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Advice on reconnecting with a family member or friend

Advice on reconnecting with a family member or friend

Over the years it is quite common to lose touch with friends and in some cases, even family members. It is also likely that one day you may want to reconnect with this long-lost friend or family member. Here are some things to consider...

Start right away!
Time is precious, and if you don’t get stuck in and start your search as soon as possible, you may regret it. Searching for a loved one could take a long time. Factor this in, and be prepared for anything.

Retrace your steps
Start simple, and begin your search by starting to look for the person at the place you last knew/saw them. If the person you're looking for was your high school sweetheart, start looking at your high school. The same applies if this person was a co-worker or tennis friend.

Privacy is the best policy
Don’t give away anything you don’t have to or that you don’t feel is necessary to the situation at hand. Unfortunately, there are some people who will exploit others given the chance. And sometimes in desperation to find people, you may get online and reveal your whole life story. Just remember, there are people out there who are predatory and will take advantage - they may even pretend to be someone they’re not. To avoid being taken advantage of, only reveal minimal information about yourself. Another tactic is to hold back a few facts about the person you are looking for, so if a person comes forward claiming to know the missing, you have some check points.

Be discreet
As well as looking after your own privacy during this process, you need to also respect the privacy of the person you are looking for. He or she may not have told family and friends about the time in their lives in which you knew them. The key is to only tell others minimal information throughout the process.

Take it slow
If you’re lucky enough to find who you are searching for, allow the person adequate time to adjust to the reality of the situation. You don’t know what they have been up to over the years, so you’ll want to ease into his/her life. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think that if your phone rang and somebody said, “I’m from your past, and I want to come back into your life,” you might want some time to digest everything and come around in your own time.

Have no expectations
If you come into the situation with expectations, you have a higher chance of being disappointed. Try and keep an open mind. Reconnecting and establishing new friendships takes time and those rules apply here, even though you had a relationship in the past.