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 am 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 and make amends.
But the person you’re describing isn’t a past boyfriend. This is someone you wanted to know better and missed the chance. That’s at least what your question sounds like. To which I say: Go for it. It might feel strange, and it will be awkward, but what you have to lose is nothing, and what you have to gain is endless.
Be like my exes. Don’t be like me, the fool who assumes his old flames and past interests won’t give me the time of day. I’ve always appreciated people from my past reaching out. I’ve found them to be incredibly brave and incredibly kind for doing so.
I don’t have much experience reconnecting with past people, so I don’t know if I can offer much help. And here I must confess one of my worst flaws: I’m a bad flake, and I burn bridges easily. Longterm friends know that the work will fall on them to maintain communication since I’ll go months or years without so much as sending a text. I don’t mean to neglect people, but I’m an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person. Reaching out to people from the past is not my strong suit — falling out of touch with people is.
If this person from your past doesn’t want to reconnect, then you can go about your life without a “maybe” or “what if?” You’ll have your answer, made your attempt, and that will be that. I am plagued by questions about people — guys I should have given more attention to, friends I should have responded to, people I wish I had texted more.
Harvey Milk said this quote. I can’t find exactly where or when he said it, but the internet seems convinced that he did. It’s beautiful:
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.