How to Have a Summer Romance

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School’s out. You’re free. But who wants to spend three months flying solo? Time for a summer romance.

Step 1: Understand the rules of a summer fling
Understand what it means to have a summer fling. First, it lasts between two weeks and three months and, second, it’s definitely not serious. Get clarity about this or one of you could get hurt.

Step 2: Find an appropriate fling
The first thing to do is to find a willing and appropriate person with whom to fling. Memorial Day at the beach, summer camp, and a summer job are all good places to start.

Step 3: Make sure they have a “sell by” date
A crucial component of a summer romance is that it ends come autumn—so check the 'sell by' date on yours. Is one of you just there for the summer? Is one of you going away to school after Labor Day? Is their visa in America only good for three months? Perfect.

Avoid next-door neighbors, your best friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend, and someone whose heart was just broken. Much too messy.

Step 4: Check their attitude
Check to make sure that the potential fling has the right attitude. Say something like, 'I’m looking for fun. What are you looking for?' If they answer 'fun' you’re good. If they get a somber or psycho look on their face—run.

Step 5: Know how much is too much
Once you’ve got a summer romance brewing, try to keep exposure to just a few days a week. Never meet each other’s parents. Don’t share your deepest darkest secrets. And absolutely no tattoos.

Step 6: Plan your exit strategy
Around mid-August you’ll need to start pointing out that the romance’s expiration date is approaching. It’s as easy as casually talking about packing your bags to leave, or your plans—which don’t involve them—for the fall.

Step 7: The Labor Day dropkick
It’s August 31st, time for the Labor Day dropkick. This is a good time to get a little misty eyed. After all, a summer romance without a little melancholy isn’t all that romantic.

If you’re not feeling any real emotion, you can always fake it.

Step 8: Bid them adieu
For the final goodbye, kiss them gently on the lips and tell them what a blast you had. Then say something like, 'You’re gonna make someone really happy someday.' This will let them know that the summer fling is officially over, and not to bombard you with sappy emails. After all, you’ll need to focus on finding that winter romance pretty soon.

Did You Know?
Limerence is the psychological term for having a serious crush or infatuation. All love starts with limerence, but not all limerence leads to love.

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