How to ditch your summer fling before heading back to college

If things get ugly just catch an early flight

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a summer romance. The lazy, carefree days are so much better spent with someone by your side, and while summer is only four months long it can feel like a completely different world.

As September is slowly creeping around the corner and the holidays are coming to an end, it’s time to put that summer love to the test. As everyone holds onto the last few days of vacation, some can get lost in the moment, catch feelings, and attempt to pursue a serious relationship. If that is not what you’re after then this is your guide to gently letting down that hot summer fling and ditching the awkwardness. 

Look for signs you’re in the Danger Zone

If they try to make plans for the future, mention visiting your college, begin planning future romantic events together or talk about how they wish summer would never end, these are clear signs you’re in the danger zone.

Watch out for them and determine if your summer fling is edging their way into dangerous water: a relationship.

Draw a line between your “summer life” and your “real life”


If your fling wants something more, one of best ways to go about subtly setting them up for disappointment would be creating a distinction between your vacation life and college life. For example, mention how you love to just “let loose in summer” but can’t wait to get into the spin of things back in college, or how you’ll miss the life you had here but change is good and you’re looking forward to next semester…(without them).

Never plan new events with your fling. If you want to stay in touch, social media is great but avoid texting and calling every day. Try to stick to the more impersonal forms of contact such as liking an Instagram picture.

Reflect on the things you’ve both done over summer. Past tense is your best friend here but make sure you don’t start getting nostalgic about the memories. Occasionally mention the day you’re heading back to university to remind them of the expiration date of your romance.

Casual conversation is key

Most people typically bond over sharing intimate or personal stories with one another. If you’re looking to cut those bonds with your fling, a good place to start would be to stop creating new bonding points. It can be hard to de-program yourself from always sending them little updates on what you’re thinking or doing but it’s important to keep conversation casual and purposeful. 

Think before you send any text or open up to them about your problems. Even if you’ve already shared way too much – because let’s face it, you probably have – just avoid updating them on the situation in unnecessary detail. Confiding in them less will also give you less interesting topics to chat about, allowing you to keep the conversation casual, friendly and preferably boring. 

Avoid fighting at all costs. No need to end things ugly or get emotionally attached because you sorted out a dramatic argument together.

However, don’t suddenly cease doing all of these things at once unless you’re prepared to just be honest, because your fling will probably notice you’re acting off.

Stick to plain labels: They are your “friend”

When you talk about your fling to other people simply call them your friend and treat them as such. Don’t refer to them as “this person I’m sort of having a thing with but not really because it’s summer and I don’t know…” They’re just a good friend.

This will set the tone for the relationship. It will also serve as a reminder to yourself and your fling that things are not going to develop into any other vague label. Even if you believe labels shouldn’t be important, they definitely help manage peoples expectations.

Prioritize friends over your fling

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If you’re on vacation with friends and really not planning on seeing your summer fling again, make it clear your plans with your besties come first.

Fill up your last fews days by spending time with friends you won’t see as much when school starts. Make them know how important they are to you and by default how your fling comes second, third, or fourth in your list of priorities right now. When your fling wants to tag along simply let them know it’s your night with your friends.

They will start to get the message when you’re not making as much time for them as you use to do. Spending less and less time with them will make the ending a lot easier.

Warning: they may try the old “we don’t have much time so we should spend a lot of it together before summer ends” but this can easily go wrong. If you both try to cram in as much intimate time as possible, you will end up falling harder for one another. In this case it’s just best to slowly let go rather than rip the bandaid off or keep it on for way too long.

Avoid bringing them to important events

14037682_10208151128350120_1100040055_oThe last thing you want is to give your fling the wrong idea when you invite them to your cousin’s romantic beach wedding. Try to avoid them meeting all your friends and family, or showing up as your date to special occasions. While you love spending time with your fling, it’s not a good idea to integrate them into major moments of your life. You’ll only end up making them more attached as you both start to picture yourselves at your own wedding…yikes.

Just be honest

You definitely want to avoid hurting your fling by leading them on with mixed signals. If they seem to want something serious and your subtle signs of disinterest haven’t worked, it’s best to just confront them straight on.

There’s never a good way to end things but there are better ways than simply ghosting someone because you weren’t woman enough or man enough to simply be honest. You obviously have your reasons for not wanting something more with them so just make those clear in the nicest way possible.

Just remind them how being together would be difficult due to distance and the crazy chaos of college life. Don’t give in to guilt tripping if a relationship is not what you’re after. Stick to your decision and be strong.

If things get ugly just catch an early flight.

Do it now

Don’t let your fling go back to college feeling blue because you waited till the last second to break things off. Give both of you time to process everything before classes start and begin the process of healing and moving on. Be considerate of their feelings because summer rolls around every year and you may not want to be greeted by an angry ex-fling next June.