With every new semester comes new experiences — even romantic ones. Yup, I’m talking about situationships and relationships. Whether they may be experiences you read about, watch (The Summer I Turned Pretty, I’m looking at you), or experiences that happen to you, going back to school can be quite eventful for some. Especially when it comes to reconnecting with a situationship after you’ve been off campus all summer.
The summer is beginning to wrap up and it’s hard to believe the academic year is already quickly approaching. As the transition from summer back to school happens, a new opportunity to meet people and potentially start something beyond a friendship or crush presents itself. If you are returning to college, this might be something you are dreading — because your former situationship or ex is also returning.
This begs the question: should you reconnect with a situationship? Whether it be your personal situation or a good friend, situationships can be a confusing, annoying, and a time-consuming thing to navigate.
Reconnecting With Your Former Situationship From Last Semester: Yes or no?
I, personally do not have a situationship as of late, but I have several friends who have situationships from the previous semester — and reconnecting with a situationship once you’re back on campus can look different for everyone (trust me, I’ve seen it).
“The decision to reconnect or not with a situationship is very individual,” Jones tells Her Campus. “It depends on factors like whether or not either of you are romantically interested in one another, if either of you desires a relationship, or how healthy you’d deem your situationship to be.”
If you are interested in reconnecting with your situationship, Jones recommends being open and honest with your situationship about how you may be feeling. “If you do decide to attempt to reconnect, it’s important to put yourself out there while simultaneously being open to any potential outcomes of that conversation,” Jones says. “Worst comes to worst, rejection happens for a million reasons that have nothing to do with your value.”
Start Conversations About Things Left Unsaid.
Approaching these conversations is never easy. Especially if one of those unsaid or unanswered questions is talking about a relationship. Finding the right way to go about approaching such a delicate situation can be difficult without advice from somebody else.
“These conversations aren’t worth initiating because they’re necessarily easy, most of the time they’re not,” Jones says. “They’re worth initiating because the outcome is important, so rip that bandaid off! You’ll have so much more clarity and be able to make informed decisions not only about how you want to proceed with this person, but also what you need from a sexual or romantic partner generally.”
In addition to “ripping the bandaid off,” this is also the respectful and mature thing to do. If you are planning on having these conversations, “It’s typically seen as most respectful to have serious conversations like these as close to face-to-face as possible — at the very least, via FaceTime or over the phone,” Jones says.
But, what If You Just Want To Be Friends?
Ah, the good old former situationship-to-friends plotline we have all read about, watched on TV, or even experienced IRL. If you want to reconnect with your situationship but just as friends, how TF should you approach the situation? Jones gives the same advice your best friend, or mom, would give you: “Honesty is the best policy.”
“Conversations like this can be anxiety-inducing and uncomfortable, but they’re worth having because the chance at getting the outcome you want is important,” Jones says. “Without assuming what it is that they’re looking for, give them your honest ‘why.’ This honest ‘why’ can focus on positives rather than negatives, while still remaining as clear as possible.”
Of course, all of this can not be said without truly reminding your former situationship of your qualities and character. Jones reminds us to admire our great qualities, “Instead of, or in addition to, ‘I’m not looking for anything sexual or romantic right now,’ remind them of the great qualities you see in them that could contribute to a beautiful friendship.”
Above all else, put yourself first.
What is truly the most important outcome in all of this is valuing your mental health and focusing on your academic success in school. And, above all else, it’s important to take care of yourself. “Journaling and meditation can be a great way to engage in dialogue with yourself and truly be able to check-in with how you’re feeling,” Jones says. “Ask yourself questions like ‘does this relationship currently contribute positively to my life, and could I see it doing so in the future?’ And ‘Am I emotionally prepared for the lack of clarity or label that can come with a situationship?’”
In terms of connecting this situation to your own mental health and academic success, Jones places a large focus on taking time to understand your semester and how it correlates to your mental health. “Having a good understanding of what the upcoming semester will require from you academically is huge,” Jones says. “The needs for someone in any type of friendship, partnership, or situationship may be different, particularly with folks who deal with anxiety.”
Jones continues and explains how “You may need more reassurance and stability than a situationship allows. It’s important to be honest with yourself about those needs, and about whether or not you could use professional mental healthcare, rather than accept regular panic attacks as your reality.”
Even if you are not in a situationship, this is still great advice to follow. It shows you to honor your worth, mental health, and know your greatness!