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Relationship Interrupted: The "Second Semester" Approach to Guys


Returning to school from winter break seems to call for celebrations galore, as back-to-school reunions and parties rage throughout campus in the days leading up to the start of classes… and they really just keep going. While it’s always exciting to reunite with friends, it can sometimes feel like we never even left.  Things can pick up right where they left off, and we fall almost immediately back into the college life routine.  This feeling, then, lends itself to uneasy interactions with the guys we hooked up with, almost dated or had obvious crushes on during the fall semester.  With the past not all that distant, the relationships we left behind in December reappear, almost as if to haunt us. 

All those loose ends and that awkward tension can really put a damper on things when all we want to do is celebrate and embrace the new semester.  Here are some tips on how to approach those carried-over sentiments from a first semester relationship…

…if it fizzled.
That “out of sight, out of mind” feeling might have taken over when you went your separate ways for the holidays, but nothing specific really caused the relationship to end.  If your attraction/feelings are reignited when you see each other again, it shouldn’t be hard to pick up where you left off.  But if the sparks don’t fly and it becomes clear that this was nothing more than a convenient hook-up, there’s no need to force it – obviously, you’re both ready to move on if you haven’t already.

girl texting

…if you kept talking.
This relationship reached no end, and it’s clear that there were strong enough feelings (on both sides) that allowed it to persist.  The fact that you kept in touch throughout the break – whether you went on casual outings, exchanged a few simple text messages or engaged in lengthy video chats – shows that the end of the semester had no bearing on the status of your relationship.  If you and your guy kept in touch in any of these ways, the new semester (with the help of face-to-face contact) might turn your talk buddy into something more.

…if you said you’d talk, but didn’t.
Let it go.  You didn’t miss each other enough to actually reach out to one another, so reuniting after making an empty agreement to speak might be a little awkward.  Be cordial when you see him, and remain friends if you really do enjoy spending time together.  But as far as “more-than-friends” is concerned, it might be time to search for that with someone else.

…if one of you has returned from a semester abroad.
So you haven’t seen each other since, like, May.  Certainly, a lot has changed since the end of the last school year, and you’ve been off each other’s radars for quite some time.  It might take a few interactions to warm up to each other again, and with such a distant past, it might be difficult to reconnect in the same way you once did.  Still, it’s worth it to maintain a friendly relationship with this guy – and see if that takes you back to what you had before.

couple fighting

…if it ended with a fight.
Try to patch it up.  There’s nothing worse than walking on eggshells around a person with whom you were previously very comfortable.  If there was a big blow-up at the end of the semester, for whatever reason, apologize (if necessary) and move on.  You can go back to just being friends with him or kiss and make up and get back to where you were before your tiff

…if you were “basically dating.”
Make sure to have some one-on-one time early on, so that you can reconnect with him.  A month is a long time, no matter how consistently you were hooking up/seeing/texting one another.  If you both took time over the break to consider what you want from each other going forward, be sure to communicate those feelings early on in the new semester.

…if he has no interest in you anymore.
If you haven’t received any “Hey, are you back on campus yet?” texts, or the first time you see him out results in a lame kiss on the cheek and no conversation, he might just be over it.  For this guy, a new semester means new girls, and anything that the two of you had previously has become irrelevant.  Forget him and find someone better.

…if you have no interest in him anymore.
Let him down lightly, and don’t “keep him on the back burner” for when you just can’t find anyone else.  Be pleasant and conversational when you see him, but be sure not to tease him if it’s clear that he’s still interested.  Explain that you’re ready to move on now, and he should do the same

uninterested couple breaking up ex fighting boyfriend girlfriend

…if you’ve exhausted all your options.
Social circles can get a little small, and as we collegiettes get older, the guys we hang out with can seem less and less mature.  It might take going out to new places with different people to realize that there are, in fact, guys on campus that you’ve never met.  If that fails, head to the graduate school libraries for the hunky (and mature!) post-grads.

…if you didn’t hook up with anyone during first semester at all.
New year, new you – new guys!  Put yourself out there – whether it’s in class, in line at the dining hall or out at a bar – and let guys know you’re available.  Snag the cutie you’ve had your eye on since day one by approaching him, and take it from there.  Your track record with guys is as clean as your spring semester transcript – no awkward situations to avoid, no tension to worry about and no angst over a lack of text messages – so take advantage!


Whether you’re ready to leave first semester’s boys behind or hesitant to let them go, there’s just no way that they’ll disappear altogether.  This means not only dealing with unavoidable run-ins, but maybe also planning date nights.  Surely, each situation is unique, but our return from break presents us with a fresh mind and a clean slate, and therefore a better idea of what exactly we’re looking for with each of these guys.  Don’t let the 4-week interim cramp your style – view it as time used to fuel up to face the boys of the past and pursue the ones of the future.



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