Dating Don’ts: Get Yourself A Spring Fling!

The long cold winter of our discontent has finally started to ease its grip on most of the country. If you live on the East Coast, you’ve most likely been buried in a never-ending pile of snow and frigid weather, seemingly doomed to spend the rest of your life mouldering in your abode, turning as pale and sour as spoiled milk. The past couple of weeks have seen the resurgence of something beautiful — warm weather! Flowers are blooming, the trees are heavy with blossoms, and when you leave work, it’s still light out and the air smells like the promise of short shorts, the beach and exposing your toes — and your winter-hardened heart — to the light. And what’s that in the distance? Ahh yes, a spring fling is on the horizon.

“But wait,” you say, “I hate dating! I hate the general public and I only want to sit on my couch evaluating my future and thinking about what series to watch next after I finish ‘Call The Midwife.’” This attitude is a fine life philosophy, one that I subscribe to, and works out quite well for me, generally speaking. But there’s something about warmer weather that sends the mind reeling towards finding someone to occupy the upcoming hazy nights of summer.  Once the sun stays in the sky well past 5 p.m., the idea of tripping towards a dive bar and drinking bourbon in the corner with a handsome stranger becomes much more appealing. Fireworks, an activity that I have once described as hellish, are made tolerable with some strapping flavor of the week standing next to you on a rooftop deep in Brooklyn. These aren’t truths for everybody, but as someone who generally eschews casual dating, I find that spring is the right time to test the waters once again.

Spring is our reward for enduring the nightmarish winter, the cold nights locked in our apartment, barricaded against human interaction and seeking comfort in books, Chex Mix, kale salads, and online shopping. Even if you didn’t lock down a winter boyfriend, spring awakens the horny college freshman that lives in everybody. Sundresses and sandals and skin slightly sticky with sweat are things that we relish, things that are inherently sexy, and things to look forward to once the mercury starts hovering in the 80s. If you want to find a spring boo, look no further. We’ve got answers for all your burning questions.

Q: Why do I need a spring boo?

No one really needs anything, aside from a place to live and a way to pay the bills, so I am not the one to tell you whether or not you actually “need” a spring fling, but I can say that they’re awfully nice to have. Spring and summer bring about many activities, filling your social calendar with barbecues and bar crawls and beach house vacations. If you’re the stalwart single in a group of married and coupled friends, it gets old showing up to yet another picnic in the park toting only a shitty bottle of rose and a bag of those expensive tortilla chips you got at the bodega on the way over. Sometimes it’s nice to have a partner in crime, someone who you’re not entirely serious with, but are serious enough to bring to a day drinking event for at least three hours. Do you have a smug, married, judgey friend who always asks you pointed questions about your love life, as if she were your Aunt Marlene making small talk at a funeral of a distant relative? Your spring boo will shut her up right quick.

Maybe you really need to install that air conditioner that’s been sitting in the corner of your apartment gathering dust, and you know for a fact that you physically cannot do it alone, lord knows you’ve tried. A text and a six pack will get your boo of the week over to your house, and you’ll be enjoying artificially cooled air in no time. There’s no end to the things a spring boo can bring into your life!

Q: Wait. Isn’t a spring boo just a boyfriend that you happen to meet when it’s warm out? I don’t get it.

Yes and no. The thing with these kinds of relationships is that, much like the winter boyfriend, they can be as permanent or as ephemeral as you want them to be. Any person you choose to spend your time with has to be someone that you like, that you want to be around, that you could even maybe see yourself being with in some serious fashion. The point here isn’t to cycle through dudes like you do Q-tips. (Although, if that’s your M.O., get it girl.) A spring fling exists in a space of little to no pressure. Telling yourself that this is just a fling, and that you’re not looking for something serious eliminates a lot of the undue stress and anxiety people put on themselves when it comes to dating. By allowing yourself to not worry about the outcome from the start actually opens you up to whatever could happen down the line.

Q: Where do I find this elusive creature?

My goodness, at this time of the year, potential spring boos lurk in every corner, at every social setting. Are you at a bar, unwittingly serving as wingwoman for your friend who just got dumped by her douchebag boyfriend? The dude you’re talking to while she tongue-kisses a stranger in the corner could be a potential match for you. Really, the spring fling lurks everywhere, from a Kentucky Derby party, to your friend’s work happy hour, to that free concert in the park. Get out there, and start exploring!

[Photo of hands in the grass via Shutterstock]