Rekindling Old Flames Over the Holidays

I am not a person who leaves school and returns home to 30 high school friends waiting for me. I have a few close friends that I will meet up with for dinner, drinks and an occasional slumber party. But, for the most part, my life is now in Pittsburgh, and going home to Washington D.C. feels like visiting.

This past Thanksgiving break was a little different. I went home with plans already established to reunite with my high school crush. We had spent a lot of time together during our senior year of high school and while on school holidays during our freshman year of college, but we drifted apart when he started dating his girlfriend at his university. With both of us freshly single for the first time in 2 years, it seemed like fate (you can roll your eyes all you want) that we were coming home and both wanted to see each other. We did see each other and, despite a little bit of awkwardness while catching up on two years he spent with someone else, it was pretty perfect. I have always ignored the “statistic” that there’s an 80% chance that you will meet the person that you’ll marry by the age of 18, but maybe that’s not so crazy after all… OK—let’s not get carried away here.

Does this sound like something that could happen in your future? Here is how I rekindled an old flame over break:

Be yourself

While driving to his house, the first thing that I thought was, “I’ve changed. What if he doesn’t like the ‘new’ me?” I began to panic at the thought of this meeting not going the way that I thought it would in my head. I called my best friend and she comforted me by reminding me that even if this went horribly wrong, at least I put myself out there and tried. We love a supportive BFF! People change and can grow apart and this is completely okay. You shouldn’t feel pressure to either pretend to be who you used to be or avoid talking about new things that you enjoy.

Listen

As much as you might want to spill the tea about every little thing that has occurred in your life over the past few years, make sure to take a breath and listen too. As important as it is for you to be yourself and make sure they like you, you need to make sure that you still like them. Go back to the dating basics and ask questions about school, family, clubs, etc.

Remind them of how good it used to be (wink, wink)

If your past experiences together were positive, reminisce! I read through our old text messages together and we laughed at how far we have come since freshman year of college. I made a joke about how he said in high school that he wanted to be married by twenty-five (What was he thinking?!) and that led into a really good conversation about what we realistically want for our futures.

Rekindling an old flame brought up a lot of worries for me but I decided to be myself and give it a shot and I am so glad that I did. Winter break, here I come!

Cover image: 1, 2, 3, 4