Vacation flings, popular wisdom goes, are magical but fleeting. Many of us would rather leave them on the beach, in the mountains, or wherever they started than pursue them and risk getting heartbroken. But vacation romances can last, and you shouldn’t let something special get away just because you don’t live in the same place or didn’t originally intend to date long-term.
Be careful not to take the fact that your relationship is wonderful on vacation as evidence that it'll stay that way once your back in your daily routine, advises Lori Salkin, SawYouatSinai.com Senior Matchmaker and Dating Coach. "While great groups of guys and girls do go on weekend getaways, the chances of being at the same five-star resort with your future husband or wife, and finding each other there and hitting it off and continuing the romance back in snowy, slushy freezing cold, can't-get-a-cab-to-save-your-life NYC, are rare."
But that doesn't make it impossible. I proselytize this because my own relationship started off as a summer fling. I met my partner at a nightclub in Ibiza of all places, and I did not expect to see him after that night. But one LinkedIn connection, one conversation in the sand, and one night of dancing later, we were inseparable. When I left in tears, he consoled me by saying we’d see each other again. I literally said, “no we won’t” because I, too, once didn’t believe vacation romances could last. I was obviously wrong, because that was six months ago, and we’re still together.
If your relationship shows any of these signs — some from Salkin and some based on my personal experience — don’t be cynical like I was and dismiss it as a fleeting connection. Make the effort to meet again, even if it means traveling long distances, because in my experience, it’s worth it.
You Already Feel Like You’ve Known Each Other Forever
If you’re able to feel like you really know someone after a few days or weeks, there are two possibilities: you’re so infatuated that you’re convincing yourself you know them when you really just know your own idea of them (sorry, there’s that cynic again), or you two have a lot in common. Either way, stick around to see which is the case.
Your Friends Get Along
If you’ve had the chance to meet each other’s friends or families, pay attention to how you felt around them and vice versa. Compatibility with someone’s friends is a sign of long-term compatibility with them, too, and it shows you’d be able to fit in if you get into a relationship.
Saying Goodbye Was Totally Heartbreaking
It doesn’t have to be this bad, I swear! Don’t put yourself through heartbreak if it’s not totally necessary. If you feel like you’re not ready to say goodbye to someone, that’s probably because there’s still a lot you can get out of the relationship. Don’t forgo all that potential.
You Met By Chance
When people are intentionally using their vacation to pick someone up, the relationship can become forced. If you just ran into each other and started talking, on the other hand, that's a sign that you have a natural, genuine connection, says Salkin.
"It's really easy to make excuses in a warm tropical climate and say, 'oh, [they] were on vacation, everyone was drunk, and it's OK to just start dancing and flirting at a bar,' but it's really the [person] at the pool, who noticed you're reading Pride and Prejudice and asked if it's your first read of the book, and engaged you in a riveting academic conversation for 10 minutes before even asking your name, that is someone that is likely to last."
You've Taken Things Slow
It is possible for a relationship to start off as a one-night stand (mine did!), but rushing to sex could be a sign that they think it's their last chance to have it. If your vacation fling took their time getting to know you, that could mean they see a future with you down the line, says Salkin. The best sign of this is that they take you on an actual date during your vacation, rather than just hanging out with you and your friends at the beach.
You Expect To Meet Again
If your love interest has made an effort to arrange to see you again, that's an encouraging sign, says Salkin. And if you're interested and can swing it, you should consider taking them up on it, even if you don't live in the same place.
We like to say that making a relationship work across long distances is simply impossible, but ask yourself if it really is for you. Is traveling totally out of the question, or could it be fun to visit where they live? Do you both have to live in the same place forever, or could one of you move down the line if you really wanted to? Don’t close off possibilities just because they’re not the conventional path. If you’re willing to put in the effort, you really can make this work.