Summer is here, and that means one thing — corn on the cob. And fling season, of course. The only reason high school movies always feature a spring fling is that there is no school in the summer, so when would they do it? Whether you’ve met the person you want to spend the summer with, or you’re still looking, it can be helpful to plan for the future. You may know that you only want to be with them for the summer, so you’ll want to know how to keep your summer fling casual.
I had a summer fling during college when I was studying abroad in Paris. I thought he was perfect because I was living away from home, and he helped me immerse myself in French culture (mostly baguettes, but you get the idea). We had discussed how we were both on the same page about the future, and how we knew it wouldn’t last past the summer. Unfortunately, as August began to wane, I found myself catching feelings for him. I knew I should have prepared myself for it (and for my soon-to-be lack of croissants), and, looking back, there were ways to avoid catching feelings. I compiled a list for you to make sure you can work your way out of this sticky situation.
Read on to find 10 tricks to avoid catching feelings for your summer fling!
1. Remind Yourself It’s A Fling
It can be helpful to always stay aware of how serious the two of you are. If you continue to remind yourself it’s a fling and it’s unlikely to last past the summer, you’re more likely to avoid catching feelings.
2. Date Other People
Flings are fun, but they’re intentionally casual. That means you’re not tied down, and you can continue to date other people, if you want. If a cutie at the pool catches your eye, don’t be afraid to ask them out — as long as your fling knows you’re not exclusive, you’re totally allowed to date someone else.
3. Imagine Your Future Without Them
One trick to avoid catching feelings is to not plan your fling into your future. Think about the next year of your life, and remember everything you have to look forward to, even if your fling isn’t part of it.
4. Avoid Spending All Your Time With Them
It can be helpful to not make your fling your main hang. This can be tough if you’re away from home and you don’t know a lot of people, but you can still carve out time for yourself. It will be easier to prevent feelings if you haven’t spent every waking (and sleeping) second with them for the last few months.
5. Hang Out With Your Friends
It can be tough when a partner becomes your best friend. This has happened to me many times before, both with casual flings and more serious relationships. Remember that you have friendships that will last far beyond the summer, and you might want to spend time with those friends to keep your mind off your fling.
6. Focus On Fun
Flings can be a ton of fun, and there’s no reason you can’t have a blast while keeping it casual. Remember how much you’re enjoying yourself instead of thinking about how the summer will someday end, and you’ll have a better chance of appreciating the fling without worrying about a long-term commitment.
7. Discuss If You’ll Stay Friends
You’ll want to know what the rules are for talking once the fling is over. I’ve had flings where we were not on the same page about whether or not we’d keep talking, and it led to unnecessary heartbreak. Ask the person you’re seeing if they’d like to stay friends, but also don’t be afraid to cut off contact if you feel like it’s the best way to avoid catching feelings.
8. Try Not To Make Plans To See Them
It’s one thing if you and your fling will inevitably run into each other somewhere else, but it’s vastly more complicated if the two of you are flying across the country to visit. It’s not bad to see your fling again, but if you’re planning your life around them, it can be difficult to avoid catching feelings.
9. Stay In The Moment
Summers don’t last forever, and you’ll want to enjoy it. Instead of thinking about how you and your fling may have to break up, think about how much fun you’re having right now, and let that joy carry you through the summer.
10. Keep An Open Mind
Maybe you’ve decided the fling has to come to an end, but maybe it doesn’t. It’s OK to keep things nebulous, as long as you’re both comfortable with it. Stay open to possibilities for the future (including dating people who aren’t your fling). There are always more summers, after all, and you never really know what will happen in the future.
Flings might be the best part of summer, second only to lemonade, the beach, long weekends — OK, summer is pretty amazing all around. But if you’ve found a fling you’re having a great time with, it can be tough to avoid catching feelings. If you and a fling do want to get serious and keep things going year-round, that’s amazing! But if you’d prefer to remain light, these tips can help you keep it casual this summer. Above all, enjoy yourself! Summer only comes once a year.
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