that. I'd say her not telling you about the pregnancy and the childish way she's handling NOT telling you she's offended about "something" you supposedly said means the friendship is over. I say don't bother reconciling just forget her and move on with your life. People are jerks sometimes and no one has to put up with that. That's my feeling about it anyways.

Ed.

Ditto.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2014, 03:13:38 AM »
I have no patience for this kind of thing. So you supposedly said "something" at her wedding that offended her. But she can't be an adult about it and tell you herself and she's been stewing about it this whole time? But her mom tells your dad that you said "something" to offend her and you hear about it from him second hand (or is that third hand?). And she's expecting you to apologize for this offense whatever it is even though you have no idea what it is you supposedly did. Then there's the fact that she chose not to tell you she was pregnant. So she's either decided she doesn't want to be friends with you anymore or she's trying to punish you for this "something". Whatever, I refuse to play games with people like that. I'd say her not telling you about the pregnancy and the childish way she's handling NOT telling you she's offended about "something" you supposedly said means the friendship is over. I say don't bother reconciling just forget her and move on with your life. People are jerks sometimes and no one has to put up with that. That's my feeling about it anyways.

Ed.

Ditto.

Double ditto.

She's still your Facebook friend, right? Which means she should have seen your announcement. Or if you still have mutual friends, she's probably heard about your engagement by now. It's open to her to contact YOU to say congratulations. The fact that she hasn't, speaks volumes to me.

I get that it's extremely tempting to send her a message, because you probably have so many great memories, but frankly, I wouldn't bother with her now.

zyrs

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2014, 03:26:23 AM »
So, you supposedly said something at her wedding that she found offensive and she feels that you owe her an apology but she's never bothered to mention anything about it to you and it had to come to you through a third party many, many months later?  And you have no idea what it could even be about?

It might be better to remember the friendship fondly and move on.