And while many people are interested in finding long-term love, having a variety of flings can actually help you to focus in on what you want in a mate, and what you don't.
Samantha Brett, author of Luv 'n Text: The Secrets of Text Appeal suggests that having all kinds of flings before you settle down is a great idea. "How else will you know what's out there? I wholeheartedly agree with the saying that you need to kiss a whole lot of frogs before you can get to your prince. How will you ever appreciate the nice guy without dating a bunch of bad boys first?"
Why is variety necessarily the spice for a good love life?
"The trouble with dating and then marrying your high school sweetheart is that you'll always be wondering what it would be like to be with someone else. Often affairs stem from boredom, curiosity or people just needing to get out of their comfort zone and experience something new for the sake of it. Flings also help you grow, meet new people, learn new things and work out what you do and don't want in a relationship. Just remember to be safe, not get too emotionally attached and always have your own agenda at the top of your mind," says Brett.
Dating expert Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was a Liar agrees. "There are lessons to be learned both about yourself and others in long and short-term relationships and while 'in a relationship' gets the crown when it comes to the most-desired Facebook status, there are some benefits to being in it 'just for fun' even if it's complicated.
"Going out and having fun with someone you aren't planning to date long-term offers a pressure-free chance to try new things and even mess up here and there without the heavy burden of worrying if he'll call again. You don't have to think about whether or not his mother will like you, and just like trying out several items at a buffet, you'll become better acquainted with your own tastes."
Below, you'll find our list of 7 flings you shouldn't miss.
The Foreign Fling
No mandatory fling list would be complete without the foreign hottie. That accent! The lure or the faraway and unknown! The knowledge that you only have a few weeks or months together and you'll never see each other again.
According to dating coach Brett, foreign flings are fabulous because, "You never have to see them again once you leave. You can be yourself or anyone you want to be, you can let loose of all your inhibitions and you don't have to worry about the repercussions."
Dancing on the tables? Check. Sex on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean? Check. Making out with someone you're not-exactly-positive but are about-87%-sure might be named Raphael? Check.
Unfortunately, Foreign Flings aren't always all margaritas and moonlight kisses. Sometimes, you meet someone you want to stay connected to.
Brett says, "If you genuinely fall in love, the complications involved when it comes to moving, keeping in contact and trusting them while you're visiting your folks at home, make for one tough relationship in the long-term."
The Out of Your Age Range Fling
Samantha Brett says the benefits of an Out of Your Age Range Fling are numerous. "You can learn new things, meet new people of a different age group and expand your mind. If they're older, they have more experience to pass on to you, and if they're younger they're more energetic and can make you feel young again."
The drawbacks? Brett says, "You're inevitably going to have different goals, wants, needs and values, which could sometimes be the deal-breaker. If it's just a fling, sometimes the communication can be difficult when you've got nothing much in common aside from horniness."
Life coach Nancy Michaels offers another take on May/December flings. "Men are looking for younger women -- more consistently than not. Agreed? There's a certain attraction that a younger woman has to a more mature man -- gentlemanly ways, maturity their younger male counterparts are often lacking, and then there's the cash-ola.
"They're usually well off and will think a younger woman is the bomb and will treat her accordingly in most cases. If physical intimacy isn't high on your list of things to do every night of the week, an older man may be just the ticket for front row seats on Broadway accompanied by low expectations in the bedroom each and every night. For some of us, this is a true blessing."
And mature women are finding fun in dating younger men as well.
Michaels says, "What woman do you know who wouldn't want a boy-toy on her arm and in her bed? These younger men make you feel young and vibrant, love your maturity and positive attitude toward life and love and they could be winning combinations for the right parties."
You might never be 26 again, but you can pretend for the night.
The Pretty but Shallow Fling
My own pretty-but-shallow fling came in the form of a world-class body builder with the IQ of a shampoo bottle. It was three delicious weeks before I just couldn't take it anymore.
According to Brett, the Pretty but Shallow fling offers "Fun in the sack, great sex and a good time had by all."
The downside? "Women tend to get emotionally involved after sex even if they knew at the outset that it was just supposed to be a shallow fling. It's the oxytocin that is released in our bodies when we have sex that does this and therefore it's unavoidable that we'll want to cuddle and possibly have his babies afterwards."
After consulting with five men on the subject of Pretty but Shallow Flings, the consensus was clear: Guys, there is apparently no downside.