The relaxed and flirtatious side of dating is perfect for summertime. Just be sure to pack your intuition to avoid the love traps of this wild season.
Summertime is often a chance to let loose. My partner and I were recently lamenting that we have let go of our normal bedtime routine, our “who is cooking dinner” schedule and our waking up early ambitions. It is fun. It throws us off, but it is fun. Eventually we both know we will return to a more regimented way of living because those habits help us to live the goal-directed life that we have chosen. But in the meantime, we are giving ourselves permission to be looser with ourselves.
After all, it’s summer, and here are the telltale signs:
We say, F*ck it.
It can be wonderful to meet a partner when we are in this kind of mindset because it promotes a sense of spontaneity and wildness. We throw caution to the wind and let ourselves get swept up because we are feeling sexy in our yoga shorts and sleeping naked in the evening heat.
But sometimes those summer flings turn into relationships we wouldn’t have chosen if we were trudging down the street in our December parkas and meeting that exact same person. We end up having to disentangle ourselves from a relationship six months later that should have just stayed a post-beach volleyball coffee. Let yourself cut loose but don’t lose sight.
Summer has an ease. We slow down, we have more free time, we take walks in the sunshine and we have picnics at the beach. And we drink. And we drink. Drinking is promoted so strongly everywhere in the summertime. From music festivals to soccer games, the summertime beer is ubiquitous. It’s ok to enjoy a glass of sangria on the patio, and your microbrew craft beer after work. Just make sure your one or two drinks a week doesn’t slip into 5 or 6 drinks a night. This is where difficulties with alcohol become a slippery slope.
I often see clients in August who report that they “drank too much this summer.” If you are looking for love in a short term summer fling, alcohol may open up the door to fewer inhibitions and quicker flirting. It may also squeak open the window of alcohol fueled poor judgement and morning after regret. Watch yourself to keep your drinking in check, especially when everyone around you is living it up. Make sure to eat meals (that fresh and beautiful summer produce) if you are going out for a drink. And remember to stay hydrated during our wacky climate change heat waves. It will help with the hangover.
We let down our guard.
Sometimes, we are swayed by the whole idea of saying “yes” instead of saying “no.” This is great for so many reasons. We may let in more experiences that we ordinarily may have. We get exposure to new and unusual circumstances this way. But we also can be more easily swayed into situations that may or may not be good for us, just because we are more open to things in general.
When we start to say yes more indiscriminately, we open the door to lessening our boundaries and letting down our guard. While this often brings more positives than negatives, there are still many people who can, and will, prey on the more trusting and good natured part of our summer selves. Be laid back but still trust your instincts.
[image: via shutterstock]