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DOs and DON’Ts for Having a Summer Fling

“Summer Lovin’ had me a blast, Summer Lovin’ happened so fast. I met a girl, crazy for me. Met a boy, cute as can be. Summer days driftin’ away to uh-oh those summer nights…well-a well-a well-a huh.”
~Lyrics to Summer Nights from Grease

By: Courtenay Patterson
This article presents an interesting quandary for me. I personally have never had a summer fling (or any fling, for that matter). However, I know a lot of people who have had, or at least have made a valiant attempt at having, a fling. Here’s what I’ve learned from their experiences…they may not end well. Yes, a summer fling sounds exciting, a bit risqué, and, well, pretty hot, but there are definitely some down sides to having a fling. So rather than debate the goods and bads of having a summer tryst, I am going to lay out some do’s and don’ts in the event you do decide to pursue a short-term romance this summer.

DON’T get too attached

The whole purpose of a summer fling is to have fun and not get emotionally involved in the other person. This may sound easy in theory, but can often prove quite difficult in practice. In fact, from what I’ve seen of casual summer romances, becoming emotionally attached to the other person will rapidly derail your carefree fling. If you’re not used to a superficial, emotionally detached relationship, it may take some time to adjust to this new frame of mind. The only way to avoid frustration and disappointment is to think of the fling as temporary and mostly physical. While it could turn into something more, the key is to avoid thinking too far ahead and to not let things get too serious. The most important part of a summer fling is to keep the relationship fun and casual. To do this, you need to really consider what your limits are when it comes to physical and emotional intimacy and not do anything you will regret later.

DO make sure that the other person knows what they’re getting into.

You and your fling should both know that this is just a fun, casual relationship and that it won’t be too serious or long-lasting. Ideally, one or both of you will be leaving at some point between the start and end of summer. Once you identify the perfect guy for your summer romance, strike up a conversation to get a sense of his summer plans (ie. summer job, vacation plans, how long he’ll be in the area). Watch out for any obvious warning signs, such as someone who has just gotten out of a serious relationship. While somebody on the rebound may seem like a safe bet for a fling, you could also end up with a lot of unnecessary emotional baggage. Look for someone who is emotionally stable and is ready to have a carefree, no-strings-attached summer romance.

DON’T have a fling with a neighbor, friend, or someone that you work with

Having a fling with a friend, coworker, or someone you see on a regular basis is not advised. The point of a summer fling is to have it end once the summer ends, so if your fling is someone you come into contact with frequently, it will make the seamless transition back to single-hood very difficult.

Probably the best place to find a summer hook-up is on vacation. There is a definite end-date with a vacation and it will be very apparent to both parties that any sort of relationship will end as soon as one of you heads back home.

DO use protection

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re having a short-term romance, use protection. Getting pregnant will obviously destroy any chance of a brief summer rendezvous. Having a child is anything but short-term.

DON’T have unrealistic expectations

A summer fling is meant to be just that – a fling…a casual, no expectations, no-strings-attached romance. If both people are in it for just a fun, relatively superficial hook-up, then neither person should expect the relationship to last beyond the summer months. This goes back to the earlier advisory: “Don’t get too attached.” Unless both of you are on the same page regarding how deep (or shallow) this relationship is going to be, one of you will likely end up disappointed, frustrated, and/or heart broken. Of course, if something happens to change and you both want to pursue a more serious relationship, there is nothing that prevents you from going down that road. But, having those sorts of expectations at the outset will certainly interfere with your ability to have a carefree fling.

DO have an exit strategy

Always have an exit strategy in mind when looking for or beginning a summer romance. Even if both people know things are going to end at the end of the summer, it’s still an awkward conversation to have with someone with whom you’ve spent an intense couple of weeks or months. Because you know that day is eventually going to come and it’s going to be at least a little uncomfortable, make sure that you have a clear plan to make a clean break. Figure out a good reason/excuse to break up, whether it’s the end of a vacation, a surprise trip to study abroad, or an unexpected business trip. Keep it clean and simple – remember it’s just a summer fling so it should never get too serious.

Most importantly… be honest with yourself. Are you really looking for just a fling or are you looking for someone with whom you could have a real, lasting relationship? While a summer fling may sound sexy and exciting, if you don’t know the answer to that question, then jumping into a casual summer romance will likely result in a great deal of heartache come summer’s end. Knowing who you are and what you want will help you to find and be successful in any type of relationship you pursue, whether it’s a short-lived fling or you’re in it for the long-haul. Whatever you decide, when it comes to matters of the heart, be safe, be smart and be true to yourself!


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5 comments on “DOs and DON’Ts for Having a Summer Fling

    • Hi Tiffany! You could try looking at the gym or a coffee shop. Do you live near the beach? That’s a great place to scope out a summer fling. I’ve also heard people say that they tried taking up a new hobby (ie. joined a running group, took a class at a local community center or community college) to try and find a summer romance. Good luck in your quest!

    • Yeah…..I want to have one too! Just a little fun…nothing serious! Maybe I’ll hunt down someone on vacation here. Wait, does that mean I’ll have to go hang out at touristy spots? hmmmm….

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