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I haven't physically seen my mother in over 10 years. I didn't actually get in touch with her until around 3 years ago. While the conversations were a bit rocky at first, we've gotten to the point where we can talk every day about basic things. I think the biggest issue about trying to mend this relationship was making up for lost time.
I was no longer an eleven-year-old, and a lot had changed in seven years. This type of guilt leaked into both of us and we spent more time wondering if this was a relationship that either of us wanted rather than actually trying to form a relationship. I think a lot of you out there can relate to not seeing someone and then trying to pick back up where you both had left off. If you are struggling to try to make up for lost time, here is how you can do it.
1. Don't Allow Guilt to Come in
The worst thing that you can do when you are trying to repair a relationship is feel guilty about the time that has passed. Not only will this guilt make you feel worse about yourself, it will prevent you from trying to form a new, blossoming relationship. You both will be too busy thinking about all that you could've done that you miss out on creating new memories and being with that person. Never allow guilt to come into your relationship if you want it to be successful.
2. Start Now and Forget About the Past
The funny thing about trying to make up for last time is that it is just not possible. Once time passes, it is gone forever. There is no truly making up for lost time. The only thing that you can do at this moment is to try your best to create a long lasting relationship that will overcome that time gap. Make the other person feel loved. Do what you need to in order to build that bridge again. Do what you would normally do in any other relationship. Time does not dictate how a relationship ends up. You do.
3. Share a Short Summary of What Has Happened
You can't go back and share moments that never happened between the two of you. However, you can catch them up on what they've missed while you have been separated. Think of your life as a television show and the beginning of this relationship is that short recap that you see before the show starts. Let them know about some of the highlights of your life and then ask them to share theirs. You'll feel much more connected when you are caught up on each other's new lives.
4. Don't Force Things to Happen
Some relationships are so damaged that you can't put them back together. This is just a fact of life. If too much time has passed and you don't think that you belong in someone else's life anymore, don't try to force it. Sometimes, things happen for a reason and we just need to let them be rather than trying to fight them. Think about the good times that you had rather than reflecting on what could have been when this type of situation comes up. It can be hard but it just might be necessary.
5. Take It Day by Day
It can be difficult to come into an old relationship without feeling guilt or responsibility for the separation. Because of this, you may try to overcompensate and do everything that you think you should have already done in the time that you've missed. While this kind of thinking should be expected, it can actually do more harm than good. If you are pushing too hard or trying to make up by showering them with gifts and attention, you may actually ruin your relationship instead of mending it. Take it day-by-day and listen to the other person when you are first stepping back into a relationship. Patience is a virtue.
Have you successfully recovered from a relationship that has been ignored for too long? Were there any problems on the way? What kind of things did you have to deal with in this situation? Let me know in the comments below!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Chris Onyeka on November 25, 2019:
It's really feels difficult am not sure about the outcome yet, I've been away from my mom and siblings for over 5 years, my dad left after some years too, I've always kept in touch with my mom and siblings, I visit when I can but what breaks my heart is my mom's nature of job that keeps her out of the house at night, my elder sis sometimes gets caught up with work and my teenage sisters have to be on their own all day and night. I feel horrible cos I don't live so far from them but am just caught up with my own activities which also aims at supporting the family financially and reducing the stress my mom has to go through taking care of the family herself.
I really don't know what to do with my self cos am supposed to be the man of the house since my dad left.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 28, 2018:
Nice and helpful tips to revive a relationship. It’s difficult, no doubt, but should be done if one gets an opportunity to do so.
I hope everything is good between you and your mother now. Wish you all the best and thanks for sharing!