You’re vaccinated and now you’re ready for another type of shot — tequila with lime — and maybe a pitcher of strawberry margs too. While you may be eager to get back out there, it’s natural to feel a little rusty around
post-pandemic dating. And if you’re thinking about texting an old hookup to rekindle, experts say there are a few things to consider.
Lee Wilson, relationship coach tells Bustle, you’ll want to do homework first. “By knowing what their relationship status is, you avoid a potentially awkward situation and are able to reach out to them with confidence,” Wilson says. Glancing at your hookup’s IG may save you both some time, Wilson says. No one wants to hit up an ex flame only to hear they had a Bridgerton themed micro-wedding in quarantine.
Clara Artschwager adds that before texting an old hookup, know what you’re looking for. “Get really honest with yourself around what your intentions are,” Artschwager tells Bustle. “What's motivating you to reach out? What are you hoping to get from it?”
While you may be looking for a post-quarantine quickie, Artschwager says it’s common to
text an old fling when there are other things going on in your life. “You may rationalize that you just want to have fun, when underneath, you’re lonely, haven't met anyone in a while, or are wondering if this hookup will spark something more,” Artschwager says.
Of course, after over a year of quarantine, you wouldn’t be the one who’s feeling lonely, done with online dating, and ready for a relationship. Yet, being clear on your wants can save you from disappointment down the line.
Once you have it figured out, experts suggest sending these texts to turn up the heat with a former hookup.
“It’s been a minute. How have you been?”
Meredith Golden, dating expert and founder of DARMA dating tells Bustle , short and simple does the trick. “It’s the same social etiquette as saying hi to an old friend, say hello and ask how they are,” Golden says. “If they respond, great. If they don’t, onward!” “I’ve been thinking about you. It’d be fun to get together soon.”
Artschwager says texting an old hookup is less about what you say and more about what you mean. Though it’s easy to get stuck stressing over your words, take a breath and just be honest and direct. “We have all of these made-up rules around how one should reach out, but it comes back to, how can you clearly communicate your intention,” Artschwager says.
“I see you chefin’ on IG. Guess it took a year in lockdown for you to learn how to cook.” Damona Hoffman, Certified Dating Coach and host of The Dates & Mates Podcast, tells Bustle to keep in mind that your ex flame probably changed in quarantine. “If you expect to pick up right where you left off, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment,” Hoffman says. Maybe they started a new job, cut down on drinking, or lost interest in going out. Sending a playful text about something you’ve noticed from social media — a new haircut, more gym pics, etc. — lets your connection to evolve. “Hey, long time no talk. Let me know if you want to do something soon.”
As Golden shares, your ex hookup likely knows that you’re reaching out for a fun fling. “The beauty of a hookup is that expectations and investments are low,” Golden says. “Old hookups know where they stood as long as transparency existed the first time around.” So being polite and direct gets the message across.
“I’m re-doing my bathroom and would love your help picking paint colors. You free this weekend?”
According to Lee, suggesting to do something non-sexual is another great way to reconnect with a former flame. If you always used to play pool or go on walks together, ask if they’d be down to meet up for old time’s sake. If your relationship was always hookup-focused, Lee adds that doing something outside of the bedroom can stir up some extra sexual tension.
“Needless to say, dating is bizarre right now...But I’ve always had fun with you and would love to meet up.”
If post-pandemic dating seems overwhelming and you’ve always had a sweet spot for your hookup, it’s natural to want to see them. And being honest about where you’re at will set you up for success. “Get clear with yourself on what you’re really looking for, then communicate that with clarity,” Artschwager says.
“I feel a little vulnerable here, but I'm curious to revisit things between us and I'm wondering how you feel about that.”
As Artschwager says, texting a former hookup often means assuming what we think they want to hear or hiding our own feelings. While it may feel intimidating to be transparent, she suggests stating what you’re feeling and asking them the same.
“Need you to know that the bodega cat that always hissed at you had kittens. I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard...”
Bringing up a movie you watched or a restaurant you went to is an easy way to start the conversation. “Reference something you two discussed or experienced together in the past and then follow it up with a, ‘What's new with you?’ open-ended question,” Hoffman says.
“I was thinking about you the other day, I walked by that bookstore on Frankford you always loved.”
While you may want to slide in with a “DTF?” Lee shares that testing the waters with a friendly, non-sexy message may help you gauge their interest in reconnecting. “Don't assume that you can send one text and go sleep with them,” Lee says. “You can ruin future potential and come across as creepy or shallow.”
*A Funny Meme*
Sending something silly breaks any tension and easily opens up the conversation, Hoffman says. “One technique I love is to send a GIF with a simple, ‘This made me think of you.’”
“I’m gonna be in your neighborhood next week. Want to get drinks?”
If you’re literally looking for a one-time thing, suggest a nighttime hang. “If you just want a casual hookup, suggest you meet at a bar,” Artschwager says. “Being direct brings you closer to what you want.”
“Life is *hectic* right now, and I think I’d benefit from a night out. You around this weekend? “
As Artschwager says, sometimes you reach out to an old flame when life is feeling stressful. “Take a look at the landscape of your life,” Artschwager says. “Are you dissatisfied at work? Did something happen with your family? Are you feeling down on your body?” While it’s fine to want to blow off some steam, being honest with yourself and your date can help you get on the same page.
*Respond To Their IG Story*
This is a low-lift way to get your flirt on. As Hoffman says, using Instagram can come with less pressure than texting, especially if you’ve lost touch. Responding to their story or sending them a DM about a recent post is fun, flirty, and totally casual.
Sources: Lee Wilson, relationship coach Clara Artschwager, dating coach Meredith Golden, dating expert and founder of DARMA dating Damona Hoffman, Certified Dating Coach and host of ‘The Dates & Mates Podcast’