Contact Old Friends

Sometimes the best of friends simply lose touch. Bringing them back in and reconnecting can feel amazing, as you are able to share this new part of your life with them. Finding them and starting the process can feel intimidating and overwhelming, but it’s possible. You can do this by first finding them, making contact, and then rebuilding the relationship. However, keep in mind that not all old friends will want to reconnect, so it is important to keep your expectations reasonable. Try to determine why you want to reconnect with old friends before you attempt to reconnect with them.


Locating Old Friends

  1. Use social media. Just about everyone is on social media these days. You can likely use tools like Facebook or Instagram to find the old friend you are looking for. Typing their name into the search area of the social media site may bring up their name and give you a way to get in touch with them.
    • Some people make themselves private on social media, meaning that the general public can’t view their profiles. Still, you should be able to send them a friend request or write a brief message.[1]
  2. Contact an alumni association. Joining an alumni association may help you find a friend you went to high school or college with, if they are also a part of the association. Joining may give you access to their contact information, which could allow you to find them.
    • Go to your school’s website and look for the link to the alumni association. You can also call your school and ask about joining the association.
    • These types of organizations typically have get-togethers that allow you to interact with people you went to school with, giving you the opportunity to find the person you are looking for, as well as others you may have lost contact with.[2]
  3. Reach out to other acquaintances. Other people you know may still be in contact with the old friend you are looking for. Reaching out to mutual friends via social media may help you get in touch. You may also be able to reach out to connections to obtain their contact information.
    • Use social media or search engines to find their mutual friends or family members. Make sure you introduce yourself in a way that helps them remember you. If not, they will likely be afraid or hesitant to give you the information you’re looking for.[3]
  4. Use a people search website. A few different websites are available that help you get in touch with people. These sites are typically a bit more useful than general search engines are, as they often give you more specific information and not as many results. Free sites are helpful, but sites that require payment often give you more contact information.
    • For example, you can try the free sites,, and to find your friend. Or you can pay to use and to potentially receive more useful information.[4]

Making Contact

  1. Send a message through social media. Sending a message through social media is usually welcomed among people you haven’t seen in a while. It doesn’t put them on the spot when talking to you. It gives them a chance to think about what you’ve said, and time to formulate a response.
    • Contacting them through social media also allows them to look at your own social media account. This can help bring them up to speed about you and your life if if they have trouble recalling who you are.[2]
  2. Write an email. Compose a quick and casual email, if you find their address. Again, writing an email gives them time to decide what they are going to say and if they are going to take you up on your offer. Talking to a person on the phone may make them feel like they have to say yes to you, even if they don’t really want to.
    • In the email you could say, “Hi! I hope you’re doing well; it’s been a long time! I’ve been thinking about how we used to have so much fun together and thought it would be nice to catch up with you sometime.”
    • This type of greeting gives them the opportunity to reach back out to you, if they feel comfortable doing so. It is also general and non-threatening, so they may feel more apt to accept your invitation.[1]
  3. Text them. People aren’t usually too far away from their phones. Additionally, text messages are a common and preferred method of communication these days. Saying something short and quick is casual, and doesn’t put too much pressure on the recipient.
    • In the text you could say, “Hey! How are you? We should get dinner soon!”[5]
  4. Give them a call. Use the phone to get in touch if you can’t use the other methods or are more comfortable with this way. Getting a hold of them like this may help you to make more of a connection, as it is more personal. The person may appreciate you reaching them out to them in this manner.
    • Be sure to leave a message if the phone isn’t answered. People tend to screen their calls, especially if they are unsure of the number calling them.[1]

Building the New Friendship

  1. Suggest plans. Leaving the conversation open by just recommending that you do something together could end in nothing happening. Prevent this by suggesting plans. Choose activities that just about anyone would like and not just something that you would enjoy.
    • For instance, you could ask to meet for dinner or coffee, suggest taking your children to the park together, going for a walk, or catching a movie.[5]
  2. Ask questions. Showing interest in an old friend helps re-spark your connection. Don't spend the entire gathering talking about yourself. Give the other person a chance to claim the spotlight. Ask them what they've been up to over the years. Inquire about family, other friends, or hobbies they once had.[6]
    • However, stay away from touchy subjects such as politics, religion, or intimate experiences. You want to appear friendly and trustworthy, not creepy.
  3. Create a connection. Keep the friendship going after your first meeting by staying in touch and building trust. You can do this by sending a text or calling a few days later. If they don’t call back or respond after a few days, they may not want to continue the relationship.
    • Offer to help out to build the friendship. Volunteering to babysit, run an errand, or make dinner for your old acquaintance can show them you want to be their friend. These acts of kindness can show your friend that you are genuinely interested in having a relationship again.[7]
  4. Respect their decision. The person may not be ready to have a relationship with you again. Perhaps they aren’t at a point in their life where they can have a friendship or something that happened in the past prevents them from being able to trust you. The best thing you can do is to accept the decision and move on. Having reasonable expectations about the situation will help to make it easier on you if they decide not to reconnect.
    • Avoid sending additional texts or messages and don’t call if they are showing signs that they aren’t interested in reestablishing the friendship. Remember it's up to them whether they want to reconnect with you.[8]

Related Articles

Sources and Citations