Sex Column: Summer romance — fling or fate?

Photo courtesy of Leland Fracisco

A heart shape leaf hangs from the wiring of a metal fence and basked in sunlight.

By Marone Shiferaw

Short-term relationships can happen at different times of the year, but they are extremely frequent in one particular season: summer.

Summer romances can be beneficial, as it boosts self-confidence, creates adrenaline, expands mindsets and pleases the bodies, psychologists report.

Research shows summer romances are very common, said Catherine A. Sanderson, psychology professor at Amherst College.

In 2010 and 2011, May through August contained a much lower rate of social network relationship statuses than other months of the year, suggesting the daily net change in relationships reaches a low during the summer, according to U.S. Facebook data.

The term “cuffing” is a popular slang term often used to refer to being in a relationship with another person.

Many people believe that winter is a time for “cuffing,” while summer is a time to be carefree without any obligations.

“I don’t think there is a season for ‘cuffing,’ but if there were, summer wouldn’t be it,” said Adam Williams, freshman intended business and marketing major.

People often go into short-term relationships with the expectation that it will be fun and casual, but sometimes they find themselves getting more emotionally attached to that person than they initially anticipated.

For some couples summer break can make the relationship easier, while for others it adds more stress.

“We don’t get to see each other during the school year that much because he goes to school all the way in Massachusetts,” said sophomore criminal justice major Ayanna Gibson, on her long-distance relationship with her boyfriend. “It adds strain because you get adjusted to seeing them every day and then the end of summer reality hits you and you have to go back to school. It’s really hard.”

It has been estimated that as many as one-third of college students date someone long-distance, and that up to 75 percent of students will eventually enter a long-distance dating relationship.

When summer comes to an end, people are faced with the decision of whether or not to maintain the relationship, and if so, how.

“It was the summer after my freshman year, she was a lot older,” said sophomore business management and entrepreneurship major Wendell Alston Jr., on ending his summer relationship. “It was basically over once school started.”

Some students, on the other hand, think that building a relationship in the summer can help make it stronger.

“It’s not weird. It might even be better to see where your relationship goes while it is still private,” said Lacey Herbert, freshman intended journalism major, on starting a relationship during the summer. “At school your relationship will be public for everyone to judge.”

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