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Is summer love the real thing? Can you meet your soul mate on a cruise, on an exotic vacation, or at the Starbucks down the street? Here are 10 ways to tell whether summer love is real love.

If you had the medical skills of Sheldon Cooper's frustrated girlfriend Amy Farah Fowler on CBS television's The Big Bang Theory, you probably could administer a brain scan that would determine whether love is real (and maybe this plot line will emerge in a future episode). But if you don't have access to an MRI machine to see if true love is on your intended's brain, here are 10 ways to tell whether summer love is the "real thing."

1. Long-term relationships are about more than the physical.

We certainly don't discount sexual attraction. Romance seldom blossoms without at least a hint of a physical relationship. But if your summer love seems only interested in your body, chances or his or her becoming interested in someone else's body when fall rolls around are high.

2. The emotional high from falling in love is about more than novelty.

Sometimes the emotion summer lovers feel is more about liberation than about falling in love. A change of setting, a change in the rules of day to day life, or a change in the people one sees every day can be just as exciting as "falling in love." But really falling in love is just as likely to happen in familiar settings as it is to happen in an exotic location.

3. Some people aren't the "fling" type.

Some people can have sex with a person just once and enjoy it. Some people associate sex with a deeper commitment and can't feel good about a one-night stand. When one partner has sex expecting a one-time experience and the other feels entitled to on-going attention and affection, the seeds of future trouble are planted. Make sure your partner understands your feelings about long-term relationships before you have sex, not only afterward.

4. People who are in love can talk with each other.

It's wonderful when you are so in tune with your lover than you can communicate needs and wishes without words. When this happens early in a relationship, however, a reality check may be in order. Unless you have psychic powers, you aren't likely always to know exactly what your date wants without having at least a little discussion. Never "needing" to talk can indicate a needy or manipulative partner, at least if you have only known each other a few days or a few weeks.

5. If you are turned on by the Tesla, the Porsche, or the beach-side condo, consider how you'd feel if your love didn't have them.

If you are primarily turned on by the material things your summer love owns (rents or borrows), then take a moment to consider whether you would continue to be turned on if these things were destroyed, stolen, or repossessed. Or if you are the person who owns the objects that attract attention, consider how you would feel if you lost both your property and your lover. A relationship based on externalities generally doesn't last longer than the things that attract attention. 

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