Ahhh, summer. Finally the temperamental Ithaca weather has shifted towards a gentler clime, allowing us to enjoy a few days here and there of bright sunshine, soul quenching heat, and those infamous warm summer nights. Summer is often reputed to be the season of bare skin, shedding those last few pounds of winter weight, and indulging in a little romance.

Who hasn’t heard of summer love? Long walks on the beach, moonlight dinners outside, girls in flirty sundresses and shirtless boys on motorboats? Summer is truly the season of romance, and if you happen to find yourself without a new fling or a long-term sweetheart, you may be inclined to turn into a summer love Scrouge. However, don’t give in to the temptation to dismiss it just yet! Consider turning this summer into your chance to fall in love with yourself.

Life is all about forming positive relationships with people, romantic or otherwise, and the most important – and most overlooked – relationship you have is with yourself. That may seem silly initially, but look back over the last month and honestly answer the question- Have I been neglecting myself for other people? Am I always putting my own desires aside for those of my family, friends, and peers?

If yes, now is the time for the ultimate summer romance! Take yourself out on a date to your favorite restaurant, order a sumptuous meal, and see if you can think of a summer-long plan to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little! Try not to think of it as a schedule, but as the beginning of a relationship- if you were seeing someone new and they took you out on the same date every week, wouldn’t you get bored? Try “double-dating” with a friend, going to see a movie you really want to see, or taking a cooking class.

Going out alone may seem uncomfortable or awkward at first, but before long, you will develop the valuable skill of being able to do things that you really enjoy, without the need to find someone else to go with you. Without the restraint of needing company, you’ll realize that you are comfortable and happy with yourself- and that relationship lasts a lot longer than any other summer fling.

Love, Cassie J

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