Would you like to be friends again?
April 11, 2011 11:10 AM Subscribe
How (and should) I platonically re-connect with an ex?
posted by ohsnapdragon to Human Relations (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A few years ago, my relationship with my first real love ended. We tried to remain friends afterwards for probably about a year, but I was still angry and it was too painful for me, so I asked him not to contact me for awhile. (Politely and honestly, via email. He responded likewise. We both wished each other the best. Haven't talked since.)
Coincidentally (or perhaps not) only about a month after that I met the woman to whom I am now engaged. (Yay!) As I'm thinking about marriage and commitment a lot lately, the ex has been on my mind (we also planned on marrying at one point though we never made it official.) I'd like to resume a friendship, because I hate the idea of love being wasted - though I have absolutely no interest in him as a romantic partner anymore, I'd like to think that anyone who I really cared about at one point would remain in my life to some capacity.
I've talked about all of this with my fiancee, and she encouraged me to reach out to him if I'd like. The problem is, I'm not sure how and even if I should do this.
What I'm looking for is simply a casual friendship, like I have with other exes. It makes me feel melodramatic to know there is a person in the world with whom I "can't communicate." I am over it and I'd simply like to let him know this in a casual, friendly, cheerful way. And of course I am curious about how his life is going. We didn't break up because of infidelity or anything like that, simply incompatibility, and it seems silly to be estranged the rest of our lives, especially as we have mutual friends and so on.
But another part of me questions if it is an appropriate thing to do. I don't want him to think I miss him in a romantic way, or that I am reaching out because I'm unhappy with my current partner or anything. I don't want to begin any kind of intimate, close relationship because it would feel disrespectful to my current relationship.
Is there a way to phrase a short email or message that simply says, "Hey, how's it going, what are you up to?" without anything else layered into the subtext? Do I need to address the fact I once asked him not to talk to me but I'm now over it, or does my message make that a given?