How were you supposed to know you were the only one catching feelings? Picture: Pexels

In the mood for summer loving? Be careful of a new dating trend that could leave you heartbroken, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

The holiday fling has become somewhat complicated. These days it’s no longer about sun-kissed romances and long walks on the beach. It’s become an intricate dance of Tinder matches and social media DMs.

It seems holiday flings are now made on dating apps. It’s no longer about the excitement and intrigue of meeting someone new. And now there’s a name for the summer dating trend - freckling.

Unlike a summer fling, this person never really disappears forever. They’ll be lurking on your social media for six months of the year, and when the weather gets warmer, they’ll slip back into your DMs.

When * Lynne met a guy on Tinder from Germany a few months ago, she was hopeful. He was in Cape Town on holiday, and she said they hit it off immediately.

“We met up the following day after we matched,” she said.

“He was here on holiday for about a month or so. We met up one night, and we really got along.”

They spent most weekends hanging out around the Mother City. And then things got serious - a few days into their fling he asked if she wanted to do a road trip with him. Her obvious reply was yes. “We’d do things together all the time. I honestly thought there was a spark there.”

But then she realised something was off. “When we got back to Cape Town, he had issues with his bank card, so we couldn’t meet up. When he got home, I heard from him for a short while, but then there was silence. Nothing.”

Louisa Niehaus is a psychotherapist with an interest in the psychology of love. She says it’s important to make your intentions known from the get-go.

But how do you tell if a budding summer romance will go the distance or maybe you’re being freckled?

Niehaus points to a few tell-tale signs you should be on the lookout for.

  • No pictures, please: A reluctance to appear together with you in photos or on social media.
  • Family is off-limits: A reluctance to talk about family and home life.
  • The mirror has two faces: People can create different personas on holiday, and because you may not know anyone in their circle, you would have no idea if they were cheating on you. If the only freckles you want are the ones on your face, best you stay away from this summer dating trend.

* Not her real name