How to spot a summer romance vs. a long-term relationship
Summer relationships are beautiful, unique experiences that can stay imprinted on our memory decades after they’ve come to pass. It doesn’t matter what age we have them, whether abroad or in our hometown, love in the summertime carries with it a romanticism difficult to replicate and often surreal in hindsight. It’s true that some of us are lucky enough to have the experience turn into something more than a fling, but is there really a way to tell if you’re going to be the lucky one? Well, it may not be a fool-proof set of rules, but we reckon there are some clues you can definitely look out for along the way.
The land of no tomorrow
By their very nature, summer romances are like children; their only concerns are immediate, self-satisfying and usually utterly ruled by the present moment. This sort of dating makes the future feel extremely far away, a mere distant and hazy horizon on a journey you’re totally enthralled with.
If you’re wondering how this fares for the longevity of your partnership, the honest truth is not very well. In summer romances that are destined to be short-lived, there’s very little focus on the future, on what’s going to happen beyond the holiday, or beyond the time when daily jaunts to the park or beach are no longer an option.
If discussing anything beyond the next time you’re going to see each other feels unimportant or unnecessary, or you can’t envision what you’ll both be doing together in 3 months from now, then what you have may be a short but perfectly formed summer love story.
Chitter chatter vs. connection
Summer romances with people you’ve been matched to, introduced to by friends or met through online dating can be whimsical affairs. When the sun is up there’s a feeling that in life and dating anything is possible, that the world of love, sex and joy are ours for the taking and exploring. So how do we set this apart from the reality of a long-term relationship, where the experiences won’t always be fabulous, all of the time?
We do this by learning to distinguish the chitter chatter from a genuine and deep connection. We’re all interested, and should be, in our lover’s favourite drinks, foods and common hobbies that can provide us with a bond and more enjoyment with one another. This is natural behaviour for friends as well as partners. What’s really telling however, is whether you know what truly drives your lover, what motivates them in life, what their inspiration is to keep moving through the years and where their passions lie. If you’ve had previous summer romances, ask yourself if you can answer these questions about those partners.
There is an element of vulnerability that comes with revealing your life goals or dreams and sharing what it is that makes you tick, outside of the easy-going sunshine and cocktails. If you’ve spoken about these subjects with your beau, and you’ve both managed to connect deeper than everyday, non-committal conversation, then there’s a chance your love may still be in the air long after the sun has gone down.
Introductions vs. anonymity
Summer romances can revolve intensely around only the two people involved, to the point where friends and family don’t even get sight of what’s happening between the two of you. It always feels like you can return your best friend’s call later, meet up with the boys next weekend or, you convince yourself that no one will really notice or mind your absence. We know, it can feel special being part of this exclusive unit week after week and that having someone else’s attention fixed only on you is intoxicating.
At some point however, it’s natural to begin thinking about mixing in each other’s circles and meeting those who are significant to each of you. In fact, after a while it becomes hard work and a conscious effort to avoid these meetings, so you may want to investigate the reasons if it’s clearly not happening.
If meeting your lover’s friends and family isn’t mentioned and doesn’t appear to be on the cards, then we very much doubt that longevity is either.
Part of being in a long-term and committed relationship is cultivating the ability to identify and be proactive about problems or challenges that need to be addressed. We know that when this doesn’t happen, they can grow and become much bigger and compounded than necessary.
If there are considerable challenges in your relationship or even minor obvious blocks between you, that you’re both doing very little to address, then it may be the sign of a temporary relationship. When people fail to act and even take steps to avoid situations that are hindering their growth, there’s an implicit acceptance that either change isn’t possible or that the work involved simply isn’t worthwhile. Which might it be for you?
Whether you come from different religions, cultures, are already committed to other people or even just have ambitions that differ widely, the level of eagerness to find common ground is a tell-tale sign of how long your relationship may last. People who truly want to be together will at least try to move mountains to make it happen, even if this is only within the confines of a trouble-shooting conversation. Longevity takes effort, dedication; take a look at the seeds you’re both currently sowing and see if either of these attributes are present.