Should you hook up over Thanksgiving break?

    After two months of awkward, alcohol-induced one-night stands, returning home can be comforting. For those of you with an ex, or an old flame, in your hometown, the temptation to get back together — or just romp around in the sack — can be overwhelming (alas, an attractive, non-socially stunted member of the opposite sex!). Of course, Northwestern has someattractive, well-adjusted individuals (I refuse to link you to Zach Braff), but seeing that special someone from home can raise the question: Should you hook up over Thanksgiving Break?

      Should you hook up with your hometown ex? (Photo by matthewvenn on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.)
    • Con: Before you jump into bed, make sure they’re really single — and that you’re really single. Just because Northwestern is 1,000 miles away doesn’t mean that the girl you’ve been sleeping with for two months won’t be insulted to discover your fling. And as unfortunate as it may be, your ex may have moved on as well. Mediating your home life and your Northwestern life can be difficult, but the “if she’s in another area code, it doesn’t count” rule doesn’t always ring true. Feelings can still be hurt.
    • Pro: If you’re single and looking, home-based hookups aren’t all bad. The territory is familiar, so there’s no need to exchange numbers afterwards (knowing, of course, that no one intends to call). For those who have yet to experience the joy of a college hookup, home can be a place to release all the sexual tension that’s been building up. No need to test the waters: You know the passion is there, and probably enhanced by the long months apart.
    • Con: That said, don’t hook up over Thanksgiving Break just because it’s familiar. Although it may be tempting to hop back on the love train, think about the consequences before doing so. Holiday hookups are rife with trouble; the emotions you’ve worked so hard to hide may come tumbling back upon your return to Northwestern, and an attachment to home isn’t conducive to a fun Winter Quarter. Pay careful attention if you plan to hook up with an ex you spent Fall Quarter trying to forget — bringing the relationship back to the front of your mind will only make Finals Week more difficult.
    • Pro: It’s good for what it is: a fling. If you are determined to hook up with the hottie from your past, now is the best time to follow the golden rules of hookups. Especially if it’s with an ex, make sure you both know where this is going. If you’re just looking for a one-night stand, clarify that before icky emotions get involved.
    • Not a pro or con, but DUH. Obviously, use protection. You may have been chaste over the past two months, but that doesn’t mean your potential partner has too. A nasty bout of syphilis won’t help you forget your ex, and it will make Winter Break significantly more awkward.
    • Con: Don’t let this be the time you let your partner push you past your boundaries. If you’ve been adamant that you wouldn’t do that before, don’t change now. The time to expand your sexual horizons is not during a one-night stand with your high school boyfriend on a stomach full of turkey (or beer).
    • Pro/Con?: And if the hook-up turns your mind towards things more serious, tread carefully when (re)initiating a relationship over Thanksgiving or Winter Break. Everything may be fine and dandy at home when you can spend the full day together, but things will be more difficult afterward. Make sure you are both prepared for the difficulties of a long-distance relationship before jumping in.

    Granted, there are benefits to the holiday hookup, but examine the negatives before moving forward. Break is intended to be an escape from the pressure and stress that Northwestern students specialize in. Why waste time adding stress to your home life as well?


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