Let’s say you have been dating someone with whom you have begun to feel comfortable spending extended periods of time. Perhaps you spend whole weekends together and developed your own rhythm and routine that feels easy and sweet to you both. So when you get a wedding invitation out of state or friends invite you both to come on a week’s vacation, you’re quick to take on this exciting and new step in your relationship.
You could just cross your fingers and hope for the best. Or you can go in a little prepared with some tips I’ve culled from years of experiences, both phenomenal and veering dangerously close to nightmarish.
1. While it is easier said than done: Don’t Expect a Fairy Tale Vacation.
There will definitely be romantic times and magical moments with your sweetie, but inevitable things can and will sometimes go wrong. You may drive a long distance before realizing you forgot your ticket. You might get lost, and things get heated when your phone GPS stops working. A disagreement with your host may mean you have to look for somewhere else to stay at the last minute. That’s why you have tip number 2!
2. Go With The Flow
If you’re used to having a lot of control over your environment and schedule, taking a first real vacation with a lover may be rough when things don’t always go according to planned. Learn to let go. Allow yourself to laugh when the GPS leads you a couple miles in the opposite direction. Sleep in and snuggle with your sweetheart in the mornings. Have a bit more wine than you usually do—it’s totally acceptable to giggle and frolic around like you’re 21 again. Expect that you probably won’t get to see every single site and attraction that you carefully surveyed for your list—so enjoy the surprise detours!
3. But…Plan With Your Partner in Mind
Even though you won’t be able to do everything, it helps to come up with a variety of things that both of you will be
interested in. Notice I didn’t say find things that just you want to do. Sure there will be things you’d love that your partner will just go along with to please you, but you must return the favor. Even better is finding activities that both of you enjoy, which is why it helps to do at least some of the planning together.
4. Leave Room For Time and Space Apart
One of the mistakes some couples make is to go from spending several hours together a few days a week to spending 24/7 and not expect some tension. If you’re a very independent person and suddenly have a shadow for a week, as much as you might care for this person, sometimes you just need a little time to yourself.
Instead of waiting until one or both of you have reached a boiling point, it helps to carve out some alone time into your schedule. This can be as simple as one person waking up an hour earlier and taking time to read, use the computer or phone, take a walk or spend time with others without you there. If you’re vacationing with others, the girls break off to do something together while the boys do their own thing. Or it might mean one afternoon you get some work done while your partner goes out to play poker.
Creating these pockets of space give a couple necessary breathing room, and I always find it’s nice to allow myself to miss my partner a little—it makes the mini-reunions that much sweeter.
5. Have Fun!
While this is last on the list, this should really be first on everyone’s mind: this is vacation with someone you care for and love spending time with. So…HAVE FUN!