What you should know before you go on holiday with a new partner
If you and your new love interest are enjoying each other’s company it’s natural to want to spend all the time you can together, rather than just the occasional evening or weekend. Early in the relationship, especially if you live far apart, a holiday can seem like the perfect solution.
In order for it to be a positive and enjoyable experience it’s worth putting some time and effort into the planning. It’s important that you both have equal input and the holiday is something you embark on ‘together’ rather than all the emphasis being on one person. You probably don’t know each other well enough yet to make assumptions about what the other would like.
Where would you like to go?
This is the first hurdle you’ll have to overcome as a couple but it’ll only be a difficult choice if you have very different ideas of what you want from your time away together.
Before you start trying to choose a destination talk about the kind of things you’re both hoping for. Somewhere near home, for a short period of time, is often the best choice early in a relationship, especially if you haven’t yet spent long periods of time together. A shortlist you both agree on will make it easier to research the available options which fit within your timings and budget.
When are you both available?
For busy, working people this can often be a difficult one to negotiate unless you decide to make your first holiday a long weekend.
It’s important to be as open minded and flexible as you can. Good communication is essential, so negotiate a time to suit you both and allow enough time for planning and preparations.
What kind of things do you want to do?
The time away together is a chance for you to get to know each other on a deeper level and deciding what activities you might engage in while you’re away can be very revealing. It’s sometimes the first holiday that shows up any glaring incompatibility but it can also bring you closer together, as you realise you have more in common than you ever realised.
If one of you is excited about staying up all night dancing and the other is planning to take a brisk walk every morning before breakfast, then it’s better to find this out before you go.
Who is responsible for what?
Money can be a real source of anxiety and tension when you’re away with someone. Although it may be uncomfortable it’s better to talk it all through before you go. Will you each be paying half of every bill or will you have a joint holiday fund? If your budget is very different this too needs to be discussed and a compromise sought. If these things aren’t talked about openly, what should be a romantic trip can turn into a nightmare, which puts too much pressure on your new relationship.
What are your expectations of each other?
What are the sleeping arrangements? Maybe it’s obvious from the beginning but again it’s worth checking whether you’re both on the same page. Are you expecting to spend every waking moment together or will it be okay to take some time out by yourself? Will you be checking emails and ringing your mates or are you going to have a technology-free holiday?
While this may all seem a bit prescriptive, it’s worth talking things through before you book that all-important first holiday. You’ll likely find they come up naturally in conversation. It’s better to deal with the possible discomfort of a conversation than the real discomfort of a holiday with someone you find you really don’t get along with.
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