The Skinny on Summer Splits

By Kristin Manganello, Copy Cutie

When you were a kid, the best part of the year was the very last day of school. When that bell rang it meant no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks. The summer ahead seemed like it would stretch on into eternity, filled with a sense of endless freedom.

Although you’ve grown since your summer days drawing on sidewalks and catching fireflies, you still get that feeling when you flip your calendar from May to June. But being grown up means that your life is a lot more complicated than before. That carefree feeling now has a price — and it can sometimes bankrupt your romantic reserves.

Many claim that summer is a popular time for breaking up. A quick Google search produces posts where bloggers pontificate, Yahoo! answerers lament and forum contributors discuss the sore subject, adding up to an impressive amount of anecdotal evidence. And thanks to Facebook there’s now statistical proof to support this summer myth. By mining information from users (like status updates and relationship statuses), the Facebook Data Team can provide real-time trends and confirm that summer really is rough on relationships.

But these statistics offer little insight into why people split up for the summer. Without science at our disposal we must rely on common sense. While there are many reasons for breaking up during the warmer months, they all boil down to one thing: the need to be free of all responsibilities. That infectious feeling of hope and excitement that surged within us as children now has a much more serious impression on our lives.

For undergrads and graduate students, the issue is largely about logistics. After months of all-nighters exchanging nerd lingo together, a pair of library buddies can easily become lovers. But with the academic year over, the long distance looms over the liaison like a tropical storm.

For others, it comes down to sowing wild oats, taking advantage of drunken hookup opportunities, or wanting a whirlwind summer fling. Even if you generally long for a deeper connection with someone, it might be hard to refuse the steamy temptation of an exciting infatuation.

While relationships are more difficult to maintain over the summer, the stats don’t necessarily spell out disaster for you and your paramour. Relationships can survive the heat, given they’re based on mutual respect, trust and open communication. But if one of you is itching for a romance summer vacation, then let it happen. Forcing a relationship on someone will only bring heartache … and possibly, mistakes.

Though yes, breakups suck, it’s not all doom and gloom. After all, summer is here! No more drama, no more fools — it’s time to sit by the pools. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a summer fling of your own.

Has your relationship survived the statistical odds of a summer breakup? Share your story with us in a comment below!