The 5 Awkward Stages of Rekindling an Old Flame

You’re nervous, and why shouldn’t you be? You’re going to attempt to rekindle an old flame. Although this decision can cause a case of the nervous butterflies, it can also be a great decision: you’re single, and rather than meet someone new, you’ve decided to reach out to someone you’ve already dated. Perhaps you went on one or two dates, and then phased him or her out because someone or something got in the way. Perhaps you dated all through college.

Maybe sparks flew, but the timing was off. If that’s the case, it can be remarkably easy to re-kindle things and pick up where you left off. However, it can also be complicated.

Here’s how you can overcome the 5 awkward stages of re-kindling an old flame:

1. Zero expectations

Having expectations is not a good idea. You want to treat the hang out just like you would a catch up sesh with an old friend. If nothing else, you get to see your old flame and find out what they’ve been up to. Rather than expecting things to re-kindle, let it be a bonus if that’s what happens.

2. Play it cool

If you’re going to ask out an old flame, be causal about it. Suggest drinks, not dinner. Why? Because going for drinks, especially somewhere busy and loud, makes for a less awkward evening. A little bit of alcohol helps relax people so that they feel more at ease, and even if you don’t drink, the buzz of a busy bar creates less opportunity for awkward silences.

3. Looking your best

If you haven’t seen someone in a long time, you’re going to definitely want to look your best when you see them again. To achieve this, make sure to give yourself enough time to get ready and not be rushed. Looking good translates to feeling good, as it boosts your confidence.

4. Save your questions

You may have questions about why things didn’t work out. You may be wondering if whatever was in the way before, is still in the way now. Save these questions for your next hang out, or there might not be one. If an old flame has agreed to see you, it’s likely not because they were looking forward to being bombarded with questions. Once the two of you are feeling comfortable with each other and hanging out again, there will likely be a better future occasion to ask your questions. For now, keep it light.

5. Finding out if they feel the same way

You want to find out if they too are hoping to re-kindle the spark. If they still have interest in you, there are some subtle ways you can find out. Read their body language: If they are leaning into you, making eye contact, and they are engaged in the conversation, those are all good signs. Subtly touch their arm and see how they react. The best way to find out if they feel the same way? Try going in for a kiss, if you dare be so bold.