Romantic getaways are probably on your mind. After
all, youâ€™ve got a honeymoon coming up. And everyone knows that a trip for two
is a great way to nurture your relationship. When wedding planning threatens
to take over your life, getting away can get your perspective back. But beware
the little talked about secret: couples travel doesnâ€™t always turn out the way
you envision. Your relationship issues travel right along with you, often
magnified by the dynamics of a trip. Here are some pointers on how to handle
some common problems, so your trip will be not just romantic, but an
experience that brings you both closer together.
Make sure you are both looking forward to the same trip.
Looking at brochures for a stunning destination, you canâ€™t imagine feeling
anything but bliss when you get there. If itâ€™s sunny, beautiful, and you donâ€™t
have to go to work, how can you miss?
The truth is, life is in the details, at home or away. The bliss comes from
what you actually do when you get there. Thereâ€™s trouble in paradise when one
person is an adventurer and the other wants to be pampered. Or one is an
athlete and the other a culture buff. If youâ€™re looking forward to a week of
water-skiing and parasailing, youâ€™re not going to be very happy when your
fiancĂ© grabs the sun lotion and heads for the beach bar. Before you go, make
sure you are on the same page with at least a few activities.
Get ready for the incredible expanding personalities.
Travel has a way of amplifying all your preferences, quirks, and insecurities.
At home, youâ€™ve each created a comfort zone of routines to meet your needs. It
works so seamlessly, youâ€™re probably not even aware of all of each otherâ€™s
needs. When you take away those routines, youâ€™ll see all sorts of anxieties
come out to play.
And your quirks will loom larger when youâ€™re with each other 24/7. Are you a
bit shy? In a situation where everyone is a stranger, this will be more
obvious. If your partner is repeatedly forced to take the initiative to
communicate with others, he might start to find this trait annoying rather
Maybe your fiancĂ© is devoted to his daily run. Itâ€™s something he needs to do
to feel alert and healthy. Your feeling is, thatâ€™s something he could do
anywhere. You hardly think itâ€™s worth postponing a sightseeing excursion so he
can get his run in. At home, his perceived lack of flexibility is not a
problem. On vacation, it can drive you crazy.
You can smooth the way if you expect that little things will turn into big
things. Your fiancĂ© gets cranky for some reason unfathomable to you? Try not
to react. Slow down, be supportive, and find out whatâ€™s bothering him. And
when youâ€™re the one whoâ€™s feeling like youâ€™ve lost your bearings, let your
partner know what you need without blaming him for anything. Itâ€™s natural for
a trip to test your flexibility. Try to expect this and even welcome it. If
you do, youâ€™ll get to know each other much better than you would at home.
Take turns being the tour leader. This is a wonderful way to get to know each
other better and enrich your experience. Chances are one of you takes more
initiative in planning your trips. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that if youâ€™re
both OK with it. But you might find it more interesting if you take turns
leading and following. If youâ€™re the planner, you would probably enjoy just
going along without all the responsibility for once. You would end up doing
something that you wouldnâ€™t have thought of on your own. And you would learn
something new about how your partner thinks about things. If youâ€™re the
follower, see what itâ€™s like to get your creative juices going by planning an
excursion. Youâ€™ll find desires and talents you didnâ€™t know you had. And youâ€™ll
feel more invested in the trip.
So go ahead and book that getaway for two. Just remember to be a romantic
realist. With a little know-how, you can turn vacation relationship stress
into an opportunity to deepen your connection with each other. Bonus: If you
master the art of traveling together now, imagine what a honeymoon you will
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