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How to Bounce Back From a Summer Relationship Break

He jetted off to travel abroad and you were consumed by your dream internship in a big city. Or, you both bummed it on the couch at home and you just happen to live eight hours apart. Whatever the reason, you and the guy you were seeing at school decided to take a break over the summer. But now that summer’s over, you’ll be back in the classroom before you can even say “Welcome Week.” And, of course, that means he’ll be there too. So what do you do now? If you’re nervous about where your relationship stands, check out these tips from dating coach Jasbina Ahluwalia for bouncing back from a relationship break.

Step 1: Get Ready to See Him Again

Seeing him for the first time in the fall after a break can be either a really happy, exciting moment, or a really awkward one. Luckily, you do have some control over which way the situation sways. An easy way to initiate the “reunion” is to text him a few days before you return with something simple, like: “Can’t wait to be back at school! When do you move in?” It eases him into thinking about seeing you again, and it’s also a great way to get back in touch if you haven’t talked in a while. Set up a time to grab coffee or plan to sit together at a class meeting. That way, you won’t be flustered when you accidentally bump into him in the mailroom after not seeing him for three months.

Step 2: Feel it Out

Sometimes, it’s easy to tell how your guy is feeling once you see him again—he’ll either run up to you to scoop you into his arms for a kiss, or he’ll go for the awkward friend hug (the worst!). And while a lot of what he does will probably seem hard to read, it’s important to tune into how he acts towards you, because it could be a major indicator of how things will play out now that you two are back at school. Three months is a long time to be apart, and jumping right back into a relationship at the drop of a hat can be difficult. Be attentive to how flirty, awkward, or distant your guy might seem. Likewise, be aware of the vibes you could be giving him.

3. Don’t Set the Bar too High

As we said before, summer is a long three months to be apart, and even if you two decide to kick things back into gear with your relationship, it still might take you a while to get back into the groove that you had last year… and that’s okay! A lot of things can change in three months, especially if either of you was traveling or working over the summer, so the dynamic of your relationship might be different this time around. And a new school year also means changes in classes and schedules, which might eliminate the Wednesday lunch dates you guys used to have last semester.

Don’t get discouraged if things don’t fall into place perfectly right away—few things do in the first few weeks of school! The easiest way to deal with any changes is to embrace them, and try not to put a lot of pressure on a relationship that’s just as rusty as you are in class after a three-month vacation.

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