Hi there, Beastly!
I’m sitting in front of a computer screen right now agonizing over whether or not I should message a man I was acquainted with years ago. I always found him to be an interesting person, but when we were acquainted circumstances were such that we didn’t really get a chance to get to know one another. Do you perhaps have any advice on reconnecting with people from one’s past? Have you ever tried to reconnect with someone you didn’t know very well in hopes of making a new friend?
A Guy Feeling Uncharacteristically Awkward Right Now
P.S. I find your blog to be a breath of fresh air.
I’m a lucky man, AGFUARN, because the hard work has often been done for me. Every previous boyfriend has reached out, unannounced and unexpected, to reconnect/make amends.
This is not because I’m a dreamboat, in fact I was awful to most of them. This is a testament to the good men I’ve been with, men with incredible powers of forgiveness and understanding. To date, every old flame has possessed the courage and kindness to remember me and send me a message. I’m beyond grateful that they’ve all done this.
Be like them. Whoever this person is — someone you used to know, someone you wish you knew better — will appreciate it. Don’t be like me, the guy who assumes his old interests won’t be interested anymore, who assumes men from the past will feel uncomfortable if I shot them a Facebook wave.
It’s rarely uncomfortable. Maybe it is for the sender, but the receiver often welcomes it. Those of us who get messages like this find them incredibly brave and incredibly kind — breaths of fresh air in our fast-paced world of meeting and forgetting, missed connections and nights alone. It’s a direct offering of connection in a culture where people never present themselves so plainly to us, never give us a lifeline to know them better. It’s a great kindness.
And if he doesn’t take it, or doesn’t want to reconnect, then you can go about your life without a “maybe,” without a “what if?” Life is filled with almosts, could-haves, and might-have-beens. Don’t let him be another one.
Harvey Milk said the quote below. I can’t find exactly where or when he said it, but the internet widely seems convinced that he did. It’s a beautiful one to read.
“Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone. Don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come. Don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now, and because they cannot regret this, and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest, and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love, but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is. That is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.”
P.S. I try not to make everything political, but I’m a socially responsible gay man, so my life is politics. If there’s one thing the last eleven months have taught me — months that include mass gun slaughter, Chechnya’s gay purge, and repeated attacks against LGBTQ+ people from the President of the United States — it’s that you should not put anything off. Let this light a fire under your wings. We are in dark times. Things are uncertain. Go after him.