Friends who have moved to a different place, pals whose lifestyles are radically dissimilar to yours, mates you used to party with in school but no longer see… By our thirties, most of us would have at least a few friends in each of these groups.
It’s natural for us to lose a couple of friends when we’re in our twenties. If you’re lucky, you’ll still have a few old friends with whom you spend a lot of time. Or the ones who you can just call and resume where you left off. However, you will probably have a slew of pals with whom your only interaction is the odd Facebook birthday message.
This brings us to another type of friend: friends with whom we’ve lost touch. Reconnecting with someone may be as challenging as going on a first date. Will they reply after you texted them? What is the upper limit? What if they’re still furious over your old argument? It becomes more challenging to pick up the phone and call.
Where would you begin your search for someone you haven’t seen in ten, twenty or even fifty years? Where do you start when all you have is your school’s name and a photo? So, if you’re considering rekindling a friendship, maybe the following guidelines can help you avoid some of the discomfort and uncertainty.
Well, where should you start looking for your lost friend? A search can rapidly begin to provide results if approached correctly. The aim is to approach everything methodically and thoroughly.
Begin with something small
Let’s keep things basic and straightforward. After all, you used to be excellent friends, and you may become such again. You can start a discussion by using any of the following expressions.
- Hey, how are you?
- I haven’t seen you in a long time!
- I haven’t seen or spoken to you in a long time!
- When was the last time I saw/talked to you?
Contact the alumni services department of your institution
Colleges and schools have established networking “affinity” clubs and other possibilities to assist students in maintaining their contacts with one another and with their schools. Participating in your alumni group may even contribute information about your company that may interest your fellow grads. You may also go through their network of current and previous students to see who you might wish to connect with. So if you’re looking for someone you used to study with – start with an alumni network.
If you have any idea what your former classmate is doing now professionally – use that in your search. You might even know who they work for. In that case, visit the company’s website and see if they have any info about their workers. Do the same with their company’s social networks. Look for your classmate on LinkedIn. That network is especially useful as people tend to use their real full names there, making it easier to find them.
Contact mutual friends
Consider the persons you and your lost buddy had ties with. Some of your familiar pals may still be in contact with them. If not, they may know someone who is–it never hurts to ask! If this makes you feel uneasy, you may always utilize those shared contacts as a starting point for additional social media research. Reaching out to friends of friends, whatever you do, is a vital means of broadening the scope of your search. They will probably lead you to your ultimate aim – your long-lost relative.
If your social media searches provide no results, the next step is to use a search engine. Google is often the best option, but any major search engine should suffice. To begin, try looking for your friend’s name, but unless it is really unique, you are likely to come up empty-handed. So, once again, the trick is to search wisely. Examine the facts you have on your acquaintance and consider what may yield a favorable result. Enter search terms containing names and other information to see what comes up. Again, this is a trial and error procedure. Your patience and imagination will be your most valuable assets in this endeavor.
Twitter and Instagram are also popular places to look for an individual. However, many users do not provide images of themselves or other identifying information on their accounts, making it difficult to determine whether you’ve met the appropriate person.
Use People Search Websites
When everything else fails, you may always use the services of a trustworthy people searching website. Your lost friend’s contact information is frequently publicly available, but otherwise lost in an unending sea of data. Such services may make the work of combing through this data much faster and more efficient, increasing the likelihood that you will be able to reconnect with an old buddy in a timely manner. Even with limited information, the essential sites may provide results.
Finding an old buddy is a lot simpler than it used to be. You might be able to find some folks on your own using social media and internet search engines. If that fails, there are background checking websites that conduct professional public data searches. These sites increase your chances of locating the person you’re looking for, regardless of how much (or how little) information you know about them.