Love + Sex, Love

What I learned from my summer fling

With summer just around the corner, it's time to start talking about the love that makes us lose our heads.

Ah, summer love. The sun is shining, the air is warm, the birds are chirping, and the forces of nature are conspiring in our favor to make romance happen. Even if we haven’t experienced this phenomenon for ourselves, pop culture has made sure that we experience it secondhand. At least for me, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a summer fling is the song “Summer Nights” from “Grease,” a personal favorite. But do summer flings always work out as perfectly as they did in “Grease?” Are they always bound to last through the dropping temperatures of fall and winter?

The answer to this question might be “no,” or perhaps “yes,” and that’s precisely the thrill of it all. The fact that I never quite knew where things were going, and still fell recklessly, is the precise phenomenon of the “summer love.” There’s something about this season that made me stop overthinking (like I usually do) and instead allowed me to go with the flow. In some cases this might be okay, but in mine, it lead to falling too hard and crashing.

Of course circumstances vary, sometimes you know that you’ll never see the person again, but other times crossing paths is inevitable. In my case, I was about to leave for a semester abroad in the fall and knew that I was going to see him when I came back. Not to mention the fact that in today’s day and age, being apart from someone physically is not as determining as it was in the past. With social media, FaceTime, and texting, it’s as if goodbyes aren’t for real. I left after the summer was over but that didn’t mean we stopped talking. After all, it’s really hard to cut someone out when you’re being bombarded with their texts and SnapChat stories 24/7.

[bctt tweet=”With social media and texting, it’s as if goodbyes aren’t for real.” username=”wearethetempest”]

One thing that I learned from this experience is that the worst part of a summer fling is not knowing if a goodbye will be terminal or simply a “see you later.” After all, will it be more than just a summer fling and turn into something that lasts at least two seasons? This is the question that consumed my thoughts during the summer and my semester abroad. How could I know for sure that I wasn’t wasting my time talking to this guy?

The truth is, there was no way of knowing. There never is. None of us can predict the future. I knew that there was always some bit of risk involved in the situation and as cheesy as it may sound, I was putting my heart at stake. In my case, the summer fling got extended indefinitely, and not knowing what would happen when I came back made me crazy, but it was also kind of romantic. It seemed as though the doubt and risk were part of the magic behind the summer love.

[bctt tweet=’This doubt and risk were part of the magic behind the summer love.’ username=”wearethetempest”]

Even though part of me felt like I was wasting my time by talking to him instead of meeting someone new abroad, the other part wanted to keep the excitement of the summer alive. It was as though I was split in two: my conscience told me to be careful, but my reckless summer persona was set on taking a risk. We kept talking even after summer was over, but it we never decided what would happen when I came back.

As the temperature dropped, things got colder between us and eventually we stopped talking. It’s as if that part of me that was set on making a summer fling last longer than the season itself, was overcome by the other part of me who was being a realist. In the heat of the summer everything seemed like a mirage, a blur, but once winter took over, reality set in and it was clear that it was time to let the summer fling go.

[bctt tweet=’In the heat of the summer everything seemed like a mirage, a blur.’ username=”wearethetempest”]

When I came back, I found out that my summer fling had found a new winter love. Although I already knew that it was over, I was incredibly disappointed and upset. In the cold of the New England winter, it sucked to not be able to hold on to anything from the summer, especially the good memories of a fling.

Still, I don’t regret any of it. If I had never given myself the opportunity to fall for anyone, I wouldn’t be living. Life and love are all about risks, and we have to risk some to learn some. The reality of life is that it’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds, but it’s important to let go sometimes and go with the flow of life. Now I know for sure that surprises are hiding everywhere, and who knows what could be hiding right behind a new summer fling.