Vacation can force couples to ask big questions. Credit: Getty
It’s nearing the end of summer, which means that a trip with someone you’re dating is likely in your near future or not-too-distant past. And sometimes the trip was planned as a romantic get away, but the actual experience may not have been so romantic. Maybe you couldn’t stop bickering and spent a good amount of time annoyed at each other. It starts out with the best intentions, but in reality, traveling can be tough on romantic relationships.
Quite simply, going away with someone illuminates many of the ways that two people can be different and those differences can cause serious friction. It’s the real-time answer to those “get to know you” questions that may not come up in your daily life. How do you like to relax? Do you fill your time with activities, or sleep a lot and do nothing? How do you like to eat — do you stick to salad because it’s bathing suit season, or chow down like a 15-year-old boy because vacay calories don’t count?
Vacation also makes you get real and ask: How much time in a given day do you need by yourself? How do you respond when your partner goes into introvert mode but you want to interact? Then of course, you add all the money you’re spending to be on this vacation and these issues are put in a pressure cooker — every second better be awesome.
The most potentially damaging force, however, is expectations. Chances are, both you and your partner have had fantasies about how the vacation would go. Then, without even expressing those ideas to each other, both of you can feel disappointed when things skew off course from how you imagined.
Traveling with a significant other can be just as stressful as it is romantic. But that doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, or you’re dating the wrong person. Two different people having one relationship is a challenge. But the more differences you unearth and learn to compromise on, the stronger the relationship will be.