September 24, 2010

How to Make Your First Trip Together Not Be Your Last

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

Taking a vacation together is one of the most fun relationship milestones. Your goal may be to introduce your new partner to your family, to share some relaxation, to experience a new place, or simply just because. Yet those extra hours spent in one another’s company will be very exciting. In both good and bad ways.

To start, this may be one of the first times you have been bound to one another (metaphorically, I mean; physically is a whole other article), unable to get away if he starts annoying you. In a way, this is a test for your relationship: are you ready to spend many hours together (possibly without anyone else around for hours), or have you not yet reached that point? If it is the former, keep reading for tips on how to take a successful trip together.

Keep in mind that tensions already run high while preparing for a vacation, and even higher when actually traveling to your destination. The stress of planning, spending, and hoping like hell that everything goes well can translate to frustration toward your girlfriend who has to stop and pee every thirty minutes (has she sprung a leak or something?!). Rather than allowing these tense emotions to steer you, remind yourself (chant it, if necessary, though silently so as not to worry her) that it is just the stress. Why, you love your girlfriend (and her small bladder), of course.

In addition to restroom breaks, don’t push your bodily limits: rest or eat when you need to do so. Take turns with driving duties. Share the radio or CD player. Compromise on everything. Being stuck with someone who is one foot away from you for hours on end is not the time to exert your stubbornness.

Finally, the best way to avoid the nearly-inevitable road-trip fights is to stay preoccupied. Schedule fun things to do or see along the way. If you know your route will pass by a national park, take an extra hour to visit it. When you see a sign proclaiming World’s Largest _________, check it out. It will give you more to talk about when you are trapped—I mean, back in the car. Also, bring along a book geared towards conversation, such as Book of Questions, or just print your own list of interesting questions to ask one another. This will not only keep the car ride interesting, you will also learn more about your significant other. If you feel yourself getting uptight despite these tips, listen to an audio book. This will encourage a silent—but not awkward—atmosphere.

And hey, if all else fails, you can pull over for some illicit, roadside sex.

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