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Sex + Relationships

Guys’ Take On: Summer Relationships

Whether or not you currently have a guy to hold your hand, summer relationships of any kind – hook-ups, dating, flings, boyfriends – are on your mind. To take the guesswork out of trying to mind read the guy in your life (or the guys you haven’t even met yet), we got the answers straight from the guys themselves.

We surveyed 35 college guys about dates, exclusivity, if they think any of our summer relationships (or flings) will last once the sun’s gone, and what they really want out of a summer relationship. Here’s what the guys had to say:

On What They’re Looking for This Summer:

Whatever you’re hoping to find in a guy this summer – a casual fling, a bunch of hook-ups, a serious boyfriend, or absolutely nothing at all – there’s a boy out there who wants the same thing. The guys were fairly evenly split between these answers; it’s a clear indication that not all boys are looking for a summer hook-up, nor are they all hoping for a girlfriend for the months of June through August. Mike, Northeastern ’13, responded that he has the “anything that comes my way” approach. You might start the summer hoping for one thing, but meet a guy that changes your mind. Keep your options open, because you may change his mind, too.

On Exclusivity:

A bit surprising, but still fabulous; over 80 percent of the guys said that, if they were in one, they would still consider a summer relationship to be exclusive. Apparently it’s not all about summer flings. One guy explained that whether or not a relationship (or hook-up) is exclusive, his decision “depends on the girl, not the season.” Moh, Boston College ’14, also said the relationship status (whether it’s official or just a casual hook-up) depends on what the girl wants. As in any relationship, make sure your intentions are clear from the beginning. Of course, your feelings or decision may change, but at least you were honest from the get-go. Looking for a long-term boyfriend? Let him know. In for just a casual hook-up? Tell him early on.

On How Long It Will Last:

All we have to say is, the boys in this survey are real winners. 95 percent of them said that if a relationship started over the summer, the only deciding factor for how long it will last would be the girl – if she’s worth it, it could last well past the few summer months. Andy, San Francisco State ’13, said, “I only look for relationships to last. I never understood relationships with a timer on them.” Maybe you know you’re moving once August hits, but, as the saying goes, cross that bridge when you come to it. A recent Syracuse University grad in our survey said, “Sometimes people’s lives take them in opposite directions.” Other times, though, what he likes to call the “Grease” effect happens: “People just end up popping into your lives again.” Either way, he says, “once Labor Day rolls around, it’s decision time.” Unless, of course, you’ve already discussed this back in June.

On Where They Want To Go on Dates:

The number one response from our guy crowd: the beach. Nearly all 35 of them chose something beach-related. It wasn’t all about the cheesy romantic walk on the beach with these guys, though. The beach gives them a casual, inexpensive, and fun place to hang out with you. Moh, Boston College ’14, said he’d enjoy a date on the beach, grabbing ice cream, going for a walk on the boardwalk, and watching the sun set. “I’m all about dates that allow for great conversation,” he said.

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Here are some of the other (great) date ideas from the guys. Take your boy on one of these dates and he’ll be impressed by your knack for choosing something he likes as well.

  • “Baseball games, camping,” Bill, San Francisco State ‘13
  • “Dinner in the city, and take her on my boat,” Colin, Boston College ‘15
  • “Go for a nice long drive, or hang out in New York City,” Travis, County College of Morris ‘13
  • “Picnic, wine bar, sports games,” Mike, Emory University ‘11
  • “Sipping drinks and hanging out outside,” Joe, Syracuse University ‘12
  • “Carnivals, getting ice cream,” Greg, Syracuse University ‘13
  • “Go for a walk in a park, hang out in a pool,” Freddy, Syracuse University ‘12
  • “Drive-in movies, camping, tips to the lake for boating,” Matt, University of Wisconsin ‘12

On Whether or Not Summer Relationships Are More Low-Key:

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean the boys treat relationships any differently than that guy you hung out with for the entire fall semester. In fact, 70 percent of them said that they’d still treat it as a serious dating relationship – meaning they plan on keeping their date game up and not slacking on taking you out – fabulous. A recent Syracuse University grad who (perhaps somewhat accurately) calls himself “Romeo” in our survey said, “If you’re my girlfriend, you get treated like it no matter what time of year it is.” Matt, University of Wisconsin ’12, said, “Summer gives more options for outdoor-type dates,” which are fun but can often feel more casual. Will, Boston College ’15, said that it shouldn’t necessarily be a red flag if he takes you out to mini golf instead of a 5-star restaurant for dinner. “A date can be casual,” he said, “but the relationship can still be serious.” Well said, Will.

On Where They’ve Met Their “Summer Girls” Before:

We asked the guys to tell us where they’ve met girls over the summer in the past, hoping for a little insight into where you can meet them this summer. Here are the places and spaces to be hanging out this summer if you’re looking for a guy:

  • “Parties and work,” Colin, Boston College ‘15
  • “Beaches, bars, mutual friends,” PJ, Boston College ‘15
  • “Parties, summer jobs,” Joe, Syracuse University ‘12
  • “Through friends, parties, concerts,” Greg, Syracuse University ‘13
  • “Beaches, the gym, boating, parks,” Matt, University of Wisconsin ‘12

Our survey with these college guys gives you an inside look into the mind of your man (or man-to-be), but remember that communication is still key when it comes to successful relationships. Use the guy-recommended date ideas to surprise him with something bro-approved and fun. When it comes to more serious topics, though—like whether he just wants a hook-up or is looking for something official, remember to talk that one out.

Heather is a 2012 graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School with a degree in Magazine Journalism. Growing up in southern Vermont, she learned to appreciate the New England small-town life. During her time at SU she served as Editor-in-Chief of What the Health magazine on her college campus and was a member of the Syracuse chapter of ED2010. This summer Heather is exploring the world of digital entrepreneurship at the Tech Garden in Syracuse, NY where she is Co-Founder of Scrapsule.com. Aside from social media and home decor, she loves vintage jewelry, strawberry banana smoothies, running, and autumn in Vermont.
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