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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Opinion: Three reasons summer flings don’t work

Opinion+writer+Benjamin+Barnes+says+summer+flings+aren%26%238217%3Bt+worth+the+trouble.
Graphic by Noah Van Soest

Opinion writer Benjamin Barnes says summer flings aren’t worth the trouble.

Summer — a time when the warm wind cools your panicked mind and deep-seated scholarly inhibitions. A season celebrated for focusing on yourself and prioritizing your own needs, which normally gets shoved to the side in pursuit of a degree the other nine months of the year.
Studying, organizations, recreational sports and other activities after class ensure we stay busy just about every waking hour during the all-too-familiar hectic semester. However, when our plate becomes a lot less full during summer, we usually seek something, or someone, to temporarily fill this void.
This brings me to my first problem with summer flings: timing. Unless you and your summer sweetheart made arrangements to get together prior, it can take several weeks to even find someone with the same thing in mind.
After all, even if the relationship has an expiration date, your fling still has to meet all of the requirements a potential partner would. It’s unlikely you’re going to lower your standards by much, unless you’re steadfast in seeking a relationship that’s not going to last.
This is where the trouble starts and where most people, including myself, have imprudently resorted to chasing a summer fling. This is your formal warning to not do the same this summer, which for many of you may fall on deaf ears for one of two reasons.
One: you’re a horndog and have already swindled someone into a fruitless rapport. If this is you, stop it. You can at least wait until August to pretend you have feelings for someone. Two: you haven’t had the opportunity to start a summer romance but are nevertheless persistent on obtaining one. No, I wouldn’t advise double texting her, bud.
For the rest of you who held out this long on your own accord, stay strong. You’re making a smart decision by not opting to get involved in a romantic interest for the next seven weeks. I know College Station isn’t exactly the epitome of where true love is born, but I’m willing to bet neither is your hometown, especially given the short time frame you’ll actually be there.
This brings me to my second problem. As infatuating as you probably are, you could be getting played. Remember, they are just as bored and in need of someone to spice up their mundane summer evenings as you are.
Normally, this is a good sign and perhaps the only reason flings sometimes work out. On the flip side, this is a fairly common occurrence among college students. Just remember that if you find yourself bored enough to flirtatiously text the girls you could’ve gotten with in high school if only you had more time, they’re probably doing the same.
Don’t think you’re special because they’re texting you winky emoticons or claiming “we could be cute for a season.” In my experience, unless you have met up and put those flirtatious texts to the test, you might want to consider slowly taking your foot off the pedal to gauge their interest.
Lastly, and most importantly, is expectations. Expectations may seem simple enough, that is assuming you find someone mutually interested in starting a fling, however, this is also one of the leading culprits in why these things often go sour.
Some people don’t even have the decency to tell you what their intentions are upfront. I think I’d rather have someone tell me “I’m just trynna hit” or “You’re my ‘plan b’ so I’ll hit you up if ‘plan a’ falls through” than be a girl’s beard all summer. True story.
In any case, even if you’ve both stated your terms and conditions upfront, feelings are unpredictable. You may both be on the same page at the beginning of summer, until only one of you catches feelings and is hoping to turn the fling into something more long-term … ouch.
Are you starting to notice a trend? Communication is not ideal between two people who are only mildly committed for two months of the year. You’re always either under or over invested. Clingy or disingenuous. Obsessive texter or booty caller.
It’s impossible to only “half” commit to anything. You either strap down and decide that this is a person worth building a relationship with or someone who is better left as a friend.
People aren’t transactions and feelings can’t be manipulated as a means to an end, no matter how much your boredom and body try to convince you otherwise.
Do yourself a favor and side step the whole idea of a summer fling. There’s no need to cry or chase after someone who will be gone just as quickly as they appeared. Enjoy living in the moment and seeing friends and family.
Now, if something does happen between you and a romantic interest, let it occur naturally. A little smooching session by the campfire or catching up with a long-lost crush at the grocery store shouldn’t be looked down upon, but for Godsakes, don’t even think about turning into a temporary summer fling.
Benjamin Barnes is a telecommunication media studies senior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Bj Barnes
Bj Barnes, Opinion Columnist
Benjamin Barnes is a Telecommunication Media Studies senior from Rochester, Indiana. Barnes' has been involved with The Battalion since his junior year and plans to start his own media group following graduation. If he's not writing, he's most likely watching a Texans game or at the gym.
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