5 Reasons to Have a Summer Fling

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.

I’m Not Dreaming Of A Summer Fling This Year (And I’m OK With That)

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!”

Summer fun

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!

single summer fun

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!