e’ve all watched silly movies about how summer flings turn into full fledged, unexpected love stories. You know, the ones where they claim they couldn’t care less about each other, but end up falling deeply in love by the end. However, flings usually do not play out that perfectly in real life—and definitely not within an hour and a half. So, are summer flings really as unserious as they’re meant to be, and are they even good for you? Let’s take a look at the argument for both sides.

What this article will cover:

  • Making sure you’re in the right mindset to get involved with someone
  • Communicating what you want
  • Setting boundaries
  • Pros of summer flings
  • Cons of summer flings

Figuring Out Your State of Mind

Before you get involved with another person, seriously or not, it’s important to assess where you are as an individual. Firstly, let’s look at your personality. If you know you’re the type of person to get attached fast, daydream about a singular interaction with your crush, and binge rom-coms, a summer fling might be your worst nightmare. While it is a fast, easy way to connect with someone, rushing into an emotionless agreement might hurt you more than anything if you’re seeking out a summer fling to feel less lonely. Denying your deep emotions just to keep the other person in your life is never worth it, so make sure a fling is exactly what you want, and not just convenient.

On the other hand, if you’re in a position where you know you want to (and will be able to) remain emotionally independent, a summer fling can be fun and empowering. Summer is the best time to be impulsive, laid back, and carefree, so why not try something new!

Get to know yourself before you get to know someone else.

If a fling is what you opt for, at the end of the day, emotions on your side and the other person’s side are completely unpredictable. As much as you can look at your general nature and current mindset, you also should keep in the back of your mind that you never know what can come of a fling. It could be nothing, like you intended, or one of you can catch feelings. So, proceed at your own risk, and only if you’re making peace with the fact that emotions are not an exact science. They’re delicate, messy, and everything else we wish they wouldn’t be.

Secondly, you should take a look at your day to day schedule. If you’re a very busy person, you might be picky with who you spend your limited time with. You should consider whether you want to dedicate the summer to a fling, or if you want to relax on your own. If you work a lot or are a full time student, this might be the time to spend with family and friends. Or, if you like the idea of a fling because you can’t make the time or emotional commitment to a serious relationship amid your busy life, go for it!

A connection that leaves with summer.

If you’re free over the summer and considering a fling out of boredom, it’s important to keep in mind what this can entail. Does a lot of free time usually mean a lot of overthinking for you? If it does, you should consider the possibility that a casual, carefree fling can snowball into something that you’ll start to care a lot about. If it’s the highlight of your summer, it might be hard to let go of something that made you that happy. It’s also important to remember that it’s completely fine to spend summer alone. Never feel pressure to have flings because you don’t think you can have fun alone; if you’re happy being completely single, the season doesn’t change that.

Lastly, you should assess your last relationship, if you’ve had one. If you’re freshly single, a fling can either be a lighthearted way to reclaim romance, or a rebound to avoid confronting your feelings. Regardless, it’s best to grieve your former relationship before you consider a relationship with someone else, long term or short term. If you don’t know what you want out of a relationship, or whether you want to be in one for a while, it’s okay to take some time as a period of reflection.

Spending time with someone new over the summer can be fun.

The Importance of Communication

You’ve surely heard the phrase “communication is key” before, and while you might scoff at it, it’s true! Even if you’re aiming to have no ties to this person after a summer fling, you must have respect and trust in each other at a very basic level. Having conversations about what each of you are comfortable with, what your expectations are, and how you can protect each other’s health and privacy are integral. It’s important to continuously have these conversations because you’re both human, and you’re allowed to have changing feelings, comfort levels, and interests. Being a compassionate person is not exclusive to a serious relationship, so in any interactions you have within your summer fling, make sure you’re both content and happy about the arrangement.

Check up on each other and the situation.

Setting Boundaries

Depending on if you’re seeking a summer fling with a complete stranger, a mutual friend, or a close friend, the nature of your relationship is bound to be different. Setting clear boundaries at the start of your fling is important regardless of who you’re involved with. With someone you don’t know at all, it might be best to meet them at a public place before you meet one on one. This grants a sense of safety, compared to disclosing your home address or being alone at their house. With a mutual friend or close friend, you don’t need to build up trust as much. However, it’s still good to make sure you guys are on the same page about how often you’ll be meeting up, how long your fling will last, and how many other people you both are seeing, if any.

Talk things through beforehand.

Pros of Summer Flings

The pros of summer flings are straightforward: getting to know people without any further expectations, no lengthy time commitments, and having fun. You get the best of each other and some lighthearted memories without any of the hurdles that years long relationships go through. It’s also common to want to be a free spirit in your late teens and early twenties, so hanging out with someone with the same mindset can benefit you both. It’s also your chance to do all the cute summer activities without taking on the responsibilities of being a significant other. Grabbing ice cream, going to the beach, going to amusement parks, and taking day trips—just having a scrap book worthy summer with someone you like while it lasts.

Enjoy summer with someone you like.

Cons of Summer Flings

The main con of summer flings is the chance of unrequited love. Whether you or the other person catch feelings, one person might be left heartbroken, and the other guilty or inconvenienced. Grieving the fling once summer ends is never planned, but at the end of the day, no one has a say in their emotions. Saying goodbye to someone whose company you genuinely enjoy is difficult, and sometimes, you’d wish you never brought this upon yourself. The unique, bittersweet feeling of loving someone who very clearly does not love you back can be worse than a breakup. There’s also the chance of a “friends with benefits” situation getting incredibly awkward, despite your vow to remain friends after having a summer fling.

As unserious as a fling is supposed to be, it can still become a line that you wish you hadn’t crossed if the person was a dear friend to you. All in all, there’s a lot that can go wrong if you try to eliminate attachment but encourage intimacy. Oftentimes, both go hand in hand, and if you understandably aren’t able to separate the two, a fling would definitely do more harm than good.

Emotions aren’t logical.

Last Thoughts

There’s not one, sole way to have meaningful relationships. Every person is different, and their relationship preferences are just as nuanced as they are. Regardless of how you choose to navigate dating, the priorities of the arrangement should be respect and transparency. Speaking up for what you want—whether it’s commitment and monogamy or freedom and no attachment—will ensure that all parties are aware of what’s going on and in agreement. If summer flings are your thing already or something you’re interested in trying out, be safe and have fun! If you’re starting to realize that you want something more serious and exclusive, don’t be afraid to be upfront about what you want from the other person.

Dating should be something that fulfills you, not something that drains you or leaves you yearning. It’s easier said than done, of course, but the pain and joy that comes with human connection are one of those inevitable lessons that adulthood throws at you. You’re not doing this dating thing wrong, and we’re here to guide you through it as best we can. You got this!

Jun 28, 2024