Should you go on holiday with your romantic partner?
What better person to go on holiday with? They aren’t your family! They are not a person who has been forced on you! You got to choose them! So surely, a holiday with them is going to be the best. You will want to do the same things, eat at the same restaurants and spend the same amount of money. You’ll have support when talking to waiters and taxi drivers when there is a language barrier! When it rains, you can kill the time by having sex!
But it isn’t always that simple, is it? Even though holidays are the things we all do to relax and have a good time, ironically, they are also the most stressful events ever. Romantic relationships are the other stressful thing that we do in life for relaxation and a good time. So what happens when we put these two big life events together? We either have the best time, the worst time and/or a complete life changing time, for all different reasons.
What will happen when you have a holiday together?
If your relationship is good, of course there are going to be positives of going away together. (First of all, don’t go if you don’t feel compatible or good together. A holiday isn’t going to change that!)
Firstly, you get to plan something big together for the first time! This is a money commitment before you’ve moved in together, got married and had children! Of course, a holiday ends quickly and easily, unlike the others. However, getting money back that’s been spent on a holiday is difficult or near impossible.
While organising the holiday, you can figure out if you work well together as a team. Do you have similar preferences? If not all of the time, how do you negotiate together? This will be a first good indicator of how you will handle the tough situations in life, as a team.
You are probably not meant to be with Hugo if he wants to stay in a local campsite, despite his possible higher budget, but you want a comfortable luxury hotel.
Sharing big experiences
If you are early on in a relationship, you probably only really talk about things you have done separately in your life. You talk about the time you visited Hollywood and took a picture with James Dean’s star. She talks about Thailand and the monkeys. If you both go to Athens for the first time together, only you two have that memory of eating souvlaki in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. When you’re back, you have a story to tell your friends as a pair.
Even if you eventually separate, but your first holiday together was good, you’ll always have that memory with each other. Whenever you talk about visiting that place for the first time, they will always be in that memory and experience, vice versa. I know my ex-girlfriend only has the memories of several near death experiences in Corfu, at the hands of crazy taxi drivers, with me.
If you don’t breakup, you can share that first holiday memory with your children. In your wedding speech, you can talk about how all that first holiday stress, like her losing her passport, made your relationship firm.
Making it or breaking it
Planning and spending all that time and money together, will help you work out whether you are meant to be or not. Especially if you haven’t been together long. A holiday away together can make your relationship unnaturally grow, like a growth hack. This can make you want to say ‘I love you’ faster. Or you’ll have all the arguments you could have had a year down the line earlier on, and get a lucky escape.
For example, after only six months of being together, while they were in Vietnam, my sister thought her boyfriend had died on her. She is engaged to him now! What a better way to scare her into letting you put a ring on it? Gents, I am not saying you should all try to nearly die on your partner. This just shows the potential stresses that could be thrown at your relationship to test how you feel.
Spending two weeks on the other side of the world with someone you’ve only been with for a matter of months, could easily break you. If you fancy spending all that money to check if you are compatible with someone, go to a country with a completely different culture to yours, several thousand miles away. When tough things happen, such as nearly dying (but hopefully not as extreme) or being confronted with foreign ideas and events, the way your partner reacts will tell you a lot about how you could live the rest of your life together.
When and Where to go?
So, now you have decided that you will take the leap (or flight) of faith to go on holiday with them. However, is this moment the right time, and where should you go?
First of all, try and take the 1:1 relationship approach. This equates the assumed intensity of your relationship by how long you’ve been together, with how intense your holiday should be. So, if you have been together 1 month, go on a 1-night break, somewhere local. Then if you’ve been together 7 months, you could probably give a whole week away together a go.
Therefore, if you are a new couple, a weekend break to a country retreat here in the UK is probably ideal. If you don’t want the relationship to grow too unnaturally, go on a break with loads of activities to do. You could do wine tasting, rock climbing, horse riding, spa treatments. With constant activities on the go, you’re not constantly worried about solely occupying each other alone. Seriously, plan before you go.
If you’ve been together 7 months or longer, somewhere new and relaxing will probably be good for you. You’ve probably just passed the most intense wooing phase, so maybe it is just time to breathe together.
However, if you want to test this relationship, go wherever, do whatever. At the end of the day, if it is meant to last it will. If not, it won’t. So, you may as well get it over and done with and visit Antarctica or get lost in the Sahara Desert together.