You started the summer with the fifth stamp on your passport, screenshots of all the poses you want to try in front of tourist hotspots, the addresses of the best fooderies memorized, and a phone number written on your wrist. Forget the tour guide provided by your hotel. This was a youthful, beautiful chance to explore the city through the eyes of someone equally youthful and beautiful.

You ended the summer with a quiet fourteen-hour flight back home and no ink to wash off. There’s certainly a story on your empty wrist, on your most recent Whatsapp contact, on the in my feels playlist you repeat over your usual one.

With the season coming to its close, your friends are awaiting the most anticipated conclusion to your romance on a deadline. You’ve been cryptic and subtle enough. Only silhouettes and joined hands over a cafe table have graced your Instagram story. Not a name, not a face, not a chance for anyone to cross-reference the shape of your fling’s shoulder with an account with three photos max. Whether it be a sexual romance worth writing about or a sweet story told over the span of thirty dates, before you talk about it, you need to know how you feel about it. Summer flings are — by nature and definition—meant to be temporary.  

So, you’ve (maybe, accidentally) caught feelings. Now what? There may not be a cure, but there are mindful steps to take to ensure that summertime sadness stays away from Fall.

Maybe, chill a little

Let’s pretend that you are the friend that is constantly bitten by the lovebug, and I am the sensible friend that has to look at this fling through the eyes of reason. You didn’t go into a fling expecting engagement rings and vows and honeymoon destinations by the end of it, right? So don’t treat the experience as a failed attempt at your happily ever after. Don’t imagine a future, a forever, a lifetime together if that was never the point.  Embrace the moment that passed. Feel it, but don’t dwell on it.

Might I suggest: peppermint tea

Self-care is the solution to everything

Has anyone encountered a minor inconvenience that couldn’t be soothed by taking a day for themselves? I don’t think so. Late mornings; a refreshing, lax routine that allows you to ease out of bed and into the softest home clothes you own. Indulge yourself by binge-watching a show on your preferred streaming site or treating your sweet tooth. Snuggle up and be comforted by the fact that you are, and will always, be at peace in the aftermath of a fling. You were okay before and you will be okay now. And if you’re not, well, I’ve heard that crying and eating ice cream does healing wonders.

Might I suggest: Not Okay

The novelty of gossip is very therapeutic

Self-care can be completely solitary, but it is equally nice with company when you’re up for it. I love living vicariously through my friends’ romantic experiences (are flings antiromantic?). If there aren’t healthy nosy individuals within your circle, I’m sure that Twitter would have a field day with your storytimes. For a lot of people, simply talking about things, people, and experiences helps with reflecting, accepting, and learning about themselves. The best thing about best friends is that you can lean on each other at times like these. You’d do the same for them.

Might I suggest: a sleepover and/or weekend trip with your closest friends

Dating is not an exclusive overseas activity

I’m going to assume you went into your fling knowing that it would end. You went on enough dates, bike rides, and late-night strolls to post a cute summer photo dump. If that’s enough romance you can take for the year, that’s okay! If you have no intentions of putting romance to rest — either by pursuing another fling or a long-term relationship — that’s okay too. Your trip to Europe is not the end all be all of finding temporary or forever love. There will be more where that came from, even if you can’t even imagine it now.

Might I suggest: resources for after you exhaust Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge

Take this as a moment of growth, quiet, and soon: peace. Summer flings are meant to be temporary. And if you enjoyed the thrill, well, there’s always next summer to try again. The remedies will still be here when you get back.


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