Summer flings stay hot even after Labor Day

Heather Beyer

Summer flings are infamous for being short, sweet and, typically, over by Labor Day. Sometimes, the relationships formed are too strong to break. But sometimes, they are subjected to the test of time and, in some cases, distance.

Patrice Bentley, senior aviation management major, went to Jamaica for three weeks over the summer. During her stay, she met a guy named Cornell and dated him. They went dancing, hit the clubs and spent a lot of time together.

Her favorite memory of the trip was going to the beach, playing pool and having drinks by the water.

Saying good-bye was, Bentley said, “the hardest feeling in my life. We are still trying to do a long distance relationship.”

“I still have very strong feelings for him,” she added.

The couple talks on the phone every few days.

“I am running up my phone cards,” she said, adding that she didn’t mind.

While some students had to travel to far-off, exotic locations to find romance, others were able to find it right here on Kent State’s campus. 

Sophomore education major Ashley Hazen met her boyfriend, William McDougall, on Kent’s campus right before spring semester’s end.

”He lives in New Hampshire, but he transferred to go to school in Kentucky,” Hazen said. “But we are still together.”

 Hazen and McDougall are living proof that summer flings do work. The couple has been together for five months, but they are not without their challenges, with both parties being at different colleges.

“It’s hard, especially with gas prices being so high that he can only come out every two weeks to see me,” Hazen said. “We talk every day.”

Freshman nursing major Ashley Schreiner knew her boyfriend, Tim Kaelin, throughout her junior year of high school. During her senior year, Ashley’s feelings began to change. Prom and the realization of summer led them to start dating.

Now that summer is over, Ashley is in Kent, and her boyfriend is away at school in Dayton.

“I like that he is there and doing what he likes to do,” said Schreiner. “It’s just hard that he is so far away.”

Being a freshman in love presents a bit of problem when facing a long-distance relationship. 

“I don’t have a car, and freshmen can’t have cars at Dayton,” said Schreiner.

The couple still talks for at least an hour every night and the three-and-a-half hours that separate them don’t phase them much.

Summer flings can work out and potentially form into long-term relationships.

There are several key ingredients to making a summer fling last into the fall and winter months.

According to, couples should try easing into the fall months by making solid plans. Buy tickets to a sporting event, a play or a concert. Then you have something to keep the relationship moving in a healthy direction.

Another useful tip is to not pressure the other party into getting into a serious relationship. Part of the appeal of a summer romance is the relaxed atmosphere. Just continue to keep things low-key and see what develops.

Kathy Ott, a doctoral candidate in health education and human sexuality instructor, said trust and communication are among the several components of building a strong long-term relationship.

”Communication is the biggest part,” she said. “It’s all about communication.”

Contact feature correspondent Heather Beyer at [email protected].