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From a date to a relationship

Holiday heaven or holiday hell?

Your first proper holiday together ought to be bliss, but it could also hold risks for your relationship. Here are some tips to ensure that you will both enjoy the trip!

Holiday heaven or holiday hell?

1. Planning together

Biking in the Pyrenees or a tour of the sites of Ancient Greece ... What sounds like the perfect holiday for you might not be your partner’s ideal way of filling two precious weeks, so it’s not a good move to present a fait accompli along with the plane tickets. “It’s important to spend time planning a holiday together,” advises Parship relationship coach Lars Schöning. “Listen to each other, discuss what kind of holiday each of you wants, and determine how best to satisfy your particular expectations. It shouldn’t be a question of one person imposing their will on the other.”

2. What exactly do you want?
Both your personal taste and your budget will play a part in determining whether it’s five-star luxury in the Maldives or camping in Dorset. While there’s no reason why one of you should undertake the pay for everything, equally you don’t want to be too pernickety about who spent exactly how much on what. As ever, it’s a matter of finding the right compromises. A pleasant surprise or two is never unwelcome, though, and it doesn’t have to cost lots of money: a gift of a well-written novel set in your holiday destination can mean as much as paying for a day out while on the trip.

3. Enjoying your time together
The psychologist Trevor Ellis asserts that holidays bring out the worst in people, with the hotel room turning into a battlefield and the mood blackening as soon as a cloud appears in the sky. It is often when a couple are away from home that they discover how compatible they really are - after all they are often spending an unprecedented amount of time together. As Lynn and Brian from Bradford explained, before they left for their touring holiday: “We were wondering how we would cope with spending all day together in the car and searching out a hotel for the night. We wanted to see how things were really working … Would we be able to make each other as happy as we hoped we could?” If you manage to enjoy your holiday while still making allowances and compromises for your partner, then the signs are good for your relationship.

4. Don’t put yourselves under pressure
Adventure, relaxation, new experiences, a deep personal connection - and constant sunshine. “If your expectations for a holiday are too high,” warns Parship’s Lars Schöning, “then the reality can prove disappointing … Be prepared to take things as they come on your holiday, and if things don’t go exactly to plan, remember that everything can have a positive side - even a rainy day.”

5. The holiday as a new opportunity
Sometimes even a short break can hold surprises, as Maria and Neil from Hertfordshire discovered. They had been getting on well enough, as Maria explained. “We had been seeing each other every week and had done a variety of things together. We’d talked a lot on the phone and emailed each other, but there didn’t seem to be any real chemistry until Neil asked me if I fancied joining him for a weekend in Dublin, because a friend had let him down at the last minute. It was that weekend that our real romance began!”

6. Discover what you have in common
Many Parship couples find that a holiday really does bring them closer together, as Kathy from Derbyshire and Kieran from Nottinghamshire discovered. After knowing each other for just two months they booked their annual holiday together for later in the year. Their confidence proved to be well founded. They had a wonderful, late-summer holiday. As Lars Schöning says: “\When it comes to a relationship, it is often a good idea to go with the flow … Maybe play a round of tennis, even if you’ve never held a racket in your hand, or go to an exhibition of modern art, even if it’s not usually your thing. You’ll be showing your partner that you take their interests seriously and also indicating that you would expect them to do the same for you.”

7. Who dares wins
Anne from Bishop’s Stortford and Harry from Southend booked their first holiday together when they had known each other for just three days. “If we’d taken things more slowly, we’d probably still be at the stage of meeting on Saturday morning for a coffee.” The holiday turned out to be a success and Anne and Harry were rewarded for their enterprising approach - they are now happily married.

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