Just because our culture is obsessed with monogamy and long-term relationships doesn’t mean you have to be—and beautiful, meaningful connections come in all shapes and sizes. The summer, which is short and sweet, is the perfect shape for a relationship that’s exactly the same. Or even several relationships that are exactly the same.
What makes a relationship a fling, exactly? To establish a definition, let’s say a fling is a romantic connection that lasts no longer than the length of the summer—or four months, at most. A fling is casual and non-monogamous, but definitely involves real feelings. Because they’re so laid-back, you can have multiple flings going on at once (as long as you’re being honest about your own boundaries—and careful with your fling’s feelings). And, perhaps most importantly, a fling should be fun for everyone involved.
Snagging a steady relationship in the fall and winter makes sense: throughout the coldest months of the year, the ambition to go out and meet new people is low. What you want in the winter is someone to stay in and be quiet with. And so you settle down with a single consistent partner and ride out the weather.
But the summer brings warmth, and with warmth typically comes new enthusiasm for going out and meeting people. The days are longer, the sun sets later, and there’s more time to enjoy the place you live (or explore somewhere new) with a fling (or a few).
Monogamy and long-term relationships can be lovely, and if you find yourself in a healthy, happy one this summer, enjoy it. However, it’s healthy and fine to enjoy shorter, non monogamous relationships, too. A connection can be as meaningful as it is brief. Think of how short-lived and intense our crushes were in grade school—that’s a great model for how a summer fling should feel (just without the devastating, first-time heartbreak feelings afterward).
If it’s not official yet, it should be: this summer is fling season. Go forth and fling.