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Does Your Fling Have a Future?

How to know if it could last

May was seriously hot; June was a blast; and you giggled through July and into August. So now what? Is it time to put the summer fling away with your sarong or have you started something real enough to burn through the winter? Check for these signs that your romance 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.

You can see him in your routine, and you in his
When you weren't caught up in the impossible romance of it all, you were talking. You know his dog's name, his favorite foods, you even feel like you know his family. So it isn't difficult to imagine how the two of you could fit in each other's lives, post-fantasy. Don't kid yourself: The details are important. If you live in California and he calls New York home, the conflict should be obvious. But if you're allergic to smoke and his 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 he wants? Does he 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 him to worry, and you're still thinking of new ways to surprise each other. When your connection is worth a little leg work, 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 him, you may want to keep him around. Is he the first person you call when something interesting happens? Someone you can always count on in a jam? Do you find you've come to rely on his advice and honestly respect his opinion? And watch him for signs, too. If he consistently goes out of his way for you and has made an honest effort to fit you into his life (and his plans), you're seeing sure signs that your connection will endure long after the days grow shorter.


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