Advice On Summer Flings

Just The Tips: Summer Fling Edition

Weekly relationship column hosted by college experts Angie and Cass, answering questions sent in by you.

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1. Are summer flings worth it?

Angie: Know what you're looking for! A fling is by definition something fast and short—so if you're not secretly hoping that your summer hookup will blossom into a longer romantic relationship, then sure—knock yourself out, mess around, have fun! Make sure you're not signing your summer partner up for something they're not signing up for, though. If your goal is romance and their goal is sex (or vice versa), your "fling" is going to be doomed from the start.

Cass: Like Angie said, summer flings are really only good if you're looking for something fast and thrilling—that's what a fling normally is. However, if you're looking for more than a fling and more of a summer romance, communicate that with your partner that you're interested in seeing where things go once the summer is done. Just make sure you're on the same page as your partner to get the most out of a summer relationship.

2. How do you politely refuse a request (sexual or otherwise)?

A: Gauge the situation—is the person asking you the kind of person who would accept a direct "no, thanks"? If not, sometimes it's easiest to just lie. Say you're already in a relationship, aren't looking for anything right now, can't because you have some other plans, etc. Make sure you feel safe and have a friend on hand just in case you need backup or an exit from the situation!

C: As Angie said, you can try to let them down gently, however sometimes you have to be firm and tell them that no means no. People need to respect each other's boundaries when it comes to asking them to do things. If this person who is requesting something of you really respects you as a person and considers you a friend they're going to understand your refusal regardless of how it is done. But if you're stuck on being polite, just tell them that you have plans or you're in a relationship like Angie said. One tip though, if you're going to use a friend in your lie, make sure you loop them into what's going on so they know to have your back.

3. Should you do other things with the person than just hooking up? Going out and doing fun stuff, etc.?

C: Only if both of you want to, if both people don't want to see each other outside the context of just hooking up then there's no reason to push any boundaries. However, if you do want more of a relationship experience rather than a hookup experience, make sure to be clear with your partner about your expectations from them.

A: I think it's worth trying to do some new things! If you have a partner who you've hooked up with a few times, then you know you get along in bed, but that doesn't leave a lot of room for really getting to know each other. If you go out with your partner, even if it's just to lunch or a bar and still ends with what you usually meet up to do, you'll discover new things about each other and it might open doors and give you the option to expand your relationship.

Do you have a question about relationships? Is there something you've always wanted to know but are a little embarrassed to ask? We're always ready to answer—follow this link to send us your questions!

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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To The Girl Telling Herself She Doesn't 'Catch Feelings,' Stop Lying To Yourself

"Catching feels" is not synonymous with a sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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We're all guilty of it. We think we have this incredible Great Wall of China protecting our vulnerability; however, we tend to overestimate its security with defense mechanisms that could potentially hurt us in the long-term, concerning the formation of future relationships.

We must let others in to embrace the process of falling for someone

If you're like me, constantly busy and preoccupied with life's demands (sometimes going days without proper inhalation and exhalation), we become almost numb and ignorant of our emotions, mostly as a result from not putting ourselves out there. But this lack of experience is wrongly mistaken for the notion of attachment resistance. It's OK to focus on yourself, but after a while, it is necessary and fun to reawaken those feelings and jubilant moods associated with falling for someone, because in the midst of life's madness, we often forget how to feel.

Do not attempt to avoid to "catch feels" like it's the plague

We're consistently bombarded with false advice from society to avoid "catching feels," or falling for someone, no matter the costs. Why is it suddenly so frowned upon to actually like someone you met? Why should we feel shame in wanting to continue a relationship with this person? Dating is evidently complicated in the 21st century, but don't let this make you try to consciously repress those newly-formed feelings since repression essentially leads to escalation. Embrace the feels because it's the human thing to do.

Loosen your wall's bricks with vulnerability

Some of our jerk-alert senses are more activated than others, mostly due to past experiences, but it's important to hammer into our heads that they're not all the same.

Stop lying to yourself. No matter how much you repress it, you will feel, you will get attached, and you will allow yourself to do this, despite what the norm is for what "dating" is today. Break off from your defense mechanisms and your wall will slowly follow. Remember: "catching feels" is not synonymous with sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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