Each week, Miami dating expert Nikki Novo gives us advice on finding love in this hopeless place. Have a question for Nikki? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you've been in Miami long enough, you've undoubtedly experienced the phenomenon of summer flings. The same way Northerners seem to couple during the cold months to avoid boredom, we do the same during the hot months.
Maybe the heat makes us lazy. Maybe it's the fact we're all wearing less clothing. Whatever the reason may be, it's hard to meet a local who doesn't have a story about that one epic summer spent dating the kind of beautiful disaster you don't bring home to mom.
Unfortunately, these types of relationships get a bad rep. So much so, that you've promised yourself not to get involved in this kind of dating that always seems to come with an expiration date. After all, someone is bound to get hurt, and it's a total waste of time, right?
Well, what if I told you a summer fling could be just what the love doctor ordered? That's right. A hot, sweaty, no-strings-attached fling may be just the thing you need in order to be catapulted in the right direction when it comes to finding real love. Tempted? Read on.
1. Not all Relationships are Meant to Last
Gasp. Yes, I said it. I know we go into each relationship with the hopes of walking down the aisle, moving into a house in the Gables or Belle Meade, and raising 2.5 children. But the reality is relationships are assignments given to us by the universe. Some are harder than others. But nonetheless, every person that comes our way is meant to teach us some sort of lesson -- big and small.
We often tend to assume that every relationship we experience is meant to last for the long haul. We then begin to create expectations, plan for the future, and place this person on a pedestal. When it doesn't work out, we're both confused and heartbroken.
This cycle is exactly why so many of us fear dating and rather not even try. Why bother? We're bound to be disappointed, anyway. But what if we went into it knowing that each encounter is a gift and an opportunity for growth? In other words: don't sweat it, and instead enjoy it while it lasts.
2. It's Good Practice
How many of us have sabotaged relationships in the past because we were so busy planning for the future? I'll raise my hand to that one. A fling, by definition, is something meant to be enjoyed for a short period of time. While partaking in one, if you don't enjoy the moment, the fun will be over before you ever got to enjoy it.
So how do you learn to enjoy it? By living in the present moment. This means that you don't have time to waste on worrying about what you might have said wrong at yesterday's date. And sure don't have time to worry about what your relationship will look like one year from now. If you spend time living in those future and past moments, then you're going to miss the fun that's happening right now!
Why is this good practice? Because dating in the moment -- rather than worrying about the past or planning for the future -- is the number one secret to having a successful dating life. And it's not easy to do when you're seeing someone you really like. A fling is the perfect time to learn to enjoy dating in the present. What do you have to lose?
3. Live and You'll Learn
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Seriously, loosen up. You'll never like the process of dating if you continue to see it as a means to an end. Allow yourself to hang out with someone who doesn't fit your perfect partner checklist. It's okay! Allow yourself to see someone who is strictly a lover and never the type you would bring home to mom. That's okay, too -- just remember to know when to stop.
The point is, use this time to date outside of the box. You're guaranteed to learn something really awesome about yourself. You'll find a part of yourself that you didn't know existed. Finding those parts of ourselves is how we get closer to understanding ourselves. The more we know and accept ourselves, the more we'll love ourselves. The more we love ourselves, the more people will be lining up to date us. Knowing who you are and loving yourself for being that person is the most attractive quality a person can possess. And don't we all want to be attractive? Um, yeah. So use that fling to your advantage.
Soon, Nikki Novo will answer your questions about love in Miami. Need advice? Send your troubles to email@example.com.