Summer flings aren’t just for college kids. Didn’t Sex in the City prove that? While many of us might still receive pressure to “settle down and start a family,” we have the option to remain unmarried longer (or indefinitely if we decide) thanks to social changes that have given women more independence and access to resources which were previously denied in past generations.
We get to enjoy more freedom in the types of relationships we choose to have. Enter: the Summer Fling. The summer fling isn’t about finding The One. No, having a summer fling is more about finding yourself, having fun and getting to know another person without the pressure of a full-time, long-term commitment. But how do you navigate the summer fling waters as an older twenty-something? Hint: You’re much wiser now and can certainly have more fun!
Know what you want.
Before you decide to try out a summer fling, make sure that you know what you’re looking for. Do you want a pseudo-relationship in which you and your fling are faithful to each other for as long as the fling lasts, or will it be an open relationship that allows both of you to be with other people around the same time? Knowing what you want will help you to understand your expectations and limit the possibility of disappointment or a broken heart (or something with even more unpleasant side effects).
Be upfront about your expectations.
You don’t need to have “The Talk” right away, but you can be upfront and let them know that you’re not looking for a relationship and just want to see where this goes, if anywhere. You can also be upfront about what you’re looking for in a summer fling, whether it will be exclusive or not, and work out the dynamics of your temporary relationship.
Get to know different people.
The great thing about a summer fling is the opportunity to get to know different people without the pressure to choose just one. Maybe you’ve always dated a “type” but it hasn’t been working for you. Date someone outside of your usual zone. You might prefer a guy in a business suit with Wall Street aspirations, but giving that free-spirited artist (who owns more paint brushes than cufflinks) a chance could be just what you need.
Be open to love.
Sure, you can go into a summer fling not expecting or desiring to fall in love. That’s great! But be open to the possibility of love if it should happen. Because it’s a summer fling, a long-term relationship isn’t a requirement, but we know that sometimes falling in love can happen when we’re not expecting it. That’s okay too. If you’ve already established open communication with your fling partner, this is something else you can discuss when the time is right.
But end the fling if it’s not working for you.
Summer flings should be fun and light-hearted. They might get passionate and intense, but at the end of the day, both of you go your separate ways. If the short-term relationship becomes stressful or painful, or your fling partner turns out to be Mr. or Miss Wrong Right Now and Forever, you have the right to end it. Again, be upfront with your fling partner and do what is right for you.
Have you ever had a fling while in your mid to late twenties? Do you have any tips for successfully navigating one? Share your story by tweeting us @feather_mag or on our Facebook page.
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