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The pros and cons of summer love

The pros and cons of summer love

By Laura Gilbert

Ah, summer love. Songs have been sung and odes have been written to sultry hot-weather romance — and why not? Everything seems a little more sensual on a starry summer night. But it’s not all beach blanket bingo and kisses under the moonlight — there are some downsides, too. Here are the pros and cons of looking for love when the weather heats up.

Pro: It’s a great time to break out of a love rut
Summer means more social outings, trips to distant (and not-so-distant) lands full of new people, and for some lucky few, a slowdown at work — all of which make it prime time for trying out new things with new people. That adds up to lots of extra opportunities for flings that can break you out of bad dating patterns, distract you from an ugly breakup, snap you out of a dry spell, or even turn into lasting love.

Con: You can barely work up the energy to leave your home
Sure, warmer weather puts people in better moods… up to a point. But then there are those summer days that get so sticky that you’re soaking wet 10 minutes after you towel off. Tempers get short when the temperatures get high, and that means you’re more likely to snipe at others. Or maybe you just want to laze around the house instead of “doing” something. Even holding hands can feel too sticky and icky — so not a lovey-dovey sensation.
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Pro: You can turn up the heat outside
Long days and longer weekends, coupled with warmer weather, mean more time to canoodle outdoors. You can actually get outside for all those weekend warrior-type sports you tell people you enjoy doing. And of course, the great outdoors is a great place to get romantic. “In the summer you can go hiking, make out under the trees and snuggle in a remote cabin,” says Ben Friedman, 30, from Sicklerville, NJ.

Con: Travel plans colliding when you do meet someone
Summer is synonymous with vacationing — but unfortunately, you usually have to book flights months before you’ve even met a summer fling. That means that even if you meet a great mate, there’s a good chance at least one of you will be spending a week somewhere out of town — alone. “Every time I’ve met someone in the summer, we wind up only seeing each other once every other week on Tuesdays,” says Ky Henderson, 29, from Wauwatosa, WI. “It’s September before we finally get down to that summer lovin’ they sing about in Grease.”

Pro: Weddings, weddings, weddings!
Warm-weather months mean it’s officially wedding season. And weddings are perfect for bringing a new date (one you might otherwise never get to check out in a tux or fancy dress) or scouting for one amongst the distant family and friends who converge on the reception.

Con: Until it’s your wedding, the pressure’s inescapable
Let’s see… there’s the pressure to find a date. And the risk of getting stuck at a “singles only” table full of your own cousins and teenagers. Then there are the nosy questions from friends and relatives wondering when you’re going to tie the knot. Need we say more?

Pro: All of the holidays, none of the guilt
“When you’re dating someone in the winter, it gets all stressful trying to decide where to spend the holidays, whether you should meet each other’s families, and what to get for a gift — it makes you get too serious, too fast,” says Anna Davis, 36, from Sausalito, CA. But when’s the last time you felt family pressure to spend Independence Day with your folks? Or had to worry about going overboard with a too-nice Labor Day gift for your sweetie? See what we mean — summer can be perfect for seeing a new honey because you can just enjoy yourselves together. Which is the point of hot-weather romance, after all.

Freelance writer Laura Gilbert has contributed to Cosmopolitan, Maxim, and The Modern Humorist. She enjoys long walks on the beach as well as air conditioning.