Why Summer Love Is Different Than Falling In Love During Any Other Season
Falling for someone new is a feeling unlike any other. Experiences like sharing that first kiss, getting butterflies in your stomach whenever you think about them, and wanting to talk about the person all the time somehow never get old. With a new love interest comes a restored sense of promise. And speaking of renewed hope, is it just me, or is falling in love in the summer even better than falling in love during any other season? It's fairly easy to see why summer love is different. The sun is constantly shining, days are longer, and school is out, so you're already in a good mood. Sure, fall has snuggle weather and winter has romantic snow days, but during the summer you can actually spend time together outside. And it's a scientific fact that Vitamin D from the sun is good for your health and overall happiness.
There are other biological reasons why summer love feels so different, as well as some explanations that are more just common sense. Summer love is special, and like the season, often gone too soon. Here are five reasons why summer is the best season for falling in love, no matter how fleeting it may be.
1. You have more opportunities to meet new and exciting people.
During the summer, you're always being invited to someone's barbecue, pool party, or beach bonfire. You mingle with people you don't know, or have met a few times but haven't really talked to. The intrigue of this new and somewhat mysterious person, combined with the great weather and even better vibes, is the ideal recipe for making sparks fly.
It turns out that there's a scientific reason this kind of short-term attraction feels more intense. Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women, told Women's Health that "keeping each other guessing increases the production of dopamine, a hormone associated with excitement and anticipation that makes couples feel more sexually attracted to each other."
2. You have fewer responsibilities, which gives you the freedom to be spontaneous.
With less pressure from work, school, and family commitments, summer tends to feel like a break from the rest of the year. You're not bogged down with exams or trying to get that big holiday bonus, so your work load is lighter. Interactions feel more casual, and decisions don't seem to carry as much weight. Even if you're a very Type A person, the "summer mindset" might just allow you to get out of your shell. Sure, you're shy, but it's summer, so why not go skinny-dipping after dark?
3. The warm weather means you're likely in a great mood.
Warm weather boosts your mood and opens your mind, according to a 2004 study conducted at the University of Michigan. Just 30 minutes spent outside in the sun can make people more receptive to new experiences — like meeting people and having engaging conversations, which can lead to romantic and/or sexual attraction.
"Exposure to sunlight triggers the body to produce mood-boosting dopamine and serotonin, plus a hormone called MSH — all of which spur your libido," Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D., author of The Vitamin D Solution, told Women's Health. So not only does the sun put you in a good mood, but it just might put you in the mood.
4. You feel sexier in your own skin.
During the summer, people often tend to eat healthier. You crave lighter foods like smoothies and salads, as opposed to winter when you want the comfort of a creamy bowl of mac and cheese or a steaming hot cup of broccoli cheddar soup. This is because the sun is dehydrating, so people are "more likely to eat energizing, tummy-flattening, water-based foods such as citrus, spinach, and cold soup," Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., author of Read It Before You Eat It told Women's Health.
This healthy eating, combined with more active time spent outside, makes you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Plus, you're wearing less bulky clothing and showing off more of your body. This confidence is attractive to others, and all the time spent in bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops makes you more tempting as well.
5. There's little to no pressure to commit.
Most of the time, summer love might more accurately be called a summer fling. Part of what makes it so enticing is that there isn't a lot of talk about commitment or "the future." It's about enjoying the moment and not thinking past Labor Day.
Data backs this up; according to Facebook statistics from 2010 and 2011, the months of May through August showed an increase in breakups for those under 25, 25 to 44, and 45 and over — all three age groups assessed. One possible explanation for this major change in relationship statuses is that couples know they'll be tempted over the summer, perhaps because they'll be spending more time apart or because they'll be more in the mood to date casually. So while the data shows an increase in breakups, that just means there are fewer long-term relationships that last through summer. This gives singles more of an opportunity to find someone to (summer) love.
There are a number of reasons why starting something new is so much more enticing during the summer than it is in any other season. And no matter how long the relationship lasts, those sweet summer memories are forever.
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