Dear Dr. Romance:
I'm not sure if you're willing or able to help, but I've been looking online for a solution to my problem for a while now. As of yet, I've come up empty handed. My situation is that I'm 21 years old and haven't spoken to my maternal grandparents in 5 years. Somehow with all of the means of communication available and even though we live in the same town, we've managed to completely lose touch. Recently I've been thinking about how to initiate conversation again, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
If you know how to contact them, follow the Nike slogan, and just do it. Read my article "Mirrors and Teachers" for some pointers and perspective about strained relationships. It's time you established a new relationship with them as an adult. You were a teenager before, your parents probably handled the grandparent relationship for good or ill, and hopefully, they'll understand this. Call them up and ask if you can come over and talk to them. If your grandparents are reasonable people, they'll greet you with love and enthusiasm. Bring them a treat (dessert, donuts, ice cream, cake) for all of you to share. If there's some bad history between you, then you should just apologize for your part in it, and don't say anything about what they did wrong. Just apologize and say you want to start over. "Apology and Forgiveness" will help you understand more about it. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help you understand difficult family dynamics. I promise you, it won't be as bad as you think.
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