Summer lovin’ had me a blast. Summer lovin’ happened so fast.
I know, technically it’s still spring, but let’s be realistic, people are solidifying their Memorial Day Weekend plans and then all of a sudden it’s summer and if we don’t start thinking about it now, we’ll be ill prepared when everyone else is all geared up (and paired up) for those steamier days (and nights!) So back to summer love I go! What’s the appeal of a relationship that only lasts three months? What’s the point? This is how I answered my friend recently when she asked me if I’d ever have a “fling”. Admittedly, I didn’t know people used this term in real life so once I stopped laughing at her and was able to have a serious discussion about it, I was surprised to discover that we both agreed it might not be the worst thing.
Here’s why I changed my whole perspective on the fling thing. The idea of getting involved with someone when there’s a timestamp on the whole experience gave me a bit of pause at first, sure, but when I spun it differently (and there ‘s always more than one way to look at any given situation) it actually sounded kind of exciting to me. I started thinking about not having to wonder where my relationship is headed, or if we both want the same things. The stuff he does that bugs the hell out of me? Who cares? Soon enough those annoying habits will be someone else’s problem! The idea of just being present and focusing on enjoying our time together without worrying about expectations or plans for the future is all too appealing. I can just be myself and feel comfortable and not have to change a single thing about me.
That sounds lovely doesn’t it? Being yourself in a relationship? What a notion! I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this seemingly easy concept more often than not. Speaking my mind, communicating my needs, setting boundaries, all the while being myself and having fun? I’m sorry, what? It can be totally overwhelming trying to find the delicate balance that relationships require. So when I think of taking the thing that overwhelms me the most- the future- off the table, and just focus on the ‘now’ part, then, um, yeah, I think I’ll give this whole summer love thing a shot. When I think of all the fun things associated with summer- beaches, pools, vacations, picnics, outdoor concerts, fireworks, etc, and then having someone to do these things with? Yes please! Why wouldn’t I be open to this?
In case you’re not sold on flinging yet, allow me to really drive my point home with some of the benefits I found to being open-minded to this kind of non-commitment:
- Being in a less serious relationship helps to take some pressure off and has gotten me in the mindset of enjoying dating (yes, it’s possible!)
- I have the perfect opportunity to make some mistakes! Look, dating can be super challenging; no one is going to argue that. Here’s a chance for me to do all the things I might not do in a serious relationship.
- You know all those events we get invited to in the summer? I do, and I dread going to them solo. Barbeques, weekends at the beach, weddings? Having someone to attend with? Someone to satisfy everyone’s constant probe, “are you seeing anyone?” Sign me up!
- It’ll encourage me to break the pattern of my usual “type”. Who doesn’t have a dating pattern? Mainly attracted to athletes? Ethnic guys? Financiers? I am. I’m going to take a risk and date someone outside the norm for me. Maybe a politician. Who knows? That in and of itself is super exciting and enough to make me want to give this a shot. Even if it ends up being as epic a fail as breakaway track pants, I’ll have learned something from the experience!
- It’s not easy to do things solely on your terms in relationships. Things get really tricky when considering the feelings of everyone involved. Having a short summer romance might actually help me to find my voice, and gain more confidence when it comes to stating my needs in a future (serious) relationship.
All I’m saying is I’m going to give this a shot. There are way worse things than opening myself to the possibility of happiness. And even if I just discover it’s not for me? Awesome. Now I know. And I’ll also have a really fun “fling” story to share with my friends. My online dating stories are getting old anyway.