There's something about the long weekend that gets people so excited for summer and travel plans. Especially for those who are in new relationships. But the stress of traveling with a partner can cause trouble in paradise, according to survey results from Match.com.
The national representative survey found that 86 percent of Canadian singles believe traveling with a new partner is an important step in getting to know each other. Furthermore, 53 percent of Canadians who have traveled in a new relationship say the trip taught them new things about their partner and 37 percent revealed the trip brought us closer together.
"Most Canadians believe that a first trip away is a good indicator of long-term compatibility and overall I agree," says psychotherapist and Match.com Relationship Insider Kimberly Moffit.
"On vacation, you’re often together 24/7 for the first time or you may be put in new situations that are uncomfortable. It's when you set out on a trip with a new partner, that you often really get to know him or her," says Moffit.
However, when asked about the timing of the all-important first couples' trip, responses across the country revealed a detectable gender divide.
While the majority of singles (43 percent) say they would wait six months or longer before traveling with a new partner, the survey found men are much more likely to go on a trip sooner into a new relationship.
53 percent of women wait at least six months to take a joint vacation, compared to only 32 percent of men. A full quarter of Canadian men would travel with a new partner after two to three months, while nearly 9 percent say they would travel with a new partner right away.
What exactly is there to stress about on a vacation with someone you care about? Match.com found that the top worry for men is being bored with each other. And the top worry for women is sharing a room and washroom, which was the last concern for men.
"New couples can be understandably stressed about their first romantic getaway, but travel is supposed to be fun. Try not to think about your first trip as a 'road test' where you either pass or fail. That said, there are certainly things you can do along the way to set yourself up for a successful first vacation together," says Moffit.
To help guide new partners that will be traveling this summer, Moffit has developed five tips for travel-bound couples.
1. For a first trip together, play it safe. Either start with a shorter time away or choose an itinerary that's stress-free. An all-inclusive resort is a great first option because everything is taken care of for you and there are usually no additional expenses once you arrive. Fortunately, when it comes to their desired travel destination, Match.com found most men and women (41 percent) would both select a beach getaway for their first trip with a new partner.
2. Be mindful of your own travel triggers. Are you a bad flyer? Do you need to eat at regular intervals or you turn into a zombie? 18 percent of Canadians say they have argued with their travel date while on vacation. Communicate your own triggers before going to avoid disagreement.
3. Give yourself a break. Agree ahead of time on the activities you'd both like to do, but also give yourselves enough time to be spontaneous. An overly packed schedule can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare and make you wish you’d never left home. Reflecting on past vacations with new partners, 12 percent of survey respondents admit the trip was so bad that they wanted to leave early and four percent revealed that the trip was so bad they actually did leave early.
4. Take a time out when you need to. No doubt you're traveling with your partner because you really like him or her. But 24/7 can be difficult for even the strongest of couples. It's okay to plan a little "me" time, whether you want to read a book or sit silently with a drink in hand. Just tell your partner upfront. In fact, he or she probably can’t wait to get away from you too for a little bit!
5. Don't forget that you're on a romantic getaway. Take a break from being a tourist and indulge in a few romantic moments, whether that's a nice dinner by candlelight or visiting a particularly beautiful view. Romance shouldn't go out the window just because you're in a new locale, something that the five percent of Canadians who have had a vacation that culminated in a marriage proposal know very well.
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