Before taking time to think about what you hope for on a holiday, try to align your expectations to how you are as a couple at home. Most couples are having to compromise, acknowledge and deal with difference, communicate feelings without paying a price and think about what early experiences are triggering between the couple and becoming familiar arguments without resolution. A holiday will be the same two people with the same personalities having more couple time than at home.
Beyond the first couple of days in a holiday location when everything is different the same issues when buttons are pressed, resurface. Make allowances for the 24/7 exposure to each other. Even if you both work at home…there will be boundaries about space, intrusion and needs.
Descending into disagreements can happen quickly in an unfamiliar place. It is interesting to note that the ‘dream holiday’ is often seen as experiencing exciting and romantic new ways together. Yet one of the common anxieties on holiday is about something wrong with accommodation or food or unaccustomed noise. So while longing for change from everyday life at home, the unfamiliarity can become a trigger for a row.
Both people are different, have different ideas, needs and anxieties, usually rooted somewhere before they met. This will always be the case and it will be inflammatory to try and change each other. The romantic and intimate thing would be to celebrate the difference.
A few common things to discuss before setting off may be useful. This illustrates how people approach situations in their own unique way.
On time for travel with extra time for calm.
Running to departure as the doors are closing.
Queuing at check out with luggage to cover every need and eventuality.
Preferring to travel with a small carry on pack and boarding pass.
Chilling on a beach, dipping in and out of the water with a good book.
Needing to do ‘stuff’, see buildings and see everything educational in the area.
Planning meals in restaurants and wiling away the day in between.
Wanting simple salads in the evening and enjoying a picnic lunch.
Flights, trains and encountering traffic during car journeys are all beyond your control. This common fear needs to be handled by sharing the unknown as a couple and not as an individual. Both sides can then feel taken care of and less agitated.
A survey in 2016 said that 60% of couples questioned admit to fighting on holiday and shattering the dream. The advice given was to try and mirror your contact at home. Don’t feel the need to be glued together. Do some separate daytime pursuits, discussed the day before and meet later to eat together and discuss your day
The holiday arena is only a minefield of disappointments if there is no discussion beforehand about different expectations.
These are only a few suggestions to help towards harmony and growth of intimacy for the ongoing couple.
Adding the energy of small children, teenage and parental usage of mobile devices to the mix would be enough copy for another blog. In the Christmas holidays, where previous blogs have covered the skill needed to make a family Christmas go somewhere near to everyone in the groups’ expectations, there are more suggestions for helping the dream to happen.