Relationships and Traveling as a Couple
It is possible to meet a similar-minded spirit as you travel, but the nature of movement often means that intense relationships don’t last. Occasionally they do, but it takes a lot more effort when you’re planning for constant movement and trying to make ends meet. For couples, traveling together can seriously test a relationship – though many find it to be a strengthener over all.
DEALING WITH FIGHTS as a TRAVELING COUPLE (excerpted from BlondeAbroad.com)
Fights are an inevitable part of any relationship. No couple is perfect and no couple is without their own issues. Stress, unfortunately, is an impetus for fighting. Unexpected scenarios arise where you need to work as a team to find a solution.
Whatever it is that you tend to fight about as a couple at home, expect to fight about the same things while traveling.
Don’t worry about things that are out of your hands, rather focus on things you have control over. Stay conscious, and focus on positive resolutions that provide a reasonable outcome to any fight, argument, or disagreement that arises. This piece could have been more positively titled “How to Function in a Relationship”.
1. Stay Conscious
When feeling stressed, sometimes we snap at each other. Instead take a deep breath (or 10) and stay conscious. Everything will be fine.
2. Alone Time.
If you spend too much time with someone, you’re more susceptible to fighting. Minuscule, tedious things will start to get on your nerves for no reason at all.
So spend time apart. Go to the gym, play basketball, go to yoga, have a beer by yourself at a sports bar. Missing each other is nice.
3. Act of Love.
Treat the person you love exactly like that. For a relationship to be successful, and to properly handle fights while traveling, it is imperative you treat your significant other with love and respect. You may have won him/her, but never stop courting. Never lose the romance and those butterflies in your stomach.
4. Be OK with Being Wrong.
Even when you know for certain that you’re right. Occasionally we laugh and admit that we are wrong and at other times our egos get in the way and we attach our sense of identity to a particular position we hold. If your position is seen as being “wrong,” you take personal attack. Stop being so infantile, detach your sense of identity from your convictions and be ok with being wrong – even if you’re right. Is being right really worth the fight?
Surprisingly, if you’re not combative and you let the topic go, your partner might do some thinking and acknowledge you were right. Either way, it really doesn’t matter.
5. Be Mindful of One Another’s Emotions.
If you notice your partner is stressed, homesick, or just plain out of character, either give them space or console them. You ought to know what is generally the best solution, depending on them and their personality.
6. Don’t Fight in Public.
There are a few things everyone hates while traveling – a crying baby on an airplane and the second is probably a fighting couple. Public places aren’t a forum. Find a private place to sort out your problem.
No couple is perfect. Even with a healthy and loving relationship, you can fight about some stupid stuff sometimes. Apply the above and try to quickly resolve disagreements. Get back to kissing and joking with one another.
PERSONAL TIME for TRAVELING COUPLES (excerpted from BlondeAbroad.com)
No matter how much you love your partner, how much you enjoy spending every day with them, or how important it is to you that you experience things together, it is imperative to make time for yourself while traveling.
1. Too Much of Anything Can Cause Problems.
When spending too much time together, fights seem to create themselves. It is unhealthy to spend every moment together. Make time for yourself.
2. Keep Up With Your Hobbies and Personal Pursuits.
Whether it’s playing or watching sports, shopping or whatever you like to do, don’t let travel in a relationship allow you to quit your passions. Even if you’re in a foreign land where you can only find some derivative of your hobby, do it.
3. Be Strong Individually.
The stronger you are individually, the stronger you will be in the relationship. Two successful people who both make each other better people make the best couples. And those couples spend plenty of time apart, whether it is alone or with friends.
4. Maintain the Healthy Parts of Your Relationship.
Personal time isn’t just something you do at home, the same rules apply while traveling so keep up the healthy aspects and make room for personal time.
5. Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.
It’s really nice to miss your significant other and to feel missed. Seeing your lover after a day (or even just a few hours) apart is always refreshing.
HOW TO TRAVEL WITH YOU (IM)PERFECT MATCH (excerpted from Lonely Planet)
For travellers with a romantic streak, finding “the one” should, in theory, open the door to a lifetime of loved-up globetrotting.
But what if Cupid’s not so kind? What happens when you can’t stop squabbling about where to go, what to do and when to do it? Here are some suggestions.
Your Travel Styles Don’t Match
They say opposites attract, but if the two of you have opposite travel dreams, trying to plan and book a trip together can be a polarizing experience. Sun-seekers will not be impressed by your Nordic fjord proposal, the thought to staying in a party hostel dorm will leave introverts in a state of panic; and sporty types will be twiddling their thumbs before you can say ‘spa break’.
The Rescue: Compromise is the key here. You could form a rota system – heading to the Alps for a ski holiday one year and lounging on a Caribbean beach the next; or search for a place that combines both of your priorities. Spending time apart to pursue your own interests is a wise move and if that’s not possible in the same location, who’s to say you can’t go solo once in a while?
You Can’t Agree for Love Nor Money
Money issues can be a source of friction in relationships – and changing currency doesn’t help. While being abroad is a great excuse to splash out, thrifty partners won’t feel comfortable when the budget goes out the window.- and no one wants to spend their time bickering over a restaurant bill. Spending priorities can also be a sticking point; if you’re saving to move in together, for example, a three week jaunt to Australia could be a little difficult to justify.
The Rescue: Create a level financial playing field by starting a joint travel fund. Whether it’s adding pennies to piggy bank each month or opening a shared account, this way the total saved dictates the travel budget, rather than your salaries – and having a separate pot for travel savings means other nest eggs are left untouched. Consider heading to more affordable locations like SE Asia where luxury is available for less.
The Fuss Factor: Excuses, Excuses
Everyone is entitled to their personal quirks and qualms. But when your amour’s aversion to unfamiliar cuisine means they turn your nose up at anything vaguely exotic, or their fear of flying leads ot who continents being scratched off their travel wish list, one endearing idiosyncrasies suddenly become irritations.
The Rescue: Wannabe intrepid travellers must tread softly with a less adventuresome other half. Dismissing worries won’t work – neither does tell them to ‘chill out’, apparently – so try listening to them instead. Start small, venturing outside your comfort zones by trying new experiences and places closer to home. If you’re lucky, each step into the unknown will boost their confidence. And while you might not be venturing into the Amazon any time soon, you’ll be surprised what you can both achieve with a little patience and understanding.
One of You is a Control Freak
Minute-by-minute itineraries, strict morning alarms and territorial behaviour surrounding guidebooks, paperwork and passports. Sound familiar? If one of you has an insatiable need to oversee every detail, prepare for any eventuality and dominate all aspects of your time away, you may come home more stressed out than when you left.
The Rescue: If your sweetheart is the travel tyrant, you have two options. Go for the route of least resistance, letting your loved one reign supreme, and you won’t have to bother organising transport, visas or all that other time-sucking nonsense – but you’ll be slave to their every whim and want when you’re on the road.
Alternatively, show them you are capable and willing to help bear the travel planning load, and you’ll ease your guy or girl’s anxieties. Persuade over-planners to add some free time into the schedule as a compromise. Working as a team will bring you closer together and create a healthy dynamic for your relationship in general. Or you could always just head to India for the ultimate lesson in winging it.
If the control freak is you… loosen your grip. Travel know-it-alls are no fun.
Your Amour Isn’t in Love With Travel
And now, perhaps the most puzzling of predicaments: what’s the protocol when you fall in love with someone who is simply not fussed about travel? ‘Never gonna happen’, you may scoff – but believe it or not, there are people out there who to all intents and purposes seem like rational, sane, fairly attractive human beings, yet meet your talk of romantic getaways with indifference. Alarm bells ring, but it’s too late – you’re done for.
The Rescue: Their lack of enthusiasm can’t cover all aspects of life, so find out what their true passions are and combine them with your own. Keen runner? Tempt them with an international marathon. Art lover? Go to the Guggenheim. Whether it’s food, wine, music or wildlife, you will find a way to overcome their apathy. And while you may never share that unmistakable lust for the unknown, at least you can both enjoy the journey.