Perks of a Summer Fling


Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

This summer was the first in a long time where I’ve been single. According to a myriad of Cosmo articles and the personal testaments of my single friends, summer is the best season to be sans-significant other. The balmy weather makes it so easy to meet people out and about, and for college students coming home on vacation, it’s the perfect atmosphere for a casual fling.

It makes sense. Summertime for the average college student is pretty much void of responsibility. Sure, you might have that part-time job at that one coffee shop, but you get to stay at home without paying rent and food miraculously restocks itself in the fridge. Plus, there’s no school work.

Summer is the time to work on yourself. For some, it’s losing the freshman 15, or practicing a hobby that was put on the back burner during the school year. For me, it was working on getting out of my comfort zone.

I’ve never been one for a casual hookups. I don’t know if it’s because of my strict conservative upbringing or my own insecurities that make me so weird around the opposite sex, but I’ve always preferred the convenience of a relationship. It’s just so much easier. I’m not saying relationships are easy, but there are significant advantages to being in one.

When you get to know someone well enough, you can let loose around them. You’re not always worried about what you look like or whether or not they can smell the chow mien you just ate. Their breath probably smells like chow mien too. You can be normal, disgusting human beings around one another. It’s comfortable.

With hookups, there’s that added pressure make a good impression. Checking your hair for fly aways and carefully cultivating conversation so you don’t come off as weird. And for what? Awkward sex in which both partners don’t really know what the other is into? I never understood the appeal.

That is why I’m still shocked as to how my recent hometown fling changed my whole perspective on keeping it casual.

He was pretty cool as far as guys in my hometown go. We would have a good time hanging out, but he lacked a certain dateable quality. I guess it was the summer of throwing caution to the wind, because the next thing I knew, I had a friend with benefits.

It took time getting used to, but it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Which is kind of the whole point. I wasn’t afraid of losing this person, so I felt comfortable taking risks. I was communicating what was actually good (and what wasn’t) because there wasn’t the need to be sensitive about hurt feelings.

This was a problem I had in my relationships. I didn’t want to deal with hurt egos. With this guy, it was different. We both got what we wanted, and then went home. No strings attached.

In a way, hometown flings really are the perfect set up. For two months, you have a sort of faux significant other. You watch Netflix, you chill and indulge in whatever you want to do with each other. Then, when August rolls around, you pack up your bags and you’re off to Chico.

Summer flings have definite deadlines, and, unless your hometown hottie is a wildcat too, they know that you’re eventually going to leave. The biggest fear is trying not to catch feelings, especially for a long distance lover.

I’m from a relatively small town. We all graduated from the same high school. It’s not like any of them magically transformed into Chris Hemsworth while I was away. My dream guy just isn’t there; chances are your dream whoever isn’t living in your hometown either. I wouldn’t worry about catching feelings too much, because honestly, if there was anyone worth dating, you probably already have.

Also, to my hometown fling, thank you. Time is short. You gave me the confidence to go for what I want, without shame. See you next year.

Lorinda Sasan can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.