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As the months become warmer and more pleasant, many of us find ourselves wanting to fall into fun, light-hearted summer relationships. A 2017 survey of young adults noted that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed had, at one time or another, transformed a summer fling into a longer-lasting relationship. Unfortunately, nearly half of those surveyed also noted that their flings had ended because one partner thought things were more serious than they were; more than half of those surveyed had also been caught off-guard when a summer lover informed them that their relationship wasn’t going to last.
Summer romances are often worth pursuing. How do you know, however, if things are headed in a more serious direction or not? Consider asking yourself the following questions to determine whether or not your summer fling will survive the inevitable autumn frost!
How Did Things Get Started?
When determining whether or not your fling has long-term relationship potential, it can be important to consider how things got started. Did you meet your lover while vacationing for the summer? Did you both seek out something casual after recently ending long-term relationships? Relationships of convenience can be perfect for casual flings, but a no-strings-attached connection might not result in the levels of comfort and compatibility that make for a lasting partnership.
Do They Have a Grounded Life?
The way your summer lover lives on a day-to-day basis may provide you with some insight regarding your relationship status. What is your partner like as a person? Is she someone who’s bouncing from relationship to relationship every few months? Is he someone who never settled on a career and insists on moving from city to city? People who are flighty, spontaneous, and always on the move may simply be unable or unwilling to commit to more serious relationships. If, however, your lover is a grounded, focused individual, perhaps they’d actually be relieved by the transition from a noncommittal fling to a more serious relationship. One’s general personality type and past behaviors can sometimes indicate whether or not a person is cut out for long-term commitment.
Have You Moved Beyond The Purely Physical?
Many summer flings are primarily, if not exclusively, physical in nature. If you and your lover are mostly getting together for sex, savor the relationship for what it is. If, however, you find yourself hanging out with your lover for more casual fun or romantic dates, it’s possible that something more may develop. Flings often remain superficial. Have you and your partner moved beyond these pretensions? Have you let him see you without makeup? Has he let you see him in a bad mood, upset over something silly? If you’ve both let your guards down and have begun spending time together outside of the bedroom and away from the beach, your connection may be built to last.
How Do You Communicate with One Another?
As the summer progresses, how are you and your fling communicating with each other? Are you still messaging one another throughout the day? If you’ve begun communicating in a more authentic way, and both seem to be really listening to one another, your relationship may be becoming more serious. If, however, your messages are limited to flirty late-night texts and kissy-faced emojis, you might need to accept that your relationship is likely to remain a casual one. If your digital communication has become more sporadic, and your lover seems to be increasingly slow to respond to your messages, you may need to accept that they’re trying to slowly withdraw from the relationship. Instead of trying to lure them back in, it’s often best to accept that your time together may be coming to an end.
If you believe your relationship is becoming more serious, consider looking at the ways in which your partner compliments you. If he or she is still praising your baby-blue eyes or luscious lips, your connection is likely to remain a physical one. If, on the other hand, your lover has begun complimenting your personality and seems charmed by your quirks, habits, and hobbies, it may indicate a deeper level of interest in you as a person, presenting the opportunity for a more meaningful relationship to develop.
Have You Met Their Inner Circle?
Though summer flings aren’t necessarily secretive, most people choose to keep these relationships more private than relationships that they’ve “made official.” If your lover has never bothered to introduce you to their friends or family, they’ve most likely decided that your fling will remain a temporary connection. If, however, you’ve been introduced to a few people in your lover’s life, there’s a chance that your relationship may blossom into something more. Pay attention to the way in which you are introduced to others. Does your fling pass you off as “a friend,” or do they attempt a more formal introduction? If things are awkward when you meet their inner circle, your lover likely plans on keeping your relationship casual. If, however, you’ve spent time with their group of friends and have become integrated into their social circle, there’s a far better chance of your relationship becoming something more.
How Does the Future Look?
If you and your summer lover are both looking to keep things temporary, you’ll likely be making no plans for the future. There’s no sense in investing in a relationship that’s destined to end. If, however, you and your love interest are becoming more serious about one another, you’ll likely find yourselves intentionally and unintentionally giving off signs of long-term commitment. If you and your lover have considered attending a concert together more than a few weeks in advance, it’s a clear indicator that you’re both expecting things to last, at least until then. Developing weekly routines and habits as a couple may also indicate growing levels of intimacy.
More subtle signs of commitment may appear as well. Perhaps you’ve both fallen into greater exclusivity without even meaning to. Neither of you are chatting up other potential mates on dating apps and websites; you and your lover aren’t seeking out replacement partners for the months to come.
One of the greatest signs of long-term relationship potential is the effort that both individuals are putting into the relationship. He’s willing to go to a Japanese restaurant with you, even though he’s not a fan of raw fish; you’re willing to attend wrestling matches with him, even though you’re bored by the sport. In a casual fling, both partners are often more focused on meeting their own physical and emotional needs than satisfying the desires of their partners. If you find that you and your lover are both making sacrifices for one another’s happiness, you may be more committed to one another than you realized!
Even if you’ve known all along that your summer fling will be coming to an end, saying farewell to your summer lover is sure to be bittersweet. Strive for clear communication from the outset of your relationship. Do you and your love interest just want to have fun? Are you both committed to keeping things casual? If so, be clear about your intentions! If, however, you realize that you’re falling for your fling, strive to talk things out before autumn arrives. If your love interest is feeling the same way, you can make your relationship official; if not, you can get closure and move forward with your life.
Be careful with your heart, but don’t be afraid of having fun! Savor the summer by enjoying some light-hearted experiences with someone you find attractive. If you’re lucky, and the connection becomes something more, you might just find yourself with a relationship that lasts. If not, you’ll at least be left with the memories of a sexy summertime fling!
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