There's something special about a summer romance — long drives, more sun, hot days, and the feeling of a warm body embracing you during a chilly night. Falling in love between June and September is never guaranteed, so when it happens, damn, does it feel good.
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There's still time for a summer romance, and since I've been looking for some inspiration, I asked my fellow romantics of the BuzzFeed Community, "What's your story of the summer romance that you still think about every now and then (or all the time)?" And honestly, my heart melted at the swoon-worthy stories that were submitted.
So, I present to you, the summer romance stories that made me feel more hopeful about that weird thing we call love:
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1."After a particularly harsh breakup and a subsequent stint of figuring myself out, I decided to get back onto dating apps. He was one of my first matches on Tinder. We hit it off instantly over texts, so we decided to meet for coffee in real life. It was a little awkward at first, mostly because I was super anxious due to my past experience, but he made me feel comfortable soon enough. We talked, went for a walk around town, went for drinks, talked some more, and what was supposed to be a quick coffee date turned into a whole afternoon. At some point, talking inevitably turned into flirting — hands were touching, and in what was a pretty damn romantic move on his part, he suddenly spun me around in the middle of the street, pulled me close, and we kissed.
2."He was a camp counselor, and I was the swim teacher. We met on the first day of camp, and I instantly felt something. He was exactly what I was looking for in someone, and it felt like we were twin flames. We would talk all night after camp ended, and it was magical. He was my best friend. We hung out after work and did all the typical summer fling stuff — fishing, dinner, s'mores — and I didn't want it to end. He told me two weeks before camp ended that he'd just gotten word he was accepted to study aboard in Shanghai for two years. I was crushed, but so happy for him because he wanted to go and study architecture. The last day of camp, he gave me two things: a box of cards to mail him detailing my adventures, and money for a plane ticket to visit him.
3."After graduating college, I randomly applied to work at a national park to treat myself to an adventure. I was having the time of my life. I wasn't even thinking about dating, but one of the park wranglers started flirting with me. I didn't pay much attention to him at first. But once we hooked up, it was like a tornado. I could write a novel about that summer.
"He was a legit wrangler, too — no bank account, didn't talk much, crooked smile, couldn't read or write, and took trains of mules by himself into the high Sierras alone for days. I could go on about what happened between us, but I won't.
"I still think about him. I wonder how he's doing."
4."I still remember my summer fling from about 10 years ago. He was my best friend's cousin, and I fell for him so quickly. He came to live with them for a summer and wanted a summer job that was close by that he could just walk to. And that's when my dad hired him to do yard work. He did a great job, was very nice to everyone, and I felt like he had feelings for me, too. On his lunch break, we would go in the woods to the pond and just relax and get to know each other. It turned into a lot more by the end of that summer. And I will never forget him."
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5."I was 19 years old looking for a part-time job, and the literal circus came to my city. A friend got me a job there as an usher. There was a whole family working there — the mom managed a stand, one of the sons was a vet for the circus animals, and this other guy was a magician apprentice and also managed some of the lighting. The magician apprentice was so handsome and charming. He swept me off my feet the minute I saw him. I was shy, so for the first couple of weeks, I admired from afar. I watched how he did magic tricks to the others, and every time our eyes met, he'd smile at me, and I'd just melt. We started to talk, and after one party with the rest of the local crew, he pulled a cab for me and accompanied me home to make me feel more safe. That's where we first kissed. We were inseparable after that. He showed and taught me all about the circus, even where they kept one of their tigers. It didn't end well though.
6."I'd been alone for three years, and during that summer of 2015, I'd already had two failed romances. I tried a dating site, but I didn't like their matches. So, I found my own. He was from Florida; I was in Texas. He was a truck driver and was going to be in Houston, and wanted to meet. I was so nervous. I figured if it didn’t work out, it would be my last fling for the summer. And now, next month will be our seven-year anniversary.
"I saw a huge rainbow during my drive to meet him for the first time, and I took that as a good sign. When I saw him, I wanted him. He has since told me he felt the same way. We consider ourselves lucky."
7."I met my summer romance on a small island in Maine when I was 16 years old — both our families owned a second home there. We spent every summer golf carting, playing tag with our group of friends, and listening to music by bonfires. I was obsessed with him from the very moment I met him. We'd lock eyes, and my stomach would drop. Unfortunately, he lived in Florida, and I lived in Canada. Every summer was like a dream, and then we'd have to both move on with our lives. It was heartbreaking. During a few of those summers, he showed up with his college girlfriend, and I showed up with my college boyfriend. It was awkward because deep down we both knew we would always really like each other. After he graduated college, he moved to Maine without telling me.
8."I was home from college for the summer and decided to get a job at our local Starbucks. During my interview, I literally smelled a guy that walked by and instantly fell in love before even seeing his face. I got the job, and learned he was one of the store’s most beloved employees that everyone pined after. After a few weeks of just staring at him longingly and never actually saying anything, I bravely walked up to him after work and said, 'Do you want to bang?' He looked deeply into my eyes and was quiet for a moment, then said, 'Sure, but can I take you out to dinner first?'
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"I said yes, jumped in his car, and we drove off into the sunset. It was hands down the best dinner I had — we spent all night talking, spent the night together, then showed up to work together in the morning. We repeated that every week until it was time for me to go back to school.
"I had so much fun, and we had so much pure physical chemistry that honestly, I can’t even remember what he looks like, just how instantaneously gushy that quiet barista boy made me feel!"
9."I met my ex-lover on Memorial Day weekend four years ago. I fell in love with him instantly. He was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen, and our attraction was off the charts. There were two obstacles: He was 28 years older than 29-year-old me, and he had a girlfriend. We had an intense, passionate summer romance anyway. It was the best sex of my life. I moved away for a job and assumed that would be the end of it, but we continued to see each other whenever we could. I knew that he wouldn’t leave his relationship. I felt guilty about what we were doing, but I couldn’t bring myself to walk away. I moved back home during the pandemic, and we spent more time with each other. Our feelings deepened, but still, he wouldn’t leave his girlfriend. As the country began to reopen in the spring of 2021, I made the decision to break up with him. I was heartbroken. I desperately wanted to stay with him, but I was tired of never being a priority.
"So yeah, a summer romance turned into a three-year saga that left me broken-hearted. The worst part is that I still think about him, and part of me hopes he misses me and wants me back."
10."I can’t get it out of my head. Two years ago, I worked as a counselor at a summer camp and got close with the counselor for the brother unit to my girls group. We went out for about a month during camp. We snuck around at night, on our days off, and behind the kids' backs. He was my first love, the first guy I was seriously attracted to, and the first guy to actually make me feel sexy and attractive. I felt like we completed each other, and we had our inside jokes. We were into the same things. It was like we were kindred spirits. We tried to stay friends and keep in touch after I went back to my home country, but with the pandemic at its peak and both of our busy lives, it fizzled out. I still dream of traveling to his hometown and reuniting with him, and continuing from where we left off.
11."12 years ago, I met an English boy who came to the States to coach soccer through an exchange program. My long-time friend's family was his host family. My friend's mom invited me over because she wanted him to get to know some people his own age. We hit it off instantly. Then one day, she sent us to get propane for the barbecue. We got caught in an absolute downpour outside the fill station, and ended up huddled under a tent shoulder to shoulder, trying to not get soaked. He grabbed my hand, we locked eyes, and smiled at each other. We were inseparable after that. As strange as it sounds, in that moment, I knew that this was not the first time I'd loved him — he and I had loved each other in many other lifetimes. He went home after that summer, and I stayed stateside. Our lives went on, but we've remained friendly.
12."It was back in high school, when we were both 'good' church-going kids, so we never went all the way, which was fine with me. It was no-pressure experimenting. We went separate ways after high school. I feel guilty that I still remember it because it was almost 20 years ago, and we both are happily married with great families of our own now. I occasionally see her and secretly think how beautiful she still is."
13."My family goes camping up north every year, and a guy friend I had a massive crush on happened to also go up north at the same time at a cabin only five minutes away. One night, he stole his dad's truck and told me to meet him at this boat launch down the road. So, I snuck out of my tent and met him on the dock. This was quite a bit up north, and when there’s a clear sky, like there was this night, you can see a wild amount of stars, as well as some cloudy bits of the Milky Way. I asked him why he wanted me to meet him there, and he just pulled me in and kissed me. It was straight out of a movie as the moon and stars shone down on us and the waves crashed against the dock.
14."In the summer of 2016, I was working in Denmark. I had gotten out of a long-term relationship the year before, and I'd been feeling a bit lost. So after the job, I took a long weekend local leave in Copenhagen. My first night there, I went to a bar and ended up talking to this super hot American guy. He had flown there the previous day to start backpacking for a month around Scandinavia. He was way out of my league, but we hit it off. We kissed goodbye long and hard on a busy street in the city center. It was the most liberating, empowering thing I'd ever done because I had never been comfortable with being publicly out or with PDA. Literally, no one cared or even looked at us, and that only added to the moment. For the first time ever, I felt normal and valid and like I could see the real me.
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"We ended up spending all our time together — we did tourist things, held hands in public (another first for me), had a couple pretty steamy nights, and I'd stay awake to feel him fall asleep in my arms. One evening, we were walking back to my hotel, and the heavens opened up for a downpour. We dashed to a doorway for shelter, and we held each other giggling as were in the rain.
"We knew it was a holiday romance, but we just enjoyed it all for the moment. I watched him leave on the train, and I've never forgotten him."
15."I was 13 years old and on a school trip to France. We were eating an early dinner at a restaurant in Normandy when I noticed a boy around my age staring at me from across the restaurant. He winked at me. I had no idea what to do because I was, you know, 13. When we were all leaving later, he came over and introduced himself — he was from the area and was out with his older brother. He complimented me a lot, then asked if he could kiss me before I walked out! It was all very innocent, but also the most romantic thing that’s happened to me."
16."In my hometown, they have a baseball world series for the Colt league, teen boys. When I was in high school, I met a guy on the team from Puerto Rico. We really hit it off and spent a lot of time together. I went to all of his games. I had someone to cheer for, I gave him my necklace with my name on it, and I even met his whole family and had dinner with them. Obviously, this only lasted for the couple of weeks he was in town, but we wrote and sent cards to each other and talked on the phone from time to time for about a year. He went on to join the Texas Rangers farm team, and called me from the road. It was the perfect, innocent teen summer romance."
17."There’s this guy that I have known since high school, and we're still friends. I was recently single, living with roommates, and he just moved away to Sacramento with his then-girlfriend. He would come back to visit his family every month, and when he did, he didn’t seem happy with his relationship. He ended up breaking it off with her and moving back. A few months later, it was my roommates’s birthday, and he showed up. The whole night, it was just me and him talking. Even other people noticed the sparks we had and how we didn’t talk to anyone else but each other. At the end of the night, I walked him to his car. We laughed, stared at each other, and kissed. I always knew that we had something, but we never confirmed it. This went on for a month. We would hang out and kiss, nothing else, and enjoyed each other’s company until I finally had the courage to ask what we were doing. He never gave me an answer.
"So then, at that point, I kind of ended it. I felt like it wasn’t worth pursuing it even though I still had feelings for him. Then, someone else came in to the picture and married him.
"To this day, I always wonder what would have happened if we had continued our summer romance, or if he had given me an answer. I wonder what our life would be like. To me, that feeling is very special."
18."I was working abroad as a holiday rep, and he was a fellow Brit working in one of the bars. I’d just come out of a stagnant long-term relationship, and he was at the right place at the right time. I had proper butterflies when we kissed. We had incredible sex and tons of fun together all summer. He was exactly what I needed, and I went home from the season with a renewed confidence in myself. We saw each other a couple of times after we got back, but it just wasn’t the same. I wanted to remember just the good side of what we had, so I ended it."
19."The highlight of my young life was spending summers at the neighborhood pool. I fell hopelessly in love with a boy from Rhode Island who would spend the summers with his aunt in California, and they would frequent this pool, too. We had an awkward little flirtation going on, and we would play cards together during the swim breaks. I still remember thinking about him and getting butterflies for the first time. I went on vacation with some friends toward the end of the summer, and came back determined to make a move, whatever that meant in sixth grade. It turned out I had just missed him, and he was already back home. The next summer, I was so excited to see him again. After all, I had started middle school — I was a woman now. But the first day back, I found out his aunt had moved, and I never saw him again.
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"To this day, I swoon over east coast accents."
20."I went to a church camp my last summer before college, and a boy there was about to head off to Army boot camp in two weeks. He was desperate to find a wife before he went, and courted me hardcore. I was shy and insecure then, so I was flattered by the attention. Then, on the last day of camp, he dropped to one knee and proposed. I started laughing uncontrollably.
"I feel bad about that in retrospect. The poor kid was just trying to live out a fantasy of the newlywed soldier, and obviously, had built up our connection considerably more so than I had.
"I hope he did well in his personal and military life. But I didn't even know his last name, so marriage wasn't an option."
21."During college, I interned in a city that happened to be home to many kids from my school. I started chatting online on AOL Instant Messenger with a guy a year younger than me who I knew of, but didn’t know much about. We dated all summer, and he made what was sure to be a boring summer (very little extra money to do much) far more interesting and fun. I remember telling my friends about him, and they were surprised at the pairing. They talked about him as bouncing around between girls and basically being a player. To me, he was attentive and sweet, and we had a lot of fun, and I got no whiffs of him seeing anyone else. Then we got back to school, and it all started to make sense.
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"We didn’t really go back to school with any discussion of if things would continue, but soon, I was swept into the mix with two other women he was seeing, and it went downhill from there. I’d hoped we’d keep dating exclusively, and he was happy to be back on the prowl.
"I was head over heels for him and did some dumb things because of it. However, he taught me a lot about sexuality and gave me some new experiences that were actually helpful in the long run of learning about myself sexually. I still can’t listen to some music from that time without feeling a twinge of the heartache he caused, even though it’s been 15 years since.
"I’m happily married, and we’re not even in contact anymore. I don’t know that I’d do it again if I had the chance to do it over, but it definitely was an experience that will always stick with me."
22."I was heartbroken and decided to go home to see my family. I was swiping through Tinder and matched with this gorgeous guy. We met up for drinks, and just hit it off like we had known each other forever. He even ended up meeting my mom that night! When we kissed, it was nothing short of electric. When it was time for me to head back home, we shook hands and wished each other good luck. He asked for my number, but just to chat because neither one of us wanted to do long distance, and I was cool with that. Except we would talk every single night. For hours. And very quickly, the long-distance friendship turned into something special — that was five years ago. And in September, we’ll be celebrating our second wedding anniversary.
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23."I’m still living my summer romance. I got a travel rep job straight out of university. After a six-month stint in freezing Lapland, I decided to take a summer position in Italy. I loved Venice and wanted the tour guide position. Every Monday, I would get up at 5 a.m. and take guests to Venice for the day, dropping them back strategically around the lake until I finished in Limone. We would always end up in the same bar for a well-deserved drink, and let me tell you, I was not at my most presentable after all-day traveling and ferrying people about. But there was this friendly waiter who would always take time to talk to us. He made a good impression on me, but I was super shy with guys I liked and never thought to ask him out or anything. But one night, when we were all out, I saw that waiter at a bar. I decided to use my Dutch courage that night, and asked to dance with him.
24."It was the summer between high school and college. A FIFA World Cup was heating up, and I decided to take a trip from Buffalo, New York back to Boston. I had moved in the middle of my high school sophomore year to Buffalo, but kept in touch with enough people from my previous high school to make this nostalgic trek worth it. When I had first left Boston, he was seared into my memory as a short, annoying, wannabe stand-up comic that I only put up with since he was in my orbit. Not very nice, I know. But when I came back, he had morphed into a smart, cute, kind, and genuinely funny guy. After some flirting and group outings, I asked the friend I was staying with if she would be ok with me spending the night with him. Cue the cheesy montage of long, deep conversations, walks in the woods, impromptu meals, and an over-nighter that ended with us falling asleep to Toy Story 3.
25."It was the first summer of the pandemic, so nothing much was going on. The world as I knew it was on pause. Everyone in Quebec City was into outdoor activities like walking, hiking, camping, and hanging out by the St. Lawrence River, including me. On the last day of July, an epic thunderstorm completely cleared the beach by my apartment. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, waiting for the rain to stop, when a man so heart-stoppingly handsome walked by and headed for a picnic table under a massive pine tree right by the water. It was like destiny called me to him. I got out of my car, and we ended up talking for hours until the sun fell. He was smart, passionate, articulate, and he smelled good, too. As the full moon reflected in his silvery blue eyes, I knew I was all in. We didn't exchange contact info, but we met again: He became my mailman.
26."It was the last summer in my hometown before going off to college. I worked at a farm stand, and the grandson of the owners who helped run the farm was 20 years old, 6'4'', and fit as hell. He was also super shy. Every evening as I was closing up the stand, he would come and just quietly help me. Then one night, he asked me if I wanted to come with him to check out some irrigation in the fields. And after checking out the irrigation, we were inseparable that summer. Lots of making out in his truck, sitting on his lap at parties in the woods, swimming in the river, and so on. When fall came, I went off to college 500 miles away, so that was the end of that.
27.And lastly: "I am older and happily married now, but years ago, I found everything I thought I'd wanted. I was living with my best friend the summer right after high school. She had an older brother who was so beautiful, and he was home from college for the summer. Her family was super close — family game nights, dinner together every night, movies once a week, the whole deal. I loved it because I had none of that growing up. Over time, her brother started to notice me, and we became really close. We started sneaking back into the pool after everyone else went to sleep, always teaming up during game nights, getting up extra early to cook breakfast together. It was so wonderful; we talked about everything and had no secrets. We thought we did a good job of keeping it hidden. We didn't. When fall came around, he started getting ready to leave. I was falling apart inside, though tried to hold it together. He was going through the same thing.
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"We tried our best to act like it never happened and went our separate ways. He dated someone else after he left, and I moved on, too. His sister was still my best friend, even after I moved out. I had a kid; he finished school. My kid's dad and I separated.
"My best friend's brother moved home after finishing school, and I was still over there a lot because his sister had a daughter the same age as mine. We got close again, but I was careful — I didn't want anyone to be around my kid that wasn't going to be around for a long time. But I saw him play with my daughter and with his niece. He was amazing, and so good with them.
"We decided to give it a real try, but kept it quiet. Turns out everyone knew, both times around. We were terrible liars, and both still are. We're married now and have four more kids, and my best friend is my sister-in-law now. I'd say it all worked out in the end."
What's the story of your own unforgettable summer romance? Or, are you in the middle of one right now? Let me know in the comments.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.