Summer is the season for a fling—a romantic rendezvous where fun sparks fly and there’s zero pressure. But every once in a while, the man you initially thought of as your “just for now” guy becomes the guy you want to keep you warm straight through the winter. If that’s the case with your current summer romance, here are expert tips on how to upgrade things into more serious status.
Socialize on social media.
Perhaps you’ve been too busy making out on the Ferris wheel and feeding each other ice cream in bed to connect outside of your own sex-filled bubble. But the key to kicking things up a notch begins online. “Slowly start interacting with your fling on social media—emphasis on slowly,” suggests Amy Baglan, professional matchmaker and founder of online dating site Meet Mindful. “Too much too fast can come off as desperate and stalker-esque, which is definitely not the vibe you want to put off.” First step, add him or follow him if you haven’t already. Next step, begin the interactions, even if it’s just posting something you know he’ll be interested in. “For example,” Baglan says, “if you know your guy is a big music buff, share an article about an upcoming show you’d both enjoy,” she says. Ideal next step? He Likes it and leaves a comment: “Buying us tickets now.”
Challenge him to a competition.
Turns out, sweating together outside of the bedroom is sexy. “Men tend to be competitive by nature, so play off that by teasing him into a new fitness challenge with you,” Baglan says. “For example, if you know he’s a Cross Fit junkie, say something such as, ‘Cross Fit is OK, but I bet you wouldn’t last 10 minutes at Soul Cycle.’” He won’t be able to resist proving you wrong, and then “you’ll get to sweat together, which has been shown to increase endorphins and help foster a deeper emotional connection,” says Baglan. “Even better, since working out is part of his normal routine and you’ve now done that together, he’ll start to think of you as someone he can enjoy daily activities with—not just sex.”
Make friends with his friends.
“The next time you and your fling meet up at the local dive bar, make a point to introduce yourself to his friends,” Baglan suggests. It takes courage to court his friends before you’ve scored girlfriend status, but if you can win their affections, you just may win your man’s heart. “Most people value their friends’ opinions, and if your fling’s friends think of you as the ice queen who never acknowledges their presence, that is not going to bode well for you,” Baglan says. “Engage in conversation, make eye contact, and genuinely get to know them. Be playful. Challenge them to a game of pool. Not only will that show his friends that you’re a down-to-earth girl who won’t bogart their buddy’s time, but your fling will see how well you can hold your own in a social setting, which makes you even more desirable than you already were.”
Go au naturel.
When we’re trying to woo a guy, it’s tempting to put on our best face—and never take it off. But turning a fling into a long-term romance takes the kind of confidence that comes from going makeup-free. “We all love our friends over at Sephora, but if this is a guy you could see yourself being with long term, you need to be comfortable enough to be your authentic self around him,” Baglan says. “Plus, going sans-makeup shows true confidence, and in my experience, that is the single most important trait a woman can have when it comes to nabbing her dream guy.”
Just say how you feel.
Honesty is always the best policy (unless you’re planning an epic surprise, in which case, we give you permission to lie). So, “tell him how you feel,” says Baglan. “If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time with your fling and can honestly say you want to take your relationship to the next level, it is perfectly acceptable to tell him that! Putting yourself out there emotionally takes vulnerability, which is a super attractive quality at the right time.” When you confess your feelings, “emphasize that you have no expectations, but that you really like spending time with him and you no longer want to date other guys,” advises Baglan. “If he feels the same way, great! You have now successfully turned your fling into a thing. If not, at least you put it out there and can move on to the next one with no regrets.”