As Sandy and Danny will attest, there is nothing like summer love. Summer is a time of casual Fridays, spontaneous travel, and eating ice cream in the street—everyone feels more free. So how do you tame your summer fling into a fall boyfriend? Collegiettes weigh in:
Keep it casual—at first.
No one wants to hear a profession of love a few weeks into dating! Summer romance is fun because it’s carefree. Mayssa, a recent graduate of New York University who was abroad in Rome last summer, told HC that it’s important to keep a “summer boy” guessing. “Don’t move too fast,” she says. “You have to leave something to look forward to!” Mayssa found this play-it-cool strategy to work particularly well with Euro boys.
To do: Plan a date a week in advance, not a month. (If you MUST get concert tickets ahead, don’t mention them to him until closer to the date of the show.) By keeping things light and making plans on the fly, you’ll show your summer boy that by staying with you, he would guarantee himself a fall semester that’s anything but boring.
Introduce him to one or two of your friends.
While he’s not a serious boyfriend yet, it’s important that he get to know your life outside of the summer situation you have going on. What you don’t want to do is overwhelm him with your six best girlfriends. Pick one or two of your friends who sit on the “chill” side of the spectrum (be honest, you know who they are) to meet him before everyone else. Once he starts to meet your friends, he’ll feel more connected to you, get to know you better, and be able to picture what dating you (past the summer) would be like.
To do: Schedule happy hour or casual bowling and invite him to stop by. It’s a no pressure situation!
Take his cues.
Is he texting you every single day to meet up? Or is he only asking what you’re up to on weekends? It’s important to notice how he’s acting towards you—guys are pretty obvious creatures, no? “My summer boy last year only texted me late at night at first,” says Sarah, a recent graduate of Colby College. “But I knew when he asked me out during the day that he was getting more serious about dating!” Once you get the vibe that the guy is more serious, it is okay to make your intentions known.
To do: Let him know that you like what he’s doing. For example, say, “I love getting your texts at work! Makes the day go by so much faster,” or “I really appreciate you checking in with me before I go to bed.” It’s important to compliment his good deeds so he knows to keep doing them. The more he communicates with you, the more he’ll think and learn about you. Soon he won’t be able to imagine not talking to you and texting you, and that’s when he’ll decide he would rather stay with you than lose you.
Have “the talk” before the end of the summer.
Mayssa says it’s important not to leave things murky when you leave each other in August: “Don’t leave it open-ended so that you have to sort it out when you’re away from each other.” While you don’t need to bring up long-term plans in June, you will want to know what you are to each other before you go back to school. She and her boyfriend talked two weeks before she had to leave Rome—and they decided to stay together!
To do: Decide what you want before the talk and let him know, specifically. For example, say, “I’d like to continue dating, and I think if we visit each other at least once a month, it could work.”
Taming a summer boy doesn’t have to be a chore. Play it cool in the beginning and let him into your “real,” non-summer life little by little. By fall, it will be clear to both of you that the relationship is worth continuing if you’re still having a ton of fun.