I certainly never planned to be in this position. Actually, I did. I followed the advice of a close friend who told me that after April it really made no sense to get into anything too serious because the summer was coming and at that point it’d be a better dating pool. Does that make me super single? Not in the least bit. Everybody has a short list of people and requirements that would snatch them out the game almost immediately.
At the end of the open (summer) season I wrote a piece on cuffin’ season, the do’s and the don’t. It was pretty popular and is a great resource for everything that happens after Labor Day. Unfortunately, between now and Labor Day there will be no white dresses distributed. When I mention the white dress, I am not talking about the color clothing, shoes, belts or sunglasses. I’m informing you that it will be a rarity for anyone to find themselves wifed down.
There’s a few guidelines that everyone should be abiding by and since it’s been a while I’m sure we all need a refresher. Consider this your refresher course in, How to Maintain and Upkeep Your Summer Flings.
“Ain’t you got something to do?!”
I think the first guideline is that you can’t overwhelm someone in a summer fling situation. I think it goes for all relationships, but especially summer ones, overwhelming someone with your presence too much early on will lead to failure. The key to a great summer situation is that you maintain the free spirit nature of the summer. Your calendar is filled with enjoying time with friends, traveling and exploring the outdoors. Not being up under someone else all the time.
Don’t leave anything behind
If you decide to leave anything behind at your summer fling’s place, expect it to be thrown away unless you’ve been asked to leave it behind. (And never ask can you leave something, that’s just an awkward situation in itself.) This isn’t a relationship and it’s not a storage facility. You have to take your belonging with you when you leave.
Don’t try and turn water into wine
Water will quench your thirst, wine will last forever. If you try and turn your summer fling (water) into a fully fledged relationship (wine) it will probably fizzle quickly. People who try and change the stipulations of an agreement after it’s made typically end up hurt and assed out. Summer flings don’t involve drama, any sign of drama is cause for an immediate “stop, drop and roll up out of there.”
Learn not to ask questions that you don’t want to know the answers to, or don’t need to know
There’s an old saying that you can always tell who needs to know something because they don’t have to ask. Be careful with the questions that you ask and always respect boundaries. “Where are you at?” “What are you doing?” “What’s your relationship with that girl (or guy)?” are all examples of questions that you must be careful about asking. There’s boundaries in place for a reason and remember, if you were in a relationship, you’d be in a relationship.
Be very careful about falling in love.
It’s called a summer fling, not summer love — I had to struggle with why this is different from #3, but I figured it out. It’s because when people fall in love with people they are not in relationships with, they end up in TROUBLE. (Y’all know I hate when people write in all CAPS, know that, I felt that needed to be screamed.) You know what’s uncomfortable? The awkward silence between when someone says, “I love you” and the other person changes the subject. If you find yourself falling in love… don’t.
You’d do best not to tell everybody your damn business
Since you’re likely to go on several dates and see several people it’s important that you don’t go running your mouth about all that you’re doing. For men, we call this “Dark Knight mission.” Women, “Real Ps move in silence like psychos.” I’ve always been a strong fan of, “the secret to a great sex life is discretion.” Let me be clear, I’m not saying keep your business to yourself because you’re sleeping around, it’s just always best not to kiss and tell.
If you reach a point where the situation has reached 100% exclusivity, do yourself a favor; commit
Last, if you’ve found yourself in a situation that is 100% exclusive, don’t bullshit yourself, just commit. There’s nothing worse than when everyone knows that you two are together but you keep denying it because it’s the summer. At a certain point, there’s only one person you end every night with, you start holding hands and showing up to events together. At that point, just end it and settle down. This is rare but when people have to witness it; it’s nasty.
Summer flings aren’t for everyone. It’s not something you try out without giving it some deep thought before you get yourself into the situation. A lot of people get hurt and they don’t recover easily. A lot of people don’t want to abide by the guidelines and then as a result they get played or just chewed up and spit out. My best advice is to talk to someone who’s been in one before and get the real deal on it. I can expand on this, but you’ll have to hit me on Twitter or via email. I don’t have the time to give you all the nitty gritty. I can tell you for a fact that summer flings are not a bad thing, they can be a good thing, and the great ones usually continue even after Labor Day.
Cheers to a great Summer!