Usually i walk in like anyone else.
About the relations - i have met wide spectrum of reception, from insta attacks and threats 'you took what i was planning to have!!!!" to friendly greetings and alliance offers.
Its rare that i am able to win in latestarts, and then usually only due others dropping out of race most times. But i try to make live hard for the anyone who attacks me. "From depths of hell i'll will spit at thee" attitude. Most times i survive till victory.
Oldest i joined was turn 40, France, ans Scotland was only one left playing. He has 1/3 of VP acquired. We get on in friendly terms.
Just now, Lithuania was attacked by Ukraine without any dplomatic reasons, Managed to destroy their army, took theri capital and went rampaging over their core territories. Thier other part of army was a bit busy in Crimea at the time, but they are coming home now.