By: Sarah Hofstedt, CSUN Public Health Intern
Summer is almost here! For many college students that means a much-needed break filled with beach trips, outdoor movie nights, and making out with acquaintances at pool parties. Some people even get involved in flings, which are casual sexual and/or romantic relationships that typically last between one and four months.
These relationships are not serious, and are mostly focused on sharing fun experiences rather than developing a strong bond. Summer sees plenty of flings because students have more time and are often looking for a way to unwind after a semester of hard work. A summer fling can be exciting and a great way to learn about what you want when you finally do seek out a lasting relationship; however, it is necessary to consider your emotional and physical wellbeing before getting into any sort of partnership, even a casual one. Here are some things to remember when you are taking a road trip with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
Use Protection (Consistently!)
This goes for all sexual relationships, regardless of seriousness. Using consistent protective measures during sex helps prevent unplanned pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Barrier methods like condoms and dental dams are inexpensive and effective, and are useful in any sexual relationship. Even monogamous couples should be using protection, or at least be getting tested for STIs regularly: monogamous couples are at higher risk for STIs than openly nonmonogamous ones because cheaters are less likely to practice safe sex. Whether you have one summer fling or a few, make sure you are proactive about using protection.
Decide What You Want
Are you only looking for a one-time hook-up? Do you want a date for summer concerts? Are you open to your fling turning into something more? It is always best to be honest right away about what you expect from any relationship. Be upfront about what you want and be prepared for your object of affection to voice their own desires. If they match up, then that’s great! If not, talk about how you can meet in the middle, or thank them for their time and move on.
Talk About Stuff
Again, this goes for all relationships. Speak up when they do something that bothers you; you should both be able to discuss your feelings openly and without judgment. A fling is also a great time to practice conversations about sex, religion, politics, and other “sensitive” topics. Being able to talk about things with someone you are not particularly invested in allows you to explore and express your thoughts freely, without the fear that you might scare someone away. That way, if and when you do find someone you want to get serious with, you have already started developing your communication skills within the context of a romantic partnership.
Keep it Light
Finally, remember that this is a fling! It’s supposed to be a fun period for exploration and experiencing another person without the pressure of a relationship. Take this time to be mindful of happy moments and enjoy them fully. Have a good fling!