Plan It Together
For a relatively new couple, the idea of planning a holiday together can be daunting. But equally, it isn’t necessarily fair to leave the planning up to one person – this is how arguments can arise and you’re not even on the plane yet. A positive way to look at delegating tasks out is for each person to take a task that they’re good at, says dating and relationship coach Sami Wunder: “Planning shouldn’t be seen as a chore or a burden, but an exciting activity that both partners can do together and look forward to.” However, you might find yourself in a position where you can both agree that one of you should take the reigns – and that’s ok too, says eharmony’s relationship expert, Rachael Lloyd: “I’d suggest that if one of you is more confident about planning than the other then you should feel free to have a go. What’s really important is making sure you both agree on the plans before any holiday kicks off and you factor in each other’s values, interests and must-sees.” There are ways to combine needs though – if you like sports but your partner likes catching up on their tan, book a beach holiday that has water sports and beach trips available in the water. Relationships are about compromise – and holidays are too.
Go for A ‘Dry Run’ Holiday
When it comes to the kind of trip to book, Sami recommends trying a short holiday to start with, that’s easy-going and appeals to both people, as a kind of trial run. “You´re still getting to know each other and this is done best in an environment where both partners feel comfortable. If you love the beach but he hates it, it´s not going to work. Neither is it going to work if you love the mountains and he can’t stand them. The decision on where to go should result from an honest conversation about what makes both partners happy.”
Also talk about the amount of time you want to spend away. New research commissioned by Exclusiveprivatevillas.com, found that almost half of Brits (46%) said going on holiday too soon with a new love means you risk not knowing each other well enough to cope with spending so much time together. So like Sami says, it’s probably best to start with a shorter trip, maybe a weekend break, but if you’re partner wants to take you for a 10-day beach holiday and it feels too much, then express that – it doesn’t have to be a negative conversation. “Ending up in a situation that makes you feel resentful or locked is never the recipe for a happy first holiday,” says Sami.
You Have to Be Comfortable Talking About Money
This is one of the first big tests of a relationship – the money talk. In order to pay for and have spending money on your holiday, you’re going to need to first talk about how much you can both contribute. If this feels awkward, you might have problems. “If a couple can’t communicate about spend this is going to apply to every area of their lives – not just holidays,” says Rachael. “Therefore, it’s imperative you get to a place where you can talk it through.” This will inevitably bring up a conversation about who is the higher earner. “If you’re on the lower salary, be frank about what you can comfortably contribute to. Don’t assume the other person is going to bankroll you,” advises Rachael. “If you are the higher earner, be considerate and set clear boundaries about any relevant gaps in finance and where you are happy to splash out. Seriously, finance is a huge trigger when it comes to break ups, so this stuff is important.”
Remember: Itineraries Are Unsexy
There’s nothing like rigorous schedule to take all the sex drive out of a romantic first holiday together. You need time to be spontaneous, and an itinerary is bound to come with its frustrations. “Personally, I’ve never liked partners giving me over-detailed itineraries – there must be some spontaneity factored in, but that’s because I enjoy unexpected adventures,” says Rachael. “But it’s different for everyone, I have friends who love a super-focused travel plan and get driven mad by chaotic or lazy partners. Either way, passion tends to wane when a relationship begins to feel too controlling. So, I think this is all about a balance. And let’s face it, if you end up having a truly intimate holiday, it’s going to have a positive impact on sex drive.”
It's Perfectly Normal to Argue
It’s normal to get frustrated with each other when you’re not used to spending that much time solidly together, so you’re likely to argue or bicker from time to time. “The average couple has six arguments a month, according to our data. So yes, it’s not only ok but totally normal to fall out,” says Rachael (no doubt to the relief of many). “However, a couple who have good conflict resolution skills will fare far better than a couple who lacks them. Even if only one of you is a born peacemaker, then you’re going to have a far better chance of kissing and making up.”
You Can Get Drunk Together – Unless You’re A Nightmare When You Drink
For some people, drinking can be a recipe for disaster – for those people, you might want to stick to the mocktails. But as Rachael says, if you can’t sit down on holiday and have a few drinks together, when can you? Sami agrees: “It depends on how you get drunk. If you´re the kind of drunk who can handle a drink or three and still have a good time, yes – go ahead and have fun. It is priceless to be able to be with someone else and let loose this way and still feel safe and loved. On the other hand, if you get messy, emotional, start mis-behaving, then please don´t. You don´t want to scar your first holiday with those kinds of memories.”
So, indulge yourselves – it’s not likely that you’ll have anything important to get up for in the morning apart from bagging yourself a good sunbed.
Don’t Think That Needing Time Alone Is A Bad Thing
It can be hard to spend time with just one other person 24/7, so don’t feel bad if you feel like you need a walk alone or a bit of quiet time to read a book whilst your partner goes and does something else. “Having this alone time can be priceless in restoring your own emotional balance when you´re coming together with someone new in this kind of intimate setting,” Sami explains. And Rachael concurs: “Go for a walk, get a massage, have your nails done or book that round of golf,” says Rachael. “We all need a bit of time out from a relationship to just exhale and process feelings. No one wants to live in an emotional battery farm.”
Don’t Force the Romance
First holidays are supposed to be romantic, but there’s nothing that’s more of a romance killer than trying to force it. “It’s hard to manufacture romance,” Racheal agrees. “You’re better off just finding things to do that you both like and enjoy and the good feeling that generates will spark romantic energy. Something as simple as a nice restaurant after a perfect day on the beach can feel incredibly romantic, particularly if you’re in a foreign or exotic setting. Cue the band!” The most important thing to remember is that romance looks different to different people – so don’t try and set yourself up to someone else’s standard of what’s romantic. As Rachael said, it could be dinner, or spending time alone on the beach. It’s whatever makes you happy, and you should make it clear to your partner when you feel that kind of happiness, says Sami: “Don´t be afraid to share with your partner what would make you really happy. You´re still getting to know each other´s signature desires at this early stage. Be bold and share with him that you´d like to have a dinner under the stars or an in-room couple massage.”
And Sami’s other key tip for a perfect, romantic holiday? “Pack some earplugs – just in case your partner snores.” Now that’s romance.