dating

Ask Sean: "I went travelling with my boyfriend. After two days, I absolutely hated him."

When it comes to figuring out men, it sometimes pays to skip the girl talk and head straight to the source. This weekly column is my advice on your most burning questions about guys. And since I’m gay, I’m kind of halfway inside your head already. Let’s dive in!

This week, you asked:

“I’ve been overseas with my boyfriend, and just came back. I was so looking forward to the holiday, but within two days of being there, I absolutely hated him. I don’t know whether it was my mood (I can get depressed and anxious), or if it means we’re really not compatible. Everything about him annoyed me, from the way he ate to the way he talked to every single suggestion he had of what we should do. Now that we’re home, and I have my space, I feel a bit better, but I’m worried about being with someone who can drive me crazy. Should you be able to travel with your partner? Or are some couples just better at home?”

The short answers is yes. You should be able to travel with your partner.

The long answer, which completely contradicts the short, is hellllllllllllllllllllllllllllll no. Travelling with your partner can really suck.

But for the sake of your relationship, let’s unpack these contradicting beliefs a bit further.

A normal, healthy relationship remains normal and healthy because the individuals get breaks from each other. In the beginning, you may see your significant other a few times a week. And usually at night. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with them, it’s completely acceptable to take a few days off to reconnect with friends or to catch up on The Bachelor.

Side note – how do you know if you ACTUALLY love the person you’re with? Post continues after video. 

Even long after getting married and having children, most couples continue to benefit from leaving each other for extended periods of time. You go to work, then to the gym, and maybe even a cheeky glass of red wine with a co-worker you used to hang out with before your husband impregnated you.

ADVERTISEMENT

The point is, you get much deserved “alone time”. And because of this alone time, you avoid killing each other. And because you avoid killing each other, you book your first vacation together.

What could go wrong?

The man you thought you knew quickly becomes a wild animal when he’s no longer confined to restaurants and bedrooms. He talks a lot more than you remember. He’s a bad flyer, too. And he has to eat lunch at twelve on the dot every single day. What the hell?!

Because you’re so shocked by these newly discovered findings, you turn on him. You don’t want to, but you do. And things that may not have bugged you before, quickly become relationship-ending non-negotiables. Sound familiar?

The good news is, your experience is normal.

Is it possible that you’re not compatible? Maybe. And is it true that your anxiety is probably getting in the way? Sure. But is this worth giving another shot? Absofu**inglutely.

There’s an art to travelling with someone you love and it’s clear that you haven’t figured that out yet. Unfortunately, there’s no Golden Rule for this. Every trip and couple is different, so you’ll need to sit down and have a conversation about what went wrong the first time and how to fix it next time.

If I were you, I’d look at what you love about your relationship now and attempt to replicate that on your second trip. Obsessed with Thai food? Plan a vacation to Thailand. Love movies? Find an old cinema on your first day. Plant seeds of the life you love in the country you don’t know.

Lastly, and this is a big one, remind yourself before the next trip that anxiety can quickly turn on you when you’ve been put in new situations. Speaking from experience, anxious people often accidentally take the stress out on the people we love. You won’t always be able to control it, but you can overly communicate your fears before the trip.

Communication is the key to a successful vacation. And a successful relationship.

That is unless he’s a monster on the second trip, too. If that’s the case, dump his ass mid-vacation and blow your money at the hotel bar.

Read more from Ask Sean: 

Sean Szeps is a freelancer, and Mamamia’s resident Agony Uncle. To ask him a question, you can email [email protected] You can also follow Sean on Instagram, or listen to him on Mamamia’s parenting podcast, The Baby Bubble

00:00 / ???