Sep 12 2017 1:30pm

14 Authors Dish on the Dos and Don’ts of Second Chance Romance

Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection

Today we're thrilled to host 14 of the authors from RWA's Second Chance Anthology. We love second chance romances, but any time you're revisiting a past love there are a few guidelines that may be helpful. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

DON'T rush into anything. Was there a reason things didn’t happen the first time around? He/she might sweep you off your feet, but take a minute to breathe (or have a glass of wine) and think things through.

DO be up front. Make sure you’re on the same page and be clear about what you want—or how you want it. Ahem.

—from Christina Lauren, author of  The Fisher Men: Levi’s Story

DO learn from prior mistakes and aim not to repeat them. Reconnecting with an old love is an unique opportunity to have a 'do-over', and learning from previous missteps will hopefully lead to a better outcome!

—from Cassandra Dean, author of Scandalous

DO keep in mind why you got together in the first place.

DON'T assume he looks back on your relationship the same way as you.  

—from Tina Ferraro, author of One Hot Mess

DO be ready for surprises!

DON'T assume your long lost love has just been sitting around twiddling his or her thumbs (or pining for your return) while you were off conquering the world.  They may still be the person you fell in love with, but people change and grow and life can throw you a lot of curve balls.  (Secret baby, anyone?)  Be ready to roll with the punches!

—from Lizzie Shane, author of Something Old, Something New

DO openly communicate about why the relationship didn't work the first time around. 

DON'T assume that things are different now simply because time has passed, and you miss each other. Unless something has changed (for example, you broke up because the long distance thing wasn't working, and now you live in the same city), there's a good chance the reason you split up in the first place could still be there. 

—from Tara Wyatt, author of Reload 

[Here's one that's both a Do & a Don't :)]

DO try to look at the relationship freshly and keep in mind that people change, especially if it's been several years since you've seen your old love...but DON'T expect everything to have changed! Some habits might be different and some attitudes altered, but most of us keep our core values throughout our lives.

—from Marilyn Brant, author of When Life Imitates Art

I think most people have a “one that got away,” but also maybe a “one that never quite was.” The latter can be lovely fun. I mean, what if you'd run off for a mad fling with that architect from Crete? Would it have ended in ouzo-fueled tears and gut-wrenching heartache? Probably. But ah! what a ride it might have been! So, if you get a second chance, maybe DO take it. We only regret the things we don't do, right?

—from CiCi Coughlin, author of Just Looking

DO attend your high school reunion. You never know who will show up.

But if you hated your school and have no fond memories of your classmates, then...

DON'T attend your high school reunion. You never know who might have earned an early release from jail

—from Ariella Moon, author of Covert Hearts

DON’T keep your memories of the past trapped in amber. Sentimentality turns toxic whenever you assume there’s only one way to remember or interpret an experience. Assumptions suck. Don’t force others to play a predetermined role in the romantic reunion you’ve scripted. Be here now.

DO give folks credit for their scars and stars. Anyone living a life deserves respect for the joys they felt, traumas they survived, and lessons they learned, even if you weren’t present for them.

—from Damon Suede, author of Twice Shy

DO remember the good things, all the things that made you fall in love in the first place.

DON'T bring the past into the present. Reconnection doesn't mean picking up where you left off. Forgive and forget.

—from Rachel Hauck, author of Love Is in the Air

Remember when your parents disapproved or said that “crush” or “puppy love” wouldn't last? Bring your old flame over to your folks' house for dinner. Hold hands in front of them. Maybe even kiss. Revel in their discomfort because this time you get to call the shots about who you date! #vindication #notgroundedthistime

DO go through old photos. Pick one detail from your old style to incorporate into your current style on date night: that piece of jewelry you always wore, your favorite color from that time, a subtle application of your favorite old perfume. You're you and beautiful now, but that little sensory detail can create a wonderful connection to the past. #memories #CliniqueHappy4life

—from Brandi Willis Schreiber, author of The Family Tree

DO make sure you're prepared by doing a little pre-reconnection digging. I suggest a little cyber-stalking on various social media. People can change a lot over the years.

DON'T ever, ever, ever tell your old love that you cyber-stalked them. 

from Kerri Carpenter, author of Homecoming

DON'T stalk her while wearing a clown suit. It never goes well. It's not charming. It will not win me, er, her back.  (Yes, this happened to me.)

from Alyssa Day, author of Jake’s Djinn

DO “Celebrate all the days, even the ones you weren't together.  They're a part of who you are, and why you found each other again.”

—from Sharon Sobel, author of The Jilt


Learn more about or order a copy of Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection by J. Kenner, Christina Lauren, Alyssa Day, Rachel Hauck, Liliana Hart, Marilyn Brant, Kerri Carpenter, CiCi Coughlin, Cassandra Dean, Tina Ferraro, Renee Luke, Ariella Moon, Brandi Willis Schreiber, Lizzie Shane, Sharon Sobel, Damon Suede, and Tara Wyatt, available now: 

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This anthology is brought to you by Romance Writers of America (RWA) and authors J. Kenner, Christina Lauren, Alyssa Day, Rachel Hauck, Liliana Hart, Marilyn Brant, Kerri Carpenter, CiCi Coughlin, Cassandra Dean, Tina Ferraro, Renee Luke, Ariella Moon, Brandi Willis Schreiber, Lizzie Shane, Sharon Sobel, Damon Suede, and Tara Wyatt. ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA® (RWA) is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. Founded in 1980, RWA has grown to one of the largest writers asso¬ciations in the world. RWA represents more than 10,000 members who live in more than 30 countries. RWA provides programs and services to support the efforts of its members to earn a living from their writing endeavors. If you are interested in becoming a part of this diverse and growing community, visit www.rwa.org for more information.

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1 comment
Nicola Smith
1. Nicola Smith
Loved this, some good advice. The highschool reunion and cyberstalking recommendations had me laughing out loud :)
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