By Bernadette McCadden

The summer time is notorious for producing flings, and why not? When the sun is high and you and your man are together, everything seems perfect. It’s easy to just have fun with your guy and not have it become too serious or worry about where it might lead. But what happens to your summer fling when the temperature cools and the leaves start changing? Do you make transform that fling into something more or just call it a great three months?  If you decide you want to make the relationship into something more serious, make sure you go about it the right way. Create and maintain a healthy relationship by following a few simple rules:

1. Communicate: Talk to your man and express your wishes to continue the relationship and see if he wants to move to the next level as well. Communication is the most important thing in creating and maintaining a healthy relationship. Remember that this includes listening to his wants and needs, not just expressing your own.

2. Manage your expectations: Summer time means freedom and the demands of the fall can put stress on a relationship. Whether the autumn season means a new school year, living somewhere else or just going back to work, the change can make your relationship seem more difficult. Realizing and understanding that you might not see each other as much and life may not be as carefree as it was in the summer months can prevent future arguments.  The adjustment back to work or school may be hard, but give it time and let things fall into place. Patience is key.

Related: Five Steps to Turn A Date Into A Relationship

3. Be willing to work at it: Relationships take work. Things won’t always be perfect, but if you are both willing to put the time and effort into the relationship it can withstand anything. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble, but learn from your mistakes and push through.

4. Support each other: Going from a carefree fling to something more substantial means that you need to put more emphasis on the other person’s needs, not just your own. Learn more about his future goals and support him in his endeavors, showing him you care however you can.

Related: Date Idea: Explore the Wilderness

5. Explore new things: A summer fling insinuates that most of your time is spent in an informal atmosphere. Change things up; go out to dinner or take a walk in the park. Engaging in activities together can spark greater conversation so you can really get to know your guy.