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The ghosts of girlfriends past

Do you have a friend that got away? One, or maybe more, that really mattered – that still matters? You still think about her, especially in 2020, when you have so much time to just…think? Chances are, Gen X Girls do.

A 2019 Snap Friendship Report found that friendships, especially those from childhood, have a huge impact on happiness and wellbeing. Now, this year's report finds that 88% of U.S. respondents have lost touch with a close friend, and 71% say they would like to rekindle that relationship. I admit, I am one of them. And, at 50, it’s amazing how much some still matter so much.

Can you relate to these three scenarios? If you’re brave enough – as I may try to be, this week – tag one of them in Comments and reach out!

The Old High School Friend Who Was Like a Sister For thirty years, she knew everything about you. She was your sounding board and sister-you-never-had through your teens, twenties and thirties. You had so many good times in high school, and she supported you through you hopes and heartbreaks, peach schnapps hangovers, and family dramas. You could tell her anything, and admit things to yourself by voicing them to her. Even later, as adults hundreds of miles away, she knows your biggest fears and hidden hopes. You loved your younger selves. Talking to her was sometimes like getting that version of yourself back – in a good way. You want it back. But something happened, and you haven’t talked since the pandemic hit. What happened – and why?

The Best Friend From Grade School You Follow - and Cheer On Closely - on Facebook While some girls outgrow their grade school friends in middle school and beyond as they go toward different cliques, crowds, and interests, some lost people when families moved away. You have a feeling this girl could have still been your best friend! All your memories of your time together make you smile – collecting and trading stickers, walking to get Wacky Packs, playing Chinese Jump Rope at recess, selling cookies for your Brownie Troop, Saturday afternoons at the roller rink. Now you see on Facebook that she has a little girl! Is it too late to reconnect? Why not?

The Close Friend From College, Fractured by a Misunderstanding – You once shared everything from sweatshirts to 2am pizzas, thrown together by fate as freshmen roommates, and – amazingly – you clicked! Flash forward to your twenties – her engagement, and mass confusion over out-of-town bridal showers and work conflicts with her wedding festivities that ended everything. You still think she’s such a great person, and miss her so. Should you have chosen staying later at her wedding vs. flying back for your big work event? Was your choice worth it?

The Friend That Was There For The Situation – You were brought together in the preschool classroom. While your kids played with Legos, you bonded over thinking you were the only two “normal” moms in the class. You could relate. She gave you a laugh and a coffee on some long, long days – when motherhood was lonely and exhausting. But your kids grew up, and no place brought you together anymore. You’ll always be grateful for that friendship. Was it was just…circumstantial?

Here is a hopeful nudge: The friendship study also found that people would generally respond positively to one of their best friends re-establishing contact, with the most prominent emotions being delighted or excited. :-)

Ready to reach out? Good luck!

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