If You Miss Someone, Tell Them
Do you ever get hung up on thinking about “the one who got away”?
It can be a friendship you let fall by the wayside; a romantic interest that never came to fruition; an estranged relative you haven’t spoken to in years.
A person who once was such a huge part of your life, an entire segment of your whole existence. Someone who you couldn’t imagine going a day without seeing or speaking to.
But then something happened — whether it was your fault, their fault, or no one’s fault. Something happened that ripped your relationship apart and left you sitting alone among the scattered fragments.
Sometimes, the break happened for a reason. Some breaks aren’t so easily healed. Some need time and space. And when they do heal, they aren’t ever the same again.
But some breaks can be fixed — if one person has the guts to try.
Get over yourself and say hello
This week, I reached out to a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years.
We hadn’t parted on good terms. I completely severed all contact. I was angry and pissed off and I had no intention of ever speaking to him again.
But during the past few weeks, the ghost of his memory followed me around, pointing out things that made me think of him. I’d read a line in a book and wonder what he would think of it. I would write something and wonder if he’d like it. I’d think of something only he would find funny and I’d want to tell him.
That’s when I decided it was time to get over myself and my grudge and say hello.
I reached out simply because I missed talking to him. He and I are two halves of the same whole. We’re both writers, so we’re struck from the same mold. It’s the kind of bond that can only be forged by minds that know what it’s like to sit up late at night searching for the right words to describe someone important to us, or to get lost in the flow of words so much that you black out for hours and come out on the other side thousands of words later.
I missed him. I missed his mind. I missed our conversations. And yeah, communication is a two-way street, so he could have reached out to me. But when we parted ways, I was the one who had been angry. So it was on me to extend the olive branch.
I could’ve let him go. I could’ve stewed in my feelings forever. But I didn’t.
I chose to swallow my pride and say hello.
Don’t wait for a pandemic — tell them now
Relationships die in silence.
If you’re nervous about making first contact with someone from your past, do what I did and use quarantine as an excuse to check up on people and open a dialogue. It might not always work, but it’s worth a try.
It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic for me to tell someone I miss him, or to check in with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. If you miss someone, tell them. It’s just that simple. Or at least reach out and try to make peace. Open the door for the healing to take place.
Just because you haven’t spoken in a while and didn’t part on the best terms doesn’t mean you can’t bridge that gap. The silence is deafening, but it doesn’t have to be impenetrable. You don’t have to let it continue out of your own stubbornness to be the one to break the ice first.
If this person is important to you and you valued the relationship you once shared with them, it can be rekindled— but it can’t be done in silence. It can’t be done until someone makes the effort.
And it doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture. Just a simple text message will suffice in most cases. Take small steps. Reintroduce yourself gradually into their life. Then apologize, forgive, or make amends however you need to.
If someone is important to you, don’t let them go
If someone is important to you, don’t you dare let them get away. Don’t let the relationship wither in silence and drown in distance.
If that person impacted you or enriched your life in some way, fight like hell to keep them. And let them know how much they matter to you. Those kinds of people are hard to come by. So hang onto them when you find them.
During the past week I also reached out to another former best friend. She replied, once, and didn’t continue the conversation. So now I know where she and I stand.
But with my writer friend, we opened that door to communication again. I forgot about my anger and left the broken things in the past where they belong.
In a time of severe global isolation, it feels good to have a friend again. It’s not too late to salvage or save a relationship, no matter how much time has passed.
A relationship only dies if you let it.