Everyone knows the winter holiday season can be a bleak time for love. The hype around mistletoe, meeting the family, and Valentine’s Day drives many couples to call it quits. But did you know that the slow and steamy days of summer are also prime for breakups?
The most scientific theory behind this phenomenon is that the warm weather makes us want freedom. Suddenly it’s hot out, people are buzzing, and we shift from needing security and a cuddle buddy like we experience during the cold winter. Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and adviser to Match.com told New York Daily News that the summer can increase our dopamine levels, which could encourage breakups. “Everyone is outside wearing far less clothes. All the smells, sights, and sounds that stimulate the brain; the sunshine that drives down the melatonin and gives us energy,” Fisher theorizes.
While this is a plausible explanation for why many couples split during the summer months, it also makes me think maybe these breakups aren’t such a bad thing. I mean, think about it: If your relationship can’t handle the onslaught of short shorts and sunshine-induced dopamine, it probably wasn’t much of a love connection in the first place.
That being said, this logic may leave you wondering what kind of relationship you and your guy really have. Was it just a survival of the fittest thing during the cold winter months, or is it a relationship that has what it takes to beat the summer heat?
Here are four signs that you and your guy don’t have to sweat it.
01. You did more than just cuddle all winter long.
I suppose all the socializing and spaghetti straps could come as a shock to a couple if they spent the entire winter under a rock keeping warm. You aren’t doing your relationship any favors by cutting yourself off from spending time with other people and going on adventures, and wintertime is not an excuse. If you balanced building intimacy and interaction with the outside world, you don’t have to worry about feeling like the sunshine is just now opening your eyes to a world of other romantic possibilities (and you’re likely to be more satisfied with the relationship you have).
02. Your chemistry isn’t all about looks.
I could see how summertime could pose some problems for couples who are together because they are the two most beautiful people they know. Out comes all the beach babes, and suddenly you’re wondering if you could do better. But, if you have chemistry that’s based on something a little bit deeper than “more skin,” this summer shouldn’t really be a problem. Couples whose relationships are based on shared meaning, values, history, and, consequently, friendship are happier, healthier, and more likely to last.
03. You have dated three months or longer.
It takes about three months to recognize patterns in a person and a relationship, so if you met in April, it’s very possible that you might put all the pieces together and call it quits in June or July. But, if you and your guy have already passed the three-month mark and are going strong come summertime, it’s much more likely that your relationship will make it through the summer—sun-induced dopamine rush and all.
04. You haven’t booked a vacation together before the three-month mark.
Call me superstitious, but there is nothing that kills a relationship faster than a vacation taken too soon. If you are wondering if you guys have what it takes to make it through the summer, it’s probably too soon to be booking a flight to his family vacation house. Trust me, vacation breakups are a major downer. So, it might not be the dopamine rush that gets you, but it could just be that you put your new relationship into hyperdrive. If you want to ensure you don’t have a summer split, especially a super-awkward one, wait to book vacation together until you have dated for at least three months. I guess you might end up breaking up anyway, but at least it won’t be at his family’s beach house.
Photo Credit: Ashley Paige Photography