I love holiday weekends. Combine a barbecue or two with friends, strolling the NYC street festivals, and a little poolside lounging if I’m lucky and Memorial Day weekend always feels like just the “staycation” I need right before summer starts heating up.

This weekend, I noticed something interesting about the single girls I was sidling past at my favorite watering holes. With their proverbial party hats on, they were determined to take full advantage of their own staycations—and for many of them, this meant loading up on physical flirtation, coy laughter, and sexual innuendos as if they were piling their plates at an all-you-can-eat man buffet. I caught one such single girl giggling to herself as she ordered a celebratory cocktail and was a bit surprised when she leaned close to me and confided, nodding towards the hunk in the corner, “He’s really not my type but c’mon—he’s so sexy! And hey, it’s a party!”

Now, who was I to tell her what to do? (Slow down. Get to know him. Remember that physical chemistry is only one of many attraction factors.) So I smiled and considered giving her my card but, by that time, she was already sashaying towards him with just a hint of mischief in her eyes.

Holiday weekend or not, Vacation (or Staycation) Syndrome is something I see a lot in the single girls I coach, and I remember it well from my own single days. Going off the excitement and energy you feel when you first connect with someone and sense an attraction, you throw caution to the wind and adopt my cocktail-toting friend’s attitude of “Hey, it’s a party!” This often means quickly adding sex to the festivities or looking at your new interest through vacation goggles—focusing on the heat you feel but forgetting about all the other levels of chemistry.

In his book Mars and Venus on a Date, Dr. John Gray lays out four types of chemistry—physical, emotional, mental, and soul chemistry. With vacation goggles on, physical chemistry reigns supreme, leading to one-night stands and, with that, the dreaded “walk of shame.” (A particularly painful experience in New York City.) Worse, even, is when relationships sped up by intimacy hit brick walls because they weren’t built with anything other than physical chemistry. Without emotional, mental, and soul chemistry, you can bet that your relationship will be as short-lived as a…vacation.

Please don’t get me wrong. If love is like cooking, you absolutely can’t do it without heat. (Unless you’re a raw foodie but that’s another post for another day…) But if heat’s all you have, you’ll end up feeling deeply dissatisfied, longing to “get away” on another vacation.

All vacations—and staycations, too—must come to an end. If you’re looking for a soulmate instead of a summer fling, take off the vacation goggles and look for a partner who makes each and every day a holiday. And stay tuned to the blog for more on Dr. Gray’s four types of chemistry.

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