Couple’s trips are just for happy couples, right?
I recently read about a woman who divorced her husband because he refused to look at her tomatoes. No, that’s not a euphemism. This woman had spent months carefully growing and nurturing her plants, and was very proud of the results, but couldn’t convince her husband to step away from the sofa for a few minutes to admire them with her. She ended their marriage.
This might seem monumentally petty from both parties, but I’m inclined to take the wife’s side. She explained that this wasn’t the first time that she’d been enthusiastic about something he hadn’t cared about, and she decided she wanted to spend her life either alone or with someone who noticed and appreciated her.
It’s interesting to think about how small incidents, when considered alone, seem like ridiculous reasons to break up, but in a larger context paint a picture of a life of irritating monotony. When Dating.com shared a list of the reasons couples end relationships just before, during or after taking a vacation together, some truly ridiculous choices leapt out.
Why do couples break up on holidays?
There are the rational reasons: one partner planning solo activities on a couple’s trip, for example. Arriving late at the airport, you miss your flight. Acting in a completely different way and yelling at the tour guide/concierge/waiter. Then, there are the bonkers reasons: sharing a bathroom meant that someone realised that their partner left toothpaste in the sink; being woken up too early; chewing with their mouth open. If this is the only reason for the break-up, that’s ridiculous, bordering on nonsensical.
Perhaps the secret, real reason is that one partner saw an especially tanned surf instructor on the beach, fell in love and plans to remain in Majorca, selling anklets on the beach. One thing is clear: travelling after a break-up is going to be rough, especially if you bought adjoining aeroplane seats and have to sit next to your now-ex, wondering if you could have saved the relationship if you’d just remembered to replace the loo roll.
The Vice President of Dating.com offered some advice to follow the survey’s bizarre findings, and to be honest, it’s also pretty strange. For example, she recommends booking everything in your own name so that if you break up before the holiday, you can take someone else instead. I feel like it would be pretty strange to go on a couple’s break with a just-dumped friend, and there could be problems because the moment anyone insists that the plane tickets and hotel should be in their name, alarm bells could start ringing to warn of an impending break up. Sure, travelling after a break up can be a good way to move past the relationship, but sitting alone in an extremely romantic room seems like a bummer.
We should also spare a thought for couples who break up on a plane. Yes, they have to deal with the heartache and the stress of being trapped with someone who just dumped you, but they’re also being judged by everyone else onboard. This might be the only time a crying baby is wanted. If you decide on breaking up during the holidays, at least wait until the wheels have touched down. Post-holiday break-ups are bad, but mid-holiday break-ups are worse.
What could we do to prevent break-ups on vacations?
Here’s the thing. Dating someone is really, really nice – or, at least, it should be. But going on holiday together means spending almost all of your time together without any friends to dilute your one-on-one time, so things will get a bit more intense. Although you shouldn’t ditch your new significant other and go and do solo activities for the whole trip, perhaps a walk on the beach by yourself would be a nice way to spend the morning if you’ve woken up weirdly early.
Remember you still need to give each other a little bit of space. If you find travelling stressful, plan a few super-relaxing activities to help decompress, like a couple’s massage soon after you arrive, so you can get in the headspace to bond and get ready to enjoy your trip. Make an effort and have fun with your partner, and, for heaven’s sake, don’t leave your shared bathroom disgusting, because that’s an unforgivable ick for everyone.