Plan the Perfect Vacation With Your Significant Other This Summer.

With summer in full swing and life re-opening again, you might be excited to get away on a couples vacation. Maybe you are not sure what it will be like when you get there, but you are mostly okay with that because you can usually figure it out. You assume that since your partner agreed to go, they are thinking and planning like you. 

But wait! Are they? 

Let’s think about this. You and your partner do not think the same. In fact, you probably say it all the time – “We just think so differently.” Think about all the little fights couples get into when they are supposed to be enjoying their time planning for vacation or enjoying time on a little couples get-away. 

Most couples forget that they think differently than their spouse even though they subconsciously know their relationship partner can have differing opinions and thoughts. They have a partner who is more cautious or a partner who is more spontaneous. So why do we assume that how we are thinking is how they are thinking?

If you and your mate face conflict in your relationship when planning for a couples vacation or get-away, you are not alone, so please read on to learn how counseling for couples with a relationship therapist can help.

The first thing you want to do is ask questions, and there are some questions which are better than others. A good starting one to ask is what their plan is. If you ask your partner if they want to talk about anything, they might not. But asking about their plan might help reveal what their interests or goals are for the trip. 

Here is one thought you may have which is similar: my partner is on the same page. Remember that old saying about assuming? Assuming is dangerous. Thinking that your partner is good with figuring it out later might be wrong. 

I recently made this mistake while making my own plans. I am getting ready to go on a little vacation and we are navigating what will be open and making back up plans for the hotel. We have the big stuff in place: hotel, packing list, and dog sitter. Check…check…and check.

What I didn’t think about is how my partner was feeling so I asked, “Hey, what are we doing when we get to New York?” My partner said, “I don’t know. Why is it assumed that I would pick our activities?” Hmm…..

A few minutes later, and some more conversation, I was able to learn “some” of what my mate wanted. I learned that we should make some more concrete plans, so we decided we were going to do that over the weekend. Well, the weekend came and went and we leave tomorrow. I started looking at hikes over breakfast and asked my spouse about it, reminding her that we didn’t make any plans. She turned to me and said, “Oh, I was trying to be more like you and figure it out when we get there. A lot of trails are shut down right now.”

Boy, this communication thing is not a one-time thing and done! You cannot just ask one question and think you got it.

My wife and I made up the idea of a mission brief (MB). An MB is a conversation when you discuss what needs to happen or what the plan is. It’s a who, what, why, and when. It might go something like this: “So, the plan is to go to the grocery store first. We don’t need much and are just grabbing what is on the list. We are doing this before breakfast, right? We also need to remember to write a note to the house sitter. Are you doing that or am I?”

The mission brief works out alright, but sometimes plans change in the middle. For this reason, my spouse and I also have a mission checkpoint (MCP). This is something we check in about half way through. Of course, we may forget about the MBs and the MCPs, but when we remember, we are on the same page, at least for a minute. And that’s what is important – being on the same page. 

These conversations are important when you are preparing for a vacation because, ultimately, both partners are active participants in planning and both partner’s ideas are being valued.

If you planned to visit a specific location and get there and one of you feels uncomfortable, maybe it’s time for an MCP. You or your partner can let the other know something has changed for you or them – and changes will happen, especially in the crazy time like we are in now! 

Discuss your plans prior. Keep checking in and make sure that you know if you are still going the right way. The MCP is kinda like a GPS in the middle of the trip. Sometimes there will be re-routing…and that’s ok!

Let me help your relationship with a couples road map so you and your partner can get unstuck in your planning journey.  Learn how to create an effective relationship as a couple through relationship counseling so you can move to the next level.