There is no shame in a summer fling. Most of us have had them (if not, many of them). There is something about the heat of the summer that makes us connect more. Perhaps it is because it is a time to let loose and have a vacation. Perhaps it is because we all wear less clothing. Who knows?

What we DO know is that the summer ends, September and October move in and sometimes that fling is not quite over. What to do?  

Step One: Consider the potential.

Was what you imagined to be a short affair becoming something different? Can it be more, or is it just going on too long? Be honest with yourself. You do not want to throw away the potential of something great because you did not see it from the beginning. That being said, you do not want lead her on or let anything go on longer than you feel comfortable. Decide what you want with her and act accordingly.  

Step Two: Be honest sooner. 

Men understand the advice that they never take: Be honest. The longer you wait, and the more you lie, the more you hurt someone. If you do not think that the relationship has longevity, tell her so. She might want to end it, but hey, you wanted that eventually. She might be cool with keeping it casual. No matter what, you have been forthcoming.

Step Three: Don’t make her a backup. 

You know a backup is, and having one is incredibly unfair. If you are staying with her until you find someone new, you are taking advantage of her, but also not starting the new relationship in its best place. If you want to play the field, let her know. However, you cannot be upset is she does the same.

Step Four: Don’t ghost her.

 Have the balls to explain you are no longer interested. You might hurt her feelings, but she knows and can move on. Ghosting is for cowards. Be better and save her the time – and you the text data.  

Step Five: Be respectful.

Respect the time you had together. Appreciate the things you have done together. There is no reason to be rude or hurtful to someone when you are breaking things off. Hurt feelings make us do and say things we wish we didn’t, but think ahead to avoid these mistake.

Step Six: Learn.

Any scuffles and misunderstandings with an ex are lessons you can learn and bring into you next relationship. And you are not only learning in the long, serious relationships, you might learn your biggest lessons in the short ones. You are not perfect, and neither is she. Know that, and learn to be better. Your next summer fling will appreciate it.