Image from Grease courtesy Paramount Pictures
John and Jennifer couldn't do it. Grease characters Sandy and Danny did. Problem is, the latter was the stuff of fiction. Now Labor Day's gone by, everyone's waking up with the collective hangover of summer's end, and the harsh reality that slacking at work due to the glorious weather will no longer be tolerated. Recently, radio personality Mary Tylaska asked me back to her morning show to talk to listeners about how to extend a summer romance into the fall. My initial reaction was, "Does anyone really want to?"
Sure, that distinct brand of red hot lovin' a summer fling inspires is the stuff of legends: Everyone wants to experience love accompanied by thrilling fireworks. But is this the true nature of love? A friend's father always gave her the following advice when it comes to matters of the heart: "True love is quiet."
And that's part of the reason summer romances tend to falter under more realistic circumstances. It's easy enough to enjoy an infatuation with someone when there's nothing to argue about, when you're primarily acquainted with only the best parts of them (because let's face it, we all project that at the beginning of a new relationship), and you're vacationing or the kids are away or you've got a lax work schedule, etc. Once fall comes and it's time to get back into the usually comparatively mundane day-to-day life, suddenly, a bit of that romantic magic seems to, to borrow another tired cliche, go up in smoke.
That doesn't mean it can't work out. But it does require some serious introspection and communication. Here are a few thoughts to consider:
- You need to not only ask yourself if this person fits into your more structured lifestyle, but will he or she get along with your friends and family?
- Do you actually have anything in common apart from sex?
- Could you realistically see yourself spending more time together?
- Do they have any "cute" quirks or habits that could potentially evolve into annoying relationship dealbreakers?
- If you're going to attempt a long distance relationship, do you have the necessary funds frequent travel demands and are you both willing to make the sacrifices?
- Once things actually get serious are you the type that quickly retreats into some kind of figurative cave?
Of course, the most important question to ask is whether your new partner in crime is even interested in taking things to the next level or not. Many times we assume that if everyone seems to be having a good time, a more solid commitment is a natural progression. Many people however, don't see things that way, so it's essential to find out if you guys are even on the same page regarding the future.
Sometimes, it's better to cut ties while you still have happy memories, as opposed to sullying your relationship by forcing it into territory it was never meant to be in. Still, it's been a few years since my last fun "fling," and today, we're as happy as we were in the beginning, only much more deeply in love.