The summer after my first year of college I met this super cute guy. He was living with a bunch of friends in the house next door to mine. We met one night while all hanging out together and I was attracted to him instantly. He was perfect summer fling material: handsome, fun and only in town for a summer internship. When we started dating and I was smitten.
We spent a few really fun weeks together. However, as the end of the summer approached he broke things off. I was crushed at the time, but looking back it makes total sense. Our relationship, while fun, wasn’t meant to be anything other than a summer fling (later, turned friendship).
While some summer flings can definitely grow into more, this isn’t always the case.
Wondering whether the person you’re dating is a summer fling or something more? Here are a few things to consider.
- Do you have anything in common?
While you don’t necessarily have to be soulmates to enjoy a wonderful summer fling, you do need to have some common ground in order to take it to the next level. Looking back on my summer fling, the main thing we had in common was that we lived on the same street and were attracted to each other. He enjoyed camping and being in the wilderness, I live for city life and plush hotel stays. He liked acoustic guitar, I’m obsessed with old-school hip-hop. And the list goes on. When evaluating your summer fling, ask yourself what you have in common. Do you have similar values and worldviews? Do you have a similar lifestyle? Lastly, where do you each see this relationship going?
- Can you talk openly about the relationship?
If you’re not sure where the connection is going, the most straightforward thing you can do is ask the other person. Open communication is key in serious relationships. If the other person clams up when you try to talk to them about the future or tries to get out of the conversation by saying something non-committal –like they’re “not into labels” — well, then you have all the information you need. However, if you are able to talk about your feelings and where things are headed, it could mean that there’s potential to transition into something more serious.
- Are you willing to go the distance?
Summer flings often come with an expiry date because of geographical complications. Maybe one of you is only in town for the summer or you met on vacation. Either way, if you’re going to transition into something more than a fling you need to have a discussion about whether either of you is willing to be in a long distance relationship. Being in a LDR is easier said than done and you both need to be willing to go the distance (literally) to make it work.
- Do you actually see yourself in a relationship with this person?
When I was younger, I used to think that if I liked someone and started dating them, the only option was a serious relationship. So, I’d try and make it work with people that should have just stayed in the fling category. However, now I understand that there are all different kinds of connections for different seasons of your life. Can you envision having a more serious relationship with this person? If the answer is no, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Be grateful for the experience and allow yourself to move on.