“Summer Lovinʼ had me a blast. Summer Lovinʼ happened so fast….” This unforgettable lyric has probably been belted out at nearly every karaoke contest or high school prom for the past twenty years. Movies such as “Grease” and “Dirty Dancing” focused attention on a teenage tradition that has come to be known as the summer fling. However, the truth is that summer romances are not simply a thing of the past, and many college students still engage in this warm weather phenomenon. Summer flings are not the type of relationships that are usually associated with any kind of permanent bond. Most “successful” flings seem to occur between people who have never met before Summer flings still common things and will go their separate wayswhen summer ends. As freshman Communications major Ronnie Eichner says, “Summer flings are still really popular for young single people. As long as you donʼt get too attached itʼs okay, but if youʼll see the person after the summer, it could get awkward. The ideal summer fling is with a random person who can help make those couple of months really memorable.” That lack of attachment has to be mutual though because different people may have different expectations when they get involved in a fling. The summer seems to make students extra affectionate, but itʼs important to clarify with your partner what expectations there are for the relationship. If one person is looking for true love while the other is just seeking a good time, serious problems could occur. When both partners are on the same page though, summer flings can be a great time. Junior Communications major Billy DeCristofano said, “Summer flings really help ease the spring fever that comes over most college students. You just shouldnʼt take them too seriously or someone could get hurt.”
Many flings get started in places where the living situation is only temporary. The classic example of this scenario is a summer at the beach. Students often stay at beach homes while they earn their money as waiters, bartenders and lifeguards. This situation is ideal for a summer fling because students from different areas converge on several key locations in search of a good time. The best part of the arrangement is that everyone goes back to their normal lives at the end of the summer, thus giving a perfect escape for those who are a little scared of commitment.
Seasonal employment offers a great way to meet that perfect fling partner, since the job only lasts for a few months and the close contact creates great opportunities to flirt and interact. Even though the summer fling may have been made famous through movies of the past, this tradition is still alive and well in 2005. There is always the risk of getting hurt, but honesty from both sides can help avoid most misunderstandings.
Always be careful when spending time alone with strangers though. Make sure that the first several dates are spent in the company of other people, preferably trustworthy friends. If alcohol is involved in the interaction, keep a close watch on all the drinks that are being consumed. Once trust has been finally established. then let the fun begin.
Keeping the whole experience in perspective may be the hardest part. Junior Business Management major Casey Gamard says, “A lot of people use summer flings as an illusion because they think theyʼre in love for a few months. Looking back they realize it just wasnʼt real. It can be fun while it lasts though.