Fling yourself into summer

With school out, it’s time to crank up the heat in your love life.

Vanessa Ramstack

Ah, summer! The season of lemonade, skimpy swimwear, live music, walks under the stars and maybe even love.
Many of you will be heading home this summer and will need a way to liven up your time away from the Cities.
The solution: a summer fling. True, at times it seems more plausible in a dramatic âÄô80s movie or corny sitcom. However, too many negative connotations surround the concept, so it seems better to steer clear. But if you are looking for a bit of adventure this summer, why not test it out?
There is a right and wrong way to approach this sort of thing. I have watched my fair share of chick flicks and grooved to bleeding-heart love songs and have found that pop culture helps define the guidelines for summer shacking.
The most important rule: One should be single. This seems obvious, but it is rather unfortunate how frequently people disregard this concept. Do not spend time chasing an unavailable person âÄî even if they deem it OK. Trying to become best friends with their significant other or showing up randomly at their house is awkward. Keep the awkward turtle in its shell.
The second most important rule: When itâÄôs over, thatâÄôs it. A fling is not supposed to be an epic love story that transcends time. It is a brief engagement that allows one to experience the excitement of a new person but is not the seed for a life-long commitment.
Next comes the question of emotions. Contrary to popular belief, we all have them. Some like to hide them; others like to shake their heads in disbelief with a look of, âÄúFeelings? What are those?âÄù Still others of us cannot help but broadcast them to the world.
Whichever of these you may be, you must understand that in a fling, one cannot invest deep emotions. This is not to say you cannot care for the person, but if you start professing your love, that is the red flag to take a step back and reassess the situation.
That being said, any sort of âÄúfuture talkâÄù might be a bad idea, especially if you are the type of person who enjoys contemplating childrenâÄôs names or picking out furniture for you and your loverâÄôs dream home. Do that on your own time. But do not show up at your flingâÄôs house with paint swatches and furniture catalogs.
If you are thinking of hooking up with your friendâÄôs ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, things could get tricky. In most friendships, this sort of behavior is a big no-no âÄî unless you are really adept at keeping secrets. But I am not encouraging this. It would be smarter to hang out with someone outside of your close group of friends than to destroy existing friendships.
No one likes a slut or a manwhore. So please, for the sake of everyone around you, do not parade desperately through the streets flirting with anything that has a pulse. After finding someone suitable, do not be afraid to unleash your wild side. Be mysterious. Be spontaneous. Dare to be someone worth remembering after the summer dies away.
 If, after reading this you are not convinced, itâÄôs okay; flings are not for everyone. Spending the summer with friends and family and becoming more secure in your own skin is just as beautiful. But sometimes the same-old, same-old does not cut it anymore and you might need to try something new, something you might not consider when bogged down by the stresses of schoolwork.
So, if the recent Minnesota winter sucked all of the fun from your life, perhaps it is time to spice things up. So go on, get out there and strut your stuff.