As the weather gets nicer, it's easy to get nostalgic for the years where your summer plans consisted of bonfires, awkward dances, trunks full of cotton shorts and late-night truth or dare. Yes, we're talking about summer camp. And beyond the obvious pluses of getting to spend two months outdoors without your parents doing tons of fun and creative activities, camp romances will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Here are 24 reasons that dating at camp is way better than dating in real life:
1. You never have to dress up for a date.
No makeup or new clothing necessary. And guess what? Your crush will like you just as much as if you dolled yourself up.
2. The commute to your date is super short (or virtually nonexistent).
No subways, no car rides, no trains. Just a hop, skip and a jump over to your crush's cabin.
3. Two words: Camp Goggles.
4. Your crush has already seen you at your worst emotionally -- and likes you anyway.
Who among us hasn't broken down crying from exhaustion, homesickness, a bee sting or a fight with your best friend?
5. He or she has also seen you at your worst physically -- and likes you anyway.
Post ropes-course sweat is just so attractive.
6. Every date is free.
No need to awkwardly negotiate who's going to pay at the end of a date. Summer camp is all-inclusive and already paid for.
7. You and your beau have the same schedule.
It's tough to find an evening to meet up in the real world -- jobs and friends and doctor's appointments and social obligations get in the way. At camp, you know exactly when you're going to run into your crush.
8. There's no pressure for your relationship to "become anything" beyond camp.
If you want to keep your summer lovin' going past August, you can. But the beauty of camp romances is that you enter them with few long-term expectations, and that can be quite liberating.
9. But whether your love lasts two days or two weeks or two months or two years, you know those emotions are REAL.
Everyone still has a little love for their first camp love, regardless of whether you're still in touch.
11. You very quickly learn your crush's strengths and weaknesses.
Talent shows reveal all: great dancer, bad singer.
12. There are built-in dinner dates.
And lunch dates... and breakfast dates...
13. You already know each other's friends.
And you all hang out together, whether you like them or not -- but you probably adore them.
14. The lack of privacy forces you to take things slow in the "bedroom" (aka bunk bed).
And that can be a really wonderful thing.
15. If an awkward situation arises between you two, you're forced to face it head-on.
There's no avoiding each other. You know you'll see your love interest tomorrow at breakfast.
16. CUDDLING. So... much... cuddling.
You will never cuddle more in your life than at camp. Every bonfire provides a new opportunity to snuggle.
17. Your camp counselor is basically a free on-site therapist.
No matter what happens someone (a bit) older and wiser will be there to talk you through every kiss and every breakup.
18. Your female bunkmates will give you the most honest, no-frills sex advice.
Camp can be an incredible place to experiment in a healthy way without judgment, and process those experiences with your friends and counselors.
19. You can date your boyfriend or girlfriend's best friend the next session, and it's totally fine.
No judgement, guys. A week at camp is like a year IRL.
20. There are so many built-in romantic moments.
Fireworks on the 4th of July? Sunsets over the lake? Stargazing? You don't even need to try.
21. You have to do all your communicating for real, face to face.
Any relationship talks have to happen in person. No texting, no ignoring each other, no uncomfortable phone calls. (The "fade away" does not exist at summer camp.) You learn how to speak to someone about things that matter face-to-face.
22. You and your crush can't lean on alcohol as a crutch when getting to know each other.
Three glasses of white wine can convince you that you connect with ANYONE. At camp, you're on your own -- and all the better for it.
23. Camp gives you the opportunity to have a healthy goodbye.
As important as learning to be in first love is learning to bid adieu to that love.
... and a wedding party full of your best camp friends.