Carefree summer romances should be fun and are common, particularly amongst teenagers and students. While you may convince yourself that it’s love and that it will last forever, the truth is, it rarely does. In reality, once the three-month ‘honeymoon phase’ is over and the sea and sunshine wears off, you’ll probably realise that it isn’t going to work long-term. If you want to leave your fleeting partnership but aren’t sure how to go about it, here are some tips on how to end your summer fling…
1. Make your intentions clear from the start
First and foremost, before you even start dating, if you only intend on having a temporary summer romance, you should make this clear to your fling. If they start wanting more, you may want to give them subtle hints or reminders. For instance, comment that you love the freedom of summer, but can’t wait to get back to school in the autumn, or that you’ll miss ‘days like this’ when summer is over, but recognise the importance of change. You should avoid making future plans with your lover and try not to contact them every day, as you don’t want to appear overly keen. To keep the relationship relaxed, stick to informal forms of contact like Snapchat or simply like their photos on social media. Also, remind them of the day you’re heading back to Uni and leaving them behind, so they are aware the relationship isn’t going to last forever!
2. Directly, face-to-face
The most respectful way to end any relationship is face-to-face, rather than via text or email. When you decide it’s time to break up, you should be direct and explain to your fling that although you’ve enjoyed the summer, you don’t want the relationship to go any further. While this approach is fairly abrupt and to the point, you should try to be kind and apologise if they seem upset. It’s better to tell them if you are no longer interested, rather than leaving them hanging or dragging it out. To soften the blow, you should thank them for a great summer and you could also assure them that you’ll never forget them. When you end your summer fling face-to-face, it also means that you can give them a hug goodbye if you feel it’s necessary!
3. If asked, be clear on your reasons
If your summer fling wasn’t ready for the relationship to end, they will likely be upset when you break up with them. If they don’t know the reasons behind why your ending the romance, the other person will be left wondering what they did wrong, which can harm their self-esteem. Instead, it is kinder to be honest about why you want the relationship to end. Explaining why you feel that the relationship won’t work in future, will help them to see your side and they may even realise that it probably wouldn’t have worked out in the end. Even though the truth can hurt, providing clarity is respectful and gives the other person peace of mind. Sincerity heals, so make sure you’re available to answer questions in the immediate aftermath of the breakup!
4. If in doubt, blame school
If you don’t think your fling will like or accept the reasons why you want to end your summer fling, you can blame school instead. Tell them that now it’s autumn, you’ll be heading back to University and with the distance and all the studying you’ll have to do, you simple won’t have the time to invest in a relationship. Explain that it’s better to end it now on a high, rather than drag it out and have it fizzle out later. Express the importance of your education and getting good grades, over your love life and just tell them that now isn’t the right time. If there is some truth in this, you may cautiously suggest that there could be a possibility of rekindling it next summer, but say so unless there is an actual possibility, as you don’t want to lead them on or end up with a stalker who won’t leave you alone!
5. Tell them you’d like to stay friends
Again, only say this if you genuinely mean it! While some people put an end to their summer fling and move on, leaving it all in the past, others prefer to stay in touch with their fling. After all, you spent all that time together and if you get on well and have things in common, but aren’t interested in a romantic partnership, why not stay friends? You should tell them that it was fun while it lasted and if it genuinely was, that should remove some of the awkwardness. Make sure you express your wish to remain friends and if they too still care and want the same thing, you could become platonic friends in the future. However, you may want to give it some time after ending your summer romance, as if you try to rekindle a friendship too soon, it could quickly turn back into a fling that neither of you really want!
6. Drift apart naturally
If you were both in it for the short term and rarely stayed in contact, slowing drifting apart could be an acceptable way to end your summer fling. If the relationship was never serious, there may be no need for an in-depth discussion or explanation as to why you want to break up. Instead, you can both just go your separate ways and let it go. The easiest way to do this is to stop spending as much time together, avoid initiating contact and eventually, stop responding to their messages if they continue. This is a much easier scenario if you are moving away to Uni in the autumn or vice versa, as you simply won’t be there and so won’t see each other. Remember, staying in touch when there is a huge distance between you is much harder!
7. Don’t leave it until the last minute
The final tip for when you want to end your summer fling, is that you shouldn’t leave it until the last minute. You’ll both need time to process the end of your relationship and heal, so you’re ready to move forward when the new semester starts. If you’re fling takes it badly, this is even more important, as you don’t want them starting the school year on a low and their education suffering because you broke things off last minute. You also don’t want to start your own school year being pestered by your ex, if they haven’t managed to get over you yet. When breaking up with them, just make sure you’re considerate of their feelings and be kind, as you don’t want an angry ex on your back!