Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor, Symmetry Counseling
As the saying goes, “If you want to learn if you are compatible with someone, travel together.” Traveling with your significant other is an opportunity to discover/rediscover aspects of their personality that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Being under the stress of buying plane tickets, finding places to stay, experiencing delayed or canceled flights, and being together 24/7 can display character traits that you have never imagined. You may experience a wide range of emotions that can make traveling together difficult. Throughout the rollercoaster of emotion traveling brings, it is important to assess how you work through these difficulties as a couple. Whether it is a weekend getaway, wedding, or a month-long trip abroad, the trip itself is important to your relationship as you will see your partner in a new light. Below are a few pointers to keep in mind if you are currently planning a trip with your significant other to help you navigate problems that may arise.
1. Plan Together
As you plan your trip together it is important to evaluate each other’s wants, needs, and expectations. People vacation differently, so keep in mind your partner’s personality and expectations. It may be helpful to sit down together at the beginning stages of planning and each discuss your own expectations for the trip including how much to spend, what to do, where to stay, etc. Planning your trip together rather than putting it all on one person can help you both feel included and less overwhelmed with the process.
2. Take Time To Rejuvenate
While being with your significant other for days on end seems romantic, it can also be exhausting and draining. Your partner may need more or less alone time than you and that is okay! Rather than being alarmed by you or your partner needing time apart, embrace it. Leave some room in your schedule for rejuvenation in whatever form that may be. Whether you need to go for a run by yourself or stay in the room alone, it is normal to have different needs. Try to be accepting of each other’s needs rather than seeing them as negatives.
3. Practice Patience
As many of you know, things do not always go as planned. Your flight might get delayed or canceled, your car might run out of gas, or your hotel may get overbooked leaving you feeling frustrated. Expect for things to not always go smoothly and when they don’t, have coping skills ready to use. Try using patience by utilizing breathing exercises, take a walk to cool off a bit, and actively listening to your partner in order to communicate effectively.
Traveling is an opportunity to learn about each other, but it is also an opportunity to bond in a new way. As you explore the city, town, or experience new things make sure you take time to experience each other and bond. Hold hands when you are walking around, put the phone down for a few minutes, and take breaks from everything to reminisce about the fun times you had on the trip. Being in the present with your significant other will help strengthen your bond and focus less on the things that haven’t gone “perfect” on your trip.
If you are currently planning a trip with your significant other, try some of these tips. If you feel like you need some more guidance, it may be helpful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to schedule an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!