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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Ask Annie: What should I do about a summer fling?

Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!

Dear Annie,

I moved somewhere new for the summer for a job, and hit it off romantically with someone at work. But since we’re both only gonna be in the same place for like two months, I’m not sure how I should handle all the feelings and decisions involved.

Summer Lovin’

Dear Summer Lovin’,

If this person is the “one that you want,” pursue them with low expectations and an open mind. If you can keep the heat up all season, maybe — just maybeyour romance won’t be limited to summer nights.

The key to a summer fling is balancing your hopeless devotion to your beau and dodging dating to not risk hurt feelings. Develop low, day-to-day expectations for your summer romance. Don’t expect more from the person than a good time and a few kisses. 

Focus on planning casual activities instead of grand gestures. For example, if you would plan a date to a formal restaurant back home, keep it simple and get milkshakes at a local dive. Behaving more casually toward your seasonal suitor may help you keep the lighthearted nature of your summer fling in context.

Maintain an open mind regarding the future of your relationship. Even if your romance fizzles out in the fall, the interests bringing you together for the summer might lead you to cross paths in the future. If you have a connection now, who is to say what will happen when you’re older? 

The fairytale of a summer romance is that your easy, breezy fling might develop into a lasting commitment by the time Labor Day arrives. People meet in situations that take them away from ordinary life, like a summer adventure or travel experience, and continue their romance into their real lives. Even Sandy and Danny in “Grease” transitioned their seaside tryst into their everyday high school lives. 

Hand jiving forever isn’t a given in any relationship. Being college-aged, there are always jobs, internships and graduate programs could take us away from the person we’re dating — whether you met in a designated short-term program or a regular college semester. Don’t say no to a connection just because you aren’t sure how long it will last.

Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen if you pursue this summer fling. You get hurt by a person you never have to see again? There are worse things you could do: it’s not like you are confessing your undying love to your roommate…

A summer fling should be a blast, focused on soaking up the sun and whiling away the long evenings together. There’s a reason countless movies and books tell stories revolving around summer romances — “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series, every Emily Henry book and, of course, ”Grease.” They’re highly coveted rites of passage for young adulthood. People tend to look back at them fondly and wistfully, even if it means heartache for a few months in the fall.

Hopefully devoted to your romance,


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