I thought it was something I only saw on lesbian Twitter, but my summer fling became very real, very fast when I had to let my parents know that my new girlfriendwho, I had known for a whole two days while abroad was crossing an ocean to see me. Flattering? Yes. Confusing for my parents? Much more so.
Summer flings, especially anywhere outside your hometown, are designed to be short-lived. Yet in an increasingly globalized and technical world, it’s much easier to keep that flame alive than when your parents or even older siblings may have gone abroad. Even though we can access each other from across the world, should we?
In my personal experience, my one night stand ended up becoming a full-fledged relationship. Many summer flings stay summer flings, and I think that is healthy and creates personal growth through the handling of a relationship with an expiration date. You can have the entire experience of romance and dating while not having to worry about the consequences, sort of like having as long-term, no-strings-attached relationship. I think a summer fling can be really useful for some as a stab at a real relationship without the worry about long-term consequences.
But sometimes this does not work and some of us have no ability to create boundaries and end up falling in love thousands of miles away, which I believe builds a new kind of growth. There is a whole new dynamic to a relationship when you evolve to a real, long-distance relationship from a fling. Sometimes you ease into it slowly and surely but other times it is more abrupt and the dynamic has a 180 degree change, from light and casual to more serious. In my experience I have found that summer flings can lead to healthy, enjoyable long-term relationships. This is not the case for everyone or for every relationship, but it worked out for me. I was able to find a way to transition our fling into something more concrete. The best way to do this is through constant communication and setting up clear expectations with each other. Coming from a fling, people’s assumptions about the relationship may be different and it is best to establish what people want early on this way you know exactly what you are getting into and can set boundaries. The worst thing you can do is to break or go past those boundaries and leave you or your partner lost or hurt.
Either way, whether you end up in a short-term “fling” or long-term relationship, companionship, compassion and learning about others in a safe way is never a bad thing. If you can not handle the breakup or the distance healthily, why not chase what you’ve found? If a person benefits you emotionally, and physically, then why wouldn’t you keep them in your life?
Whether you’re reeling from a breakup, trying to just put yourself out there or really finding the one, a summer fling should never be discounted. Who knows where it could lead you?