• This topic has 69 replies, 52 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by jimmy.
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  • Old mate contact dilema WWSTW do?
  • Premier Icon paino
    Full Member

    Can you be sure the message was actually sent from him and not his ex who may be motivated to do such a thing?
    I’ve got those ‘flakey’ friends. Those pals who will always be pals that met at or before primary school. But it’s bloody great when we get together, probably every ten years or so.
    I’d say meet. Take some sausages though, just in case.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    We’re all arseholes at times.

    Very true indeed. But this guy isn’t an arsehole at times, he’s a serial arsehole.

    If he’s trying hard to make amends

    Is he though?

    Pff. Give him the benefit of the doubt if you must, I seem to be in the minority. Send him an email address where he can explain why he’s been a dick for 40 years and has a chance to apologise. No harm in letting him say his piece but I wouldn’t be engaging directly beforehand.

    I’d be astonished if he thought he had anything to make amends for. When they were kids he snapped his fingers and the OP came running, then got binned off when it wasn’t convenient. And oh look, it’s happening again. That’s not a mate, that’s a user.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Full Member

    ^^^ Sounds like you know him better than the OP?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Yes yes.

    I know him based on the OP’s, er, OP. Maybe I’m just bitter, but it strikes a chord with me.

    Premier Icon ernielynch
    Free Member

    where he can explain why he’s been a dick for 40 years and has a chance to apologise.

    I don’t think he’s been a dick for 40 years. As I understand it he apparently behaved like a dick with regards to MrSparkle”s 40th, however many years ago that was.

    Since then there has been no contact other than the OP’s former friend attempting to re-establish their friendship.

    If I have got that wrong and it is indeed 40 years since MrSparkle’s 40th birthday then I will repeat, life’s too short. At 80 years old he must close to popping his clogs.

    Premier Icon GlennQuagmire
    Free Member

    Agree with Cougar. I certainly wouldn’t be making any kind of effort, he’s moved on, you’ve moved on so why try and resurrect an old friendship he quite clearly wasn’t bothered about.

    Premier Icon stripeysocks
    Free Member

    Reply saying that you’ve had a lot of problems with scammers and cloned accounts, so just to verify that he’s who he says he is, he just needs to confirm how he replied to the invitation to your 40th birthday party… 😈

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Full Member

    Hi Sparkles. With your singlespeed deviancy you will know or have met the person that I think Chipps is referring to.

    No harm in talking to the guy – I’m sure he’ll just disappear again if it doesn’t work out (and you’ll then know the correct response for the next time he pops up).

    When was the last time we met or conversed, but we’re still friends? 🙂

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Very true indeed. But this guy isn’t an arsehole at times, he’s a serial arsehole.

    I think that’s a judgement for the OP to make.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Reads to me like his then new girlfriend veto’d his attendance of your party and he’s finally out of another toxic relationship and able to get a social life back and recognises you as a genuine friend.

    I think it’s interesting that if we swap genders the friend in this possible scenario would be widely recognised as being the victim in a controlling relationship / domestic abuse type situation and many of “her” female friends would be more sympathetic than most of the responses here. It would be wrong to think that men don’t end up the victim of some of these situations too. Sadly society isn’t quite so understanding of male victims. Sadly whichever gender is the victim it’s not uncommon for people to jump from one toxic relationship to another.

    If it were me I’d reply to the text – it’s easy to block it if he’s looking for money or likely to become an emotional drain! But its possible he’s looking to apologise (or has no idea his phone was used to send that message), or he’s got a terminal health condition and looking to say “cheerio” to people who matter to him while he can.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I think that’s a judgement for the OP to make.

    Agreed.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Full Member

    FWIW I’ve lost contact with ALL my mates from up to about my 30s – I’m just a lazy bastard and shit at keeping in touch, so as we moved to other towns that was me gone.

    I regret that I’m like this and once I’m working less or even retired I like to think I’ll try to find many of them (see “lazy” above). Hope they don’t **** me off if I do try.

    (I’ve never given a reply to an invitation like this bloke did, mind)

    Edit: …. and if one of them contacted me, especially if they needed something, I’d get right to it. (and further to the post below – these were/are mates, not just “friends”)

    Premier Icon reeksy
    Free Member

    I think it’s interesting to read the OP’s description of the situation and the response from us all. It suggests that the concept of friendship varies vastly between different people.

    Some people feel that a friend has to be “forever” as if there’s some kind of ownership involved, whereas others treat it as social convenience. I think i’ve been involved in both kinds of friendship, for better and worse.

    Neither approach is wrong, but we need to be aware of other people’s sensitivities.

    I’ve thought a lot about this having emigrated in my mid-20s. I left well-established friendship groups on the other side of the world and it’s been interesting to see what’s happened to those friendships. I think about old friend all the time and tell my family about them, but when you leave you have to do pretty much all the work to maintain the relationships, and also make decisions about what’s worth holding on to or letting go. More recently I think there’s been a bit of jealousy with Brexit and COVID, too.

    Inevitably friendships drop away. But honestly, if anyone ever reached out to me that i’d been friends with years ago, i’d want to know how they were.

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    More recently I think there’s been a bit of jealousy with Brexit

    I can see why people would be jealous of Brexit, we finally got our soverrunty back.

    Premier Icon reeksy
    Free Member

    I emigrated … they were Brexited upon. They’re the jealous ones 😛

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Full Member

    If it were me I’d give him a time/date of a pub to be in: get there 20mins early, get 80% through a pint and when you meet up with him, hey him to talk. As he talks,finish the beer and see if he gets them in without being prompted, if he doesn’t he’s a **** and then you know.

    Or if he does get them in and make the effort then you can continue to find out what went on and he will have bought you 1 beer if nothing else

    🙂

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Some people feel that a friend has to be “forever” as if there’s some kind of ownership involved, whereas others treat it as social convenience.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t see friends as being either of those things. Rather, friends are people who mutually give a damn about each other.

    I have – well, had – ‘friends’ who only ever contacted me when they wanted something. I had ‘friends’ I kept around out of habit, or pity, or my own neediness, or guilt, or “because they’re friends.” But they aren’t my friends, and I’m not theirs. We’re acquaintances.

    On the other hand. A couple of years back I went to a University reunion, not a formal thing but just like a dozen of the old group who used to hang out together. It was awkward for precisely two minutes and once you’d got over the initial shock of “who’s that old bloke who looks a bit like Andy? Oh shit, it’s Andy!” it was like we’d never been apart despite in some cases not having had contact for like a quarter of a century. These people, these are what friends look like.

    People have one of two impacts in your life. Either they enhance it or they diminish it. You only have one life and your time is limited, spend time with the former rather than the latter.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    if anyone ever reached out to me that i’d been friends with years ago, i’d want to know how they were.

    Sure. This is called “morbid curiosity” and it’s a primary driver for how Facebook grew to become what it is today. (-:

    The sporty kid – hell, that entire group – who all made me feel like shit? Now all fat knackers after retaining Stella and pies for 20 years whereas I’m a racing snake.

    Pretty boy, “I like me, who do you like?” Now bald as a coot and looks closer to 70 than 50.

    The girl you fancied at school… I mean, come on, who wouldn’t click on that? (Spoiler: she’s still hot, damn it)

    The ‘cock of the year’? Crystal meth isn’t a good look.

    The thick kid? Built up his own business and retired in his 40s.

    The fat kid? Last I heard he owned his own business also, took up (running? cycling? something) and is now fit as a butcher’s dog.

    I’m only semi-serious of course. None of these people were ever ‘friends’ really. Point is, curiosity is a powerful and innate driver. If an old f… if someone I knew a long time ago reached out then I’d want to know how they were too. But I’d be tempering that with, “but at what cost?”

    Premier Icon vazaha
    Free Member

    During our teens he had another mate who, if he clicked his fingers, ‘N’ would drop us completely and come running. It was a bit annoying but we just accepted it.

    Is it not possible that this ‘other mate’ was often in crisis, and he ran because it was an emergency?

    I felt very sorry for him and used to take him out to the pub with another lad and take him to the footy etc etc. Just trying to be a friend and keep an eye on him, really.

    So you would, hypothetically, understand his impulse toward this ‘other mate’?

    He texted me saying basically ‘We don’t have much in common these days so I won’t be coming’.

    Is it not possible that he was in a bad place, declined as a favour, knowing he wouldn’t be great company? Not wanting to be the Debbie Downer at your big do?

    I like to ascribe the best of reasons for people’s actions because i genuinely believe that most people are good at heart – never put down to malice that that can be explained by just being a dumb **** or whatever.

    This chap has obviously made quite an effort to reconnect, perhaps he just wants to atone? Personally i’d give him a chance – only one, mind.

    Premier Icon reeksy
    Free Member

    You sound like you need a couch and someone to listen and not judge you @cougar 🙂
    The friendship range was supposed to be a spectrum.

    I’m with you on some of those reunion stereotypes – except you missed the ones that died too young, from drugs or misadventure… and the fit girl who survived cancer.

    Oh, and remember that kid everyone picked on because he thought he was God’s gift? He thinks he’s a racing snake now 😛

    The reunion episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? is still very much on point isn’t it?

    I’m still in pretty regular contact with the uni friends though, i don’t think that will ever change.

    Premier Icon boblo
    Free Member

    I wouldn’t bother. Friendships can be transient, point in time things. A set of circumstances conspire and voila!

    As much as you might want to recreate that warm, fuzzy feeling of ‘back then’. This is now and as much as you contrive to step back in time, you’ll probably come away thinking it was nice to reconnect but we’ve not much in common otherwise we’d not have lost touch in the first place.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Oh, and remember that kid everyone picked on because he thought he was God’s gift? He thinks he’s a racing snake now

    Hah. I didn’t think I was god’s gift, quite the opposite. I had the self-esteem of a blobfish.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Full Member

    When i was 17, i went out with a girl, tracey, she was 16, it didn’t work out, but we remained firm friends.
    Contact was sporadic throughout the decades.
    In January of this year, i got a phone call from her, totally out of the blue (usually one of us would text first)
    I went to see her, we took her dogs down the beach and shot the breeze for a few hours.
    She told me she’d been ill, kidney problems, i had noticed she looked jaundiced.
    Less than 2 months later she died.

    Get in touch with your mate, be the mate you would want to have.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Full Member

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    Reply and make contact again – if it transpires that he’s still a dick tell him so and go happily on your way.

    This

    Premier Icon MrSparkle
    Free Member

    Thanks again for the many and varied replies to this. I appreciate you all taking the time. It has been insightful…

    Anyway – an update. He had texted me asking if I was still alive so I replied last night saying ‘Hi ‘N’. Depends. Do I owe you money? If so – dead. If not… ;0)’

    And then we’ve had a bit of general chit chat but nothing of any great note. If owt exciting happens I will let you know.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Full Member

    I’m with Cougar…. i’ve dismissed friends out of my life for less.

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    Why does this have to an all-in commitment? Why not keep it simple and just reply and curiously ask where he’s been etc. You dont even have to agree to meet, just say youre glad he’s well and wish him all the best but the intervening years have changed your outlook.

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    ‘Hi ‘N’. Depends. Do I owe you money? If so – dead. If not… ;0)’

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Full Member

    Give him a ring and go for a beer. You will probably have a laugh remembering the good things you shared.

    This.

    And maybe you’ll end up going on a horseback trip into the mountains.

    Or just having a good old one-off catch up.

    Who knows.

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