New relationships are like puppies. They need to be nurtured, they provide you with a new sense of fulfillment and childlike wonder, and sometimes they poo all over you. Right now you’re still gushing over each and every text message sent by your significant other (to everyone’s disgust) and imagining what your life would be like together (full of spontaneous musical numbers, you two will eventually own a lake house, obviously). However, there’s a make or break moment in newly coupled bliss, and that my friends, is traveling together. I might not be an expert on love, but I’ve stalked enough celebrity couples on the internet in my day to come up with a few tips on surviving your first trip together:
Your ideal vacation includes sleeping in until 10 a.m., casually drinking a few Bloody Marys before lunch, and going with the flow. Whether you end up going to a local museum or just to the beach, you’re up for whatever, man—vacation rules! However, your boyfriend’s dream getaway consists of waking up at the crack of dawn, going on a 4-mile run, and adhering to a strict itinerary when it comes to seeing the top tourist sites. He’s even printed out an hourly agenda for you. He is all about carpe-ing that diem. Discuss your vacation styles and make compromises before you even buy your tickets, because failing to map out your time could result in lots of red-faced yelling and passive aggressive car rides spent in silence.
Be an Individual
You bonded over your love of “Game of Thrones” and the fact that you both don’t drink the last backwashed sip of beer because it’s for peasants, but that doesn’t make you the same person. Wise up to the fact that you can take a vacation together, and still do some solo exploration. You have a love for 18th-century paintings of women’s feet (in an intellectual way, it’s not weird or creepy at all), while your boo’s interest is piqued by collecting sedimentary rocks. Allow yourselves some time to unwind in your own way and don’t start thinking your love is dying if you both choose some solo activities.
Spice Things Up
I’m not going to tell you what to do in the bedroom. But if you’re looking for advice on how to heat things up, a quick Google image search of “pants dance” will enlighten you (hint: take off safe search). OK, get your mind out of the gutter–I’m of course talking about trying new activities in your destination. Do something that neither of you have done before like zip-lining, taking a pottery class, or eating bugs. Get out of your comfort zone and remember to just have fun. It’s as simple as that! Besides, why do you think they do all those adrenaline-producing activities together on “The Bachelor”? Facing your fears together strengthens your bond, and will give you something to look back on in the future Warning: If you break up, it could ruin weird food for you forever. “I’ll never eat escargot again, because it was my love food with Tessa, that wench!”
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you care about this person. Even if they have no idea how to properly open a bottle of wine and they snore louder than an overweight grizzly bear. If you start to get on each other’s nerves, try to remember why you wanted to take this trip in the first place. They have sparkly eyes and a winner’s disposition! More likely, you laugh together, or they’re a stellar cook, or you just like seeing them naked. Take some pictures to immortalize your vacation, but don’t post them on social media. My reasoning is twofold: By keeping these moments private they become more special, and if your relationship goes down the toilet, you won’t have to awkwardly delete them from your Facebook page.
Fighting with your partner is completely normal, to an extent. But if you can’t try fried frog legs together without ripping each other’s throats out, maybe it’s time to call off the engagement (your parents will be stoked that they don’t have to pay for the wedding anymore). Or at least change you Facebook status to “Single L.” Traveling together should be a source of joy, not stress.