We Turned Our Fling Into A Relationship & Regretted It

We were having the freaking time of our lives. We were waist-deep in a hot summer fling and neither of us wanted it to end. Maybe it didn’t have to, we thought. Surely we could make a relationship work after we got back home? The problem was that we couldn’t transplant our summer feeling into our real lives. Here’s what happened.

  1. We chased the feeling. We liked each other, sure, but we also really liked the feeling of being in love with someone we’d met during a holiday in Spain. It was an instant connection and felt magical, but maybe the beautiful surroundings in which we found ourselves had something to do with the bliss.
  2. We only knew each other on holiday. I had learned a lot about him in the eight weeks we’d been together. He was fun and free-spirited. He apparently had an IT business back home and tons of friends, but I didn’t need to know about his life back home and he didn’t need to know mine. We just wanted to make the most of who we were on holiday. That had limitations, though.
  3. We had to start from scratch. We lived in the same city back home, which made things a lot easier for us to date as an exclusive couple… or so we thought. Honestly, location was the least of our problems. We were going to try to make a relationship work in our regular, boring lives and that’s no easy task. This was definitely going to be interesting…
  4. It was fun at first. I was so happy to discover that our relationship back home started on a great footing. We were still in that holiday mode and feeling lots of excitement to be with each other. We could spend weekend dates completely in our own cocoon and it felt like we were still on holiday. We’d lose track of time and feel like we were in our own world.
  5. Then life got in the way. We could only escape reality for a while, but now it was striking fast. We had our stressful jobs, our other priorities, our demanding friends and other loved ones to deal with. It was tough to keep in touch sometimes once real life came streaming back into the picture. It was only a matter of time before it would. But did that mean we couldn’t make a relationship work?
  6. I couldn’t blame life. At first I blamed our hectic lives for why we weren’t really staying in touch that much, but that wasn’t the truth. The truth was that we weren’t really able to maintain that blissed-out holiday state. It just wasn’t realistic. But was that fun and partying all we had?
  7. There just wasn’t enough there. We were still making time to see each other, but unlike on holiday, it wasn’t every day. We saw each other once a week. The biggest reason for this was because we didn’t really have similar lifestyles. He was a big party guy who loved spending lots of time with his friends (yes, he really did have a ton of friends). I, on the other hand, was more of an introvert. This discovery surprised him.
  8. He wanted the holiday girl back. On one date he asked me, “Why are you so different from who you were on holiday?” That took me aback. Was I really that different? He was used to me always being down for parties on holiday, but come on, that wasn’t necessarily who I was in daily life!
  9. We weren’t compatible. I realized what the problem was. On holiday, we’d only seen little slices of each other in very specific situations (like the club and beach scene) and now that we were seeing each other as complete human beings in RL, we were realizing just how different we were. Total bummer. One day, I was going through a stressful experience and instead of being there for me, the guy seemed upset that something so real had to replace our fun times. For real?
  10. Now I know how they feel on The Bachelor. This was probably what people feel on The Bachelor after the bachelor chooses the last woman to whom to give his final rose. They have to try to make the relationship and connection work in real life. It’s really not easy. They’d previously been dating in a bubble and that’s exactly what my holiday fling had been like.
  11. We’d always have Spain. Maybe some holiday flings are just meant to be nothing more than that. They’re perfect just as they are, and to try to extend their lifespan can sometimes be a waste of time. It also brings lots of heartache. In my case with this guy, we had to endure a horrible breakup that was quite stressful on both of us. It would’ve been better to end things after the holiday, cut our losses, and just enjoy the memories we’d made. Now they were forever tainted with reality.

While summer flings are fun, this situation made it clear to me that these relationships are great for a reason: they’re short-term and not meant to last. In future, I won’t make the same mistake of trying to extend them any longer.

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.