It's so easy to lose touch with people, isn't it? Six months, or a year, can fly by in the blink of an eye. But even if it's "been forever," you can most certainly
text someone you haven't talked to in a while and strike up a conversation again.
It can be tricky, though, to figure out what to say. And sometimes, it feels weird to be the one to rekindle a flagging friendship. But don't let shame, awkwardness, or pride hold you back from reaching out,
Jennifer Vandegriff, LCSW, a therapist, tells Bustle.
It's natural to drift away from people over time — and yes,
sometimes that's actually a good thing. But it's also common for folks to get bogged down with work or school or to feel overwhelmed by life in general. Depression and anxiety can make it difficult to answer texts, too. And, of course, we all have friends we only talk to once or twice a year, instead of every day.
All of it is completely OK, Vandegriff says, so if you get stuck with the desire to say hi, allow yourself to just go for it. Here are a few
texts to send to someone you've lost touch with for every situation.
"I know it's been a while, but I just wanted to see how you're doing."
Let's kick off the list with a simple, straight-forward text. Because according to
Dr. Rebecca Leslie, a licensed psychologist, you don't necessarily need an excuse to reach out to someone. "If you are missing the person and wanting to reconnect," she tells Bustle, "you can be honest and say it."
"I heard you graduated. Congrats! How have you been?"
That said, sometimes a significant life achievement — like graduation, new job, etc. — makes it easier to reach out to a friend you've meant to talk to.
Their recent success is a good "excuse" to say hi, plus there's "a natural complement built into it,"
Nicole Arzt, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
Depending on the situation, you might opt for a text that's light and playful. This one is casual, fun — but most importantly, lets the person know you've been thinking about them and miss their company, Vandegriff says.
"It's been ages, but just wanted to say hi!"
If you're really close friends, you might feel good about diving back in with a random text and essentially picking up where you left off.
"But even then, it can be helpful to acknowledge that you’re reaching out somewhat out of the blue,"
Candice Conroy, MA, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor, tells Bustle.
By saying "it's been ages," you're acknowledging that time got away from you.
"Hey! Just wondering what your life is like these days. I’d love to catch up”
When you send a text to a long-lost friend, it's important not to expect a response. You don't know how their life has changed over the years, or if they'll even want to talk. Again, sometimes
people drift apart for a reason, like after an argument.
But don't let that stop you from trying. If you'd like to rekindle a friendship, Conroy suggests being clear about your desire to catch up. Hopefully, it'll open the door to more texting, a phone call, or maybe even a coffee date.
"Things are looking stressful out there in California. Just wanted to make sure you're OK."
The past year has been difficult for everyone, with impossibly stressful events occurring all around the globe. If one of them makes you think of a friend, Conroy says, reach out with a text like this one to make sure they're OK.
"I just saw those cupcakes on your story. They looked amazing! How's everything going?"
Another way to reconnect is by responding to someone's Instagram stories, Conroy says. If one of their recent posts happens to catch your eye, use it as your "in" to get a convo going.
To make amends for ghosting someone, start by apologizing,
Dr. Kimberly M. Martin, a clinical psychologist, tells Bustle, and go from there.
This text is simple, she says, and acknowledges the impact your disappearance might have had on the person. From there, see if they'd be down to clear the air.
"An alien abducted m,e but now I'm back. How are you?"
You can always break the ice with a joke, too,
Sulonda Smith, LMFT, CLC, a licensed marriage family therapist and certified life coach, tells Bustle. The image of aliens lifting you off the planet — as an explanation for why you haven't texted in a year — is A+.
"I just saw twisted lime Doritos at the store and it made me think of you!"
Smith says you can also look for a specific reason to reach out so that your text feels more personal — and purposeful.
The receiver will enjoy the fact you remembered something specific about them (like their undying love for lime Doritos). And, they won't be left scratching their head wondering why you suddenly thought of them.
*send a photo* "This made me think of you!"
As Arzt says, "Photos are a harmless and easy way to try and revive an old connection." So, if you happen upon something that reminds you of a friend — like a cute dog, a favorite restaurant, etc. — don't hesitate to snap a pic and send it their way.
"lol I just heard 'Old Town Road' and thought of you <3"
The same is true for songs, Arzt says, since so many people connect through music.
You might hear a song that brings back memories from a road trip or a jingle that instantly transports you to nights spent working together at a bar. Remind them so that you can bond all over again.
"Was feeling sad that we haven't connected in a while. Could we talk or catch up soon?"
In all situations, but especially ones that might feel awkward, remember to keep the focus on yourself and how you've been feeling,
Keith J. Myers, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, a licensed professional counselor, tells Bustle, instead of pointing fingers.
For example, don't lead with "Why haven't you ever reached out to me?" since that will place the other person on the defensive and make a potentially awkward situation even more uncomfortable.
Being vulnerable and showing your feelings, Myers says, has a disarming effect, which will help set the other person at ease.
"Wishing you a happy holiday! I'd love to talk more in the new year!"
When in doubt, wait for the holidays.
"This is an opportunity of convenience to reach out and to acknowledge the work that needs to be done moving forward to maintain contact and strengthen the relationship,"
Dr. Markesha Miller, a licensed psychotherapist, tells Bustle.
(Just make sure you actually follow through, or else you'll be back at square one all over again.)
"Wow, I just had a flashback. Remember when we pulled that all-nighter in college?"
Whether it was an all-nighter in college, a fun party, a concert you went to in 2017 — go ahead and reminisce via text.
"Some humor or a reminder of shared interests or memories foster connection,"
Lisa Andresen, ASW, a therapist, tells Bustle. "This also makes for an easy conversation starter before you start catching up."
"Wanted to say that you're awesome and I don't want to lose touch"
Keep your first text short, funny, and loving. And "make [it] a genuine bid for connection,"
Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. "Let them know they are important to you and you would like to reconnect."
"I really need your help with something, if that's OK!"
Sometimes folks spring to mind in very specific scenarios. Like, maybe your guitar string breaks, and you immediately think of an old friend who just so happens to be the best at restringing guitars. If you need help or advice, Smith says, go ahead and say "hi."
"Happy birthday! Let's not let another year go by without talking"
Smith says birthdays are yet another great opportunity to reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while. You can always just wish them well and move on. But it may also be the moment you reconnect.
"Did you ever read that book I recommended?"
If you recommended a movie, book, album, etc., go ahead and follow up to see if they liked it.
"Ugh, I'm so bad at responding!"
All of that said, sometimes brutal honesty is the best policy.
”Taking accountability for your behavior in losing touch and not prioritizing the friendship goes a long way towards re-establishing trust and connection," Vandegriff says. So whether you're "bad" at texting, have had a lot going on, or simply shifted priorities, let the other person know your silence had nothing to do with them.
Experts: Jennifer Vandegriff, LCSW, therapist Dr. Rebecca Leslie, licensed psychologist Nicole Arzt, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist Jennifer Vandegriff, LCSW, therapist Candice Conroy, MA, LMHC, licensed mental health counselor Dr. Kimberly M. Martin, clinical psychologist Sulonda Smith, LMFT, CLC, licensed marriage family therapist and certified life coach Keith J. Myers, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS, licensed professional counselor Dr. Markesha Miller, licensed psychotherapist Lisa Andresen, ASW, therapist Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR, licensed marriage and family therapist