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DTF (Down to Fling)? The realities of summer love in NYC

"Summer dreams, ripped at the seams. But oh, those summer nights..." Photo Credit: Flickr / Chris Goldberg

Temperatures are rising in NYC, and that mean so is your interest in a summer fling. But should you throw yourself into a seasonal romance? Matthew and Kelly weigh in.


What is a summer fling IRL?


Matthew: For guys, a summer fling is simply an extended hookup. It's a girl that I can count on to attend various festivities with me throughout the summer. The girl's job is to enhance those activities with a fun personality and guaranteed sex.

What kind of activities am I talking about? Weddings, mini vacations, BBQs, etc. For example, my July schedule consists of a wedding followed by a trip to Fire Island followed by a trip to Montauk. That is the ideal scenario for a summer fling to appear and sweep me off my feet... and on to my back. (See what I did there?)


Kelly: The idea of a summer fling tends to be more exciting than its actuality; high expectations of romance are usually met with disappointment and weird tan lines. Still, what better place to engage in a little non-committal fun than New York? Summer lovin' is drama free, as long as participating parties are DTF (Down to Fling). Make sure expectations are on the table for all to see; this makes it easier to focus on the fun.


Why get involved in such a thing?


Matthew: I don't have the mental wherewithal to commit to one girl for the rest of my life, at this very moment, that is. The closest thing I come to in that regard is a summer fling.

You know why a lot of guys avoid relationships? They're too much work. Guys constantly have to keep their woman happy, and if they don't, it's a living hell. The point of a summer fling is to take that boyfriend/girlfriend aspect out of the equation to avoid the awful parts of being in a relationship. If my fling is going to complain the whole time and expect boyfriend-type things from me, then that's not why she's there.


Kelly: Some may argue that a summer fling will only tie you down and why put so much effort into a relationship with an expiration date? To those people I say, please chill. If you assume that only bad will come from a fling, you're likely to miss out on all of the perks.

You'll have a standing date for all social happenings. Summer is filled with parties, weddings, barbecues and drinking on a Wednesday night for no real reason. With a fling, you'll have the option of bringing someone along who you know is ready to have a good time.


What do you look for in a potential fling partner?


Matthew: Essentially, a summer fling should be a girl that I can act like a guy around and then have sex with at the end of the day... or at the beginning of the day, or in the middle of the day, like right after lunch. And when I say, "act like a guy," I don't mean, "be myself." I mean I can burp in her face, get really drunk with her and say beyond inappropriate things without any judgment.

Why is the sex aspect so important? Simple: When guys are out during the summer -- and every other time of the year -- our endgame, by and large, is to take home a girl at the end of the night. If I go out knowing I already have a girl I'm going to bring home, now I can focus on just having fun instead of trying to reel in potentials.


Kelly: The ideal trait for a potential fling is the ability to have fun. Your ideal fling is also a bit different than the guys you're typically involved with. I say take the unfamiliar route this summer. Maybe he's a bit goofier than you prefer, or more spontaneous. Whichever the case, he should be out of your comfort zone. Not so much so that you're unable to enjoy yourself, but just enough so that you have a slight anxiety attack at the thought of introducing him to your parents. "So, Kelly tells me you do improv acting? That's very... interesting." Wow, my stomach actually flipped while typing that sentence.

I'm in the midst of possibly, maybe, sort of starting a summer fling. It's in its early stages but already off to a great start because not only does he have the previously mentioned traits, he also has A/C in his room. Pro-tip: If he doesn't have A/C, shut it down, ladies.


How does one go about finding this type of person in NYC?


Matt: Tinder is an excellent resource for summer flings. Put EXACTLY what you're looking for in your profile so there's no room for misinterpretation. Don't act like a creep either, otherwise you're not going to get any responses. On a related note: I'm looking for potential summer fling candidates for the entire month of August. If you'd like to apply, please email me at

Kelly: I met my aforementioned prospect on Tinder, which is going to be your best bet for finding yours. Most of the guys on the app are looking for something fun and casual, so the expectation is already set. Another way is through the flood of parties that summer has to offer. This is your chance to finally meet your roommate's best friend's co-worker who you've definitely not stalked 68 weeks deep on Instagram. The power of the friend-of-a-friend setup is in full force this season. Use it.


Can a summer fling survive past Labor Day?


Matthew: When the summer is on its last legs, you can re-evaluate where you and your summer fling are. I always say, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." So if you find you have something good, stay with it. Don't be afraid to put the relationship label on it because now you've already established a good base. Sure, you're going to have to start spending more time with this person, but if you really like her and the basic dynamic of the summer fling is still intact, then go with it.


Kelly: Of course it can, though you should always be prepared for the possibility that once the temperature cools down, so will the excitement you had over the past couple of months. That said, New York hasn't made me a complete cynic yet. Who says summer can't be the perfect time to get to know someone and develop genuine feelings? The best thing you can do is nothing. Fight all instincts to over-think every decision and focus on the fact that you now don't have to make out with complete strangers at the bar anymore, because you have a designated kissing buddy for the foreseeable future. Lucky you!


Head to every Friday, as Matthew and Kelly take on the realities of dating in NYC from both sexes' points of view. To inquire about NYC dating advice, email them at Your question may appear in a future column, but no names will be used.


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