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Summer Shading Explained: Ghosting For Summer Flings

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

Heart shaped sunglasses on the beach

What Is Summer Shading?

New vernacular in dating trends keeps popping up, from ghosting and cuffing season to summer shading. So what the heck is summer shading?

Summer shading is essentially when one distances themselves from a romantic or semi-romantic partner during the summer months. The goal is to allow an individual to date others and experience summer flings without romantic commitments or, in some cases, spend time without a partner.

It can also be similar to ghosting someone when someone throws summer shade to stop communication, but it is specific to the summer months.

Is Summer Shading A New Thing?

While the term 'summer shading' is new slang, it has long been observed in human behavior by those who have desired the freedom to date different people in the summer or venture out like a lone wolf.

Unlike cuffing season, where people settle down in relationships for companionship during the winter months to avoid loneliness, summer shading allows people to explore their options.

The tendency to reduce romantic commitments during summer months is more popular, particularly with women in recent times. This shift may be attributed to evolving societal norms and women's increasing independence over the last century. It has been relatively consistent in men for much longer.

Because of social media and online dating, these dating patterns have also become more observable, which has led to defining such behavioral patterns.

Is Summer Shading Wrong Or Unethical?

It is perfectly reasonable for a person to decide they wish to date others as long as it is done respectfully. It becomes unhealthy when it's done in an insensitive manner.

Being clear about one's expectations in a relationship is a form of kindness, and when we are unkind to people, we damage our own integrity.

How To Do Summer Shading Ethically

If you decide summer shading is right for you, do so by communicating truthfully to ensure that you are being ethical and maintaining your integrity. While a partner may not favor such an arrangement, they will likely appreciate your honesty rather than being manipulated or left in the dark.

Remember, it's okay to prioritize your needs; in fact, it's a crucial part of being healthy. However, it's just as essential to honor the feelings and the time of others. Understand that these two aspects are not opposing forces but the balance of empathy and self-care.

Here are some helpful guides to provide some food for thought:

Signs You Might Be Getting Summer Shaded?

If you notice a significant decrease in communication or a general feeling of distance from your partner, you may be experiencing summer shade. Your partner may also continuously cancel plans and show signs that they want more personal space.

What Should You Do If You Think You're Being Summer Shaded?

Communicate what you are observing and feeling, and respectfully ask your partner if there is something that you want to share with you. For example, you could say, "I've noticed we've not been communicating or spending much time together lately. This is making me feel a bit uncertain about our relationship. Would you share with me how you are feeling about things so that I know where we stand?"

For more helpful advice see our guide: Early Warning Signs: How to Identify Relationship Issues Before They Escalate

Are You Subconsciously Summer Shading?

If you find yourself avoiding someone and feeling less enthusiastic about spending time with them, you may be subconsciously participating in summer shading.

Furthermore, if you consistently prioritize making plans with friends or alone time over the person you are dating, you may desire more freedom or have a fear of commitment.

Consider pausing and reflecting on your true desires to provide yourself with what you need. Once you understand your desires, share those needs with your partner respectfully and openly.

What To Do If You Are Subconsciously Summer Shading

Take a moment to reflect on what you want for your summer and in the relationship. If you need more freedom, communicate this in a considerate manner.

In Closing

If we acknowledge our own needs while respecting the emotional boundaries of others, we create a space for authentic connections that can make our lives more rich and enjoyable.

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