My boyfriend and I are going on our first weekend trip together. Do you have any tips on making it a good experience? I’m kind of nervous.
Damon says: The first weekend trip is a benchmark in most relationships (friendships, too). Any time that you willingly say, “Yes, I like you enough that I’m choosing to spend 48-plus consecutive hours with you,” it’s going to be a test.
You spend that much time around someone and I assure you, at some point, he or she will work your last nerve. It’s human nature. Most people don’t care to have their personal spaces invaded for that long. You have to know that going into it and accept it.
No, I’m not saying that you need to accept that you’re going to argue. You need to avoid the unnecessary contentiousness at every turn. Don’t flip out when he turns left although the GPS told him to turn right. Don’t pay it much mind.
My other suggestions would be to plot out as much of your weekend as you possibly can, stick to the script and purposefully plan to give each other a break at some point. If you plan to eat dinner at 7 p.m. and he’s a punctual person, be ready to roll when it’s time to go. If you have different museums that you want to see, split up for an hour to give each other a break.
If you do these few things, you should be all right.
Pamela says: Here’s my tip: Stop worrying and get excited! Vacations are supposed to be fun. A chance to get away and have some private time. The thing I have to ask: Have you and your boyfriend gotten physical before? If not, he’s probably going to make his move. If you’re ready for that, great, be safe. If not, tell him beforehand. It will save you both a lot of frustration.
If you’ve gotten romantic before, a getaway might be just the thing to spice things up. One of my friends once said to me hotel stays are fun because you’re in a new place, don’t have to clean and it’s a king — her words, not mine.
Start talking about how you guys want to spend your days — hiking, exploring the city, eating at local restaurants, whatever — and buy some new undies for how you’ll spend your nights.
I say accept that you’ll probably get in a fight, especially if it’s a road trip. That’s OK. Couples fight, and traveling can be tiring and stressful. But I also think traveling can be a good test for whether or not a relationship can work. Can you make it through the weekend without killing each other despite a few spats? Are you having fun together? If the answers are yes, your relationship might just have staying power.
Send relationship questions or stories to Damon and Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org.