The pros, and pitfalls, of holidaying with a partner

Holiday season is upon us, but will it all be sunshine for your relationship?
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Holidays together are great because you…

Spend time together
Life is busy, there is no way round that fact. And sadly, that means there is no way round the fact this can cause problems for you and your partner. When you’re so caught up worrying about things like work deadlines, gym classes and meeting friends, quality time (for want of a less ‘self-help’ like phrase) with your partner easily slips off into the ether. On holiday though, however many miles from said work, gym and friends, you can claw it back again, focussing solely on the sunshine, the fancy foreign food and, of course, on each other.

Show off your glamorous side
This country is great in many ways. But the one thing that’s missing is good, solid sunny skies, and the chance to dress appropriately. Even in our ‘heat waves’, when we excitedly don our floaty dresses, there’s the constant threat of the sky becoming grey and floaty becoming freezing. Hence we’re always forced to double-up with brollies and cardigans, and we’re never quite able to pull off ‘sexy summer chic’ with the aplomb magazines would make us hope for. Thankfully, for a few precious weeks on holiday, that chance to be exotic, serene and generally model-esque comes very deftly into play. Watch with glee as your partner sees your perfectly assembled ‘I’m so sultry and continental’ outfits – and more importantly you – with new eyes.

Show off your adventurous side
When you start dating, you go out of the way to wow your new partner with your fascinating hobbies, educated views and cultural passions. Then you carry on dating, and you realise that actually, it’s all a bit of an administrative pain to keep planning ahead and booking theatres, and decide that the local cinema is just as fun after all. Going on holiday gives you the chance to rediscover both your and your partner’s adventurous side. You see new places, meet new people, taste new food…and remember that perhaps a bit of admin isn’t so bad after all – cue a pledge to make more effort to do exciting things back home.

Holidays together are not so great because you…

Spend too much time together
There is always a flip-side to every argument. And yes, we mentioned how lovely it is that holidays let you get away from all other things and just focus on your partner. But at the same time… ‘Oh my god, I’m away from all other things and am just focusing on my partner!’ On a ‘normal life’ day, it’s nice to see your partner, but then it’s also nice that it’s balanced out with not seeing them when you go off to work or see mates. They don’t know what you have for every meal, they don’t know every word you say, they don’t track your every toilet break. On holiday though, suddenly, they know every tiny little detail about your day. The last time anyone knew every tiny little detail about your day was probably when you were a pre-nursery toddler. We’re all for sharing and spending time together, but there’s a line – and we can’t help feeling that 24/7 is crossing it.

Show off your not-so glamorous side
Want to know what the B-side is to the afore-mentioned holiday glamour? It’s the holiday un-glamour. For every chance to show off your honey-tanned limbs, there’s the chance that you forget to shave your legs, or get terrible sunburn, or have to face them hearing your, ahem, toilet habits. There’s also the added ‘bonus’ of chlorine hair, unflattering swimwear, flip-flop blisters, insect bites, food poisoning from local water… Need we go on? Or have we said enough to convince you that for every exotic, rose-tinted image of you swanning about looking fabulous, there’s also the slightly more realistic sweaty, red-faced Brit abroad…

Show off your ignorant side
‘I know French!’ you nod smugly. ‘I was brilliant at school.’ Then you look at the menu. And then you remember school was some time ago. And then you remember not much else, except how to point, talk very loudly, and look very embarrassed. Because for all your good intentions of ‘getting into the culture’, more often than not, you just ‘get into a bit of a pickle’. On your home turf, you might be the most confident, assured person on the block, but on slightly foreign lands, you’re suddenly just the weird tourist who’s not even sure how to ask for some ketchup. And there’s something not massively sexy about that.

Show off the cracks…
Finally, there is always the danger that a break away with your partner could end with an actual break-up. Hopefully, optimistically, it won’t be. If your relationship is sound and safe, then a holiday is the perfect opportunity to iron out any mini niggles, then just sit back, relax and remember why you love each other. But if there are any deep-rooted cracks, then the pressure of a holiday, of solid time in each other’s company and of never being able to escape, might simply be the perfect opportunity to realise that your days together are numbered. Perhaps the sunset you’ll be witnessing is not the romantic one on the beach that you envisaged, but the one on your relationship.
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