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10 Post-Dating Do's and Don'ts for August

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Tomorrow is the last day of July. I know, I know. WTF?!

Where did the summer go? Didn't you promise yourself that you were going to have The. Best. Summer. Ever. way back on Memorial Day weekend? So why has it passed by in such a blur?

This exact moment - the midpoint of the July-August stretch for which we so yearn during the other 10 months of the year - is a perfect time to sit back and take stock of your summer so far. Because if you realize that you haven't been having as much fun as you'd like, or in particular, that you haven't engaged in the sexy summer romances that you'd anticipated, then voilà! You still have a month to set yourself straight and make this a summer to remember.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of (the second half of) Summer 2010, within the context of the ambiguous-but-exciting post-dating world. Push yourself to follow these Do's and Don'ts, and watch as your summer starts to wind down with a mixture of romance, satisfaction, and memories that will leave a little smile on your face for the rest of the year.

10 Post-Dating Do's and Don'ts for August

DO fill your schedule with fun and low-pressure potential Group-Non-Dates by accepting any and all invitations to BBQs, birthday parties, outdoor movie screenings, music festivals and picnic outings in the park.
DON'T fill your schedule with awkward, formal, cringe-inducing dates that you don't want to be on. Life is too short, and the summer too full of awesome activities, to spend it praying that someone will pull the fire alarm at the trendy bistro where you're being forced to listen as your date rattles on about his job and his desire to live in the suburbs.

DO escape the heat by indulging in a little Techno-Romance and parking yourself in front of the AC while you start a Gchat conversation with the cute guy on your kickball team (yes, the one who you've only talked to at the bar so far).
DON'T escape the heat by locking yourself up at home and catching up on America's Got Talent.

DO hang out with an intriguing new member of your gaggle, even if he is only in town for the summer and isn't realistically an obvious, easy choice to fulfill the future husband role.
DON'T hang out with an intriguing new member of your gaggle and immediately begin envisioning ways that the two of you can make a serious, committed relationship work once summer turns to fall.

DO plan your "work drinks" with a new professional contact at a charming, laid-back outdoor bar. Might as well set the mood for a potential Networking-Non-Date!
DON'T plan your "work drinks" with a new professional contact at a stuffy industry spot that would be ideal in November. If your first meeting goes well, then you'll also have a chance to meet up in November - for work purposes, and for who knows what else...

DO promise yourself that you'll pursue summer-specific interests (surfing, hiking, reading books on lovely porches with an iced tea at your side, etc.) that won't necessarily "find you a man," but will make you feel happy and fulfilled and ultimately lead you to become a more interesting, unique, lovable person.
DON'T promise yourself that you'll master the interests of that hot guy at your coffee shop after having one quick conversation with him about his love of white water rafting while waiting in line for your iced latte.

DO talk to everyone you can possibly meet while on vacation. You never know when you'll bump into a guy who ends up being in your gaggle!
DON'T talk to your friends - and only your friends - as you sit by the pool at your hotel, whining to them about the guy who recently blew you off at home. You'll deal with him later, but commit to living in the moment for now.

DO post photos of your summer exploits on Facebook, sporadically and when appropriate, to show potential admirers that you're fun and adventurous and to give them an opportunity to comment, "like," and weigh in on the cool stuff that comprises your life.
DON'T post photos of you and every guy you've met this summer on Facebook. It will scare off other guys and give friends, co-workers and (like it or not) family members the impression that you might be having a little too much fun this summer.

DO utilize your remaining Summer Friday hours to get out of work early, sit at an outdoor cafe or bar with a friend or a guy in your gaggle, and watch as the world goes by. Soak everything in and get excited for your weekend - summer works best when you have a fun, positive, and optimistic attitude.
DON'T utilize your remaining Summer Friday hours to get a ton of work done while everyone else is out of the office. The work isn't going anywhere, but the summer is.

DO take advantage of the more casual summer atmosphere by embracing any romantic ambiguity and inviting your Boyfriend Prospect (or any other member of your gaggle) on a Non-Date.
DON'T take advantage of extended happy hours to drunkenly muster the courage to tell your Boyfriend Prospect how you really feel.

DO allow yourself to have a little more fun than usual, and to flirt a little more blatantly. It's the summer. You should be relaxed and overflowing with Vitamin D. It's not the time to take everything so seriously.
DON'T allow yourself to ignore your personal standards and forget about your usual codes of decency and conduct just because summer is supposed to be a blast. It's a season, not an alternate universe where your questionable actions will have no consequences.

The summer clock is ticking. So go out and make the most of the sunshine right now! Apple picking time is just around the corner.

For more on summer in the post-dating world, check out