Kelsey Rohwer: The ex factor: hooking up with a former fling

The coming of summer raises many questions. Do I remember how to drive? Can I wear white pants yet? Summer internship or summer classes? While all these are legitimate, their answers are simple: probably not, who cares and why not both.

One question, though, lingers in our thoughts the entire way home, and it’s legitimate: should I hook up with my ex?

To begin answering, let’s nail down the basics. You have to have an ex that’s still talking to you. This means that a) you did the smart thing and broke up before college, or b) you had a mutual break-up during college. If any of these apply to you, consider yourself lucky. You have the sublime opportunity of hooking up with your ex this summer.

Normally, I would guide you through suggestions and lists with complicated numbers, but this time my advice is simple: go for it! What have you got to lose? This person knows all your weird quirks, and the awkward getting-to-know-each-other and navigating-the-bedroom phases are eliminated. Plus, your ex may have even learned a few new tricks in college.

But what kind of column would this be without advice?

Rekindling old flames is no easy business and some things need to be considered both before and after the hook-up. In any relationship, these are the times most of us mess up, but this is particularly challenging when hooking up with an ex.

Before initiating a summer fling with your ex, necessary field research needs to be conducted. If you haven’t been keeping tabs on their Facebook photos – but let’s be honest, that’s unlikely – now would be a good time to start. A certain amount of preparation needs to be made, so if they’ve taken up cutting their own hair, this is something that you need to be ready for.

If the Facebook check succeeds, then attend the same party as he or she and carefully observe from a distance. Has she developed a drinking problem? Is he shorter than you remembered? Is that a mermaid tattoo? Your summer is a valuable commodity, and you need to make sure that you invest wisely.

As a last measure, ask your other friends what your ex has been up to. If something major happened, they probably heard about it. If all is clear, finish what’s in your Solo cup and march full-steam ahead, my friend – your summer has officially started.

For the most part, the rest is easy, because you’ve been here before. But remember, you broke up for a reason. Chances are what you fought about last time you’ll fight about this time. So don’t bring up how she is never there on time or how he pronounces “supposedly” wrong.

You’re not going to change your ex in one summer. You’re hooking up with your ex because it’s carefree and fun; go to bonfires and play Scrabble with their parents. The summer is to be enjoyed, so don’t ruin it with stupid fights.

It ends, but by now you should know that. Before hooking up with your ex, it’s important that you both have the same expectations and that you establish an appropriate expiration date. Maybe there’s a chance for an actual relationship in the future. But for now, stick with the seasons, and end things when someone has to go back to school.

Kelsey Rohwer, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet columnist.

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