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12 Ways to Tell You’re About to Have a Summer Romance

It’s summertime, which means we’re all being divvied up into “people who are having a summer romance” and “people who are not having one.” To tell you the truth, I always thought summer romances were going to be a bigger deal than they turned out to be. Because of movies, TV shows, and books, I thought hot strangers would be LINING UP AROUND THE BLOCK to make out with me by the light of a dying bonfire!

If you are like me, then you too have spent the bulk of your summers NOT making out with people. But hey, maybe fifteenth time’s the charm! Here’s how you know it’s happening, according to everything I have learned from fiction:

1. You are going on a road trip. I don’t care who you are or where you think you’re going, you WILL wind up in a quirky town off the beaten path and fall in love with an enchanting stranger, and that’s just the way it has to be.

2. You are working at a country club for a bunch of rich people. It’s the last place you’d expect to meet (and fall in love with!) the rakishly handsome son of a wealthy business tycoon, and yet…

3. You’re a terrible swimmer, and the lifeguard is attractive. Like most people, you have no qualms about being saved from drowning by attractive lifeguards.

4. You’re a camp counselor. Your rival counselor is inexplicably hostile towards you and has a devilish grin.

5. You are being forced to spend the entire summer with your grandparents in a small town no one’s ever heard of. Their neighbor has a son who is not much older than you. He’s good-looking, sure. If pressed, you might even say he’s hot. But you’re only here for the summer, okay? No use getting attached, least of all to this guy who looks like an actual Greek god.

6. You have a bucket list. A summer bucket list is a guaranteed way to meet people and make out with them. No one has ever had a summer bucket list without making out with someone somewhere along the way.

7. Someone has the bright idea to go skinny dipping. I’m sure you won’t get caught, and definitely not by someone cute.

8. You spend every summer with your family by the lake. One of the locals is around your age and has a name like Noah or Alex or Matt. Last summer, the two of you were just kids. Now you’re teenagers. This changes things.

9. You have a soul-sucking summer job at the movie theater, a theme park, or, even worse, the family business. It’s terrible, but give it one week, two weeks tops, and you will almost certainly make the acquaintance of an attractive stranger.

10. You are a lost tourist in an unfamiliar city. In real life, you would walk around aimlessly for two hours and no one would help you. Since you’re about to embark on a summer romance, however, you’ll surely meet a friendly local who not only gives you directions but also drops everything just to show you the sights.

11. It’s your last summer before college—the last summer before everything changes. Hopefully you won’t fall in love before moving halfway across the country.

12. You are reading a book on the beach. Making eye contact with someone who has dazzling sapphire eyes and wants to know what you’re reading will not a matter of “if,” but “WHEN.”