MUSINGS: Summer is a great time for a fling

By Jennifer Hearn
The Scene staff

No season says fun and adventure like summer.

Most people have more free time than usual. Students aren’t taking as many classes, and it’s the peak for traveling. If you’re normally too busy or stressed to pursue romance, this would be a perfect time to give it a try.

A “summer fling” is a light, no-strings-attached relationship that usually lasts only a couple of months. People have been having them since way before Sandy and Danny sang about them in “Grease.” But if this is a new concept to you, here are a few tips:

Be open-minded

Most people have lists of qualifications they want in potential mates. Summer is the best time to throw your list out the window. There is nothing wrong with hanging out with someone of a different culture or background. Don’t be afraid to go on adventures that are outside of your comfort zone. You could miss out on amazing experiences by staying stuck in a box.

Don’t be “thirsty”

In the dating world, being thirsty is being way too eager. This could mean incessant texting or too much commenting and liking pictures on social media. This is not necessary. There is no need to chase someone who isn’t into you. Certainly, you can let people know that you are interested in them. However, if they aren’t returning your calls or they keep canceling plans, just let them go and move on. Don’t spend too much time trying to convince someone to go out with you. You’ll find the right person.

Don’t move too fast

It’s great if you happen to meet someone you are into early in the summer and decide not to pursue anyone else. But remember, the season goes by quick, so there isn’t a lot of time to get serious. Avoid taking giant relationship steps, like inviting your love interest to meet your parents. That could turn off someone who is only looking for a fling. Also, don’t do anything that may tie the two of you together long term, like getting a cell phone for them in your name. Things could get messy if the relationship doesn’t work out. Or even worse, your fling could just be taking advantage of your niceness.

Be classy and honest

It can be tempting to lose your scruples during the summer and taste everything and everybody with reckless abandon. But it is important to remember that you are still dealing with people’s feelings. There’s no reason to lie about who you are or about your intentions in a relationship. If you realize that your fling is getting too serious, the best thing would be to have an honest conversation about it. Don’t lead people on just to get what you want. If you are already in a committed relationship, don’t be foolish and step out on your partner to have fun with someone else just for the summer. Likewise, if you are interested in someone who is already in a relationship, simply leave them alone.

Stay safe

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of summer and forget some common-sense rules of safety. Some people’s idea of fun is preying on others, so trust your intuition. If someone seems too good to be true, he or she just might be. When going out at night, travel with friends. (This rule doesn’t just apply to women.) Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and completely in control by not over-indulging in alcohol or doing drugs. If you and your fling agree to be sexual, discuss your STD and HIV status and always use protection.

Know yourself

Know exactly what your heart can handle. Some people can’t deal with summer flings. If you need a serious, long-term relationship, be real with yourself and avoid those only looking for summer love. If, on the other hand, you just want to have fun for a couple months, don’t get involved with someone not on the same wavelength.