Whether it’s your first weekend getaway or that highly anticipated, much-romanticized honeymoon trip, travel puts serious pressure on your relationship. Even one high-stress trip can result in painful rifts that hurt you as a couple.
Your first trip will not only reveal your compatibility as a twosome, but ultimately how you might relate as a long-term or married couple. Lack of shared interests or willingness to explore each other’s interests can surface early – and paying attention to little conflicts that come up can help couples avoid bigger hassles down the road.
Trouble signs to watch
Here are some red flags that marriage and couples therapy experts suggest you pay attention to while you’re on that big getaway.
- Does your partner want to do the same things you do? If not, can s/he introduce personal preferences into the mix in a respectful and cooperative way?
- Does s/he roll with unexpected delays and problems or excessively complain when your plans go awry?
- Does s/he treat hotel and restaurant staff with respect – or react with temper tantrums if things don’t go perfectly?
- Does s/he spend more time saving money than having fun?
If you see these behaviors on vacation, chances are good they’ll show up when you’re back home too, experts note.
Travel allows you both to grow
Traveling can be fun because you get to spend a lot more time with your partner. This gives you the chance to try new things and learn how to be there for one another.
That’s what a good relationship is all about: Give and take, learning and adapting. Negotiating your differences respectfully. How well does your mate do this while you’re traveling? Noticing how easily s/he can go with the flow and enjoy novel activities is a good indicator of how well things are going – or, if you’re new to one another, how they may go in the future.
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