The joys of summer extend beyond romance.
It’s hard not to romanticize summer. I hail from Chicago, where the winters last six months, and the first 90 degree days of the season have everyone wistful. We’re eager to break out a cold beer on a stoop, and excited to indulge in hormonal urges.
Some of us, newly single, decide we’re going to be adventurous this summer. The rest of us, long single, dust off our dating profiles on the quest for a summer fling.
I fell into the latter camp. Summer always seemed to bring out a new resolve: I’m going to have amazing sex. This body is too young, soft and supple to not be appreciated by someone else.
Two summers ago I discovered a new-found freedom in going on dates, meeting new people, and enjoying the physical experience before moving on. I didn’t want that summer to end. I’m sure I did other notable things that summer, but when all was said and done I thought, “Yes! Flings are what summer is about. I’m taking full advantage of my youth!”
Last summer, I did no such thing. The summer began with a tryst with a longtime friend, followed by lots of weird sexual tension. And, being 1000% honest with myself, I’d hoped it would become more than a one-time thing.
I entertained the thought of a summer-long friends-with-benefits type of deal. Instead I got lots of broken expectations, mixed signals, and poor communication. Things only worsened when this “friend” left me very drunk at a concert, so intoxicated I woke up in a hospital the next day.
Summer love isn’t a unique phenomenon. There are films, books, songs, beers, 60s counterculture movements and New York Times articles devoted to the topic. I wonder why nothing captivates public attention like the promise of a summer romance.
It could be that the weather puts everyone in a better mood. People are leaving their homes more, people are bearing more skin. Maybe we are more gung-ho about meeting new people and going on new adventures.
There’s nothing wrong with being excited for summer flings. They can be fun, exhilarating, and offer a new perspective. It’s only a problem when you build a summer fling to be the pinnacle of your summer.
For me, last summer’s “fling gone awry” is what I remember the most. Not the other amazing things that happened – like the fact that I received a significant promotion at my job, or that I was starting to get freelance assignments for the first time. I was even published in a book!
It was learning that someone I considered a good friend, at some point, is actually not the best person. The goals I achieved that summer were dwarfed by my cocktail of negative emotions surrounding that situation. It’s silly to give someone else the power of “messing up your summer,” so I’m not going to do that this year. This year will be amazing!
I’m not discouraging anyone from being excited about hookup or romance potential, but I am encouraging everyone to be excited about other opportunities for personal growth. Make some exciting travel plans. Take a new class, learn more about your professional industry. Embark on a personal project for fun. Read more books. Make goals for yourself and earnestly work toward them.
These are things you can control. Love and romance — not so much. That’s what makes love and romance exciting, but that’s also what can make it stressful.
There are many things I am looking forward too this summer. Such as: creating a business plan for the first time, going to some street festivals, taking full advantage of my new apartment’s proximity to the beach, working on long-abandoned essays, traveling to see childhood friends, and overall, making the best of my last three months of being 25.
If a fling happens, it happens. But there’s no way I’ll let my summer fulfillment depend on who I’m with or not with between the sheets.
Happy summer everyone! Don’t forget, LOVE TV is here to help with advice on all of your summer romances and help you find love for the summer and forevermore. Join LOVE TV today!