5 signs your summer fling might actually be something more serious

Oh, summer love. Locking down a proper summer fling is the best sort of luck. What better way to make it through sticky hot summer days than knowing you have a date that will get you all hot and bothered later (in a good way)? Summer relationships are the absolute best…until you start to get a sense that your summer fling is turning into something more serious. Which can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you thought you were getting into.

It’s hard to control whether or not you start feeling all the feelings for your summer fling.

Much like Cinderella’s carriage turns back into a pumpkin at the strike of of midnight, summer flings usually fizzle out by the time you buy your first pumpkin spice latte. But sometimes the connection is so good that you realize (or they do) that this summer frosé and f*ck buddy are actually worth keeping around in your life. Your romance, however it was conceived, might actually transcend the season, so to speak.

It could be that your relationship is just moving too fast, which is an entirely different, debatable concept. If your summer romance is already sending you links to for your getaway wedding next summer, we’d consider that a red flag.

But there are some other, more low-key signs that your summer fling is the real deal. Here are just a few few.

1They aren’t calling it a fling.

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to new relationships, partially because we’re scared to define them. That’s a very normal, intelligent thing to fear: Once you define something, the risk of getting burned goes up exponentially. But that’s a risk we should all be willing to take. If your summer love has broached the topic of making the relationship exclusive, or introducing you as their partner to friends and family, you officially have an Significant Other and not a Summer Fling.

2You’ve blended “families.”

Your partner doesn’t always have to get along with your friends and vice versa, but the sometimes the best sign that you’re totally in it for the foreseeable future is that you’re hanging out with each other’s friends. When relationships start in the summer, the chances are higher that you’re introducing them to your friends sooner — the first rule of a memorable summer party is the more the merrier, after all. If your summer fling is already taking poolside selfies with your BFF, we hate to break it to you: You are seriously dating.

3They’re future dropping.

The good ol’ future drop. Future dropping is the technical term we made up for when a partner casually says something like, “oh, WHEN you meet my sister” or “well, you’ll see when we go there.” Notice there’s no “if” in those sentences. If you catch your summer fling talking about their favorite pumpkin patch, how their family wants to take you our to dinner when they visit in August, or the famous ugly Christmas sweater parties they throw every year and you’re already invited … you’re in deep, my friend. Like, way deep.

4You have each other’s back.

Summer flings are all about fun. Good sex, BBQs, and everything else summer stands for. But that doesn’t mean Real Life stops in the middle of the summer. If you guys are tackling some rough patches together, like helping each other out with a work, friend, or family problem, it could be more serious than just some under the boardwalk-style fling. Helping you move in July means you’re basically married, BTW.

5You’re dropping L-bombs.

It’s hard to keep your mouth shut when you’re feeling the love. If you guys are slipping “love you” into conversation before Labor Day, it must be real, right? You might even want to think about it if the person has actually been upfront about using the other L-word: LIKE. Dating these days can be a whirlwind of hangouts and hookups without ever having a talk about each others’ feelings. If you’ve have a “what are we” talk and there was some promise of commitment, things could be heating up more than you know.

Really, a summer fling turning into something more serious is just like any other relationship that starts to progress. There’s more pressure for some reason to keep things “chill” in the summer (maybe because it’s so humid you can’t even think), but if you notice that things are going well and don’t want it to end when the temperatures start to drop, don’t end it. Hopefully they’re feeling the same vibes.