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Vacations can make or break your relationship

Tammy Laber knows about vacations and relationshipsVacations: The make or break for your relationship

For some couples, going on a vacation together and finally having some “we” time away from the kids is just what the relationship needs. Finally, adult conversation uninterrupted by the toddlers. At last, a chance to get frisky without having to squeeze everything into a 20-minute window. But there’s another side to paradise. If you haven’t practiced your conversation skills sans kids or cellphone in a year, how will you do on a 9-hour flight? And if you can’t sustain conversation for more than a few minutes, can you bow out gracefully to your book or laptop without causing offense? Also, if it’s been a long time since you two spent much time being intimate, how does once a week translate into once a day? And if it doesn’t, does somebody get offended?

One way to cope with all the potential problems is to have a little talk beforehand. Can you agree to take a walk for a few minutes when you are feeling angry , instead of saying things you may regret? Can you discuss expectations ahead of time and try to keep them reasonable? Honestly, this is probably the best thing you can do – expect problems and agree to try to see the humour and cooperate as a team in solving them or living with them. Be especially sure you agree on finances before you leave. Who is paying for what? And go beyond the cost of the car rental, for example, to the cost of the insurance, and what happens if there IS an accident (for example, who pays the deductible, if there is one).

On the other hand, there is something to be said for going on vacation with your sweetie before you move in together. A vacation together will put your relationship on fast forward. If, for example, you guys are doomed to fight about money, sleep habits or sexual frequency, you’ll probably know by the end of the week.

If you can survive a week together, especially one with stressful experiences like a delayed flight or food poisoning, you can start looking for apartments together. But only if you BOTH agree that it was a good trip, once you are safely home.

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