The word “fling” isn’t exactly associated with long-term commitment. In fact, it’s typically regarded as a short-term spark that’s expected to fizzle out once the season ends. That said, just because something starts out as a fling doesn’t mean it can’t eventually take a serious turn. In other words, if you start to catch some feels and you're wondering how to turn your summer fling into a long-term relationship, rest assured that there are ways to successfully accomplish this. To do so, however, relationship expert April Masini says you’ll need to adopt certain dating strategies that can subtly encourage that shift.
“It’s absolutely possible to turn a summer fling into a long-term relationship,” Masini tells Elite Daily. “In fact, summer is a great time to meet someone who will become your long-term soulmate. But you have to be willing and able to transition the sunny, summer relationship into a more sober, long-term thing.”
The truth is, relationships of every kind evolve all of the time. A FWB can turn into a committed relationship, and a casual dating scenario can transform into a hookup buddy arrangement. But these transformations don’t happen without some changes on the part of the people involved. So, how exactly do you turn a fleeting spark into a long-term flame? Here are some tips to get you started.
First thing’s first. If you want to make a fling last beyond summer, Masini advises choosing someone who you know is sticking around.
“Whether it’s a camp counselor, a summer school college student or professor, or someone who’s got a three-month summer rental in your town — they’re not going to be here for New Year’s Eve,” explains Masini.
That’s not to say it’s impossible to make a long-distance romance work, but it may prove less challenging to continue dating if your fling happens to live in the same place. So, before things start to heat up with your fling, find out where they plan to be living once September rolls around.
Start Making Fall Plans
One of the best ways to signal that you want to take this relationship beyond summer (and to see if your fling is on the same page) is to start making some plans for October or November.
“Your calendar is a great relationship tool, so if you want that summer romance to last, consider co-hosting a Halloween party with your romantic partner or making travel plans for Thanksgiving,” says Masini. “See what your partner’s reaction is to making fall and winter plans together. If you get a thumbs up, chances are, they’re in it for the long run — or at least, beyond the summer’s end.”
If you’re not ready to make holiday plans with your summer bae, you might simply ask if they want to hit a fall concert with you or be your date to that fall wedding. By making these future plans, you’re both demonstrating that you’re down to see where this goes well after the hotter season ends.
Do Non-Summer Things
There’s nothing wrong with having a beach day or sharing some rooftop frosé — it is summer, after all. But Masini notes that planning activities that aren’t so summer specific will help you both to envision a future beyond just this season.
“Throw in some dates that you would have beyond the warmer weather — go to the movies, go to a museum, take road trips and hang out at the mall,” she adds. “If you create a relationship that looks like it’s all weather, all season, it’s much easier for your partner to see this as more than a summer fling.”
Make A Shared Bucket List
What kinds of things would you love to do with your summer boo once the temperature drops? Start making a list together — that way, once summer ends, you’ll already be thinking about all of the things you have yet to cross off.
“This is a whimsical way to segue into long-term relationship thinking and planning,” says Masini. “If you start a bucket list — whether it includes commitment type things, like co-owning a beach house or adopting a dog together, or experiences, like skydiving — this future-focused thinking will spill over into the rest of your relationship. The bucket list will get you thinking about what you want to do together down the line.”
Show A Different Side Of Yourself
The nature of summer is inherently carefree and laid-back, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you’re hoping that your fling will take a serious turn, Masini recommends making it a point to show off a different dimension of yourself — what she calls your “mettle.”
“If your summer fling has been fun, fun, and only fun, before the summer ends, do something together that is serious and meaningful,” she explains. “Volunteer on a cancer ward or a suicide hotline. Foster newborn kittens for a no-kill shelter. Show your summer fling that you’re not just a good time. Not only that, but show them that you’ve got grit and character and depth and that when your fling is with you, their life will be enhanced as well.”
As an added bonus, participating in some more meaningful, enriching experiences together will also allow you to see a different side to your fling as well. You may even glean some super helpful insight into whether you share some of the same goals and values, and thus, whether you’re compatible long-term.
Not all summer flings are meant to become long-term relationships, and Masini says that’s totally OK — rather than force anything, she advises appreciating the experience for what it was. If that’s the case, she suggests having a farewell date to offer you both closure (and one last romantic evening together).
“Give your summer fling a memorable send-off, and then, say goodbye and move on to fall,” she adds. “Then, start looking for your next date! Forward thinking is the key to getting over your summer fling.”
However, if you feel you and your summer fling are actually super compatible, and you’re both on the same page about being open to a serious relationship, then there’s no reason why you can’t take that whirlwind warm-weather romance to the next level. Besides, cuffing season rolls around right after summer ends, and once the temperature starts dropping, who doesn’t want a snuggle buddy you’ve already established a bond with?