Relationships 101:
Summer Lovin'

by Bonnie Burton

So it's the end of the school year and all of a sudden that cutie in Algebra class who's ignored you the entire semester decides to flirt with you all week long.

Sure, it's exciting, but is it really smart to start a steamy romance just a few weeks before school gets out? While it might sound harsh, the answer is almost always a big fat no. Let me explain:

Consider the motivation: You've got to think about this a minute, girl. Why is your crush noticing you now? It could be that your sweetie's realized that with summer just around the corner, he or she won't have to worry about seeing you every day.

That can make the fear of rejection less scary.

It could also mean that your crush isn't looking for a serious thing: a few phone calls now and then and, just maybe, a date once or twice. That doesn't sound fulfilling, does it?

Consider your own plans: Even if your sweetie really does want to start something serious, you have to think about what a fledging romance will mean for your summer life.

Summer is time to break out of routines, to try things that you haven't tried before and have crazy adventures.

Think about it -- while all your pals are off playing volleyball or planning cool summer fiestas, you're going to be waiting by the phone for that special someone to call.

And when your phone does ring, what happens then? Are you going to want to ditch your friends and your plans to spend the summer at his or her soccer matches, job, band gigs and all-day video game marathons?

What about the family vacation? Are you gonna be in a horrid mood during the week-long trip to the Grand Canyon because your honey isn't in the same county?

Chances are you're gonna make yourself hard to be around. And that's not fair to the rest of the fam -- or to yourself. You wanna be out exploring -- not moping in the back seat of the family van.

Music to your ears. You both try out for first chair in violin in orchestra. He gets it while you're stuck with second chair. Instead of jabbing him with your bow every time the conductor isn't looking, let him know you're proud of him and let the guy have his moment in the spotlight.

What about meeting someone else? You think that you aren't going to be making new friends and developing crushes at your summer job, at camp or at the community pool?

You won't be as free to pursue these relationships if you're being faithful to your new love. Don't you think you'll feel like you're missing out?

Ultimately, it's up to you, but make your decision carefully. Don't be in such a rush to become a couple when you can put your energy towards having a fun, carefree summer with your best buds.

If you're still interested in your crush when the school year begins, pick it up then. It'll be a lot simpler to keep your romance going when you're seeing each other in school every day.

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