“I’m Still With My Summer Love”

Want to keep on dating your summer fling? Couples who met while having fun in the sun share the secrets of their success.

By Chelsea Kaplan

ver had a summer love that cooled off as soon as the weather did? Think that’s the norm? Not necessarily. Judging by these couples’ stories, a hot summer fling doesn’t always have to end — sometimes, it just takes a little extra effort to make a summer romance survive. Read these summer lovin’ stories to discover the secrets to keeping a relationship strong long after the August sun goes down.

Lifeguard love
“I fell in love with Sean when I was in high school and he was a freshman at
Wait until summer’s end before making a move on a workplace crush.
UCLA — he was managing the pool where I worked as a lifeguard. When the summer ended, I didn’t know what would happen to our relationship, as we lived three hours apart. Still, we decided to give it a go and spent the next year visiting each other as many weekends as we could. Here was our recipe for success: We’d spend one weekend a month together where I lived, one weekend a month together where he lived, one weekend together in a neutral site (such as visiting friends or away on a fun weekend getaway) and one weekend by ourselves catching up on all of our studying and hanging out with our friends. Keeping a schedule like that may seem less-than-spontaneous, but it gave us something to look forward to and a sense of knowing what was coming up, so we never had to agonize over when we would see each other next. We had a plan and stuck to it, and that is what kept us going. We’ve been together for seven years now!”
—Sierra, 24, Los Angeles, CA

Lesson learned: If yours is a long-distance love, make plans to meet on each of your turfs… and points in between in order to maintain your close connection.

By the (law) book
“My summer love took place at work. When I was in law school, I spent a summer as an associate at a law firm. I hated the job, but quickly fell for Cynthia, who worked as a paralegal at the firm. The attraction was mutual, but she was afraid to mix business and pleasure, especially since she was concerned we might simply be caught up in the romance of a summer flirtation. I decided to back off and wait until the end of the summer before I asked her out again in order to see if it was the ‘real thing.’ After waiting for a few months, we tried dating, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I think that’s the key to making a summer work-related romance last: Make sure you truly like the person you’re crushing on and delay the gratification. If you still feel the same way at the summer’s end, go for it — it might be worth that risk of dating someone you work with, provided your company doesn’t forbid such relationships.”
—Manny, 28, Phoenix, AZ

Lesson learned: Wait until the summer ends before making a move on your workplace crush. If he or she still catches your eye when summer ends, investigate the pros and cons of pursuing a relationship. If you decide to do so, you know that it wasn’t just the hot season pulling you two together.

Keep the ball in play
“When I went to Nantucket with friends last summer I expected a week of ‘just us girls’ bonding. However, we met these guys who were from New York City, which is where we all lived. This one guy Michael and I had an instant connection, and we hung out the entire time. After the vacation, we promised to get in touch with each other when we returned to New York. Instead of getting caught up in his busy city life and job, the night after we got back, he left me a message seeing if I wanted to
If you met while away, reconnect as soon as you both get home.
meet for dinner the following evening. We’re still dating now — almost a year later. We didn’t wait to reconnect after that great week in Nantucket — we did so right away and it kept the momentum going so our romance didn’t begin and end on the beach.”
—Mary, 30, New York, NY

Lesson learned: Maintain your vacation romance’s momentum by reconnecting with your love interest as soon as possible after you both return home. He or she who hesitates could be lost!

Run towards love
“I met Terence through a local road-runners club one summer when he and I were both training for the Maui Marathon. At first I just thought he was this really great running friend, but I quickly began to see him as something more. We ran the marathon together that summer and began dating after that. While our instant connection was made while running, we knew that that wasn’t enough to sustain a relationship, so we made sure to discover the other interests we had in common. Eventually we learned how much we both love cooking, theater and outdoor activities. I am certain that looking beyond our initial similarity was the key to why our relationship didn’t eventually fizzle.”
—Angela, 40, Maui, HI

Lesson learned: Sustain a summer relationship that blossoms during a summer-specific activity by making sure you and your love have some non-seasonal interests in common — or cultivate some together!

A dog-gone good story
“Two summers ago I met Jacob while I was out walking my parents’ dog. He was in from out of town and, strangely enough, was walking his parents’ dog too. He was very attractive, so I began talking to him. Way after both of the dogs had done their thing, we were still standing outside talking to each other, and he asked me out for the next night. We had a great time together, but he left the next day. We kept dating long-distance that entire summer, and things moved pretty fast. I guess you could say that pretty early on each of us knew the other was The One. By the end of the summer we knew we were serious about each other and needed to live together, but I wasn’t comfortable taking our relationship to that next level unless we were engaged. The next weekend, he was in town visiting me and invited me over for dinner at his parents’ house. When I came over, he opened the door, holding his parents’ dog, which had a diamond ring attached to her collar and a note that said, ‘It’s because of me that Jacob met you, but it’s because of you that he fell in love with you.’ That proposal solidified the seriousness of our relationship, and definitely put our relationship on a level way past summer romance! We’re getting married this summer on the three-year anniversary of the day we met!”
—Kristin, 29, Greensboro, NC

Lesson learned: While it’s definitely not the right move for many summer romancers, there’s nothing like popping the question to solidify the seriousness — and staying power — of a summer love.

Chelsea Kaplan is deputy editor of The Family Groove and a regular guest on Sirius XM Radio's “Broadminded." Read more from Chelsea on her blog, “The Momtourage.”
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