Going on vacation with a new romantic partner could spell disaster for couples who travel before they’ve been together seven months, according to a new survey. The survey found that one-fifth of couples who went on vacation before their seven-month anniversary ended by breaking up. Eight percent of those who broke up didn’t wait to get home before they called it off. One in 20 didn’t even get to their destination because they broke up while traveling there.
These are the results of a survey that polled 1,500 British residents and was commissioned by Exclusive Private Villas. A separate survey backed up those findings. A poll commissioned by Visit Anaheim recommended an even longer wait before traveling—10 months.
Why delay vacationing together? The stress of traveling can be particularly hard on couples who don’t know each other very well. “Holidays can be a time to relax and de-stress but they can also be a breeding ground for the kind of irritation, exasperation and potential differences that can happen when you’re forced to share a stressful journey, a small hotel room and – even worse – an en suite toilet together,” said psychologist Judi James.
Discovering the mundane truth
“In the early days of a relationship, we tend to be firmly wedged into what’s called the attribution bias – basing our evaluations of our new partner on assumption and first impressions. We love to focus on their ideal projections and to ignore all those more mundane traits that can cause arguments and frustrations when we co-habitate,” James said.
“On holiday the truth catches up with us, and with proximity being even more relentless than it would if we were sharing a home it’s easy to feel trapped 24/7. Eating habits, toilet habits, selfish or boring behaviors can all suddenly come to the fore, as well as the shock of suddenly discovering that the person you love doesn’t want to spend their day doing the same things you want to do,” the psychologist said.
“’Not only would I agree with this suggestion for couples to wait before going on holiday together, if anything I would scope it out to include holidaying with friends, too.”
Travel experts offer these tips on spending a successful vacation with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Try to spend a weekend together before you go on your first vacation
Don’t rush into something you’re not prepared for. Spending a weekend together can be a great opportunity to see if the two of you are going to make good traveling companions.
- Go to a destination closer to home
If the trial weekend is a happy one, go on a real vacation but pick a destination that doesn’t require hours of travel and multiple airlines. If the trip doesn’t go well, you won’t be able to ditch out as easily if you’re thousands of miles away from home.
- Choose a destination you both like
If you have different ideas of the ideal vacation spot, listen to each other’s wishes and compromise on a place.
- Plan the trip together
If one partner doesn’t get to make any decisions on the destination or activities, chances are higher that that person isn’t going to be a happy travel companion.
- Discuss the budget
How are you going to split vacation expenses? If the difference in your incomes is substantial, it’s something you will want to discuss before you head on that exciting adventure.