Sexy summer by Susie Ambrose

During the summer, it’s not just the sun that sizzles. Pulses start racing as people peel off the layers and emerge from winter hibernation. A phenomenon begins that resembles something seen in a nature documentary. Men and women congregate on beaches or in bars and pair off at a rate that would make your head spin. Passionate affairs continue throughout the summer then, as the days start to cool down, so do these short-lived romances.

So, what exactly is happening and how wise is it to seek summer love?

Scantily clad bodies, mood and social influence all play a part in summer romances. As we all know, physical attraction is a key element of finding a partner, especially when you are only seeking a short-term blast of passion. During the summer, when people are showing much more flesh than usual, hormone levels are boosted. Women also feel much more attractive in the sun, which alters body language dramatically, giving more sexual signals to men, who in turn pay women a lot more attention. You also may become so accustomed to wearing a skimpy bikini on the beach that when you put on a summer dress in the evening, you feel much more confident than if you were to wear the same dress during winter months – and it’s a proven fact that confidence is incredibly attractive to men.

Having a positive outlook on life is another of the most attractive traits that both men and women are looking for. Summer is the happiest time of year for most people, partly induced by the chemical effects of the sun itself. So, as people are smiling and enjoying life, they are more attractive (and more attracted) to others.

Whether you are on the terrace of the Hotel de Paris in Monaco or lazing on the beach, one thing is for sure – people love hanging out with their friends. Everyone feels younger, more sociable and more carefree. The summer is the best time to embrace being single, as many more social interactions occur.

A summer fling is exciting, energising and spontaneous, so it’s natural to seek this form of encounter, and there are strong social influences thanks to friends, television programmes, magazine articles and, of course, steamy summer novels.

So, are summer flings wise? If you want one and have one, how can you make it work for you?

Anyone who has a summer fling should do so in the knowledge that they are usually only short-term fun, so don’t expect to find a partner for the long term. There are many forms of love, which have varying degrees of three vital ingredients: intimacy, passion and commitment. In a summer romance you may feel very close to your partner and the sex may be fantastic, but this form of romantic love misses out commitment completely.

If you are seeking a long-term partner, then it’s best to keep this relationship goal separate from finding a summer romance, as a long-term relationship requires commitment as well as intimacy and passion. That’s not to say that summer flings never develop into something more serious!

Whether you are just seeking a bit of fun, or ultimately looking for a life partner, there is no harm in having a summer fling if you have realistic expectations from the outset. Every relationship brings its own rewards (e.g. fun and great sex) and costs (e.g. arguments), so taking a few preventative measures can ensure you have a fantastic time without any emotional consequences.

Taking the following steps can help you to be your own relationship expert and get the most from your summer.

1.         Keep your independence – don’t ditch your friends or change your lifestyle radically to spend every waking second with your summer love. You can easily make space for him without sacrificing anything else in your lifestyle – remember, your friends will be there for you come rain or shine.

2.         Plan your lifestyle for autumn – maybe this is the time of the year when you decide to focus on something new, such as learning a new language or a new winter sport.

3.         Love yourself more than he loves you – believe in yourself and do not base your self-esteem solely on the attention he gives you. This will help prevent your sense of self-worth from dropping once the romance draws to a close.

4.         Think – you need to be smart and rational. Remember, great sex and good chemistry do not necessarily lead to long-term commitment.

If that sounds too much to handle, then there’s always an alternative – avoid summer flings by focusing on other things you enjoy doing during the summer: travel, sports, socialising. Enjoy being single: there are many more ways to have a fabulous summer than having a man by your side.