Summer lovin’ is the stuff of rom-coms, summer beach bonfires, and unforgettable music. The very definition of a summer fling is that it comes to an end, but a short romance can be remembered fondly if you know what you are walking into and are mentally prepared. Be prepared with realistic expectations about a casual, non-committed relationship. Be open and honest with yourself and the other person. And lastly, be aware that you also can’t control the heart.
1. Go in with eyes wide open
Making the summer fling a fun and no-hassle experience requires some soul searching before you begin. Why do you want to embark on a romance when the end is likely already in sight? Are you looking for someone to be your partner in crime? Are you hoping that the relationship will continue on after summer?
If your life is healthy and happy and you want to share it with someone, you could be ready for a summer fling. But if you don’t think you can deal with the downside of casual dating—uncertainty, lack of commitment, jealousy—the road to a summer romance could be a detour to disaster.
2. Avoid the rebound
Steer clear of a summer fling if you’ve just gotten out of a relationship and the pain is still fresh. If you jump into a rebound to distract yourself from hurt, you’re likely going to wind up doing more bad than good for your heart in the long run. It’s hard, but try to give yourself time to feel the grief and heal yourself with good friends and warm summer nights.
3. Agree on ground rules
Be clear with your potential summer partner if you are not looking for a serious relationship, especially if intimacy is involved. Honesty is key in any summer romance to keep you safe from unwanted consequences that may happen by being with someone new.
Even if you don’t see a future with this person, they may not be on the same page. Both partners should be open and agree at the start that they don’t expect the romance to last beyond the end of summer. Once you have reached the agreement, you won’t have to worry about any end-of-fling weirdness when September looms.
4. But remember rules are made to be broken
Even if you both agree in the beginning that you’ll soon be happy to go your separate ways, relationships don’t always expire by a pre-determined date. When Labor Day arrives and you find yourself hoping to extend the relationship, ask yourself if the person is who you would want to date IRL. If you want to keep going, you’ll both have to make the decision.
5. Exit gracefully
Never feel obligated to continue dating someone you don’t think is right for you at the time. In summer romances, it’s easy to go your separate ways at any time, so do so if you aren’t happy. It may be hard to tell them the truth if you are worried about them feeling hurt, but your happiness and wellness is number 1, and you will actually be more kind if you end the romance sooner rather than later.
Exit as gracefully as you would if the romance had never been labeled a “summer fling.” Remember that this is a small world; be kind and gentle when explaining that you are moving on.