So maybe you spent your summer Facebook stalking your fling from last semester, wondering what he or she’s been up to lately (don’t lie, we’ve all done it at some point)! After a summer apart, the one who got away may be weighing heavily on your mind, and the fact that the school year is fast approaching means you get to see him or her in just a matter of days.
The question is, will you two run through the crowded dining hall into each other’s waiting embrace, or will you be stuck with awkward eye contact and blatant avoidance when you pass each other on your way to class?
Things may have fizzled out before you trekked back home for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t heat things back up in time for fall! Here are the dos and don’ts of facing your former fling.
Do make sure he or she is still single
If you’re trying to pursue a romantic relationship with your former flame, you need to get the lowdown on his or her current relationship status. After all, it’s common girl code that boys with girlfriends are off-limits. You don’t want to be the Regina George to his Aaron Samuels if there’s clearly a Cady Heron in the picture. It’s just, like, the rules of feminism.
Talk to some mutual friends who may know something you don’t. Even if he doesn’t have a serious girlfriend whom he posts a woman crush Wednesday of every week, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s up for grabs. He could be in a serious flirtationship that you had no idea about. It’s best to get all your facts together before pursuing anything further!
Don’t be awkward
Let’s face it, running into someone you have history with can just be plain awkward. If the first conversation you have with your former fling upon arriving to school is full of awkward, uncomfortable small talk, then that’s going to set the tone for the rest of your relationship. Whether you run into him or her on your way to class, at a party, in the library or in the dining hall, keep your cool and just have a normal conversation!
“It’s pretty lame, but sometimes I’ll think of a few questions I can ask someone ahead of time if I know I’m going to run into them and it might be awkward,” says Hailey*, a junior at Gonzaga University. “If it’s a guy I like or someone I’ve had history with, I know I’ll clam up if I run into them, so having a few conversation topics in the back of my mind always helps things go a little more smoothly.”
Be prepared – nothing is more nerve-wracking than being caught off guard and having to participate in an awkward, spontaneous conversation. Keep a few good questions in the back of your mind that you can whip out at a moment’s notice. The clichéd “what did you do this summer?” is guaranteed to get the conversation going.
Do take it slow
Whether you’re heating things up again or easing into friendship, it’s important to take your relationship slowly. Jumping right back into any kind of relationship may just make it doomed from the get-go. Start with something simple, like meeting up for coffee so you can clear the air and see exactly where you two stand. Get a feeling for where your relationship is at so you can see where to go from there. If anything, it’s a great way to catch up after a long summer and see if there’s still a little bit of chemistry there!
Don’t face him or her for the first time when you’re drunk
The first few weekends of school are bound to be jam-packed with parties and bar runs, which means there’s a good chance you may run into that former fling after throwing back a few rum and cokes. As much as you may want to run up to him or her and pour your drunk little heart out, this is probably not the best time to reconnect with him or her after a long summer. You don’t want to risk saying something embarrassing, like accidentally telling him JUST how much you Facebook stalked him while you were at home…
If, however, you do run into him or her after a couple of drinks, you’ll have to have a game plan that even your drunk self can stick to. Enlist your friends to keep an eye on you who will be ready to swoop in if they catch you conversing with someone you probably shouldn’t be talking to.
“I’m a total blabbermouth when I drink, and I know I’m bound to say something embarrassing,” says Natalie*, a junior at Gonzaga University. “If there’s a guy I know I shouldn’t be talking to while I’m drunk, I let my friends know before we go out. That way, if they see me talking to him, they can intervene before I say something I’ll regret!”
Do remember why your fling fizzled out in the first place
There was a reason your fling cooled off in the first place, and you should definitely keep that in mind when facing your former flame. Was timing the issue, or was it something a little deeper than that? If summer approaching was the only reason you and your fling cut ties, then there’s probably a good chance that you could start things up again. If he or she had annoying habits that you just couldn’t get past or you didn’t feel that strong of a connection, then it’s probably best to let go on and move onto greener pastures.
“My freshman year of college, I started casually seeing this guy a few months before we left for summer,” says Amanda*, a junior at the University of San Diego. “Right before we left I was starting to get annoyed with him, so I was glad that we’d have the summer to spend some time apart.”
However, Amanda says she started to miss him as the summer went on. “We picked things back up where they left off when we got back, but after a few weeks, I started to get a little annoyed again and felt trapped,” she says. “I wish I had remembered how annoyed I was at the end of the school year and just moved on.”
Take a step back and really think before pursuing this person again. If you really think you’re destined to be together, then go for it! If you still can’t get over the fact that he occasionally chews with his mouth open, then it’s time to ditch him and find someone else.
Don’t expect him or her to want the same thing as you
Whether you’re hoping to start up your fling again, take it to the next level, or even just be friends, you never know how your former hook-up feels about the situation. After all, the only way to truly know what someone wants is to talk to him or her, and you shouldn’t be angry or disappointed if your former fling isn’t feeling the same way as you! If he or she really isn’t feeling it, then that’s your cue to totally back off. You don’t want to be that girl pining after someone who wants nothing to do with her, of course! It’s best to figure out what you both want and move on from there – whatever that may entail.
Facing your former fling can be downright awkward and nerve-wracking, but it’s necessary – especially if you’re having some regrets about ending things in the first place. Approaching him or her in the right place at the right time is the number one step toward deciding if your former fling should have really been flung.
*Names have been changed.