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Can your summer love become more than just a convenienceship or locationship?
Summer love is the stuff of poetry, Rom Coms, and romance novels. It's that perfect, unfinished love--the one that you will recall fondly and never quite forget. It is called summer love because the timing and geography line up for two people to meet, spend a lot of time together, and make that right connection--at least from May through August. Then Labor Day rolls around and those right circumstances change quickly with the weather. But do they have to? The following guidelines will help you to assess if your new love is just a locationship, or convenienceship, or if it has the potential to outlast the season or circumstances and become something more.
It was probably a locationship or convenienceship if your summer love:
* Avoided eye contact and maintained physical distance when relationship themed conversations came up
* Only wanted to spend time together when it was fun and easy, and required no real effort on their part
* Acted differently when you were alone together then when others were present
* Didn't like to talk to friends/family on the phone when you were within earshot
* Changed the subject when you began talking about something you would love to do together in the future
* Didn't share much about their real life/work/friends/family with you
* Was close-lipped about their post-summer plans
* Got defensive if you asked about/raised the issue of "what is next for us"
* Was always vague when the topic of staying in touch and furthering the relationship after summer came up
You may be on your way to a relationship if your summer love:
* Gave you their attention and joined in enthusiastically when you talked about renting that beach house next summer or attending your cousin?s wedding next year
* Openly shared career plans and future dreams with you
* Initiated discussions about meeting each other's friends and family
* Asked how you felt regarding the idea of being in a long distance relationship or relocating for one
* Was consistent in their affection and attention towards you--whether you were alone together or with others
* Used "we" rather than "I," especially when talking about future plans and dreams
* And you shared chemistry that went beyond the physical?you enjoyed friendship and intellectual stimulation too
* And you had enough common ground to help you envision your relationship working in the real world
* Has maintained regular contact since you parted ways or circumstances changed around labor Day
These same guidelines apply to any new connection that is formed outside of one's normal life--such as when you move somewhere to attend school with a plan to return home afterwards, are asked to work in another city or country for several months to a year, and/or when your job requires a lot of moving around and where you consider home is subject to change. In each of these circumstances you will be meeting new people and sometimes working/living in close proximity and spending long hours together. These circumstances can lead to an intense friendship, bonding or more--and even if you have a significant other somewhere else, you may be doubting that relationship in light of this new connection.
If the indicators demonstrate that your new interest wants something more and you feel the same way--timing and logistics will come into play. In other words, making it happen can present a number of challenges. However if both of you are committed to trying, anything is possible.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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