Can Summer Flings Last? 5 Signs Yours Won't Survive Past Labor Day Weekend
The word “fling” is essentially the antithesis of a long-term relationship. Which begs the question: Can summer flings last? It seems unlikely when the very definitions of a fling include "a casual try or involvement," "a casual or brief love affair," or "a period devoted to self-indulgence," according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
However, research says that in many cases, they can. In fact, a Yelp rep told Elite Daily that nearly 73 percent of people who’ve had a summer fling were able to turn it into a real relationship, according to a 2017 Yelp Eat 24 poll of 2,000 millennials. Yet more than 58 percent of summer flingers ended up in an argument due to one person thinking things were more serious than the other, and 52 percent admitted they were blindsided when they realized their fling wasn’t going to turn into something more. In other words: Sandy and Danny may have gotten a lot of our hopes up in Grease, but the fact of the matter is, some flings are meant to just fizzle out. And very often, the problem stems from not being on the same page about where this fling is going.
It all starts with a whirlwind of waterfront makeouts, spontaneous evening strolls, and hefty pours of rooftop rosé. It’s carefree as can be — until you start catching some serious feelings for your fling, that is. Defining a relationship as a fling implies that it has an expiration date on it from the start. Still, just because you thought you wanted a no-strings-attached relationship back when you met in June doesn’t mean you might not be craving more come August. If you’re wondering whether you can extend your summer romance into the fall — or you're looking for a way to fade out on your fling — keep a lookout for these common signs that your relationship isn't likely to last.
They avoid any talk about the future.
Perhaps one of the clearest signs that your fling isn’t interested in dating you past Labor Day is that they never discuss the future. According to Amanda Ruiz, licensed professional counselor and founder of The Counseling Collective, this could show that your fling doesn’t foresee your relationship lasting long, or at the very least, that they're questioning the seriousness of what you have.
“If your fling attends a college two hours away, but you don't know when he's headed back to college, that is a sign that he probably doesn't plan to continue contact with you after he goes back to college,” she explains. “If he talks about what the fall will be like with going back to school, and when he'll be home on break, then that's a good indicator that he wants to continue talking and sees you in his future."
If you’ve tried to lock down a plan with your fling in October and they can’t seem to commit, that’s another red flag.
“If you've asked him about a concert in October, and he danced around buying tickets, it might indicate he doesn't see you two as a thing for that long,” says Ruiz.
They haven't introduced you to their inner circle.
Have you met anyone in their squad? If not, that could indicate that your fling won’t survive past summer, according to Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. After all, why would someone introduce you to their inner circle if they don’t plan on sticking around? Then they’ll have to deal with loved ones asking about you once it’s over. By keeping you separate from their friends and family, they can ensure a clean break once September comes.
It’s one thing if their family doesn’t live nearby, or they seem more interested in spending one-on-one time with you than bringing you around a big crew. But take notice if it seems like your fling is actively avoiding letting you crossing paths with anyone else who's important in their life.
They’re getting less responsive and available.
When you met at the beginning of the summer, you were hanging out twice a week — sometimes more. Maybe you were even talking on a daily basis. But now, you're noticing that they’re taking longer and longer to text you back, and you’re seeing less and less of them. As Trombetti points out, “When someone is winding down a relationship, they start to pull back.”
Of course, we all have busy days and hectic work weeks. This is especially true during the summer: People typically travel more often, which can make it harder to make plans. But if it’s a pattern that’s starting to intensify as summer comes to a close, then your fling may be trying to fade this relationship out so that it doesn’t end too abruptly.
They’re flying by the seat of their pants.
“I’m just trying to live in the moment,” he says, before casually mentioning that he’s moved five times over the past two years. Pay attention to whether your fling seems to be a super flighty person on the whole. According to Kate Stewart, psychotherapist and dating coach at Modern Therapy Seattle, this could be a sign that the person isn’t looking for anything serious.
“Listen to how this person describes their life in general,” she says. “Do they sound grounded? Is there permanence to anything in their life? If not, they may not be ready for a long-term relationship.”
Because let's be real, if they can't commit to a job or a city, they probably can't commit to you right now.
You’re literally never just chilling.
Take a minute to evaluate how you’re spending time with your fling. Does it seem like they’re genuinely trying to get to know you better? Or are they just grateful to have a partner in crime for all their summer activities? One way to tell the difference is to assess how often you're hanging solo with nothing to do, simply enjoying each other's company. Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and the podcast host of Thank You Heartbreak, suggests that if you’re constantly bouncing from one event to the next, then your romance may not survive past this season.
“As tempting as it is to think that your partner is embracing you for the long haul because they easily integrate you into their friend circle and event life, one’s real world — the world that isn’t easily accessed — is the interior one,” she explains. “If you want to see you and your partner survive the summer heat and move effortlessly into the fall make sure you place less attention on what and where you are going next weekend and more TLC into just being with each other, every once and awhile doing nothing. Chase less and sit together more. Talk to each other and not just with others.”
It's a great sign if your fling wants to include you in group plans with their crew. But if you suspect that they don't really want to connect on a deeper level, suggest a laid-back date for just the two of you and take note of how they respond. If they're not down, then they may be trying to keep you at arm's length.
All of these signs can help you to figure out if your fling isn't built to last. But the best way to determine if you can go the distance? Just ask. It may feel like an intimidating conversation, but the end of the day, directly addressing whether your fling sees this going anywhere is the simplest way of sussing out whether you're on the same page.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!