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An escape from reality: the anatomy of a summer romance

Summer romances are tricky things. You get caught up in the whirlwind of the moment and the feeling of the freedom. So much of what fuels the summer mind is the prospect of living in the moment, saying yes to things you normally wouldn’t have and hoping what you felt in that exact moment is a feeling that will last forever, like that one Grease song.

Of course, all summer romances differ slightly in their contexts and conceptions, but one thing can be said of all summer loves: they are wonderful and spectacular things. But once August comes, the feelings dwindle, and that moment and the sheer freedom get lost in the routine of normal life.

Why are summer romances so different from ones at any other time of the year? What makes your feelings during hazy summer nights and hot summer days so unique? As college students, summer provides us with the escape from the monotony and predictability of school life. After our last final, a weight is lifted from our shoulders, and we feel the freedom of the absence of routine and the constant demand of schoolwork — at least for the next three months.

You can’t go through your entire break wanting to have a summer romance or fling. Those things just happen. Forcefully trying to create some kind of connection with another person usually turns out disastrous for both. Summer romances are different because they happen by chance. They catch you in your most carefree state, caught up in the haze of the season.

But if you’re looking for opportunities to encounter a possible summer fling, your best bet would probably be at a party. Parties are the best places to meet people. Everyone is carefree and having fun, so this is the easiest place to make a connection.

Say you’re at a bonfire on a hot summer night, chilling with a few of your friends and the friends of those friends. You end up sitting by an engaging and interesting stranger. So, of course, you make small talk. Small talk turns into talking about your interests, and that, in turn, shifts into talking about what you have in common. Thus, a connection is made.

This connection, fueled by the lightness of the season and the extra time you have from not being in school, sparks the flame that is the beginning of a fling. The extra time means you are able to easily balance a romance with the rest of your life because you aren’t too busy. Summer romances are wrapped up in themselves, and you forget come August, your responsibilities return.

This is the downfall of the fling. For most, routine will eventually catch up with you. At the start of the new semester, you’ll both go back to your busy schedules and expectations, and what you based your summer romance around will slowly fade to a memory of that free, passionate feeling until the hazy heat of the next summer rolls around once again.

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