Summer is coming to an end, and as you run toward the beautiful sunset, you may look to your side and realize you aren't quite by yourself. OK, enough with the dramatics, but let's say you've been having a fling with a certain someone throughout the summer without any solid title. How can you tell if the encounter is simply heated fun, or relationship potential?
Every situation is different. The outcome is dependent on a few qualities of the summer fling itself. You can't stay in the ocean water forever. Sooner or later, you have to come to shore and figure out your next move, right? As you continue to flutter those doe-eyed baby blues, ask yourself some key questions before making your fling more permanent.
1. "Are the feelings, if any, mutual?"
Dating and relationships expert, licensed marriage therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, Anita Chlipala, tells Elite Daily,
If you're used to texting each other and the person comes over, or you're usually drunk, check where your expectations are shifting.
Hopefully, you've talked to your summer fling face-to-face for more than five minutes. Communication can be very skewed these days with texts and other apps. You might never really address your feelings in person, or have an opportunity to fully decipher them.
2. "Can I be around this person for more than a few hours?"
When you think of the word "fling," it sounds temporary, right? Again, with all of these other ways to communicate, we're hardly present around each other anymore. If you genuinely enjoy your time with your summer fling, beyond a quick rendezvous, pay attention to those feelings.
A summer fling is different than making love or having sex in a loving, committed relationship.
Differentiating the emotional factors you have in your sexual relationships is important.
3. "How would the relationship be outside of the summer months?"
Relationship and etiquette expert and author, April Masini, suggests looking at all of the factors that make up your summer fling. She reveals,
If this was a shallow, summer love that was all about the chemistry and the seasonal location, let it go.
The summer season makes us feel liberated and free from responsibilities at times. Taking into consideration that the sun won't always be shining, figuratively and literally, is oh-so important. If you can't see this person being by your side when you aren't being a spontaneous summer child, then there's your answer.
4. "Was this person just keeping me from being lonely?"
Look, many of us have experienced that go-to person who simply kept us from thinking about how lonely and broke as hell we were throughout the warm months. This doesn't mean this person is out of the running for permanency, though, just because they filled that void of loneliness. Maybe you discovered you actually need this person around for more than summer.
5. "Have I ever cuffed a fling before?"
If you always seem to want something more from your summer flings, your current situation might not be any different. It's easy to fall for someone and envision yourself in all of these amazing fairytale scenarios... especially when you're living your best life in the sunshine. But if you do this for all of your summer flings, it may be prime time to truly think about what you really want or need from someone.
6. "Do I even have room for something more serious?"
Putting energy into a spontaneous relationship seems doable, and in a perfect world, it would be a breeze for you to pursue. But let's consider the harsh reality that sometimes, these summer flings really are just temporary. Also, what did you have going on before you started this summer romance? It's time to determine if you spent the summer running away from someone, or were genuinely going with the flow.
No one is bashing the idea of a sultry summer fling. But, many of us would like to know if we're holding the right person's hand once summer comes to a close. That is, if it's supposed to be a hand besides our own.