Question: Dear Luise: I need your counseling for the below given query. During my schooling days till tenth standard I had a girl friend. It was just an eye to see and smile affair, but we were attracted to each other and exchanged affectionate letters. After completing my schooling I left the place for higher education and literally forgotten her. In this due period of life I got arranged marriage and professionally moved in different places. Now I have settled down with my family and a kid. After a period of 25 years of life, my past girl friend called on my mobile and introduced her self and explained her whereabouts. I was thrilled and met her one day. We shared all our past happenings. But now she has divorced her husband due differences between them. She has two daughters grown and she is working in a small shop to get on in life. She is not placed in life to live luxuriously. As a past friend, I helped her monetarily. I would like to have your suggestion whether to continue this relationship and what will be the out come. I want to be a good friend of her. How should I proceed? She needs financial support of some kind or the other to get on with life apart from her earnings. Kindly guide me through this. S.
Answer: Dear S. I have no idea, of course, where the situation you have described will take you and your friend in the future. However, it’s fun, isn’t it…when someone pops up from our past…especially from our childhood? What we need to remember is that when we don’t stay in touch over the years and forget all about such people, there is a reason. It takes an effort on everyone’s part to remain close and when the effort isn’t made, it is usually because the bond just didn’t go deeply enough.
There is a saying; “that was then and this is now.” Sometimes the past and the present don’t mix well because too much has transpired to all parties concerned. Isn’t it true that your loyalties now lie elsewhere?
I think it may be a mistake to try to supplement the income or change the standard of living of another person. And if they are willing to accept that kind of help, it may be mistake on their part as well. We each have a path and our circumstance may vary drastically.
Your friend made choices along the way…or they were made for her, and those choices shaped her reality. The same is true of you. Long story short, I would suggest you offer her the kind of friendship that involves occasional opportunities for conversation. I would be very careful to keep my financial boundaries in place and to make it clear that I had only a limited amount of time to pursue reconnecting with her. The truth is, your priorities lie elsewhere. Blessings, Luise