Couple on holiday


Are you a couple and are you preparing for the holidays?

Take count that the couple’s holiday can have two opposing aspects: on the one hand it can be a time of growth and improvement, on the other hand it can highlight, or even give rise to problems.

We therefore have pros and cons, a bit like all things in life.

Doing new things with our partner will make us feel closer, the holiday, moreover, will allow us as a couple, to create shared positive memories that we can draw on to create greater intimacy and can help us discover new positive things about our partner.

It is obvious that when we are a couple, we create an interdependence between the two partners. One’s decisions are forcibly reflected on the other. This is very much accentuated during a holiday in which we have to make a series of obviously shared decisions and this can lead, if not well managed, to a conflict.

Are there already tensions between the couple?

Do not think that these will be resolved on vacation, generally the opposite happens. As shown by the experimental study by Rosenblatt et al., couples with fewer prior potential problems, when they were forcibly in contact during the summer, showed lower levels of tension, as opposed to couples who already had problems and in whom tension levels became higher.

Also remember that holidays can sometimes be tiring.

It’s one thing a vacation spent on the beach, where all you have to take are a few steps from the hotel to the beach and back, and another a vacation that involves continuous travel from one place to another maybe even over long distances and on uncomfortable paths.

The more tired we are the less tolerant we are, and the more willing we are to unload fatigue by creating a conflict, especially if this fatigue, this continual shifting from one place to another, causes a lack of sleep, which will result in an increase in conflicts within the couple (Gordon & Chen 2014).

So, what to do to live a truly positive couple’s holiday?

Let’s start with a couple who is already experiencing problems.

No to strenuous holidays, do not get tired, do not run out, we have already seen how they tend to increase conflicts. Yes, to relaxing holidays so that you can use the moment of relaxation to clarify and try to solve the reasons that are the basis of the conflict.

Also plan things to do on your own, even if you’re on vacation together: you don’t need to share every moment.

Are you a couple who have no particular tensions?

First of all, plan a holiday that suits both of you, if one partner forces the other to take a type of holiday that they don’t want, that they don’t like, this can create tensions: make decisions together, plan your vacation together.

Even in the case of a couple who do not experience particular tensions, it is advisable not to stay together 24 hours a day especially if you spend a lot of time apart when you are at home for work commitments and other tasks. Spending so much time together can tend to create conflicts, so it is better if each member of the couple takes, during the holiday, time for themself, perhaps doing those activities that the partner just doesn’t like.

Even in this kind of couple some small thing can be wrong anyway: a solution could be to postpone the clarification until the return, perhaps after a particularly beautiful holiday, that problem, that before leaving seemed urgent, may have lost much of its importance.

Remember, then, no matter how much you love and get along, you are two different people. This difference should not become a problem but be a moment of improvement and implementation of the relationship: each will bring a different contribution to the couple that will enrich the other.

Dr. Patrizia Pietropaolo


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