Should Couples Vacation Separately?

couple on the beach

Everyone has a different idea of what a vacation means for them. For some people, getting away with the family and the kids sounds like a perfect plan. For others, getting away from the family and the kids is the only way to get some relaxation. Either way, if you are married or in a relationship, at some point this discussion is bound to come up. Even if the vacation planning only involves you and your partner, you still might be craving something a little more solitary. Should the two of you consider vacationing separately, or is that likely to do more damage than good?

Many people think that a desire to travel separately means that the relationship must be in trouble, that if you don’t even want to spend a couple of weeks away together then it doesn’t portend well for the future. But the truth is, everyone needs time to themselves, and if you live with your partner and spend most of your time with them, sometimes you start wonder if it wouldn’t be nice to have the chance to miss them. And indeed, it is nice — often couples who vacation separately come back rejuvenated and more excited about seeing their partner than they have in a while. Every relationship needs a refresher sometimes, and a little time away can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

There’s also the issue of compromise versus independence. Perhaps you and your partner don’t see eye-to-eye on what you’d like to do during your time away. There’s nothing written anywhere that says you have to like the same sorts of vacations, but there’s also no reason that one person should have to give up a trip they’ve been looking forward to just so the other person can have their own dream vacation. So if you want to go hiking and camping but your partner would rather lounge on the beach at a five-star resort, then planning separate trips makes sense, and if both of you have your dream getaway, then you’re more likely to be happy and excited to see each other when you return to each other’s arms.

But what about trust? Certainly the very suggestion of taking separate vacations can bring up doubts and suspicions. However, if your relationship is built on honesty and frank disclosure, these doubts will be short-lived. If the suspicions persist, then you have to ask yourself if the idea of separate vacations is really the problem, or if the root of the issue lies in the more fundamental aspects of the relationship. Surely if you feel you need to be watching your partner all the time in order to make sure they’re not getting up to any mischief, then there are some serious problems with trust that need to be addressed.

When making the decision about whether or not to vacation together, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and in fact it can be quite fun to plan a week away with your girlfriends while still looking forward to the next vacation you’ll take with your partner. Every relationship needs change and some amount of space to stay fresh, and spending some time apart can actually make things stronger for both of you in the long run. Variety is key, and if you and your partner feel secure in your relationship and happy to go out and each do your own thing sometimes, more power to you! Independence and a loving partnership don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and indeed shouldn’t be, for the healthiest situation possible.

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