By Valeria Vilar, MA, BEd, LMHC
The first vacation as a couple is a very expected and dreamed of time for many people. Some days of relaxation and romantic walks by the ocean are some of the pleasant plans couples normally share during their holidays. But spending so much time together may also turn into a conflict situation, mostly, when the couple is not used to share so much time together without spaces of being apart from one another.
The first trip together may result as stressful as moving to a new house or having a baby. Generally, the expectations are very high on both sides, and at the same time, some may feel doubtful of making the decision of going away together. Hence, leaving on vacation together may turn into the best experience you’ve ever lived, or a complete frustration.
In order to be ready for this experience, it is advisable to be prepared to:
The main object of a vacation trip is to take a break. For that purpose, it is not enough to go thousands of miles away, it is also necessary to be prepared to cut with your work and routine as well as all stress causing situations that are part of our regular life. Staying in touch with work, family and commitments will not allow either of you to fully relax; and you will become irritable and more sensible to any problems during your trip. So now you know, disconnect and enjoy!
Communication is essential in a couple’s relationship, anytime, anywhere, even during vacation. It is important to be careful of what you say and what you don’t say. During holiday trips, it is not a good idea to bring to the table discussions that represent a conflict between you; leave those for the daily routine. Talk about trivial matters, about fun things, and about things you both enjoy, as well as plans and projects you both want for your future. But mostly, take this time to share and talk, regaining that quality time that daily routine takes from us.
- Avoid stress
As contradictory as it sounds, vacation time can also bring stressful situations. For this reason, your main goal is to avoid stress and to not bring it along in your trip. One way to do this is to plan with time. Plan which places you will visit, and what activities you will do, this includes making hotel and air flight reservations, among other things. This minimizes unexpected situations and worries during your trip.
- Give each other some space
The first trip together does not mean you need to stay together the whole time. This sure is an opportunity to enjoy the time together that you don’t get through the rest of the year, but it is important to keep in mind that if any of you needs some alone time, you should be able to get it without triggering long faces or complaints. You should understand that adapting to new situations may be harder for one of you than for the other. For this reason, understanding, respect and acceptance are basic ingredients for the dream vacation.
Prepare yourself to enjoy and keep your sense of humor alive. Your partner will discover and learn many things about your likes, and the things you are used to do during this time together. After sharing a trip together you will be better able to understand the personal routines of each other, and if some misunderstandings had come up among you, you will have time to work them together. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind that in a couple’s relationship it is fundamental to be engaged in the situation and to plan together for these new experiences. This reinforces you commitment capabilities.