It’s summertime — a time for fun, excitement and the possibility of romance. If you’re single you might be on the prowl for The One but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it.
Enter the summer romance. Think you need to travel to an exotic location to find it? It’s time to think again, sister. A summer romance could be right around the corner — you just need to open your eyes and look.
Everyone wants to find a perfect summer playmate that will hopefully last well into winter but just where does a girl need to go to find a guy who will sweep her off her feet?
Not too far says Dr Jonathan Ellerby, spiritual adviser and author. "Give yourself permission to do what you love," he says. "You don’t need to travel — your passion might be gardening, it could be learning an instrument or playing a sport. It’s about living free of old ideas and knowing you are empowered to choose what feels right — not in a selfish, shallow way but in the deep and meaningful way that is really about becoming a better person," he says.
Summer is the perfect time to try something new that you’ve wanted to do for ages. Join a book club, a gardening society, learn to play a team sport or join a gym. Leave your desk on your lunchbreak, find a new coffee spot, spend more time outdoors — no matter what you choose, find your passion and follow it and you might just find a summer romance with it.
Summer romances can strike unpredictably so it’s best to be prepared. You need to mentally steel yourself for the fact that a summer romance means different things to different people, especially if you’re striking up with a mate who lives outside your own county.
If you’re looking for something that has the possibility of becoming permanent, look for:
If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, keep an eye out for:
Remember — that guy you met at the bar may have been cute and funny with five beers under his/your belt but may not be quite what you remember him to be in the morning. Whether you’re on the lookout for love or lust, keep sober for your own safety and try to find a lover who is happy to do the same.
Just because summer is a time for casual relationships doesn’t mean it’s the time to be casual about your health. Sexually transmitted infections — or STIs — aren’t the sort of souvenir you want to bring home with you so you’re going to need to cover up.
While there are lots of STIs you need to be concerned about, herpes is one you might not have considered and the rate of infection is increasing around the globe.
GP and media health commentator Dr Sally Cockbun says young Australians definitely need to be concerned about the increase in genital herpes caused by Herpes Type 1.
"This condition seems to have slipped off the agenda with the rising prominence of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the last two decades. But while genital to genital transmission of Herpes simplex Type 2 still remains the most common cause, better diagnostic tests are revealing an alarming increase the number of cases of genital herpes being due to the Herpes Type 1 virus amongst people in developed countries. Traditionally Herpes Type 1 has been mainly linked to cold sores around the mouth."
What is happening, says Dr Cockbun, is that younger Australians are listening to the safe sex message and using protection, but are having unprotected oral sex thinking that since it’s considered a safer sex practice they will be okay.
There’s not much you can do about this one but ask for honesty from your fling and, if you notice any lesions around their mouth or genitals, refuse sexual intimacy until it’s all cleared up. As always, use a condom — your birth control pills protect you from an unwanted pregnancy, not STIs.
Breakups are never fun even if you had mentally put an expiry date on your summer romance. The digital age makes letting go even harder since you can follow your love interest to the ends of the earth on Facebook, Twitter, Google Chat and more.
When you start a summer romance don’t rush into friendships on social media sites that you might regret later. Resist the urge to stalk your new lover online — that means no Googling their name or dropping by their online profiles. Keep the texts light, flirty and to a minimum and try to keep sane when you don’t get an instant reply. Remember, it’s summer — chances are he’s just out having fun,
If the romance is still there when summer ends then you can both reassess the online media ban.
Summer is a time for fun so get out and enjoy yourself. Do what you feel comfortable doing, keep safe and create some good memories that will last a lifetime.
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