If you’re single, summer is a great time for you to enjoy your independence while you can, before getting into a relationship. Inevitably, having a summer fling can determine exactly what you’re looking for in the long term.

A hot and steamy summer romance that’s casual, sexy and completely low­-key could be exactly what you need.

There are endless things to do in the summer when it comes to date ideas, and dating is simply more fun in the summer. Here are our top five reasons why you can benefit from having a summer fling.

1. You’re taken out of your comfort zone

When you’re having a fling with someone, you know you’re in it to have a good time and you aren’t in the same dating mindset as you would be if you were looking for something long term. So why not step out of your comfort zone, date someone who has different interests and values, and someone who will challenge you to do new and ‘in the now’ things? Hey, maybe you’ll end up really liking it. If you’re single, this summer you have a free pass to date whoever you please, so enjoy it and think of it as a dating experiment. Being taken out of your comfort zone sexually is also something to consider during a fling. There is no drama, no judgement, and this way you can get out all the awkward desires and kinky ideas you’ve always wanted to know about and try. What better way to find out exactly what you like and don’t like in the bedroom?

2. Everyone is generally happier when the sun is shining

The warm weather and delayed sunsets make everyone more at ease and open to new and endless possibilities this time of year. Try something new – again this also goes alongside with getting out of your comfort zone. It seems as though when you’re in a happier mindset you’re bound to try more things than you normally would. Really though, what do you have to lose? Even if you fail or make a fool out of yourself – don’t sweat it, this isn’t a long term relationship remember! Enjoy your summer, lay back and relax. When you’re more carefree and easygoing, there is a sense of confidence that surrounds you. Be this person now, and going forward. Confidence and happiness is what’s truly sexy.

3. Summer flings are usually drama free

Flings mean no BS! This is one of the cardinal rules about having a fling – that they shouldn’t bring about or cause drama. If they do, well I don’t think I need to tell you what the next steps should be. A key thing right from the get go is to make sure you’re both on the same page – expectations and what you’re looking for. Once this conversation is out of the way you’ll never have to have another ‘serious’ talk with your fling and can enjoy the mounds of fun you’re about to both have. However, even though you’re going for a drama free fling – strive to keep this mentality when it comes to looking for the real deal. No one likes drama (at least that I know of) especially when it’s unnecessary and brought about for silly reasons. Always be assertive and strong when relaying what you’re looking for to any partner and if anyone causes you unwanted drama, you have every right to back off.

4. No messy break ups

One of the perfect things about a summer fling is it usually ends when your vacation is over, a new school semester is starting, or just the mere fact that the fall season is fast approaching. A predetermined relationship that has an already has an end date eliminates any weirdness or awkwardness when the flame starts to die down. The scary thing about relationships is never knowing if and when it’s going to end, so when you already know it’s temporary, you can make the most of your time together and really enjoy making some awesome memories. This carefree attitude is something key to have and know you’re capable of before settling down. And you may never know, a fling could end up being the real deal.

5. Your next relationship will be that much better

Regardless of a hookup, fling, or long term relationship, each person you date is going to tell you a little bit about yourself and what you’re going to be looking for going forward. You’ll make mistakes from that person and (hopefully) learn from them. You yourself will be stronger and more confident in what you want and won’t settle for anything less. Remember though, when entering the ‘fling’ zone, even though you’re telling each other this is going to be temporary that doesn’t mean feelings can’t or won’t change. You never know – after the sun has gone down on your summer romance, you may want them to cozy up with come the breezy fall and chilling winters.