Can Your Fling Offer Something Better?


November was seriously hot, December was a blast and you giggled through January. Ooops, holidays ended. Is it time to put the seasonal fling away with your mittens and boots or have you started something real enough to burn through the summer?

Check for these signs that your fling will outlive its seasonal life expectancy:

You talk about the future
When you both know your romance is finite, conversation tends to skirt the long-term subject matter. It’s just too awkward to talk about anything more than a month or so off if chances are good that time frame will find your current fling in the past tense. If the two of you discuss your holiday plans, purchase concert tickets for October or are comfortable theorizing about the future, you just may have one.

Your lives could merge
When you weren’t caught up in the impossible romance of it all, you were talking. You know their dog’s name, their favorite foods, you even feel like you know their family. So it isn’t difficult to imagine how the two of you could fit into each other’s lives – post-fantasy. Don’t kid yourself, because the details are important. If you live in California and your fling calls New York home, the conflict should be obvious. If you’re allergic to smoke and their favorite way to come down after a hard day involves a few cigarettes, you have a problem, too. You may be able to overlook a few differences in the throes of new (and temporary) romance, but when it comes to the long term, your day-to-day has to make sense.

You agree on the big issues
Do you know how many kids your fling wants? Do they know your long-term career goals? Couples who last tend to have similar values and expectations. Conflicting political and family views are great for stimulating conversation, but not ideal for forging a lasting relationship. On the other hand, if you’re continually surprised by how much you have in common, your common ground might be headed for the next level.

You’re willing to work
Flings are all about relationships without the responsibility. Even long-term arrangements can remain breezy, if you’re not willing to work through differences and commit to making each other feel special. A little effort isn’t a big deal for someone you’re starting to really care about. You call because you don’t want them to worry and you’re still thinking of new ways to surprise each other. When your connection is worth a little legwork, it’s likely to keep working for you.

You don’t want it to be a fling
Sometimes it really is that simple. No matter how casual you might have envisioned your relationship, if you’re having trouble picturing next month without them, you may want to keep them around. Are they the first person you call when something interesting happens? Are they someone you can always count on in a jam? Do you find you’ve come to rely on their advice and honestly respect their opinion? And watch for signs, too. If they consistently go out of their way for you and have made an honest effort to fit you into their life (and plans), you’re seeing sure signs that your connection will endure long after the days grow shorter.