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The Dos and Don’ts of a Summer Fling

Like any date-stamped romance, summer flings face insurmountable odds. But good news—there are steps you can take to safeguard your seasonal romp from the usual flame-out effect. Here, a relationship expert shares her tips for making your whirlwind romance last.

Illustration by Meagan Morrison @TravelWriteDraw

See recent posts by Siobhan Reid

Ah, summer—tis the season for romance. But not just any kind of romance. We’re talking about the fall-fast-fall-hard summer fling variety. If you’ve seen big screen classics like Grease and The Notebook, you know how the story goes: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall madly in love, and then … spoiler alert!—reality sinks in and intrudes on the magic. But what if the story didn’t have to end that way? What if, like Danny and Sandy or Noah and Allie, the summer lovin’ could last forever (or at the very least, beyond Labor Day)? To find out how, we called up New York-based relationship expert and author Dr. Jane Greer, who shared her summer fling rules of engagement and gave us tips on how to keep the sparks flying past September.

DO: Choose your Location Wisely
"Being far away from home can set the stage for mystique, intrigue and hot-and-heavy romance. When you’re on foreign soil, everything takes on a sort of fantastical, fairytale-like quality that’s conducive to risk-taking behavior. That said, a summer fling is more likely to work out if the couple meets in their hometown rather than abroad because important conversations tend to take place earlier on in the relationship. The result being that the romance is more easily maintained."

DON’T: Take it Too Seriously
"Summer flings are exciting and liberating. Ultimately, they’re about doing what you want and having fun without worrying about real life commitments. I’m all for summer romances because they encourage us to let our guard down emotionally. I find that people are generally less inhibited, more carefree and more adventurous."

DO: Set Realistic Expectations
"Because the deck is stacked in the interest of fun, romance and freedom, it can be easy to lose yourself in the heat of the moment. You have to remember that summer flings have a shelf life. And in my professional experience, they only work out 30 to 40 percent of the time. So if you’re not OK with having an expiration date, a summer fling may not be the best option for you."

DON’T: Forego Difficult Conversations
"Another tip to make it last is to tell your partner upfront what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in more than a playful summer fling and you want to see where the relationship can go, say that ahead of time to increase your chance of success!"

DO: Be Willing to Compromise
"Like any other relationship you’re not always going to agree on everything. And once September comes, it can be hard to accept that the other person has their own separate life and their own way of dealing with things. Look at how you’re willing to compromise in order to make the relationship work. Ask yourself in what ways you’re willing to change."

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