Sense & Sensitivity

Reader Wants to Reach Out to Friend From College

DEAR HARRIETTE: I heard from a college friend the other day. He was letting me know that another friend’s father had passed. We graduated from college more than 30 years ago, but we have stayed connected over time.

When we were in school, I know my friend liked me, but I was distracted by another guy and didn’t give him the time of day. About 10 years ago, he and I were working at the same event, and he asked me if I knew he had a crush on me in college. I changed the subject. Now I feel like I should acknowledge that I knew he liked me. I don’t want anything from him. We both are married with children. Mostly, I feel like I would like him to know that his sentiments count. Is that OK to say to him? I am not trying to confuse anything. -- Reminiscing, Boston

DEAR REMINISCING: You are currently in the tender space of remembering the past as a loved one has passed. Tread lightly. If the two of you see each other or talk again soon, you could say to him that you have a confession to make. You can admit that you knew he liked you years ago. Tell the truth -- you were young and distracted and interested in someone else. Apologize for not admitting that you knew this when he asked you years ago. Let him know that you appreciate his friendship and are glad that you created a bond that has lasted.

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