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Is it a bad idea to meet him?

32 replies

MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 11:37

I've arranged (via SM) to meet up with a childhood "sweetheart". We last saw one another when we were 8 years old (40 yrs ago!) and both have very fond memories of those times and each other.

He seems slightly full-on and will be driving approx. 5 hours each way to meet up in my town. I'm getting cold feet but don't want to spoil the opportunity. I'm not looking for romance but it would be nice to reminisce and with an old friend. He asked if I was married and I said no (I am single). I get the impression from SM that he might have had some trouble in his life, possibly MH issues, but that's just guessing.

WWYD?
Has anyone reading ever met up with someone after this length of time with good results?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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BigSandyBalls2015 · 05/10/2022 11:40

Listen to your instincts!

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Musti · 05/10/2022 11:40

you were 8 and he has issues? No, why invite that into your life?

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 11:41

Musti · 05/10/2022 11:40

you were 8 and he has issues? No, why invite that into your life?

I'm just guessing about the issues.
I was thinking it might only be a one-off meeting, who knows.

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 11:42

BigSandyBalls2015 · 05/10/2022 11:40

Listen to your instincts!

The trouble is I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is instincts or over-thinking!

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OneTC · 05/10/2022 11:44

I'd go and meet them once it had got this far.

I probably wouldn't have got that far though

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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 05/10/2022 11:46

Have you spoken on the phone? Or online?

Is he married and wanting a fling?

What is the reason for either for you for wanting to meet up after 40 years?

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dontgobaconmyheart · 05/10/2022 11:46

No I wouldn't. Why do you need to meet in person or go to that length to catch up when you can message?

I would listen to your gut instinct on this. Sentimental romanticisation of a total stranger (because he is one) is never a good idea. 8 years old is very young to be calling him a childhood sweetheart.

You might be wishing to keep it platonic but does he? I'd keep a distance and chat over messenger if you feel a need but wouldn't be giving this person my address etc for now.

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VanillaParkersBowl · 05/10/2022 11:47

MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 11:42

The trouble is I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is instincts or over-thinking!

Your instincts are telling you to overthink it. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe, if that is not meeting with him then so be it. If he is offended that's his tough shit and will tell you everything your instincts were trying to tell you in the first place.

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pasturesgreen · 05/10/2022 11:50

Have you been in touch at all over the last 40 years, or have you just got back in touch recently? I think the likelihood of rekindling a childhood friendship after 40 years of no contact are vanishingly small, but you also must have had your reasons to get back in touch, so in your place I'd probably go ahead and meet him (in a public place, no way I'd let him know just now where I live).

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WhenDovesFly · 05/10/2022 11:52

Can you change the meet up point to somewhere that's more in the middle so that he's not travelling so far? A 5hr trip each way is a very long drive for a one-off meeting. He's already asked if you're married - is he hoping to come back to yours? Personally I'd want it to be off my home turf and somewhere neutral so that I didn't feel obliged to take him to my home. He might plead to stay over and drive back the following day.

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DappledYork · 05/10/2022 13:03

He sounds quite invested and as if it's a big thing for him if he's willing to drive 5 hours! Presumably, he's not going to drive home the same day.
Ask him if he wants a recommendation for a local hotel? That should give him the hint that he won't be staying at yours.

Alternatively, meet him half way for lunch. I think that's what I would do if it had got this far.

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 13:12

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 05/10/2022 11:46

Have you spoken on the phone? Or online?

Is he married and wanting a fling?

What is the reason for either for you for wanting to meet up after 40 years?

Just on SM. We are both single (both divorced).

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123rd · 05/10/2022 13:13

Meet somewhere neutral. Do you have any mutual friends still?

Don't let him give you a lift back to yours etc

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 13:14

I would listen to your gut instinct on this. Sentimental romanticisation of a total stranger (because he is one) is never a good idea. 8 years old is very young to be calling him a childhood sweetheart.

Good point, I guess he is really a total stranger now even though we have so much common background.
"Sweetheart" was the wrong word I guess; we were very good friends and when we reconnected both of us admitted to having a childhood crush.

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Newusernameaug · 05/10/2022 13:14

I’d meet but be clear beforehand on the expectations - is he staying locally somewhere as I’m don’t sure 5 hours there and back same day and a date is doable.

is he seeing anyone else whilst visiting or any other reason to visit - such as his old home town?

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girlfriend44 · 05/10/2022 13:15

My friend male met up with someone from their childhood.

After she went home she wanted a relationship with him and messaged him often. I think he told her he had met someone else to get rid of her.
That is all. Up to you. Agree 5 hours is alot.

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 13:16

123rd · 05/10/2022 13:13

Meet somewhere neutral. Do you have any mutual friends still?

Don't let him give you a lift back to yours etc

No mutual friends. But meeting somewhere neutral (i.e. not in my town) is a good idea. Thanks to all those who suggested that.

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 13:17

Newusernameaug · 05/10/2022 13:14

I’d meet but be clear beforehand on the expectations - is he staying locally somewhere as I’m don’t sure 5 hours there and back same day and a date is doable.

is he seeing anyone else whilst visiting or any other reason to visit - such as his old home town?

Yes, good point. I don't believe he knows anyone else in my town. I will recommend some hotels beforehand!

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Aquamarine1029 · 05/10/2022 13:17

I wouldn't meet in your town and I absolutely would not allow him to know where you live.

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Ihatethenewlook · 05/10/2022 13:17

Of course you should meet the virtual stranger who you’re already getting bad vibes about before you’ve even met him. What could possibly go wrong 🧐🤷🏼‍♀️

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Frida9 · 05/10/2022 13:18

Could you take a friend along with you? Meeting up with strangers (which after 40 years this guy is) is always risky. Would also reinforce that your not on a date

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MarianneOnAMotorcycle · 05/10/2022 13:18

VanillaParkersBowl · 05/10/2022 11:47

Your instincts are telling you to overthink it. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe, if that is not meeting with him then so be it. If he is offended that's his tough shit and will tell you everything your instincts were trying to tell you in the first place.

Good point... thanks!

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KosherDill · 05/10/2022 13:19

I would just cancel. As others said, he's a stranger.

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Lostoldusername · 05/10/2022 13:25

Fond memories? You were 8yrs old. I have fond memories of buying a 10p mix on my way home from school at 8 yrs old.....

I think you've potentially led him (possibly without knowing) into believing there could be more to this.
A 10hr round trip just for a catch up with someone from 40 years ago is a bit intense.

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Cather1ne · 05/10/2022 13:34

I wouldn’t. You can catch up over the phone as much as in person? Especially since you were 8 when you were friends. So long ago that he’s a stranger now.
Him driving 5 hours indicates he wants something more than just a catch up.

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