So you haven't spent the summer sunning at champagne fueled yacht parties like you'd hoped. Looks like Greek isle hopping isn't in fact going to happen, which means that hypothetical tryst with a man named Stephanos probably won't either.
All is not lost. Labor Day is still two whole weeks away, and even if you're stuck at home, you can still make these last two weeks epic, at least romantically. You heard me. It's time for the perfect End of Summer Fling (ESF).
I'm a big fan of the staycation ESF. There are many benefits to staying put. You don't have to fork over a ton of cash to transport yourself to an island crawling with tourists and vulnerable to vacation-detroying weather. You're not confined to a resort. Also, cities clear out at this time of year, which means you and your new friend will have the run of yours. What are you waiting for? Oh, this: Before you get going, here are 12 do's and don'ts to help you get your ESF right:
Do be adventurous. Seek an ESF partner outside your dating comfort zone. If you usually go for people who work in a particular industry or part of town, try slipping your number to someone completely different -- maybe that cute single bartender you've had an eye on.
Do make your bedroom chic and comfortable. Keep your linens fresh and crisp. Buy fresh flowers, get some tea lights, frame your favorite photos. The idea is not to rearrange your space the way someone else might like it but rather to create an environment that turns you on. Trust me, these little touches will go a long way toward creating a space you won't want to leave.
Do have uninhibited sex. The best part of a fling is that everything is new; it's all exciting; it's all about exploration. Because by nature, a fling isn't meant to last, you can really focus on your pleasure. Take this opportunity to experiment with taboo sex moves or personas you've always fantasized about. Even though a fling isn't going to have a major impact on your life, it can help you discover things about yourself and what gives you pleasure. The ESF is an opportunity to live in the moment. Enjoy it.
Do get out with your fling. Take a day trip to a place where you can tube or sail, or spend a day checking out museums and galleries. All of these are fun, casual activities that keep your fling from being solely nocturnal (also known as a booty call on repeat) and give you a chance to do some things you've been wanting to do.
Do tell your fling how much you like spending time with him or her (if it's true. If not, why are you flinging with this person in the first place?) Everyone loves to hear compliments, but by focusing on how much you enjoy hanging out, rather than telling him or her how much you like or are falling for the person, you are steer clear of misunderstandings. Flings are fun -- they are not relationships.
Do tell your fling something you've never told anyone. I'm not talking about a major life epiphany or anything that would make you cringe if the information became public. I'm talking about a memory, a story, a joke. Just as you experiment in bed, try experimenting with how you reveal information about yourself; you might learn something in the process.
Don't lie to yourself. If you're uncomfortable having a casual relationship, then flings are not for you -- and that's okay. They aren't for everybody. You do not want to fall into the trap of telling yourself you're fine with a fling when in fact you want your fling to become something more. There always are those stories of the one night stand that became a relationship, but they're the exception, not the rule. The same goes for flings. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I wouldn't count on it -- the point of a fling is that it's ephemeral. That's partly what makes it exciting.
Don't treat your body casually. Even though your fling is a casual relationship, that's no excuse to do anything you're not 100 percent comfortable with or put your health at risk in any way. Just like with many summer activities like parasailing or rafting, remember with flings, safety first.
Don't ditch all your friends to hang out with your fling. That's just bad manners. Make sure to see your friends as usual, and without your fling. Remember, this isn't a new boyfriend or girlfriend -- just a person you're having fun with. Don't disrupt your social life completely, like we tend to do when we start dating someone we're head-over-heels about (which, ahem, isn't exactly the best form either). Your friends have put in the time and earned your love and respect. Treat them accordingly. It's also best not want to gab about the in's and out's of your fling to your friends like you would with someone you're dating seriously. Don't take up their time discussing someone who's not going to be around long.
Don't fight with your fling. Save the fighting for when you're in a relationship. (I kid. Well, sort of.) If you and your fling aren't getting along, it's time to sever ties and go your separate ways. Fighting is a waste of energy and the limited amount of time you're going to have together. So what if he hasn't bought a new pair of jeans in a decade? Who cares if she has a bad relationship with her mother? These aren't your issues; don't take them on. Negativity has no place in the land of flings.
Don't bring your fling to a wedding. If you have a plus one, you might be tempted; after all, your fling is in your bed and cooking your breakfast in the morning. Don't do it. Taking a fling to a wedding is uncomfortable for all involved. A wedding is a celebration of two people deciding to spend the rest of their lives together; it's not just a party. Go alone or bring a friend, and if other guests or relatives give you the "how is a girl like you still single?" treatment, smile and think about the amazing orgasm your fling is going to give you when you get home.
Don't have a fling with a friend. While you might think it's not that big a deal, this is fodder for a Kristen Wiig movie, not how you want to spend the final weeks of summer. If you have an end-of-summer fling with a friend, you'll be cleaning up that mess all fall. Even friends of friends might be off-limits depending on your circle, so choose wisely, and be respectful. Even though flings are casual relationships, it's best to abide by the Golden Rule. And the above rules, of course. So with these in mind, go ahead. Happy ESF.
Follow Jill Di Donato on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jilldido