Is Keeping A Vacation Fling Going Ever Possible? Maybe, But It'll Be Hard Work

Having a vacation fling is a fun way to spice up your time away from home. Whether it's a getaway with friends, a family trip, or even a solo trip, finding a stranger to experience a little bit of romance with is always exciting. A vacation fling is unlike your regular commitment-motivated relationship; it is an intense, passionate, and light-hearted venture. The displacement, carefree atmosphere, good food, and fun activities all equate to a fulfilling, short-term romance. But what happens when you enjoy your vacation fling a little too much? When leaving for home feels like heartbreak, you may decide to make your vacation fling more than just a fling. 


Turning your short-lived vacation romance into a serious commitment usually means beginning a long-distance relationship (LDR), assuming the person you hooked up with is not from your hometown or city. So, if you have decided to pursue a relationship with this person, you'll have to put in some work, because keeping that vacation bliss going isn't easy. Between communicating your intentions and feelings clearly, to battling the difficulties that come with LDRs, to merging your lives together and finally breaking that fairytale aura of your vacation, there's a lot to figure out. However, if the person you've fallen for is worth the effort, it can be done. 

Define your relationship with clear boundaries

You probably weren't planning on starting a full-blown relationship with the person you had your vacation fling with. But if you find yourself in this unexpected situation, a conversation with the other party is inevitable. You probably already had some ground rules or some kind of boundaries set when you hooked up, so letting them know your change of heart as soon as possible is very important.


Try not to startle them by directly proposing a relationship. Instead, try to bring out the question in a subtle manner. You can start by mentioning how you're sad your vacation is about to end and how you'll miss them. Make sure to be open and honest with them about your feelings. Lay out how and why giving a real relationship a try will be worth it for both of you. This means already having a plan regarding how you'll handle the distance.

You'll also want to make sure your fling is on the same page before you make these plans and have this conversation. If they've made it very clear that they only wanted your relationship to be temporary, approaching them about extending things could lead to a rejection — one of the first common hurdles standing in between vacation flings and long-term relationships. When you aren't sure exactly where they stand, and both of your intentions seem to have changed, proceed with the conversation, keeping in mind that rejection is still possible. 


Distance doesn't always make the heart grow fonder, so let technology intervene

LDRs can and do work, but the distance itself can sometimes affect the feelings involved and, eventually, the relationship itself. Going from a passion-filled, intense vacation fling where you spent all day with each other chilling and having fun, to a single video call per day, can change your perspective. Surviving LDR explains that people in these kinds of relationships can often feel depressed. If physical touch is your love language, you'll find it hard to express your love without that physical element. But you can keep the feelings of stress and loneliness that distance brings at bay by using the resources you have at your disposal, such as technology. 


Having a solid plan when entering a long-distance relationship is imperative — come to an agreement on how often you should text, call, or video chat. Utilize all the tools you have available, from FaceTime calls to voice notes. To nurture the intimate side of your relationship when distance stops you from physically being with each other, you might consider sending intimate photos. Work out how to use technology to bring you closer together, despite the distance, in a way you're both comfortable with. 

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.


The difficulties of LDRs mean communication is essential

LDRs do not come easy to anyone. In addition to compromising your physical intimacy, they can make it more difficult to communicate. You won't have the chance to talk about the things that are bothering you with your partner when you next see them, or over dinner, or when you both get home from work, so you'll need to schedule in those moments. That might include traveling to see them in person every so often, or having regular phone conversations so you can check in on things. 


Similarly, your partner won't be there for you to praise or express your love and gratitude to in passing, so you have to go to the effort of communicating these things clearly. You can show them how much you appreciate them by sending them gifts or handwritten notes.

Keep in mind that you won't be able to rely on your body language to reinforce how you feel about your partner — the way you would if you were cuddling while watching a movie, for example. Be sure then that you're telling them how much you miss them and discuss meeting up in the future. Even if future meet-up plans lack details, talking about them can reassure your partner.

Work out a routine that suits you both

When you're on vacation, your real-life responsibilities seem to vanish. A relationship when your hair is down can seem like the best thing ever, but once the commitments of your everyday life start to set in, your relationship dynamic is also bound to change, which makes it difficult to turn a vacation fling into a long-term relationship.


Let's say your partner has unconventional work times or personal commitments that you didn't know about during your fling together. When all of this is weighing down your relationship, you'll have to put in extra work to keep up with the changes. Spend some time working out what routines and schedules you both currently follow, and then blending them together so you have plenty of time to communicate. If you are in different time zones, this can be especially tricky to navigate, and may require patience from both parties. 

If you work out a timetable that suits you both in advance, taking into account both of your work and other personal commitments, and your time zones, it will be easier to keep up that crucial communication. 


Remember that regular you is different from vacation you

When we are on vacation, we are not exactly our everyday selves. A relaxing environment or a change in scenery typically leads to more carefree and happier people, as positive vacations often reduce stress levels (via Harvard Business Review). During your relationship fling, you'll often be more chilled, and things that would bother you if they happened on a Monday morning won't really bother you while you're on vacation. The same goes for your partner. Turning a vacation fling into something more is so hard because you often don't get to truly know a person on vacation, and when you do get to know the real version of them, you might not like what you get. Getting swept up in the romance of the situation might also mean that you're not assessing the important aspects, such as if your goals match with this person's goals, and if you have similar values.


In the days and weeks following your vacation, it's important to spend a lot of time getting to know that person, to make sure that they are still what you want in a partner. Try to destroy the image of them as something fun and exotic, and likewise, remove all the pressures you've placed on them to keep you entertained and excited, the way they might have on vacation.

Be realistic about the sacrifices your LDR may require

The idea of finding your soulmate in a far-flung destination might sound dreamy, but the reality of the situation means that it is often anything but. Turning these flings into long-term relationships is so hard because falling in love with someone from somewhere else comes with a huge set of obstacles. 


Usually, it will be impossible to combine each other's lives without some sacrifice on either side. Eventually, one of you will probably have to relocate. Particularly if you've fallen for someone from a different culture, keep in mind that you may both have to compromise on certain beliefs and lifestyles to merge your lives together. 

That said, it is possible for a vacation fling to turn into a long-lasting relationship. If your gut is telling you that they are worth all the hard work, putting in the hours to keep it going will pay off. The key is to make sure you know what you're in for, because this kind of relationship isn't a fairytale; it's a commitment.