Put a fling on it

Returning with more than a tan? Dr Caroline West has top tips for holiday romance, writes Denise Smith
It’s holiday fling season

It’s holiday fling season© (/??F/?

 Dr Caroline West

Dr Caroline West

Sunday World

If you have ever had a holiday fling, you’ll know that summer lovin’ can happen so fast. One minute you’re face planting a pina colada by the bar, the next you’re downloading Duolingo and dedicating your entire trip to learning Spanish because the waiter is giving you the eye.

Whether you’re primed for some sun and sea — or maybe more, Dr Caroline West has some top tips for navigating a whirlwind romance in sunnier climes.

First things first, manage your expectations, because your stud may be more of a dud once you’re back on home soil.

 Dr Caroline West

Dr Caroline West

“Make plans to meet up as soon as you can when you get back. Seeing how you feel back on home turf can help you assess what the realities of a relationship will be like when the sangria is a distant memory,” explains the sex and relationship expert.

“Any relationship spark will need nurturing, so make time for each other, talk about who you are as people, and explore what kind of relationship works for you both.”

Practicality is key — your holiday fling may have only been a sun lounger away when you were abroad, but how will your relationship stack up if there is some distance between you?

The Dublin-based expert says: “Talk with each other and share the logistics evenly. It’s not fair if one person has to spend their time and money travelling, and this will only lead to resentment. 92pc of adults in Ireland agree that equality is important when dating.”

Communication is also important. “Text each other, send memes or social media posts to each other,” continues Dr West. “Staying in touch and making each other smile will help develop the bond between you while you are away from each other.

“Talk about your hopes for the relationship, to establish that you are both on the same page. This will allow you to manage expectations and set boundaries.

“Be prepared to put in time and effort to keep the relationship going. A long- distance relationship can mean extra work, but this can be worth it if you are truly right for each other. If just the idea of all that effort is something you are not sure about, this might be a sign that it was best left as a holiday fling,” she says.

“We’ve all heard about ‘conscious uncoupling’ but 2022 is all about finding that someone — not just anyone. Looking ahead, people are consciously making a decision to be single, with the majority of singletons being more mindful and intentional in how, and when, they date,” she says.

“If none of these tips work out, it is also OK for a holiday romance to be just that. A short-term romance can be just as wonderful as something more long-term. So cherish the memories, and use any lessons learned to find your next partner.”

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